Then and Now

I like to play with language and headlines give a perfect opportunity to do so. Take this headline: Shock As Boston ‘Duck Boat’ Tour Spots Floating Body.  Who is shocked and why would they be shocked? 

A duck boat is actually a DUKW, a 2/1/2 ton truck developed for amphibious operations. It may be the most successful vehicle to come out of WWII since it is still being used to give guided tours around the U.S.

Does the headline say something about the reporter or editor? The DUKW participated in amphibious assaults at Normandy and throughout the Pacific. Given that context, a single floating body would seem to be a bus man’s holiday. Guess somebody needs to tell the writer that the DUKW wasn’t always painted bright yellow.

The DUKW was part of the logistical supply train that kept allied forces supplied and moving forward at a pace that could not be stopped by the Axis. Now it is relegated to taking fat tourists on guided tours of Boston, by street and harbor. Chances are you can find the driver of the DUKW during its glory days working as a Walmart greeter.