How I Met Rubber Ducky

Rubber Ducky can’t swim!

Now that Rubber Ducky is a Supremely Awakened One, I will tell the story of how I met Rubber Ducky.

I found Rubber Ducky sitting on a stack of bathroom towels in a Fairfield Inn in Joliet, IL on July 12, 2013. At first, I thought this was just a little gift from the hotel, but when I commented on it during checkout, I was told there was no such gift. Apparently Rubber Ducky was abandoned by the previous guests and the housekeeper didn’t have the heart to throw him away. So like many Enlightened Ones (with the ironic exception of Siddhartha Gautama), Rubber Ducky came from very humble beginnings.

I took a liking to Rubber Ducky and he accompanied me on my little weekend adventure. I had been working in Matteson, IL, and planned to hike at Starved Rock State Park. I had my first Chicago Hot Dog that weekend. I haven’t mentioned that Rubber Ducky has a Chicago accent similar to that of Mike Ditka, except he’s just saying “Mack”. “Dragged tru da garden!” sounds just like “Mack mack mack mack!”

A few weeks later, Mrs. Hanamoku was visiting her parents relatively near to Chicago. I drove the 5.5 hours from Matteson to her parents for the weekend. We made Chicago Hot Dogs – I brought the neon green relish and poppy seed buns from Matteson.

Dragged tru da garden! I realize Chicago-style hot dogs may not be Buddhist Monk fare, but this picture was taken before we met the Eternal Fishnu.

I thought I’d let Rubber Ducky swim in the lake at my in-law’s place, and I found out why he was left behind. He cannot swim!!! He turns sideways and looks like a discarded tilapia. He couldn’t do what he was born to do. However, this past summer, I did learn from the ducklings at a rescue we volunteer at that the phrase, “Like a duck to water”, is truer than is even obvious.

Anyway, I challenge anyone to find a Rubber Ducky more photographed than this one. Tourists at Bryce Canyon and Zion from all over the world have pictures of Rubber Ducky too!

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