SO A DUCK WALKS INTO A BAR (2011)

So a duck walks into a bar.

Sean Joseph Patrick Carney


Originally appeard in SUBMIT MAGAZINE in March of 2011.


The bartender looks up and goes, "What's your story?" The duck doesn't answer and walks over to the jukebox. Two truckers at the bar start whispering to each other, eyeing the duck suspiciously. The bartender goes back to cleaning glasses, but keeps glancing over, checking out the duck. The duck uses the buttons on the jukebox to start flipping through the records. He notices that they have "Repeater" by Fugazi, but doesn't care because he thinks that Ian MacKaye is too didactic. One of the truckers orders a Bud Light with a lime in it and the other trucker calls him a queer. The bartender makes change for the trucker, and says something like, "That probably tastes like Mexico." The trucker doesn't like this, because he's been to Mexico and knows that countries don't taste like anything because they are not a food or a beverage. The duck walks away from the jukebox and approaches the pay phone near the restrooms. The trucker who didn't order the Bud Light with a lime gets up and walks to the bathroom, staring daggers at the duck while he's looking through the phonebook that's hanging from the pay phone. The other trucker finishes his Bud Light with a lime and wipes his mouth. The bartender leans over the bar and whispers something into his ear, and then they both start looking really serious. Frowning, the bartender turns around and looks at himself in the giant Bacardi mirror behind the bar and gleeks on his own reflection. The trucker who was in the bathroom returns to his stool at the bar and asks the bartender if he can put on the Detroit Lions game. Immediately, the duck looks up from the phonebook and saunters over to the bar. He hops up onto a stool right next to the trucker who was drinking a Bud Light with a lime. The bartender throws a rag down on the bar in an exaggerated motion and gets in the duck's face. "What the hell do you think you're doing, coming in here and loitering like this?" The duck doesn't respond, but points one of his wings at the empty bottle of Bud Light with the squished lime at the bottom. "Oh," says the bartender, "You think you're going to get a Bud Light with a lime like this fella over here? Then I'm gonna need to see some ID, duck." So the duck pulls out his wallet, which is a very stylish Armani model, and pulls out an Alaskan driver's license. Perplexed, the bartender looks it over. The photo looks like the duck, and it claims he was born in 1981, making him legal drinking age. But the license has no expiration date and the bartender is pretty sure that all state-issued ID forms do indeed have some kind of expiration date. The trucker who did not order the Bud Light with a lime turns to the duck. "Ever been to a bar in Anchorage called the Waiting Room?" he asks. The duck smiles, not necessarily coyly, but like he knows something that the trucker doesn't. The bartender hands the duck back his ID and says, "How come there's no expiration date on this thing? Are you fucking with me?" The duck chuckles a little to himself, gets up off of the stool and walks back over to the jukebox. Now, the two truckers and the bartender are completely confused by this silent water fowl. The duck pumps a couple of quarters into the jukebox and then puts on "Man-Eater" by Hall and Oates. The bartender yells over to him, "Hey! You can't just come in here and play my jukebox without buying anything!" The duck turns back to him and sticks out his tongue. Strangely, both of the truckers' cell phones start ringing at the same time and they both step outside to answer the calls. The duck walks out after them with purpose.