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 – it caught my attention because it’s like “Map Rock”. 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!”
A few weeks later, Mrs. Hanamoku was visiting her parents in near Chicago. I drove the 5.5 hours from Matteson to her parents for the weekend. I thought I’d let Rubber Ducky swim in the lake, 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 that the phrase, “Like a duck to water”, is truer than is even obvious. And we made Chicago Hot Dogs – I brought the neon green relish and poppy seed buns from Matteson.
Anyway, I challenge anyone to find a Rubber Ducky more photographed than this one. Tourists at Bryce Canyon and Zion have pictures of Rubber Ducky too!