For Christmas of 2012, my then-stepmother’s mom gave me a very large rubber duck. When I say “very large,” I don’t mean average. This motherfucker would not be chilling in the bathtub with Ernie and Rubber Ducky. He would eat RD and make Ernie watch. I looked it up on Amazon (god save me that’s where all my money goes), and they would classify it as a “jumbo” duckie. It’s a big duck.
So I took this duckie back to Oklahoma after break, with a plan formulating in my head. Kat was the only one who knew about the duckie so far, because she had texted me just as I was opening the duckie so I sent that picture as a reply. She and I were the first ones back after the break, and as such had the apartment to ourselves to wreak havoc. We unpacked our shit and tried to figure out what to do with the duckie.
Kelly was due back the next day and Anna the day after that, so since neither one of us is very patient, we decided Kelly should be the one to stumble upon the duckie. But where? Her bedroom was locked, and there weren’t many hiding places in the apartment. And then we knew: the bath tub. It was practically fate.The day she was due home, I filled the bath tub partially, set the duckie afloat, and drew the shower curtain. Then proceeded to giggle and text Kelly incessantly about when she would be home. A few flight delays and a pair of ripped jeans later (long, really funny story), she was dragging her suitcase up the stairs. She went into the bathroom a few times without noticing the floating duckie, but I guess she would have no reason to at that point.
Finally, when Kat and I were hanging out in the living room later that evening, Kelly came out and announced she was going to shower. Kat and I nodded as we tried containing our giggles, and waited with baited breath for Kelly’s reaction. Which wasn’t as spectacular as I would have hoped, but it was something. We heard her pulling back the curtain, and then uttering a simple, “What in the world?”
And that started a war.
For the rest of the semester, we found more and more creative ways of hiding the duck around the apartment to surprise each other. From setting it right in the middle of the entryway when we knew someone was bringing over a guest to hiding it in the freezer (so Anna could find it when she got ice water in the middle of the night), that duck was everywhere. Anna even slipped it into my backpack, and I didn’t notice all week (in my defense, it was the pocket I never used). My favorite place to hide it was in the corner of Kelly’s bed, so when she woke up the duck would be staring her in the face.
In February, Anna was leaving for her study abroad in Germany, so she went out an found a tiny yellow duckie to take with her, and would send us pictures of the duck having fun in Germany. Closer to spring break, Kat and I were out running errands, and we found small (normal-sized) duckies to take on our vacation. I named mine Peep Peep, and she named hers Ryan Gosling.
When I was going to Magic Kingdom, the security guy who was checking bags was wondering why a 21-year-old college kid was bringing a rubber duckie into the park. Because the duckie wanted a pictur with Donald Duck, that’s why!
After spring break, when we realized that we didn’t take as many duckie pictures as we thought we would and that our hopes of running a super popular blog of our duckies was not going to work out, we focused on hiding the big duck.
As I posted that particular picture, I felt the urge to tell you why there is a seven-foot-tall paper TARDIS on the wall. It’s a fun story, but can be summarized in one word: Anna.
More that later.
When I graduated, I took the duck home with me, and for the majority of this past fall semester, the girls were duckless. However, Kat’s sister Victoria had moved in with them, and for Kelly and Anna’s birthdays (they’re one day apart), Vic and I orchestrated an elaborate plan (not really. It was super easy.), and I ordered a jumbo duckie off Amazon and had it shipped to Vic. She hid it, and on the midnight between their birthdays, they found it (I think it might have been during the day on one of their birthdays, but the midnight thing sounds so much more magical.). So the duckie thing continues, and now poor Vic has been sucked into the abyss that is duck-hiding.