I like David Mamet very much. He is, for me, the consummate playwright. This week, I’ve been rereading one of his earliest plays, ‘Duck Variations’. I’d like to read it aloud sometime with someone, I might get onto my old acting buddy Eamon and see if he would come out and play with me, 'have a little read-through.
‘Duck Variations’ is a two-hander. Two guys sit on a park bench and watch the ducks. They talk and sometimes argue about the ducks, their lives, and their relevance to their own lives and life in general.
It’s funny. It’s like a sort of a ‘Waiting for Goduck’.
There are fourteen ‘Duck Variations’ in all. As with variations in music, they are all on the same theme (Ducks) but each takes a slightly different approach.
Given my policy of ‘blogging what I’m thinking about this week’, I thought I would mess-around-a-bit and try to write my own ‘fifteenth duck variation’. Damn it all, if Harry Potter fans can do it, why can’t I?
Who knows, maybe David Mamet will come by and kick my sad little ass.
That would be cool, right?
(That ‘Less is More’ Thing)
Emil: Well what?
George: It’s been a while.
Emil: It certainly has.
George: We ain’t getting any younger.
Emil: We’re certainly not.
George: You must have something.
Emil: The Ducks?
George: What else?
George: I knew it.
Emil: It ain’t much.
George: I bet it is. I just bet it is. I wish I came sooner now.
Emil: Don't overexcite yourself.
George: Tell me. Tell me right now.
Emil: The thing about the Ducks is.
George: Yes? Yes?
Emil: The thing.
George: About. Yes.
Emil: I got nothing.
Emil: Nothing, I got.
George: All this time?
Emil: All those years.
Emil: I know.
George: It’s a crime.
Emil: I know.
George: Against Humanity.
Emil: Against Duckdom.
Emil: Duckdom, I know.
George: But wait.
Emil: I’ve let you down. I’m sorry.
George: But that’s not bad, not bad at all.
George: What you said.
Emil: The ‘Having Nothing’?
George: The ‘Duckdom’ thing. Where have we heard that before? When has it been spoken?
Emil: I don’t know.
George: Never. That’s when. It’s an original thought. Right there.
Emil: Are you sure?
George: I have never been more sure of anything in my entire life.
Emil: An original thought.
George: About Ducks.
Emil: From me.
George: Go figure.
Emil: I know.
George: Duckdom. It’s good.
Emil: I might have another.
George: That would be difficult to believe.
Emil: I was too shy to say, at first, but I feel encouraged now.
George: To speak.
Emil: To take the leap of faith.
George: It’s inspiring, is what it is.
Emil: Thank you. You’ve raised me up to this place.
Emil: And? Oh yes.
George: In your own time.
Emil: Well. All right then. The Duck, in one respect at least, is like the very antithesis of the Iceberg having, as it does, over sixty-six percent of its body mass above the water line at all times.
Emil: What did you think?
George: I preferred the first. The Duckdom one.
Emil: Did you?
Emil: Is there a reason?
George: It’s like that thing.
George: Less is More. That ‘Less is More’ Thing. You know.
Emil: No, I don’t.
George: You should look it up. It’s good.
Emil: I will.
George: You should.
Emil: You can count on it.
Anyway, check out the original. It's obviously better.
As a foot note, if you have a penchant for the art of two characters speaking to each other, you could do much worse than visit Jim Murdoch’s blog ‘The Truth About Lies’. Jim uses his characters Aggie and Shuggie to ponder, in turn, each of the reviews his excellent books receive. It’s a very funny device and very well done. Click here for an example.