Duck Day Afternoon

(Late afternoon in Daria's room.)

DARIA: Do you ever get the feeling that this has all been done before?

JANE: Not since the last time.

DARIA: Seriously.

JANE: OK. Why do you ask?

DARIA: You know—another day in school. The well-meaning inanities, the idiotic classmates, the high-pitched chatter--

JANE: I don't know, Daria. Brittany's voice has a certain lilting quality to it.

DARIA: Maybe if you're Kevin Thompson.

JANE: True. But we've talked about this before.

DARIA: More proof I'm stuck in a rut.

JANE: It's easy to get stuck. What's harder is getting out.

DARIA: Maybe I should stay here.

JANE: That wasn't what I was saying.

DARIA: Good advice. Since when did you become a counselor, anyway?

JANE: About the same time you became a patient.


DARIA: Anyway, Dr. Lane, what can I do to get out of this rut? I feel like I should be lying on a couch or something.

JANE: The bed will be fine. As for your problem--[ponders] I think you need to do something out of the ordinary, something new.

DARIA: Something unexpected?

JANE: Damn straight!

DARIA: But how....

JANE: Snarky sarcasm is out, that's expected. No, what you need is something individual but not predictable, a new twist on an old concept--

DARIA: How about a pet?

JANE: And I was going to say you should join a motorbike gang.

DARIA: What'd ya got?

JANE: It's been done. Let's go back to the pet idea. What sort of pet would you want?

DARIA: A black cat?

JANE: Too conventional.

DARIA: Sea monkeys?

JANE: Not enough effort.

DARIA: A chimpanzee?

JANE: Too much effort.

[Cut. A title shows 'Fifteen Minutes Later']

JANE: No, I don't think a poison arrow frog will work.

DARIA: This is getting nowhere fast.

JANE: I'm only a doctor you know, not a zoologist.

DARIA: And without a licence.

JANE: OK, so I'm a quack. At least I don't have to go to med school--

[Pause. Jane has a flash of inspiration.]

JANE: That's it!

DARIA: What?

JANE: You should get yourself...a duck!

DARIA: You're right. They're convenient, loyal and cheap to maintain—-

JANE: And they quack.

DARIA: That too.

[Cut to Our Furry and Scaly Friends, where Daria and Jane are browsing. Mr. Matthews talks to them from behind.]

MATTHEWS: Looking for anything in particular?

DARIA: No, not really--

JANE: Yes. We're looking to see what you have in the way of ducks.

MATTHEWS: Oh really, that's a shame. I hate to break it to you, but we have no ducks, and no other stores in the area have what you're looking fo-- [The only other customer in the store leaves.]

come with me.

[They go into the back room. We can see several ducks.]

MATTHEWS: Here you go. I hope they're all they're 'quacked' up to be.

[Awkward silence.]

DARIA: Why do you have them back here?

MATTHEWS: They weren't selling out front. People just don't like having ducks for pets; I don't know why...

JANE: Well, we don't know either. All we know is that Daria here wants a duck.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, I better go see if there are any more customers in the store now—don't want any more 'incidents' in my store. Why don't you spend a few minutes in here and pick one of these prize ducks out?

JANE: Sure.

DARIA: Thanks.

[He leaves.]

DARIA: Hmm... How would you go about picking one of these?

JANE: I don't know. One of them will stand out—it's the law of the pet shop.

[They look at the ducks.]

DUCK 1: Quack.

DUCK 2: Quack.

DUCK 3: Quack Quack.

JANE: Oooh, that one added an extra quack.

DARIA: It has potential.

[Mr. Matthews returns.]

MATTHEWS: Any luck?

JANE: Mr. Matthews, I think we have our duck.

MATTHEWS: Great! Ducks are good pets, you know.

DARIA: We will.

Part II: In Which Daria Brings Her Duck Into Her Residence, Causing Great Consternation Amongst Her Family Members And Assorted Bystanders

JANE: So, what are you going to call him?

DARIA: I'm not sure. Does he have to have a name?

JANE: Sure he does.

DARIA: Let's see... Ducks, ducks... Donald?

JANE: I prefer Daffy.

DARIA: OK—Daffy?

JANE: It's been done. Besides, I don't see this one wahooing around the place.

DARIA: Maybe I could train him to do that.

JANE: Owning a duck sure has its possibilities.

DARIA: I think I'll call him 'Bill'. It's a neutral name.

JANE: Sure. Anyway, I better leave you to get better acquainted with your new duck.




DUCK: Quack.

DARIA: That was Jane. She's your godmother.

DUCK: Quack.

DARIA: You know, I've never really been one for pets, but you're different.

DUCK: Quack.

[Helen walks by and sees Daria conversing with her duck.]

HELEN: (quietly) I really need to get her a therapist.

[Time passes.]

DARIA: And one day, I want to leave Lawndale and travel the world. Maybe with Jane--

DUCK: Quack!

DARIA: And you!

DUCK: Quack.

DARIA: You're such a good listener.

DUCK: Quack.

DARIA: No problem.

[Quinn enters.]

QUINN: Hey Daria, I heard some quacking noises from your room and ----ARRGHH!

DARIA: Hello Quinn.

QUINN: What's that!

DARIA: It's a duck.

QUINN: Have you been playing near the pond again?

DARIA: Since when have I played near the pond?

QUINN: I know that—but why? Don't you know ducks are dirty?

DARIA: Not this one. He's special.

QUINN: Right... Does he have a name?

DARIA: Bill.

QUINN: Uh, hi Bill--

DARIA: That's Mr. Jenkins to you.

QUINN: I have to go.

[Cut to Quinn informing Helen and Jake at the dinner table.]

QUINN: She got a duck!

JAKE; A duck? That doesn't sound like her at all.

QUINN: I know!

JAKE: Maybe it just slipped in—Or waddled.

HELEN: I think Daria brought it in herself. I wonder why....

JAKE: Say kiddo, did it look very tender?

QUINN: I don't know, father!

HELEN: Maybe I should go see her.

JAKE: Sure!

HELEN: Jake! Just what are you doing with that carving knife?

JAKE: Oh, nothing....

[Cut to Helen visiting Daria.]

HELEN: Daria—how are you?

DUCK: Quack.

DARIA: He wants to talk to you.

HELEN: Uh—hi!

DUCK: Quack.

DARIA: I think he likes you.

HELEN: You know he can't really talk, right?

DARIA: Sure, but he is a good listener.

HELEN; I'm sure he is.

DARIA: And I did want something new.

HELEN: It is certainly something different.

DARIA: And if other people can be happy by being with their cat or dog, why can't I be happy with my duck?

HELEN: I guess. You're right, but tell me if you start thinking the duck really can talk to you.

DARIA: I will.

[Helen leaves.]

DUCK: Quack.

DARIA: I know, she seemed a little suspicious at first—but she'll be alright with it. I think she'll be glad I've found another friend.

DUCK: Quack quack quack!

DARIA: Awww...I'm glad you like me too.

[They hug. Well, as well as a human and a duck can.]

[Back at the dinner table.]

JAKE: So, was it a plump duck?

QUINN: I don't know—geez! If you're so interested in the duck, why don't you just go and see him?

JAKE: Hey, that's a good idea!

[He leaves.]

QUINN: Everyone paying attention to Daria—all because of that stupid duck.

[Cut to Quinn discussing the duck with her cronies.]

QUINN: --And so they both went up there, leaving me alone. They abandoned me in favour of a duck, a duck! It's just the sort of thing that could cause me trauma for the rest of my life!

SANDI: I hear trauma causes wrinkles.


TIFFANY: That really....bites.

STACY: Oh no! What are you going to do?

QUINN: What can I do?

SANDI: Well, it's obvious that your family only cares about unusual pets---why don't you get one yourself?

STACY: That's a great idea!

QUINN: You're right. I'm going to head down to that pet store this afternoon!

STACY: Want us to come along?

QUINN: Thank you Stacy, but there are some things in a person's life that they must go through alone, and this is one of them.

STACY: OK Quinn. Good luck.

[Cut to Daria's room. Mr. Jenkins quacks happily.]

JANE: Our duck is really becoming a good conversationalist, isn't he?

DARIA: He sure is. Better than most of Lawndale, at least.

DUCK: Quack!

JANE: I'm sure he agrees.

[Cut to outside, where Jake is frantically walking in.]

JAKE: Had to leave work ninety minutes early, but it was worth it! I've been thinking about that delicious duck all day!

[Cut to Quinn at Our Furry and Scaly Friends. Mr. Matthews approaches her.]

MATTHEWS: And what can I do for you?

QUINN: Hi! I was your best employee-remember?

[Matthews' mood instantly darkens.]

MATTHEWS: Under your watch, a canary escaped and a prize anaconda got out into the mall. I don't stand for those things—not at this pet store.

QUINN: No, no... I worked at the other Lawndale pet store!

[Laughs nervously.]

MATTHEWS: Well, what do you want?

QUINN: What's something that's bigger and better than a duck?

MATTHEWS: How about a goose?

QUINN: I love it!

[Return to Daria's bedroom.]

DUCK: Quack....

JANE: I think he needs food.

DARIA: You're right. Let's go get some grass for him.

JANE: Should we take Bill with us?

DARIA: Nah. He'll spoil his appetite. [Turns to Bill.] Now you be good, and we'll be back with food in a minute.

DUCK: Quack.

DARIA: I'm glad you understand.

[Shortly after they leave, Jake comes into the empty room.]

JAKE: There you are. You're going to be the special guest at dinner...

DUCK: Quack! Quack! Quack!

JAKE: Oh come on, it'll be fun! [Pause.] And tasty!

[Jake gleefully takes the duck into the kitchen, where the oven door is open.]

JAKE: I think it's pre-heated. Just wait until the girls get Duck ala Jake for their dinner!


[Cut to outside, where Daria and Jane are getting grass.]

JANE: What was that?

DARIA: I think he's in trouble!

[They turn to run inside. Out front, Helen returns from work. By convenient coincidence, all three arrive in the kitchen at the same time, seeing a jubilant Jake closing the oven door.]

DARIA: Bill!


JAKE: But, he was going to make a good meal!

HELEN: Jake! What the hell are you doing?

JAKE: I just wanted to make a good meal!

DARIA: Not with my duck. He's a pet, a confidant, not a piece of meat.

JAKE: [Dejected.] Fine. We won't be cooking the duck.

DARIA: Phew.

JANE: I think someone owes an apology to Bill over here....

HELEN: Go on.

JAKE: O.K. I'm sorry for trying to cook you.

DUCK: Quack.

DARIA: He's very forgiving.

HELEN: Well I'm just glad that Daria's duck is OK and we can surely find something else for dinner and--

[Silence, as Quinn enters the room.]

QUINN: Why have a duck when you can have....a goose?

[Quinn, introduces a large white goose to her family, shaking its wing.]

QUINN: His name is Gladstone.

HELEN: Uh....hi.

DARIA: You should probably be careful with him. Geese can be very aggressive.

QUINN: Just because you have a duck doesn't mean you're suddenly the pet bird expert! I know how to handle my Gladstone with tender care and concern. At least he won't be almost turned into dinner--

JAKE: Damn!

HELEN: Jake!

JAKE: I mean good! I really do!

DARIA: I guess Mr. Jenkins has a bigger brother now.

QUINN: No, no... Mr. Jenkins is Gladstone's cousin.

DARIA: If you say so.

GOOSE: Honk!

HELEN: That isn't a happy looking goose—

DARIA: Just think if he got on the loose.

QUINN: OK, Dr. Seuss. He's going to be just fine, I know it--

GOOSE: Honk!

[Gladstone honks Quinn on the nose.]

QUINN: My nose!

[She runs around with Gladstone attached to her nose, arms flailing wildly.]

The End