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Do you remember Sesame Street? For some reason, a few things from Sesame Street have stuck with me for many, many years. There are the aliens who are always saying “Yup” and “Nope”... and the Count counting... and Big Bird always having the same birthday every year (I figured out that was odd when I was a kid, actually)... And then there was Ernie, Ernie sitting in the bath singing “Rubber Ducky” to a toy duck that squeaked.

I loved that. Apparently everyone else did too; I've discovered since then that it's on the Sesame Street web site. But long before the web, Ernie and the rubber ducky stuck with me for years. One of the things that refreshed my memory of Ernie was a friend of mine in college who collected rubber duckies – the stranger, the better, but regardless, all rubber duckies. He started because of that song, too.

So when my son started actually playing in the bathtub, especially after he was safe on his own, I started thinking he needed bath toys. One day I was wandering through a store – keep in mind, I'm in Japan – that's a grocery store and a mini-department store. They have lots of stuff for kids. I saw a shelf of toys, one of which was a little net bag with three duckies in it. I thought, “that is a silly waste of a few bucks, but I want Kenny to have a rubber ducky.” I knew these were plastic duckies, and they weren't the most expensive in the world, but still, I wanted them. And since it was November, I figured I'd give them as a Christmas gift. It was for me as much as for him, but when they're not quite sentient, all kids' gifts are that way.

Once I had the Christmas tree up, I put them under there, wrapped up as best as you can wrap up an odd-shaped bag of three plastic duckies. We gave them to him for Christmas, along with a promise to my mom to use the money she gave us to get him another big bath toy too. (I did get one later, a wacky contraption, but that's another story.) I have a picture on our phone of Kenny with his duckies.

So of course I promptly washed them up and threw them in the tub with Kenny. That's when I discovered the problem. They're completely flat on the bottom. Now, you wouldn't think that a problem, but what that means is they're cute and sit very stably on a shelf, but in water, they aren't as … how would you say it? … “aquadynamic” as a real duck, or what I saw when Ernie had a rubber ducky.

They also have holes in the bottom where water can get in. Of course, I immediately filled them with water and squirted Kenny, which he loved. But aside from that, what these flat-bottomed plastic duckies have is a tendency to want to, apparently, commit suicide.

Every time they're sitting in water, even if they're completely empty, they flip on their side, or worse yet, when they have plenty of water in them, upside down. One night while I was giving Kenny a bath I called them “suicide ducks” and it's stuck every since. They're not rubber duckies anymore. They're suicide ducks, trying to drown in Kenny's bath every night.


The following comments are for "Suicide Ducks"
by kaerondaes

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