Rubber Ducks


I used to play this carnival game as a kid. With a magnetic fishing pole I would try to catch one of dozens of rubber ducks moving in water around a circular track. Each duck had a special marker on the bottom to signify a prize, but otherwise they were identical, floating through this pre-determined track, bunched up together.

Are humans any different?

We also go in circles, with no real purpose, letting life’s current shape us instead of the other way around. The track is one week of time. Days stand out, but weeks never do. This week will be just like last week. Fifty-two weeks a year for you, and they will all be the same. The details may change but the way you live your life and the path you are on will never change. Tell me who you are today and what you believe and I’ll tell you what you will be doing ten years from now. Maybe a new car or a new house or a new lover or a new kid, but nothing the next person you see won’t experience. We are the ducks.

I wonder what it feels like to be a rubber duck getting plucked off the track, away from the safe but predictable current. It seems like it’d be scary, flying in the air like that, away from what you know, with little hint of what’s going to happen next. But I don’t know of a better way for a duck to live.


  1. Nabs January 31, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Very true, I did just that. Dropped out of college and moved to a third world country half way around the world.

  2. Cob January 31, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    well said, as usual.

  3. mhm January 31, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    “This week will be just like last week. Fifty-two weeks a year for you, and they will all be the same”

    It takes a courage that most people lack to follow a different path in your life. Most people are very comfortable with their weekly routine. They talk a big game about following their dreams or doing something different, but they just end up being a wages slave.

  4. Roissy January 31, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    character is destiny. what you were at 12 is what you will be at 60.

    some fortunate few do break the cycle. but it requires a lot of mental anguish and fierce willpower to resist the inertia of paddling mindlessly around your designated track.

  5. Matisyahu January 31, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Maybe it’s time to revamp, then. Who I was last year is nothing like who I am this year, and expect the trend of change to continue for the foreseeable future. If you feel like a duck, start barking instead of quacking. Life’s what you make it — GO PLUCK YOURSELF!

  6. DCVita January 31, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    I agree. You have to make a conscious decision to take a risk. Then once you do, the rewards are amazing. Change is the only constant in life. If you do not change, then you are not in fact “living”.

  7. TC the Terrible January 31, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    I wonder what the duck thinks as the fat ass greasy fisted carny flips him over, checks out the sticker on his belly, then chunks him back into the water track. Sort of the same feeling a girl feels when Roosh picks her out of the stream that is her fav-o-rite meat market dance club then drops her when he’s done pumping her woman hole.

  8. Matt January 31, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    There is no way off the track; you are the track, you take it with you where you go. If you are born into the track, you will always follow it, no matter how much “change” you institute in your life or what 3rd world country you have gone to save. The apocalyse is the only answer.

  9. The Dude January 31, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Matt is right. The track is who you are, it is your nature. The duck getting pulled off? That’s the guy who drops acid and loses touch with reality.

  10. Anonymous January 31, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Pretty deep, moron.

  11. han January 31, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    i have a friend who thought he was a duck. so, he dropped everything, and moved to thailand to teach scuba diving.

    you should’ve seen the look of disappointment on his face when i told him he was the second person i knew who had done that.

  12. moondog_mai January 31, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    Why does it seem like you’re reading my mind lately???

    Nice post. It makes me think about when I was a military brat, moving around after every couple a years. That would be considered being plucked from the track to some, but yet it was the norm for me back then. I’ve been in the DC area for nearly 10 years now, the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place. This alone is very weird and new to me although I’ve finally gotten use to “being settled” now. But this makes me wonder when does change suddenly become the norm and vice versa? How often does one need to be plucked off the track for it to suddenly become the norm rather than being a new adventure, change or risk? Or does it ever stop being a new adventure or risk? Of course this wouldn’t just apply to moving, but that’s what the post reminded me of the most…

  13. Jewcano January 31, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    You’re not nearly too young to join the Marines, you know. Nothing beats the tedium of everyday living like grueling martial labor in the service of one’s country.

  14. Roosh January 31, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    “There is no way off the track; you are the track….”

    This is the correct answer.

    Because every duck that gets plucked eventually has to return. Unless the magnet on the pole is weak and you fall and roll away, somehow escaping.

  15. Cokewell February 1, 2007 at 4:07 am

    Do you think it’s possible that there are other ways one might view life?

  16. Cokewell February 1, 2007 at 4:08 am

    Throw me a bone roosh

  17. moondog_mai February 1, 2007 at 7:02 am

    Didn’t realize there was a right or wrong answer…

  18. b February 1, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Good analogy!

    and thanks for putting the damn rubber ducky song in my head =\

  19. Anonymous February 1, 2007 at 10:01 am

    “Each duck had a special marker on the bottom to signify a prize”

    Is that marker like a tattoo on a chick’s lower back indicating that it’s a distinct possibility that she’s wild in bed?

  20. Jay Gatsby February 1, 2007 at 11:28 am

    “Is that marker like a tattoo on a chick?s lower back indicating that it?s a distinct possibility that she?s wild in bed?”

    Nope, that would be the “tramp stamp”.

  21. Sudamericana February 1, 2007 at 11:46 am

    I have been a duck for the last three years, never sure about where I was going to be in the next 6 months. It was scary at first, and I kept complaining about the lack of stability. But after getting used to it, the mere idea that two years from now the time for settling in one place and job may finally come is incredibly suffocating and boring.

    At 28, I have no clue about what exactly I am going to do, or where I will be, in the future. I think I am choosing to be an eternal duck ? my career so far having allowed that possibility ? a very happy future spinster duck, that is.

  22. Colin February 1, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    To each his own I think. I’m comfortable with my job, friends, etc. It’s nice having a few constants then changing a few variables at a time, rather than all at once. Call me boring, but I keep myself entertained with a variety of activities and am content with my life without feeling the need to change larger aspects of my life like my job or where I live. Maybe this duck likes the track…

  23. CF February 2, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Just gotta find some ducks on the track that you like floating around with.

  24. gunslingergregi February 2, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    There is a purpose. Win the game of life. Building the weeks into something worthwhile. After you finish that, suicide might be the answer cause the world is pretty weak overall. Only so many places you can go and we are not ants living and dieing without really thinking, oh wait we are like the ducks. Fuck it keep going round and round.

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