“Life is Like a Hurricane, Here in Duckburg”
“Life is Like a Hurricane, Here in Duckburg”
This is the sign I saw as I ventured from Eureka, Calisota into Duckburg. When I was instructed by my editors to find out what became of our beloved McDuck clan and their cohorts I was worried that they wouldn’t live up to my fond memories. My fear was that they would be nothing more than the selfish duck equivalent of the Bluth family from Arrested Development. Basically I was concerned that it wouldn’t be all that it was quacked up to be, I am sorry that will be the last time I promise (lie).
As I drive through the town I see racecars, lasers, and aeroplanes it is a duck blur. It shits on New York City calling itself a melting pot as I see dogs, ducks, pigs, frogs, and other animals of indiscernible species living together harmoniously. If you don’t move right away at a red light nobody honks, nobody cuts you off in traffic, and I even saw two duckscouts walk an old pig (actual pig not fat lady) across the street. If I had told them I was coming I would swear they were putting on a show. I roll down my window and ask a nice stranger how I get to Scrooge Mcduck’s money bin because it is not coming up on my GPS. As the words come out of my mouth I am terrified that I made a terrible mistake because I just asked a beagle boy for directions!
As I stutter stutter (always a good indication someone is lying ask Joe) to backtrack and say forget it I notice this beagle boy is no monster. He introduces himself as Megabyte Beagle and he explains to me that the Beagle Boys have for the most part gone on the straight and narrow according to his skewed definition of legitimate enterprises.
In a broken voice he tells me that Ma Beagle passed in 2005 after a bout with duckphesema, after which Duckburg banned smoking forever. Megabyte created a social media site called Crookbook, this makes it easy to find crooks in your area and their specific skill sets whenever you want to do a job. Bigtime Beagle went into real estate in the early 2000s and made millions ‘ducktoring’ mortgages and contracts. Burger Beagle found out he had a food addiction and has battled with weight issues, he is due to be on next season’s Celebrity rehab.
Bouncer Beagle befriended an upcoming R&B group Saffron and Fennel and when Pekinonce went solo she took him with her, but unfortunately he was fired recently when he released pictures of her baby Yellow Sumac. Baggy Beagle became one of the pioneers ironically of the skinny jean trend and his Beagle Boy jeans made millions, he is currently in litigation with Bugle Boy jeans over stolen designs. Bankjob Beagle took a job on wall street and was a big player in the derivatives market, he was also involved in a ‘Fonzi’ scheme, (I didn’t have the heart to tell Megabyte its Ponzi) that defrauded people out of an estimated 400 million. He was fined 28,000 and served 6 days in jail, he has since retired and lives on an island he Ma’s island in tribute to his mother.
Babyface Beagle and Bebop Beagle are music producers for pop artists. They have produced some of the biggest hits ‘Quack’ by Katy Perching, and ‘Get Ducky’ by Dabbling Punk. Megabyte has to leave suddenly when he sees a message pop up on his ‘Crookbook’ app and I thank him for his information. I think about calling Darkwing Duck to stop whatever is going down, but I never much cared for Darkwing or his antics so I decide against it. Before Megabyte leaves he lets me know that the reason the Money Bin is not showing up on my GPS is because it no longer exists, but he doesn’t know much more than that. He does let me know where I can find Flintheart Glomgold though so I decide to go there first.
Flintheart lives on literally the top of a mountain which somehow has a menacing moat around it. His house is enormous and on the front door is a sign that says ‘No mallards allowed’. I did some research on Geesgle, and find that mallard is a slur for the impoverished people. Flintheart is in his Sunday’s best, green beret looking hat, plaid kilt, dress coat with oddly only one button, and socks that only cover 70% of his massive feat. His beard is reminiscent of the duck dynasty guy which I point out to him much to his chagrin. Apparently ducks hate the duck dynasty guys, which is understandable considering their business model revolves around exterminating their species.
As I listen to Flintheart speak, I realize he does not see himself as the villain in the story. He doesn’t understand how Scrooge always got painted with being a hero and a good guy, ‘Me and Scrooge are the same, save the accent, well we were.’ Flintheart explains that Scrooge has gone soft and lost his edge after he was diagnosed with ‘Hydrofeatho’ which is a disease where a duck’s feathers no long are waterproof. Flintheart says he was a fool earlier in his life and thought too small. In efforts to beat Scrooge he lost focus on the bigger issues, politics, oil, education and religion. Flintheart gives millions to politicians to further his agenda, supports the Duck news network especially Sean Quackity and Duck Limbaugh, and makes sure to quack outwardly against any tax hikes or government intervention. I am terrified by the conviction in his opinions and when he invited me into his study (only rich people have a room called a study) I almost don’t go because I know d-d-danger is out to find me.
In his study there is a picture of him and Scrooge arm in arm as young men. He looks at it longingly and explains to me that when they were just two young men in the diamond game they were actually great friends. A woman and envy had torn them apart, but when I press the issue he recoils and shows me pictures of himself with prominent businessmen. There is him with Stifftail Romney and Teal Cruz and he furthers his point that they are the answer. I tell him I have to go do another interview, but in reality I just need to get away from this looney toon (wrong show).
Its time to retire for the night; and I check into the Holiday Nest for the night. I am surprised to find another familiar face working there Doofus Drake. Doofus asks me if I had seen Launchpad yet and I say no and then he starts to quack to me about Launchpad for no less than 97 minutes. Around minute 65 I realize something that I don’t know how I never saw before, Doofus is autistic and that is a hurtful name for a disabled person. He seems to be doing very well for himself as he lives on his own with Launchpad coming in once a week to work with him.
The tale he tells me about Launchpad warms my heart. After Launchpad’s 18th accident in a 6 month period, he comes to the sad realization that he is an alcoholic. Launchpad gets the proper treatment, but he is asked to never return to flying which he takes astonishingly well. One day when Launchpad goes to see Doofus he realizes his true passion which is to help disabled children. He is now a teacher at a local school which I am surprised to find out was opened as a non-profit by Scrooge Mcduck.
I wake up the next morning and have a healthy breakfast of fish and fresh eggs. My first destination this morning is to go meet with Webby and Mrs. Beakley. They live in a nice ranch style home in the good part of town which Scrooge purchased for them, again an odd spending of money for this frugal man. Mrs. Beakley retired with a sizable pension from Scrooge and took up an interest in making websites that would work as digital scrapbooks and bulletin boards. She called the website Perchtrest and it is huge in the duck, pig, and frog community. Webby tells me how she dealt with issues with her gender, she always wanted to be one of the boys. This lead Webby to the duckatary (military) where she fell in love with one of the Beagle Brats, Bernie Brat and she have been happily married for 19 years and they have 2 twin boys who are due to attend Yarvard in the Fall. Frankly Mrs. Beakley and Webby are boring to me, but I didn’t want to leave them out and be called a chauvinist.
As I am waiting for the brothers Mcquack I see Gyro Gearloose on a local television station. Gyro developed a special kind of weapon for the duckatary and made millions, but once he saw they were being used for Gyrone strikes he quacked out and released duckernment secrets. He developed a spaceship and went to Mars where he was safe from the dastardly duckernment.
When the boys come in they flock in a straight line as is the ducks want. Huey still is obviously the alpha duck and he does most of the quacking. He wears red and talks a lot about power and Ducky Woods, a prominent athlete in Duckburg who also likes to wear red. Huey played professional marbles for 6 years, until he tore his WFL, or his webbed feet ligament. He takes off his 70% socks to show me his feet which look hideous, he has five toes and they are not all attached, disgusting. Being the entrepreneur he is Huey put his name on car dealerships and car washes. To hear Huey tell it you would think he was a rousing success, but he seems to be hiding from his brother’s the fact that he is on the brink of bankruptcy.
Dewey went to school at Yarvard and has been largely successful as a host of a late night TV show. His ascension from writer on popular shows to late night host was sometimes rocky including a brief battle with Leno Beagle, but he seems content at where he is at. He even brought on Duckworth as the perfect straight man on his comedy variety series, after Scrooge gave Duckworth a sizable pension and told him to do what he loves. What is the deal with Scrooge?
I could quack to Louie for hours he is just such a cool duck. He tells me about his trips to Europe and Africa and Mars and Venus. The guy has literally been everywhere, when I ask him what he does for living he clams up a little bit. Apparently he is a street artist of world renown who has subliminal and sometimes overt messages in his art. I can’t believe it I got to quack with Ducksy.
There is only one more duck that I need to meet Scrooge the most interesting duck in the world. I am getting the first interview with Scrooge in over 20 years since he was first diagnosed with Hydrofeatho. His house is rather modest, no room for a study, and definitely no money bin. Scrooge looks slightly off to me, he is wearing sweatpants and his feathers are so waterlogged it is hard for him to move. He tells me the first night he found out of the disease was visited by 3 ghosts and it was terrifying. I can’t find it in my heart to tell him that ghosts are not real, this is fucking Scrooge Mcduck we’re talking about, when he says there are ghosts you go with it.
Thanks to a special cocktail of drugs he has been able to live much longer with the disease than many thought and he has embraced every moment. He has opened up over 1200 schools in Duckburg and all over Calisota. Scrooge has volunteered at soup kitchens and put enough money into Yarvard that no duck will ever be bogged down by college tuition ever again.
Scrooge pours himself a scotch, (his last remaining vice) and his feathers start to tremble. ‘I did very bad things to very good people.’ He then takes me on a journey off corporate corruption, backstabbing, tax evasion, and borderline criminal business endeavors. Then he tells me about the love of his life that he is lost, now hold on to your butts, its Magica De Spell. Magica was once a beautiful young sapling who fell in love with two men, Scrooge and Flintheart. At this time she only used her magic for good, so she cast a spell on both of them so they would hate her. She couldn’t choose so she pushed them both away, this led her down a road of prescription ‘duckbills’ and the devil’s magic. She vowed to never love again and so did Scrooge.
Unfortunately for Scrooge the spell wore off due to the radiation he had to have done for his disease and all those thoughts of love came back. Scrooge has spent every day since then trying to come up with a plan to win his ‘Maggie’ as he calls her back.
This trip which seemed to be at its end was just beginning, (every beginning comes from some other beginning’s end) I knew now why I had been sent here by the big editor in the sky. I vowed to flock these two back together. I remember something I had learned as a child, ‘bold deduction never fails, that’s for certain.’ I decide I am going to go see Magica and tell her a lie ‘Scrooge has died.’
I go see Magica who lives on the outskirts of town, she has 14 cats all named Scroogey, seems confusing to name them all the same name, but she is a witch so she probably can deal with it. I let her know I am writing an article about Duckburg 20 years later and that I just found out Scrooge died and the funeral is tomorrow. She asks who is to get the number one dime, and I say that is the funny thing it is actually her.
Magica is visibly ecstatic and somber as this information hits her. It is then that she reveals that the curse she had put on Scrooge was actually inside the dime. This makes so much sense as one of the side effects to Scrooge’s treatment is an allergy to copper. She assures me that she will go to receive her dime as it is the only thing that could bring her joy and bring her out of this sorrow of evil.
I drive Magica to Scrooge’s still shockingly modest home and he answers the door and it is at this moment that Magica becomes Maggie again. She grabs him by his silly waterlogged feathers and holds him for what feels like an eternity. Maggie tries to give me a look of ‘duckdain’, but she can’t hide the fact that she is overcome with happiness.
That is my tale, it is not a pony tail or a cotton tail, no this indeed is a certified duck tale.