It’s been several months, and I think I’ve finally reached a point where I no longer laugh or make fun of my husband while on the road (I swear I’m not throwing him under the bus).
Why? Most of the teasing stemmed behind the notorious “Jeep Wave” that Wrangler owners send to one another on the road.
Wrangler owners know what I am speaking of. It’s not so much a wave as much as a half-assed raising of a few fingers from your hand at the top of your steering wheel. All done to acknowledge your fellow Wrangler drivers on the road. Those who don’t respond or wave back usually receive an expletive or “how rude” equivalent in passing. Although, maybe we’re not doing it right. We are fairly new Jeep owners.
But wait. That’s not the cult-like Wrangler ownership initiation I’m here to “ducking” talk about.
While purchasing our new Jeep, our friend and salesperson, who has been our off-roading expert at our local Ford dealership, asked if we had heard of “ducking.” When we told her we had no idea what she was talking about, she simply warned us, “it’s dumb, but you’ll find out.”
Being the ever-prepared journalist, I decided to find out for myself in order to better prepare for whatever was coming our way. And then I found this:
I still occasionally have nightmares about these.
Jeep “ducking” is the act of placing a rubber ducky on your fellow Jeep Wranglers, accompanied by a message or instructions on how to share your “ducked” adventures.
What’s more interesting is this latest activity was born out of the pandemic in what would be my northern neighbor, Canada.
Alabama and Canadian native Allison Parliament was in Canada for work, when a man confronted her and pushed her into her Jeep for having come from the U.S.
“A not-so-kind person walked up to me, grabbing my shoulders so hard he left bruises and pushed me back into my vehicle and told me to ‘Get the f*** out of our country’ and that I wasn’t welcome in Canada,” she said.
Parliament said she knew instantly why she was attacked. She believes the person was scared of her spreading COVID-19 in a country with a low transmission rate given that the U.S. is leading the world in coronavirus cases and cases are spiking in most states.
“I was born in Canada. I was raised in Canada, and I’ve never seen anybody do anything like that or hate anybody where I’m from,” she said. “That’s not what we’re about. But COVID changed that so much. They’re terrified of anybody coming in with American plates and there’s a lot of bad feelings about that.”
I can’t even begin to tell you what’s wrong with that entire scenario from attacking her in regard to the virus, to just overall attacking this poor woman. Thankfully it was only that small exchange, as terrifying as it must have been.
Parliament remained the better person and chose not to retaliate. Instead, she and her friends bought a rubber duck and left it with a note on someone’s Jeep nearby. Why the random Jeep, I’m not sure. But the owner of that Jeep found it so funny, they posted it online, where the ducking trend has since taken off.
To participate in the craze, Jeep owners are encouraged to take said rubber duck, attach a message or drawing, and inscribe #duckduckjeep. There’s also an official Facebook group, “Official Ducking Jeep Est2020” with over 55,000 members. It claims it is “the ONLY Duck Duck Jeep group that is working with Jeep.”
The apparent aim is to spread a little smile to Jeep owners during a tough couple of years... and I’ll remind you these “duckings” happen mostly to Wrangler owners from what I have experienced. However, it might have expanded in other areas.
As odd of a car-cult activity that this is, I rather look forward to having a duck to put on someone’s car, like I’m some sort of teenage rebel tagging a vehicle, just less permanent, with a rubber ducky. I take an odd pride in my role as official “ducker” —tasked with placing and posting. We’ve only been “ducked” three times, but I’m sure there are more out there.
So Jeep owners, tell me, have you suffered at the hands of a duck? Tell me your thoughts on the craze in the comments.