Instead, he and three other people helped escort a family of ten ducks a mile through downtown D.C.
It all started as Olsen was "walking from the World Bank building to the Farragut North Metro station," he says. "I was heading home after lunch. One benefit of unemployment."
He was waylaid by a mother duck and her nine ducklings, attracting attention in a park on Pennsylvania Avenue -- some admiring attention, and some concern; as Olsen wrote on his Reddit post of the photos, one person called the police, and another called the Humane Society.
But before the arrival of any authorities, the ducks got moving. "Kind of like water flowing downhill, the ducks knew which direction they wanted to go," says Olsen. Four of their admirers followed.
Story continues below...
<a href="http://imgur.com/a/IWdEM">Olsen's caption</a>: "Spotted a mother duck and her nine ducklings in the park across from the World Bank building on Pennsylvania Avenue."
<a href="http://imgur.com/a/IWdEM">Olsen's caption</a>: "A crowd gathered. One woman, who stayed with us until the end, called the police and the humane society. They didn't show up and the ducks were getting restless, trying to run out into the street."
<a href="http://imgur.com/a/IWdEM">Olsen's caption</a>: "We begin our procession from 19th and Pennsylvania to the duck pond on the National Mall"
<a href="http://imgur.com/a/IWdEM">Olsen's caption</a>: "A group of us created a corridor and held up traffic as they crossed each street. I had to lift up some ducklings who couldn't jump high enough onto the curb"
<a href="http://imgur.com/a/IWdEM">Olsen's caption</a>: "Along the way, we spied three policemen, one woman yelled out "Hey bike cops, come and stop traffic for these ducks!" they came and held up traffic for us on Constitution Avenue"
<a href="http://imgur.com/a/IWdEM">Olsen's caption</a>: "After a few blocks, (must have felt much longer for the ducks), we made it"
Walking about "two to three" miles per hour, Olsen says, "we began at the intersection of 18th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, then went stright south on 18th until we ended up at the duck pond" just north of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. A slow pace for the humans, but "the ducklings were going flat out, as fast as their webbed feet could carry them."
Along the way, bystanders stopped the group to take pictures. A security guard "in front of the Department of the Interior jumped out of her booth and laughed, saying it reminded her of pet ducks she had when she was young," Olsen says.
The four duck escorts, for their part, tried to keep the ducks from being smooshed or otherwise injured on their adventure, delaying the birds when a car was coming, helping the babies over the curbs and shooing them away from the road.
"We were most concerned about a duckling slipping down a storm drain," says Olsen. "So one of my fellow escorters made sure to recount them -- 9 ducklings -- every time they passed a drain."
Having ushered this troupe of feathered Washingtonians to safety, Olsen says he'll be sure to visit them next time he's on the National Mall. And he could, in fact, be making those visits for years. As one of the many heart-warmed Reddit commenters noted, "You should be happy to know that this" -- duck families making their warmer-weather homes in D.C. -- "is an annual occurrence!!!"
(This video from last year of ducks being helped across Pennsylvania Ave. seems good proof not only that the ducks are usual inhabitants, but that they have a lot of human friends. Here's another, of police helping ducks onto the White House lawn.)
Another Redditor had a different observation: "This is very cool! But I can't help but imagine DC police sarcastically saying 'yea, ducklings, we'll get right on that'" -- a concern HuffPost brought to D.C. police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump, who said not to worry, that "Animal Control would handle."
H/T DCist -- which is where, in the comments, we also saw the word "SQUEE-questration." In this case, we'd say that sequackstration would also be appropriate.
Also on HuffPost:
Cookie Smith shows off a normal egg and a "super egg" Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Abilene, Texas. Cookie Smith went to collect eggs from her three laying hens on Monday afternoon, and discovered one normal egg and one "super egg" in her coop.
Dog With World's Largest Eyes
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This May 9, 2012 photo provided by the New England Aquarium in Boston shows a rare calico lobster that could be a 1-in-30 million, according to experts. The lobster, discovered by Jasper White's Summer Shack and caught off Winter Harbor, Maine, is being held at the New England Aquarium for the Biomes Marine Biology Center in Rhode Island. The lobster is dark with bright orange and yellow spots. (AP Photo/New England Aquarium, Tony LaCasse)
30,000 Bees Stuck In New Jersey Attic
Bee removal expert Gary Schempp removed a 25-pound hive from the attic of a home in Cape May, N.J. The hive had 30,000 bees living in it.
An English man named Brian Watson killed a large rat his granddaughter's boyfriend found while cutting grass on April 21, <em><a href="http://news.sky.com/home/strange-news/article/16213384" target="_hplink">Sky News</a></em> reports. The water rat was so large, Watson broke a boat paddle trying to kill the critter.
Giant Shark Caught In Mexico.
Two fishermen in northeastern Mexico claim they netted a dead great white shark estimated to be near 20-feet-long on April 15, 2012.
This March 8, 2012 photo shows Nicole Andree feeding a hamburger to her dog, Prada, a 4-year-old pit bull mix, at an animal control facility in Nashville, Tenn. Andree is fighting a lengthy legal battle to save her dog's life after the animal was ordered euthanized for attacking other dogs.
Homer Simpson Fish
The Stargazer fish which bears an uncanny resemblance to Homer Simpson. (Caters News / Getty Images)
Kitten Found In Car Engine
After driving about 85 miles to Santa Cruz, Calif., a man discovered that this runaway kitten had been inside his car's engine in March 2012.
World's Smallest Dog?
At two weeks old, Beyonce, a Dachsund mix born at a Northern California animal shelter, is just under four inches long and is in the running for the title of World's Smallest Dog. Here she is pictured resting on an iPhone.
Piglet In Hotel Lobby
This adorable injured baby pig was found roaming a hotel lobby near Honolulu's airport. The Hawaiian Humane Society renamed her Pukalani and says she'll be available for adoption later in March.
Cat Cafes Threatened In Tokyo
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A Woolly Mammoth In Siberia?
This newly released video taken during the summer of 2011 allegedly shows a living woolly mammoth crossing a river in Siberia. There is much speculation and debate as to whether this is, indeed, a living specimen of prehistoric elephant-related animals that were thought to be extinct.
Albino Penguin -- Jan. 2012
A rare, mostly white-colored penguin was discovered in Antarctica in early January 2012. The picture was snapped by naturalist David Stephens.
'Cupid' The Cat -- Jan. 2012
This stray orange tabby in Houston earned the nickname 'Cupid' after he survived a piercing shoulder to shoulder wound in January 2012. A vet safely removed the arrow and 'Cupid' is expected to make a complete recovery.
Lucy: World's Smallest Working Dog -- Nov. 2011
Lucy, a mini Yorkshire terrier from Absecon, New Jersey, is now in the Guinness Book of World Records. Weighing just 2 1/2 pounds, Lucy was named the world's smallest working dog last week, bumping out a 6.6-pound police dog in Japan.
Polydactyl Kittens -- Jan. 2012
Undated Cats Protection handout photo of 4-month-old polydactyl kittens named Fred (left) and Ned (right), currently in the care of Cats Protection, Gosport Town Branch in the United Kingdom. They will shortly be going to their new home once they've been neutered. Ned has an extra eight digits, while his brother Fred has 10 more than the usual 18, making a total of 54 digits between them.
Crocodile in Belgium -- Dec. 2011
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Booie The Smoking Chimp Dies
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Taxidermied Squirrel -- Dec. 2011
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Giant Crocodile Captured In Philippines -- Sept. 2011
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Skywalker The Rodeo Bull Gets Stuck -- Nov. 2011
Skywalker, a rodeo bull in Hawaii, could not eat or drink while a 50-pound tire was stuck around his head. A ranch hand was able to pry it off after Skywalker exhausted himself, allowing the worker to get near the cranky animal.
Gorilla Check-Up -- Oct. 2011
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3-Eyed Nuclear Fish -- Oct. 2011
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Earthquake Dog -- Oct. 2011
Roman Akisen carries Cip, a 5-year-old German shepherd who found 18-year-old Imdat Padak alive under the rubble of a collapsed building more than 100 hours after a magnitude 7.2 quake, in Ercis, Turkey, Oct. 28, 2011.
Tiger Goes To The Dentist -- Oct. 2011
Dr. Doug Luiten drills the tooth of Kunali, a 300-pound, 7-year-old Siberian tiger, during root canal surgery at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska, Oct. 20, 2011. This was the first procedure in a recently opened operating room and the first for the zoo's new veterinary table, complete with hydraulic lift and fold-out leafs to accommodate limbs and tails.
Moose In A Pool -- Oct. 2011
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Mass For Animals -- Oct. 2011
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World's Smallest Living Cat -- Oct. 2011
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Kayaker Snags Shark -- Sept. 2011
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Baby Elephant at San Diego Zoo -- Sept. 2011
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Elephant Polo -- Sept. 2011
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Orangutan Quits Smoking
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This Little PIggie Has Two Snouts
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Woman Punches Bear to Save Dog
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Elephant with Prosthetic Leg
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Elephant in Water Reservoir
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Open Rabbit Sport Tournament
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Hippo Goes To The Dentist
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Dolphin's Fake Tail
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Otis The Skydiver
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John Huntington poses with one of his chickens on a lead in Sydney, Australia, on Aug. 15, 2011. Mr Hungtington's 'City Chicks' are chickens for those living in an urban enviroment, complete with small walking leads and harnesses and elasticised nappies. 'City Chicks' will be showcased at Sydney's ABC Gardening Australia Expo.
A dolphin flips in the air and splashes water over a watching crowd during a summer attraction at an aquarium in Tokyo on August 17, 2011. Theme parks and attactions such as this one are booming in August when many people try to beat the summer heat by visiting indoor attractions.
Sprinkles The Koala
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Sprinkles The Koala
Veterinary specialist Dr Rod Straw holds 'Sprinkles' the Koala following her life saving radiation treatment at the Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre in Brisbane, Australia. Suffering from an extremely rare case of excessive drooling, sprinkles developed a skin infection due to the excessive moisture flowing from her mouth.
Mobile Home Filled With 154 Reptiles
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Camel In The Family
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Camel In The Family
Charlotte Anderson-Dixon pushes her 18-month-old son Reuben on the swing as Joe the camel watches.
Camel In The Family
Nathan Anderson-Dixon, his wife Charlotte, their 18-month-old son Reuben, Joe the camel and a reindeer.