Paul wasn’t sure, but the five-foot duck waddling through the throngs of laughing, crying, shouting, whining children appeared to be waddling toward him – a duck with a destination and, perhaps, a mission. Chances are it had spotted him scowling in a land where grinning is the norm, and it, by God, meant to do something about it.
“Enjoying the Magic Kingdom?” asked the duck upon reaching him. Despite its carefully sculpted plastic smile, this duck wasn’t going to cheer anyone up; its voice dripped sarcasm.
“Of course, I am,” Paul answered, adopting his very own duck attitude. “Isn’t that why you’re here? By the way, didn’t I somewhere get the idea that you’re all supposed to be pleasant and cheerful?”
“I’m not even supposed to talk. Just wave.” The duck waved and, in silence, could have passed for pleasant and cheerful, albeit of a fabricated sort.
“Then why did you talk to me?” Paul asked.
“Because you look bored – like you positively hate the place.”
“Ah, you’re not just an ordinary duck, you’re a member of the happiness squad, here to lift my spirits.”
“No,” answered the duck. “I thought you might have a cigarette.”