1123: Won’t Accept Defeat – OneshotPosted: July 29, 2015
Welcome back to Wednesday, patrons! This week we have one of those nice cleansing fics. It’s bad, but not offensively so. Overall, it comes off as mostly harmless; just a bad little fic that’s got a decent enough idea behind it, but is ruined by an unskilled writer who wasn’t able to flesh out an idea and make sure characters act the way they should. Among other things.
“That sounds relatively pleasant, actually.”
As I said, tearing into one of these is good for cleaning the soul of some of the worse things we’re exposed to because it’s a much more light-hearted experience. Also, it’s worth noting that this fic is rated K+ and is based on a children’s cartoon show, which means that we don’t even have to worry about a lot of the crap that we have to deal with in the more ‘mature’ fics. Nope, this is going to be a nice-
Scrooge juggles business and his nephews. One-shot. Applied to lyrics from “Go The Distance” from Disney’s Hercules.
“It appears there are going to be song lyrics.”
I know. I’m scared, hold me.
“How about no.”
As billed, we get song lyrics. Luckily for everyone, they appear to just start out the story rather than being interspersed. So it’s not a montage. Essentially the lyrics are there to jumpstart the premise because I guess the author couldn’t think of a way to do that with actual writing. I won’t bore you with them, so go ahead and just watch this:
All right, everyone set on the premise?
“Sort of a mixture of perseverance and searching for a purpose?”
Sure, we’ll go with that.
He had to do this; had to finish strong and win big.
It’s rated K, you perv!
He was about to close the biggest deal he’d been apart of in years.
Scrooge, you would already have it done if you hadn’t have spent so much time away from it.
Once this was done, his and another company would be merged into one of the largest oil companies in the world…
I’m pretty sure Scrooge already owns one of the largest oil companies in the world. And why would he need to merge with anyone? He’s the richest duck in the world! If anything he’d be buying up companies like the big conglomerates do.
And the financial security was nothing Scrooge McDuck was willing to sniff at.
“The hell does that mean? He’s got more money than anyone else! He has a multitude of businesses under his control and, baring any of the usual shenanigans where he loses all his money and gains it back over the course of the episode, he’s got enough wealth to live in his mansion with his family for a few hundred years without lifting a finger. How much more financially secure does he want to be!?”
Didn’t know you were fan.
“I raided your DVD collection. You have a lot of cartoons in there.”
“Hey, Uncle Scrooge!” Glancing back at his office door, Scrooge saw one of his nephews, Louie, standing there, a small smile on his face.
Eh, fair enough. Scrooge kind of has a glary face in general. Even when he’s happy there is a bit of a scowl going.
“What can I do for you, Louie?” Scrooge asked, not entirely interested.
“You know, Scrooge is acting kind of jerky this morning.”
Meh, Scrooge as a parent is sometimes painted as apathetic. Though usually his apathy is there as part of the overall lesson of the episode, so maybe he’s gonna turn it around here.
His merging took a little more priority than whatever his nephew needed at that moment…
Author, stop with the ellipses!
How could he think that? Scrooge mentally shook himself and invested all his attention in the small duck.
“Is Scrooge going the distance yet?”
He’s like a hundred years old and has the largest fortune in the world. If that isn’t the distance, I’m not certain he can reach it at this point.”
Everything he did was all for his nephews in the end.
I’m pretty sure the reason he does anything is closer to being able to swim in a giant pool of gold coins.
If he wasn’t interested in the boys, he might as well not live anymore.
“Now that we’ve been spoon-fed the premise of the show, can we move on?”
“I was wondering if you wanted to come outside with me, Huey, and Dewey and play football.”
Oh man, he totally left the door open for a joke about European football compared to American football!
“This is going to be good!”
“Aw, I wish I could, lad, but…”
Oh c’mon scrooge! You’re dropping the ball here!
“No he isn’t, because you can’t pick up the football unless you’re the goalie.”
“We’ll play touch not tackle! I promise!
Dude, seriously. Rated K.
I-” Louie stopped mid-sentence at his uncle’s look.
“I have business to attend to. Now, if you are still playing after I’m done, then I will come out and be with you. Otherwise…” Scrooge motioned for the door. Louie’s expression fell slightly as he nodded and left the room, closing the door behind him.
I gotta go with Scrooge on this one. Sometimes adults do have to do things without being interrupted by children. It sounds heartless, but occasionally important stuff needs to get done instead of going outside to play.
Scrooge fought the urge to call after his nephew as he picked up the paperwork to review it once more.
“It’s a piece of paper that says ‘Merger’ on it.”
Seems about right.
His boys were his everything to him; every move he made he did with them in mind.
“So when he gets up in the morning and asks Mrs. Beakley for breakfast?”
It’s for the boys.
“Swimming in the money?”
For the boys.
“Using the toilet?”
Totally for the boys.
“When he’s cuddling and making out with Goldie?”
Now you’re just trying to make this weird.
Even now, merging two multimillion corporations was in their best interest: their inheritance would increase and, with the extra money, Scrooge could afford better things for them.
Author. Scrooge is worth way more than that. He has the MOST. MONEY. IN. THE. WORLD! He doesn’t need a merger, and he isn’t having any problem affording… well, anything at all.
Scrooge picked up his phone and dialed the number of the conference room full of businesspeople waiting for his call.
So there’s just some random room that’s always full of businesspeople waiting for calls?
“Well, yeah! Check the Rolodex, it’s totally in there.”
*Taco flips through the Rolodex*
Well, I’ll be damned, here it is: Room Full of Businesspeople Inc.
He glanced outside as they picked up the other line.
“Wait, they picked up the other line? Does that mean they’re in the same building as him?”
The conference call is coming from inside the house!
“Mr. McDuck. Have you gotten the chance to review our agreement?”
“Aye,” Scrooge said, his eyes landing on his nephews sitting in the grass below, half-heartedly tossing a football between the three of them.
Those boys have the dejected “adults won’t humor me right now” look down!
“Wait, is that gonna be a thing with Jiwe?”
Yeah, they develop that little bit of melodrama at around five.
Why wasn’t he out there with them?
Dude, focus! You’ve got a huge deal with Room Full of Businesspeople Inc. going down right now! Your nephews can wait a bit.
Because he was on the phone. Conducting business.
“Yes, author, that is indeed one of the core premises of the show. Scrooge is a stingy, workaholic that is secretly very lonely until he learns the value of family. We got it. Let’s move on!”
Why did his conscience have to bother him now of all times?
I don’t know. Maybe he’s realizing that he really doesn’t need to be doing this merger in order to stay stupid-rich?
He had to win: Scrooge McDuck wasn’t a quitter. He had to show others that he was willing to do anything for a good deal…
“He can go the distance!”
“Hey, I know you were thinking it, too.”
But his gaze landed on his nephews once more. Who was he trying to impress? Did it matter?
Guy, you’re in the middle of merging your company! If you don’t focus, those super-important kids are going to inherit an Alaskan potato farm instead of the largest fortune on the planet!
“Mr. McDuck?” the phone buzzed in his ear.
“Even the fic is trying to get him to focus.”
This is all somewhat out of character, too. Scrooge is typically pretty hard to rattle to the point where he can’t focus on business. It happens from time to time, but usually he’s pretty solid in his ability to keep his mind on a task. Especially if that task involves money.
Scrooge turned back to the matter at hand. He would win.
“HE WILL GO THE DISTANCE!”
“I have to say, I am extremely pleased with what you all have put together here,” Scrooge said, eager to hang up now.
“I really liked the part that said: ‘Merger.'”
He would say anything just to hear the magic words of “good bye.”
Then maybe he should say: ‘Wait a minute, I’m the richest Duck in the world by a large margin! I don’t need this merger, good bye.’
“Well, he’d say anything, but stooping to logic, that’s just crazy talk.”
“Wh-what? You’re surely not serious, Mr. McDuck… You said…”
Business 101: If somebody is thrilled at the deal you’re making even when they shouldn’t be, DON’T TELL THEM THEY SHOULD RECONSIDER!
“Aye, I know what I said, but I had a chance to further review the contract and I agree with the terms, conditions, and the salary cuts. Now, if there aren’t any further questions…”
So wait, he’s glibly approving sweeping salary cuts in his businesses just so he can end a meeting and go play? I know Scrooge is often painted as a stingy jerk, but usually it’s so he can have a change of heart and serve out a moral by the end of the episode. Done in this way, he’s really acting like an elitist prick.
“Fantastic. I’ll have my secretary send over a copy of the agreement first thing in the morning.” Without his magic words, Scrooge dropped the phone on the receiver and rushed out of his office.
Where will you be when diarrhea strikes!?
“So, is magic usually required to hang up a phone?”
Yes. No follow up questions.
With any luck…
The boys were still sitting on the grass. Still tossing the football. Still looking bored.
“Wow, they’re pretty useless at entertaining themselves, aren’t they?”
Yup. Totally like how they are in the show, right!?
“We must have watched different versions.”
“Sorry, lads,” Scrooge said as he emerged from his mansion. He flashed a toothy grin at his nephews.
He flashed a toothy grin at his nephews.
Look at all those teeth!
“That was something that needed to be taken care of. Now, whose team am I on this time?”
If it was something that needed to be taken care of, why did you do it in a half-assed and offhand manner? Must not have been that important since you rushed through without any negotiations or counter offers.
“I’m beginning to suspect that the author might not have any experience in actual business dealings.”
I think that’s just your imagination.
They boys jumped to attention, faces glowing, and before Scrooge really knew what was going on, all four of them were covered in mud, tossing the football around, laughing so hard their sides ached.
Whee, ha ha. What lighthearted fun. The best part is how invested I am in this moment happening!
Only later, sitting in his office, sipping tea did he really absorb what he had done over the telephone.
“Totally ruined himself while screwing over truckloads of employees who trusted him. Way to go, jerk.”
Seriously, author, Scrooge is many things, but a horrible businessman who can’t focus long enough to make a good deal is NOT one of them. Despite some of the silliness of the show, overall he’s painted as a shrewd, calculating businessman who will make sure any deal comes out with him on top of it.
He had agreed to a 50-50 split of profits.
Which, if he joined with a company that’s about the same size as his, means he’s making the same money now as before, possibly less if he merged with a smaller company. Only now a bunch of his employees are making less just so he can make the same.
“What a sweet deal.”
Scrooge McDuck had never agreed to anything like that in his life; he had always made sure his company obtained more of the profits in a deal…
Which is true, so why did he fuck this one up so badly?
That was why he had called the other company in the first place; he wanted to split it 60-40… Or perhaps even higher on his side…
“He probably should just have bought out the company. Nothing like a nice 100-0 split.”
He wondered for a moment why he had let this victory go.
Because the plot demanded it, accurate characterization be damned!
He spun around in his office chair, lost in thought when he saw all three of the boys had fallen asleep.
“What? Where the hell is this scene taking place?”
Well, either the boys have moved their beds to their uncle’s office, or Scrooge moved his office chair into their room so he could have some spin-time.
“I… don’t want either of those to be true.”
They lay hap hazardously on the couch, piled on top of each other, empty mugs of cocoa on the table in front of them.
Hey look, some setting! And, honestly, this isn’t a bad little scene. It’s kinda voidy, but it’s in character for the boys to fall asleep in a heap like that and works with the established canon of the boys and Scrooge often sharing cocoa in the evenings. Here, have a redemption cookie, author.
With expressions of euphoria on their faces.
“The less said about that, the better.”
I’m tempted to take back the cookie.
Scrooge hadn’t lost that day.
“HE WENT THE DISTANCE!”
“Wait, where the hell was Webigale!?”
Huh, yeah, where was she in all this? She’s certainly in that core of what Scrooge considers his family; strange that she was absent here. I can kind of understand not seeing Mrs. Beakley or Duckworth since the focus was on the children, but Webigale’s absence seems a pretty huge oversight on the author’s part.
“Oh well, maybe she was better off not being in this thing anyway.”
And that’s it. Overall, it’s really just a short little fic that’s as harmless as it is pointless. It doesn’t explore anything new, didn’t really match the premise it attempted to address, got the characters wrong but not catastrophically so, was pretty empty and shallow as a whole, but was also mercifully brief. All-in-all, it honestly wasn’t that bad and certainly earns the rating of Mostly Harmless.
Until next week, patrons!
“Hey look, a real outro this week!”
Well it was, now it’s totally ruined.
“I think we can still salvage it without trailing off.”
I have my doubts.