Oh boy oh boy oh boy — it’s National Rubber Ducky Day 2015! And yes, this awesome day warrants the rare use of an exclamation mark. Because these squeaky little sweeties totally deserve their own day. Not that I’m biased or anything. Although I clearly am.
These National Rubber Ducky Day posts are like snow days for this blog. It’s when I break from being all professional and productive and stuff to revel in the joy that rubber duckies have brought mankind over the 100+ years they’ve roamed the earth.
If you’re looking for productive writing tips and such, I’ll try to make it up to you with my next post. Or peruse my archives. They’ve been fairly helpful lately.
Last year, I shared some fun facts about rubber ducks, including the fact that the correct spelling of rubber ducky is up for debate.
I still opt for rubber ducky because rubber duckie looks like the incomplete spelling of the plural form, rubber duckies. To my knowledge, the AP Style Guide has yet to weigh in. I’m almost profoundly disappointed in AP for this. Almost. Still holding steady at average disappointment.
Okay, now that that’s out of my system, on to…
Rubber Ducky Awesomeness 2015
(*and the crowd goes wild*)
Origins of the rubber ducky
The year was 1949 when Russian-American Sculptor Peter Ganine filed the first patent for the rubber ducky toy we know and love today.
No one knows the exact origin of the rubber ducky, but this could have been the first step in solidifying the darling toy’s existence into the world’s culture.
Thank you, Peter.
Rubber Ducky hits the charts
Ernie, of Bert and Ernie, first sang “Rubber Duckie” in 1970. Written by Jeff Moss and performed by Jim Henson himself, this smash kiddies hit eventually rose to number 11 on Billboard’s chart of hit tunes in 1971.
This may surprise you, but I don’t like this song. In my head, the lyrics morph from Ernie signing “Rubber ducky, I love you” to Tom Jones singing “Pussy cat, pussy cat, I love you.”
But the visual image in my head isn’t as fast, leaving me with a mental picture of Tom Jones singing naked in a bathtub. And I just don’t need that kind of stress in my life.
This year, I just can’t pass up mention of Little Richard singing it in the bathtub, though. Don’t worry — as you can see, he’s fully dressed.
Rubber ducks gone royal
According to a 2001 BBC News article, Queen Elizabeth II had a rubber ducky in her bathroom — with an inflatable crown. Once word got out, rubber ducky sales increased across the United Kingdom by about 80%.
Friendly Floatees included more than just duckies
Remember the shipping container that went overboard in 1992 and released thousands of rubber duckies into the ocean?
It also contained toy frogs, turtles and beavers. While rubber ducks continue to wash ashore, I can’t find much information about their non-ducky companions.
My guess is that the rubber duckies have been providing an educational yet strategic diversion while the frogs, turtles and beavers evade capture and re-introduction into the world of being a toddler’s bathtub toy. Because really, who wants that job? It’s just signing up for daily beatings.
I have no data to back up my hypothesis. The whereabouts of the frogs, turtles and beavers remain hidden behind the media circus about the rubber ducks. Selfless souls.
Rubber duckies officially “famous”
Rubber ducks were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2013. Given their widespread popularity, I’m surprised it took so long. Then again, it’s nice to see that they got their much-deserved recognition.
Giant rubber ducks in the news
The 1-ton, 59’ tall, yellow rubber ducky sculpture by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman was swept away in a flood in Taiwan in July of 2014.
Another one burst and deflated while in Hong Kong earlier that year.
Murder most fowl? According to Taiwan media reports, one tourist claims she saw what looked like an eagle scratch the rubber duck with its talons.
If that’s indeed the case, jealousy could very well have been the motivation behind this unprovoked attack. [Read the full article]
Could it be a conspiracy by the world’s living avians? They admit nothing. Regardless, these were sad days for rubber duckies everywhere. And for Mr. Hofman.
Rubber ducky in space
In November 2014, University of York students attached a rubber ducky (aka “Astroduck”) to a weather balloon and sent it to the edge of space.
Astroduck gathered data and pictures from a height of approximately 19 miles (30km) before parachuting back to earth and becoming lost on the North York Moors. [Read the full article]
I wonder if they’ll offer a reward for finding it. If so, I may need to plan a visit to the North York Moors.
Rubber ducky record holding strong
To take the record, I’d have to buy 5,593 rubber ducks. Money matters aside, that would cost me one husband. Her record is safe. At least from me.
Wrapping up for National Rubber Ducky Day
This is a great day to look your rubber ducky in the eye and say, “Thank you for the fun. Thank you for the joy. And thank you for not laughing at me when I’m naked.”
I’ll close this out with a joke I found on Laughing at Everyday Life.
Who stole the soap?
The robber ducky.
(Oh c’mon, it’s funny.)
Happy National Rubber Ducky Day!
Erica “Ducky” Hayes