This story comes from something that I had been noticing for a while, and as time progressed, I saw it (just about) everywhere I looked. When you are out in traffic, and come across a jeep (not sure of the style, but the models that are built around the “C-J, Wrangler series), look at the dashboard area (if you can). It more than likely will have at least one rubber duck, or it may have a whole bunch of them!
As I stated earlier, I had been seeing this “occurrence” but was not sure of what was going on with it. I did some looking online and found out that it all started with one woman named Allison Parliament. She bought a bag of rubber ducks in a store and, as an act of kindness, wrote a small note on a “Post-it” pad and attached it to one of the ducks. The note simply read, “Nice Jeep.” She then affixed it to the door handle of the vehicle.
When the owner of the jeep came out and found the duck (and the note attached to it), he proceeded into the same store where Ms. Parliament made her purchase and came out with his own “bag ‘o ducks” I have a bit more that I will add to that portion of the story, but I first must state how this partly turned out to be my story as well.
You see, my wife has been looking at the dashboards of the many jeeps that run about in our county ever since I mentioned my observations of this “phenomenon.” She mentioned to me just last week that she wished to get in on the fun of doing the “duck thing” (as she put it). She has family members that own jeeps and thought it would be fun to surprise her sister by “ducking” her ride! As we would run around town, I would say to her, “4 ducks in that one,” or she would tell me what she had noticed.
One time, there were so many ducks on the dashboard (of a jeep in traffic the next lane over) that all she could say was, “Wow.” Then we had two obligations fall upon us that required a road trip north. My wife had gotten with an organization out of Decatur, Alabama, that recycles “pre-used” Bibles. She had mentioned this noble cause to many of our friends at church, and the next thing you know, we had a small truckload of Bibles that needed to go north.
The other deciding factor for us to travel was that her sister (with the Jeep) had gotten word that she was being scheduled for a full open-chest heart surgery. We had been up to north Florida a few weeks earlier, so she could visit her sister (and I would deliver the bibles while picking up a large tarpaulin in Dothan, Ala.).
I had been (in the past) driving delivery routes all around Alabama for years. Still, I had never actually been through Decatur (and failed to realize that as Dothan is at the far southern end of Alabama, Decatur is close to the Tennessee state line). So the delivery of the bibles that was supposed to happen at that time was rescheduled for this last week. We traveled up to where her sister lives (in the Florida panhandle), and the next morning, I headed north with the old Dodge truck.
I told her that one way or another, an interesting story would follow me home! As I headed north on Ala. Route 231 (about 10 miles south of Montgomery), I had the need to take a break, and there was an old truck stop where I would frequently do my logbook layover at. As I pulled up to a parking spot, I found a jeep with quite a collection of rubber ducks on its dashboard. Upon coming out of the store on site, I asked a man standing near the jeep if I could take a picture of the jeep (and at all the ducks therein).
He told me that his family was heading down to Florida for a family get-together and that the jeep was his daughter’s vehicle. In a short time, a young woman came out of the store and headed over to the jeep. I introduced myself to her and showed her my “official” (looking) writing notebook (with the Hernando Sun logo on its face).
She had her mother close by, and the mother came over to see what was going on. Upon hearing about me wanting to get a story going involving her daughters’ many colored “souvenirs,” she (the mom) mentioned that she actually made little outfits for the ducks! The jeep owner’s name was Heather Baker, and she was a member of the “Jeep Girl Mafia” ( a small group of female jeep enthusiasts). She mentioned some facts as to how this craze got started and then allowed me to get my pictures.
Soon after that encounter, I sent my wife a text with one sentence and two pictures contained with it. The text note simply said, “Guess what my next story is going to be about.” The pictures you are seeing are the ones that she saw. Before I even got back down to where she was staying, she had ordered a dozen and a half of the “rubber wonders.”
Now after making it back home from the delivery of the bibles (and staying overnight in the panhandle area), I got on the computer and found a Youtube video titled, “The Story of Duck Duck Jeep (Interview with Allison Parliament, Founder of #Duck Duck Jeep).” Upon watching that video and seeing what a small and random act of kindness blossomed into, I decided that I would “borrow” the beginning line of the podcast (as I could not give this story any better of a title)!
I don’t think that any of those people involved would mind me bringing attention to such a simple (yet noble) cause. It should not take a little rubber item (probably made in China) to show that we can practice random acts of kindness. Hopefully, you might think about this story when you see a Jeep that has the rubber duck(s) in the windshield. Maybe it can be the catalyst for yet another needed random act of kindness! Y’all be blessed until the next time!