Ken Boddie in Café beBee Ambassador • beBee Jul 7, 2019 · 2 min read · 1.8K

You Can't Pluck a Rubber Duck

You Can't Pluck a Rubber Duck

If it looks like a duck, takes to water like a duck, but is as smooth as a baby's bottom in the bath, then you can de-duck-t it's a rubber ducky and not a contender for canard à l'orange. 

So what's the goss' on this perhaps most famous of the 'rubber ducky' phenomena, the cute little yellow hollow floaty that decorates the water of many a babe at bath time?  

Well, it appears that the birth of the rubber ducky toy dates back to the days of Charles Goodyear and vulcanised rubber.  But the original rubber duck, unlike the many companies that profited from latex and its various rubber products, didn't float, and was a solid chew-toy.  Then along came the sculptor, Peter Ganine, in the 1940s, who, doubtless with his mind firmly fixed on future generations of bubs-in-tubs, was the first to produce the concept of a floating hollow rubber ducky toy, modelling it after his sculpture of a duck, and with its bottom as flat as a pancake, a flounder, a witch's tit, or a monster-truck roadkill (take your pick).

Whatever the original looked like, it couldn't have been half bad, as he patented it and reportedly sold 50 million.

So next time you listen to the splishes, splashes and squeals of your babe in the bath, and laugh at the squeak of the yellow rubber floaty, accompanied by a jet of water and bubbles emanating from its bum-crack, spare a though for the far-sighted founder of this fickle floating phenomenon and his fortuitous fortune. 

Or perhaps you'd rather sing along to the strains of Ernie from Sesame Street, warbling to the following:

Oh, Rubber Duckie, you're the one, 
You make bath time so much fun!

But if plain yellow's not your colour or style, and you think you'd like a little character instilled in your bub, then why not go for the ultimate superhero to have your bub fighting bath crime? 

Da-ra-da-ra-da-ra-da-ra-da ... Bat-Duck!!!

Or, for the future potty politician, why not go for the "water off a duck's back" bath time character?

How about encouraging bub into the medical scene by suggesting he/she become a quack?

And if your little cherub keeps stealing the soap, then why not partner him/her with the following?

If you've got this far without throwing the duck (and bub) out with the bath water, then let's not forget the ultimate reason we love to bathe ... relaxation and enjoyment.  So let's finish with a joke.  

A duck, a skunk and a deer went out for dinner at a restaurant one night. 
When it came time to pay, 
the skunk didn't have a scent, 
the deer didn't have a buck, 
so they put the meal on the duck's bill.
This one 'quacks' me up every time! 🤣

Personally, I’m off to take a shower now, as I’ve been up since the ‘quack of dawn’ and I can’t stand baths. But don’t let me stop you from lining up your duckies. 

Keep on duckin’. 


When not researching the weird or the wonderful, the comical or the cultured, the sinful or the serious, I chase my creative side, the results of which can be seen as selected photographs of my travels on my website at:

The author of the above, Ken Boddie, besides being a sometime poet and occasional writer, is an enthusiastic photographer, rarely leisure-travelling without his Canon, and loves to interact with other like-minded people with diverse interests.

Ken's three day work week (part time commitment) as a consulting engineer allows him to follow his photography interests, and to plan trips to an ever increasing list of countries and places of scenic beauty and cultural diversity.

Ken Boddie Jul 14, 2019 · #28

#27 Not sure if I should congratulate or commiserate, Jim. Depends whether or not you subscribe to the old adage
“A duck in the hand’s worth poop by the pool”. 🤗

+1 +1
Jim Murray Jul 13, 2019 · #27

A pair of beautiful mallard adopted my pool earlier this spring. Evidently they crap pretty freely and on more than on occasion I found myself wishing they were indeed rubber ducks. My sister gave me an inflatable unicorn to scare them away. Good post, Ken.

+1 +1
Ken Boddie Jul 12, 2019 · #26

Your talk of friendly Canucks, Randy,
Is quite riveting, I swear,
And varied wildlife, though quite handy,
Seems to be too much to ‘bear’.

+1 +1
Randall Burns Jul 12, 2019 · #25

Well @Ken Boddie This is a very important piece; some true history for us;

You've reminded us of the importance of the lowly Duck
You're article has left me just awestruck
And while I'm saying this as a Canuck
We do have higher priorities, like hockey pucks
Speaking of which I hope that this is read by @Kevin Pashuk
I'm sure that he will be thunderstruck
But getting back to the point before I get stuck
We have so many ducks here, they just run amok
Amongst all the other fauna here, from antelopes to woodchucks
I better quit while I'm ahead, I'm throwing in the towel
I just hope that you don't think that this quick verse is fowl

+2 +2
Ken Boddie Jul 9, 2019 · #24

#21 Not to mention Daffy Duck either, John. 🦆

Ken Boddie Jul 9, 2019 · #23

The user has deleted this comment

Praveen Raj Gullepalli Jul 8, 2019 · #22

#20 LOL...For your deducktion and deduckation to the cause of the ducktionary you have to take a duck...I mean a bow, Kennie Bee! And how! :)

+2 +2
John Rylance Jul 8, 2019 · #21

As Kenneth Grahame writes in Wind in the Willows.
All along the backwater, through the rushes tall, ducks are a dabbling up tails all
Probably embrassed by all these duck puns, thankful nobody has mentioned Donald Duck, or Huey Louey and Dewey.

+1 +1