Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Story of Dirty Ducky

When Chuckie was but a tot one of his treasured toys was a stuffed duck from the toy department of Marshall Field's. Freshly off the shelves it was a tall yellow duck with legs, wings, a beak, a pair of eyes and a tasseled dark green beret very unlike the cap that the vastly more famous Donald Duck wore.

He was Chuckies favorite stuffed animal and he took him everywhere. Dirty Ducky shared his meals, his romps in the park, probably his baths, and they were inseparable. Dirty Ducky very quickly lost his off-the-shelf good looks, but Chuckie didn't care. He was called Dirty Ducky because he was a duck and oh so very dirty.
Dirty Ducky and Friend, circa 1950
Chuckie's Mom did what she could. Dirty Ducky made many trips to the washing machine, but he got rattier every year. Wouldn't Chuckie like a nice new clean Dirty Ducky? Chuckie would not. He loved his Dirty Ducky and did not want a new one.

Fast forward to, say, 1954. One day Chuckie's Mom comes home and tells Chuckie that she has solved the problem of cleaning Dirty Ducky. Chuckie wonders how and Mom tells him that she has purchased a "Magic Bag" from Marshall Field's. She says that when she puts Dirty Ducky in the Magic Bag and shakes the bag it will clean Dirty Ducky and make him as good as new. Chuckie can't wait to see how the Magic Bag works. He brings Dirty Ducky to his Mom and she puts it in the Magic Bag, shakes it, and out come Dirty Ducky perfectly clean. Chuckie is amazed and he runs off showing everyone how nice his Dirty Ducky looks.

Usually a pretty smart kid, it took me several more years to figure out the secret of the Magic Bag, and when I did I was mad as hell -- at my Mom and myself.

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