Athabasca River, Fort McMurray, Alberta – The fun community event which includes participants placing bets on numbered rubber ducks and putting them in a river with the hopes of their duck crosses the finish first, ended in utter sadness for everyone in attendance.
When the rubber ducks were unloaded into the oilsands polluted river from the back of a trailer, they started melting immediately and then produced a high pitched noise, along with a rather awful smell. “Soon as the boat dumped the ducks into the river, I knew something was wrong.” Said Fort McMurray resident Charles Needham. “Rubber ducks aren’t supposed to make that kind of sound.”
The melting bathtub toys soon created a stinky yellow circle which refused to let the current of the river take it down stream. “It just stayed there, making that horrid noise. Even though the ducks were fake, I swear that they were screaming for help, but there was nothing I could do… THERE WAS NOTHING I COULD DO!” said Needham.
Many children in attendance have yet to recover from the incident. Most have reverted to a catatonic state, just wandering around the river bank not saying anything. The only child to respond was 11 year old Sarah Howard who, on being asked if she was okay, just mimicked the hissing sound of the melting ducks.
Not every rubber duck perished right away though. Number 71 managed to make it down river 20 feet before perishing like the others, technically making it the winner. No one in the crowd was in the mood to celebrate the victory however.
Since the incident took place, the yellow circle has started to break apart and head down stream. At a press conference Mayor of Ft. McMurry stated “This is going to take some time for us to get over, as a community. But I believe the healing process will start, as soon as the smell of melted yellow rubber vanishes from our nostrils and our memories.”