Summit no match for ducky arriving Friday in Pittsburgh
The duck will trump the diplomats. No contest.
The four-story-tall, three-story-wide rubber duck arriving in Pittsburgh on Friday will shine the brightest international spotlight on Pittsburgh since the G-20 economic summit occurred here in 2009. Expect the fowl time the city is about to experience to be infinitely superior to that foul time of four years ago.
The yellow bath toy on steroids has captivated crowds in cities such as Hong Kong, Sydney and Sao Paulo. The floating art installation makes its American debut along the Allegheny River as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.
There's been a palpable buzz surrounding the duck since its impending appearance was announced in June that wasn't evident when Pittsburgh was the surprise selection to host the G-20. That's understandable. A 40-foot-tall duck piques much more curiosity than a bunch of middle-age guys with translators talking exchange rates and euros.
Aside from attracting global exposure to the city, the two events wouldn't appear to have many similarities. But they have several common elements, and comparing them clearly indicates that the Rubber Duck Project likely will be a considerably more pleasant event than the dour G-20.
• Celebrity masters of ceremony
G-20: President Obama, then the inexperienced host of the zany federal government.
Rubber Duck Project: Mikey and Big Bob, veteran co-hosts of the 96.1 KISS-FM Morning Freak Show.
Advantage: Rubber Duck Project. You can bet Mikey and Big Bob won't be discussing a potential government shutdown at Friday's duck debut.
• Compelling questions
G-20: Could the International Monetary Fund be radically reformed?
Rubber Duck Project: Will the duck be joined in the Allegheny by a proportionately large version of “Sesame Street's” rubber-duck-loving Ernie? Will Ernie be joined by a proportionately large version of his longtime partner, Bert? Will Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, as he has done recently for couples of similar lifestyles, offer to marry them?
Advantage: Rubber Duck Project. Few people could explain what the International Monetary Fund is even if threatened at gunpoint, but everyone realizes that Bert and Ernie should finally formalize their decades-old union and get hitched.
• Unhappy campers
G-20: College-aged vandals hurled rocks and broke windows as they protested the supposed evils of capitalism.
Rubber Duck Project: Cultural Trust officials hurled veiled threats as they protested the supposed evils of people selling duck-related merchandise the Trust didn't authorize.
Advantage: Rubber Duck Project. Thus far, the Trust folks haven't needed to be pepper-sprayed to calm them down.
• Commemorative souvenirs
G-20: An arrest record.
Rubber Duck Project: Duck-emblazoned T-shirts, magnets, buttons, stickers and baseball caps.
Advantage: Rubber Duck Project. Unlike an arrest record, you don't have to explain to prospective employers why you have rubber duck memorabilia.
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tomlin: Possible Steelers midseason surge won’t come easy vs. Colts
- 7 in custody after New Kensington drug raid
- Hundreds mourn Pittsburgh trash collector killed by gunfire
- Rossi: Steelers’ season all about going big
- Steelers use 3 late first-half TDs to stun Texans
- North Catholic High School principal steps down
- Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game for Steelers in victory
- Military commissary opening draws 400 visitors
- Kin of 2013 DUI crash victim in Hempfield lose young family in fire
- Chevron puts $20M into educating, training Appalachian workers
- Discipline Pitt’s only option against Georgia Tech