Just our duck; the quack is back

The “World’s Largest Rubber Duck,” a six-story quacker parked in Bayfront Park, was a popular attraction at Tall Ships 2016 in Duluth. (Aaron J. Brown)

The World’s Largest Rubber Duck will return to Duluth, Minnesota, this summer as part of the Festival of Sail.

Here’s what’s in the local news coverage/press release:

“Mama Duck has a soft spot in her heart for Duluth and is excited to return to Lake Superior,” states Craig Samborski, executive producer of Festival of Sail Duluth.  “The World’s Largest Rubber Duck inspires us to enjoy the world’s waterfronts and conserve our natural resources for future ducklings.”

You’ll just have to go to the festival yourself to see if the duck is everything it’s … QUACKED UP TO BE!

Ha ha ha! Ha. ha. ha

OK, can we talk about this?

I mean, on one hand I’m glad that this is about a duck and not a botched summit with North Korea or a mob racket in the White House or endless wildfires or face-eating bacteria. This duck stuff is basically harmless.

But let’s run though these two sentences.

“Mama Duck” — this bird is clearly a duckling, characterized by its coloring and shape. It is quite large, but sexually immature and certainly not capable of reproduction.

“Soft spot in her heart” — There is literally nothing more empty than the inside of this duck’s chest cavity. It is not only just air, but pressurized air. If you or I were in that duck’s chest, attempting to mimic a beating heart, we would be expelled through the release valve. Or as it is known on a duck, the cloaca.

Excited to return to Lake Superior” — The second emptiest thing on this duck is its head. Even if it had some sort of primal nerve center, base instinct would demand that it seek more temperate waters.

“The duck … inspires us to conserve our natural resources for future ducklings” — Imma … imma need some oxygen to do this one.

Say what you will of the duck. Speak of it with ill feelings or in glorious platitudes. But let no one tolerate the notion that a 61-foot 15-ton inflatable duck represents any credible notion of “conservation.” This duck’s very existence is only possible in a world of appallingly misappropriated resources.

The sheer decadence that would call on people to pay admission to access a public park, pack down fried foods for prices higher than our great-grandparents’ December food budget, all to gaze upon the visage of a giant duck is so far beyond the notion of restraint as to illicit peals of mad laughter.

Future ducklings? What ducklings? Where are they? Being eaten by loons and skunks, swallowing lead sinkers and perishing on the wing in the talons of our national bird. Frail wisps in a hostile wind.

It’s ducked up. It’s ducked up real bad, is what I’m saying.

Essentia Health’s Festival of Sail will be held Aug. 11-13, 2019.

The festival also features realistic replicas of wooden masted sailing ships. Pirates. Live music. A craft fair. And more. I’m sorry .. more!

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