Shopko becomes Rubber Ducks R Us retail store

In honor of the Festival of Sail Duluth Aug. 11-13, we recycle this item from the 2019 April Fools edition.

Wisconsin-based predatory big box chain Shopko, which did its noble part in running so many mom and pops out of business over the course of 57 years, announced in March that it was finally biting the dust. This was due to competition with meaner, nastier, bigger boxes like Walmart, because that which lives by the heartless market dies by the heartless market. Heartless internet shopping had something to do with it, too, supposedly.

WDIO reports that the Duluth Shopko location will soon be yet another giant abandoned husk in the Twin Ports along with Kmart, Sears and Younkers. At least Essentia’s Fitness and Therapy Center will soon move into Younkers, leaving its current location downtown in Miller-Dwan a cavernous void. Yeah, well, take the naked family statue with ya! 

Speaking of Walmart, they claim the city of Superior over-assessed the value of its giantmegasupercenterbox. Not only does Walmart want to pay less in taxes but it wants a mega-refund, which you (and mom and pop) will pay. Their argument is that their property value went down once they crushed nearby competitors Target and Kmart. “Americans are all about fairness,” said Walmart’s attorney, Robert Hill, with nearly a straight face. A better idea: Let’s tax the duck out of Walmart to pay for renovating the Mariner Mall.

But fear not for Duluth’s retail renaissance, because Fox 21’s Dan Hanger reports that the Duluth Shopko location will reopen April 1 as Rubber Ducks R US Superstore. The new operator is whoever makes rubber ducks. You got it, those goddamn creepy little vinyl plastic things that never seem to float quite right, whatever Lovecraftian horror that manufactures them will be moving in. You’ll walk into the store and see acres of shelves lined with the adorable little bastards. Not just the plain yellow ones either, they come in all types: dinosaur ducks, dog ducks, monkey ducks, duck ducks, celebrity ducks, rock star ducks, Donald Trump ducks (great for stuffing firecrackers in sundry duck orifices), purple ducks, green ducks, blue ducks, duck duck duck duck duck duck GOOSE! ducks. It’ll blow your ducking mind.

Meanwhile their god, the great Cthulhu of rubber ducks, is coming back to Duluth. You remember the last time it was here, waltzing in for the Tall Ships Festival in 2016 like it owned the whole damn town? Everyone rushed out and said, ooooh, it’s so big! like they’re watching a John Holmes movie. Now it’s coming back with the Tall Ships Festival which has been renamed … wait for it … “Festival of Sail Duluth.” Who’d they consult for that name, a dumb duck? How are they using “sail,” as a noun or a verb? If it’s a noun it has to be preceded by a grammatical article, namely “the” or “a.” They could have said Festival of Sails, or Festival of Sailing, even before they decided to ludicrously tack “Duluth” at the end, but no, they had to get cute and duck around with the English language.

Well, we say, boycott the duck! Don’t go see it! But of course you will, you’ll rush down to the great lake like lemmings charging off to drown themselves, the same way y’all rush off to the astoundingly evil Walmart or to the polls to vote for Donald J. Duck. But maybe the duck will sail under the Lift Bridge, get caught on a sharp metal beam, and pop the same way it did in Hong Kong in 2013. That would be worth seeing. Although it didn’t quite “pop” in Hong Kong, it just sort of gradually deflated, and later promoter Craig Samborski claimed it was a “planned deflation.” Sure. That is what we usually claim, too. Just give us a big bang! None of of this whiny slow wheeeeeeeeeeeee of air escaping. A giant kablowie! Bite the dust, giant duck!