The Daily Break from Virginian-Pilot

Rubber Ducky products include condoms, mugs and T-shirts like this one modeled by Ashley McCombs, a clerk at Capt'n Jake's in Virginia Beach.

By Mike D'Orso,
staff writer
Patsy Michaels' Oceanfront gift shop is well-stocked with standard souvenir stuff: towels, rafts, sunscreens, pinwheels. But the T-shirts hanging by the front door of Capt'n Jake's are a clue that Michaels is selling something a little different this season. "Rubber Ducky Condoms, reads one of the shirts. "The fit that won't quit." Rubber Ducky Condoms, reads another. "The Original AFTER Party Animal." The slightly leering, thumbs-up cartoon duck on the fronts of those shirts can also be found on three-pack boxes of prophylactics by Michaels' cash register-boxes that have been selling as fast as Michaels can put them out. And she's been putting them out for 3 months. "I sold a gross the first 2 weeks, says the 42-year-old grandmother. I sold a gross A DAY over Memorial Day Week-end. It's amazing." And it's real, which is a question Michaels hears every day about the duck-emblazoned boxes of individually wrapped, candy-colored condoms. "Everyone asks 'do they work?' And I say they sure do. "The guys think it's a big hoot. They just laugh." "And the girls, they say 'I've got to have these to take back and show Dad what I was doing in Virginia Beach.'" Judging by reports, from every beach resort between Cape Cod and Daytona, Rubber Ducky is the sensation of spring, pushing other T-shirts to the back of the shelf. Radio ads tout the fun-loving Duck with a jingle: "No need for old embarrassment. Get hip, hip, hip, Rubber Ducky".