Splish splash, I was takin' a bath, long about a Saturday night; rub dub, just relaxin' in the tub, thinkin' everything was alright.
Remember that 1958 Bobby Darin hit? Well, I was doing just what the song sings and the phone rings. My lovely spouse answers and it's our friend Bill P. on the other end. "Hey, can I speak to the ol' buzzard?" he asks. "He's taking a bath," she replies.
The story is a little longer but suffice it to say that Bill is the kind of guy that remembers people with little gifts. With me, it's rubber ducks. It started with one duck and my little flock has now grown to seven (note the three little baby ducks riding on Mom's back). I have them lined-up, ready for action, near the bathtub.
This reminds me of our late President, John F. Kennedy, and his rubber duckies, as described by author Caitlin Flanagan in her article in The Atlantic entitled "Jackie and the Girls: Mrs. Kennedy's JFK problem---and Ours."
Flanagan writes that, when JFK was taking a bath, young John would come into the bathroom and the President told Jackie he had nothing with which to entertain the lad. So, the First Lady went out and bought some rubber ducks, similar, I'd guess to the little darlings in my photograph.
When male dinner guests would have to use the bathroom, one can only imagine what they thought when they saw all of the President's little duckies. I mean, after all, it's hard to imagine the "leader of the free world," with the keys to the nuclear arsenal, playing with rubber ducks.
The former White House intern, Mimi Alford, told NBC's Rock Center special correspondent, Meredith Vieira, about the role of the rubber ducks in her alleged affair with JFK in 1962: "He had a collection of little yellow rubber ducks and they were in the bathtub and (these) rubber ducks sort of became part of the game." I won't describe the "game," you can read about it in the Alford book: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and its Aftermath.
If you were around during the 1970s, you may recall the pop hit "Rubber Duckie, I Love You," by Jeff Moss (1942-1998), one of the original creators of Sesame Street. His little song started like this: Rubber Duckie, you're the one; You make bath time lots of fun!
And so it goes for me, with my growing collection of rubber duckies.