Such an addiction is easy enough to hide when one has young children. A simple trip to the grocery store can lead to a spontaneous rubber duck purchase, no questions asked. Then there’s always rubber ducks for birthday party favors and rubber ducks in the Christmas stockings (Wait a minute; that was Santa’s doing. You can’t pin that one on me.) I’ve even found rubber ducks dressed like witches and vampires at the pumpkin farm on Halloween. Plenty of opportunities arise to acquire rubber ducks while pointing an accusing finger at the kids. Still, when I saw my daughter sitting in the tub surrounded by a dozen rubber ducks, I knew I had to admit it. I have a problem.
What is it about rubber ducks? I find them calming and enormously charming, but I cannot say why. They are not soft or cuddly. They rarely float upright. Furthermore, they won’t even look at you. The aloof, bland expression of the typical duck shouldn’t be capable of eliciting any kind of emotion. Nonetheless, I cannot help but smile every time I see one.
Recently, my husband and I wandered into a hot tub store. In addition to steaming spas and attractive lawn furniture, the shop featured a wide selection of rubber ducks. Several little guys floated in demo spas, clearly an attempt to lure an impulsive duck shopper like myself. I tried to reason with my spouse. Purchasing a hot tub might be a good health investment, especially if a free rubber duck was involved in the sale. I don’t think the duck dressed in scuba gear was nearly as tempting to him as it was to me, but the situation does beg the question: Why would the spa salesman peddle rubber ducks if there wasn’t some undisclosed adult fascination with the little critters? After all, toddlers can’t afford hot tubs.
Perhaps I am not alone in my obsession.
Boulder, Colorado hosts a very famous marathon every year on Memorial Day called the Boulder Boulder. Runners come from all over the world to compete. I try never to miss it, but I have absolutely no interest in running sports. The real attraction for me is the Great Rubber Duck Race on Boulder Creek. Participants purchase numbered tickets, each one corresponding to a specific duck. At the beginning of the race, thousands of ducks pour out of a front loader, land in the river, and float down to the finish line. Prizes are awarded to the ticket holders of the first several ducks that cross the line. It’s standing room only and the cheering can be heard all across town. “The kids love it,” I always say, but you know the real story. Besides, what on earth would compel someone to number and store thousands of rubber ducks year after year if it were not for the hope of a good turnout and a profitable fundraiser?
I’m definitely not alone.
What makes rubber ducks so adorable? Perhaps it’s the cheerful combination of yellow and orange or, possibly, memories of soothing bubble baths. Maybe their dull, placid expressions coax the stressed individual into a carefree state. Whatever it is, we can all rest assured that rubber ducks will be around for centuries to come. After all, the kids just love ‘em.
Search the trailer (Trailer) for two rubber duck sightings. The first one is easy. The second one requires a little patience. I will send one free digital copy of FIREFLY BEACH to the first three people who spot the ducks and send me an email (email@example.com). I am hosting another contest for a custom barrette. The drawing is on May 1st. A photo of the barrette is posted on my website (Website). If you are interested in entering, please let me know.FIREFLY BEACH was reviewed by You Gotta Read Reviews’ own Laura (Review) and can be purchased in all digital formats at the following link: Purchase