Saturday, January 23, 2010

Episode 6, Part 1; Doug, Mayor for a Day

"Dear Journal, Hi, it's me again; Doug! I know I've always told you field trips are boring, but..."
That's right. Doug is the only kid that dislikes field trips. Doug, you crazy.

The field trip was student government day. Each student was randomly assigned a government job, then they were supposed to shadow and interview the person that actually has that job to write a paper about it. Kinda neat actually. What were people hoping for? Roger wanted to be sheriff (and actually got to do that) while one of his goons aimed a little higher and declared that he hoped to be dog catcher. What about Skeeter? Skeeter's clearly taking the field trip seriously...

Skeeter wanted to be head astronaut. See.

He's prepared. As for Doug, he hoped to get chief forest ranger. Not too weird for an 11 year old thinking about government jobs, and it's at least a job, unlike Skeeter's fucking stupid ass dreams.

What does Doug actually get? Mayor, of course. He is extremely disappointed by this for some reason. He even gets to sit next to Patti on the bus, and she's extremely excited/impressed that Doug gets to be mayor, but he just can't help but think about how much it's going to suck. He doesn't even care that he's sitting next to Patti, or that she's really impressed that he gets to be mayor.

So once they get to city hall, Mr. Bone takes over Roger's usual job of making Doug shit his pants and informs him that as the mayor, his report will be the most important, and however he does will show up on his permanent record. Hello fantasy, #1.

This is where Doug thinks about how he's going to interview the real mayor.

It's a short one where he just imagines his interview with Mayor Bob White as a weird tv show that takes place in an elementary school file cabinet. The real mayor interrupts his weird fantasy by asking Doug if he'd been staring at him because he was the mayor. He takes Doug for just some random kid who is impressed with the mayor, and gives him a sucker. The sucker is shaped like the mayor's head, and has a special message on the back.

Trust me, this is important.

Doug follows Mayor White into his office and this is when Doug starts hallucinating.

What do doctors say when you tell them you think paintings hate you?

So before Doug can get an answer for his first question, the mayor's phone rings. It's for Doug.

Another hallucination, perhaps? Mr. Bone just called to remind Doug about the importance of his report. Don't screw it up. If you'd get off his back, Mr. Bone, maybe you'd be surprised what Doug is capable of. Probably not, but maybe. Time for fantasy #2.

Look at Porkchop. A 30+ year old dog would look more like a skeleton, but hey, it's Doug's fantasy. Let it be. The Beets showed up for this? Anyway, Mr. Bone comes along when Mayor White is handing over the key to the city and announces that Doug did a very bad report about the duties of a mayor when he was 11, and so he doesn't get to be mayor. Mayor White takes back the key, and starts celebrating because that means he wins. In addition to the absurdity of how Doug thinks our electoral system works, lets take a minute to reflect on the fact that Doug didn't want to be mayor.

Got it?
So after the unnecessary phone call, Doug finally starts to get an answer. Bob White is a terrible mayor. He doesn't do anything. A few times in the episode, he tells people to ask his wife when they ask him to approve a budget, or do something a mayor is supposed to do. While giving an answer, he gets another phone call. It's Mr. Swirly from the ice cream factory. All their equipment is fucked up and he's not going to be able to make that day's delivery, which the mayor needs for the student government ice cream extravaganza! OH NO! He panics and runs out into the hall shouting, "ask my wife!"
Left alone in the mayors office, Doug hallucinates again.

The mayor's chair. It glows. Doug sits in it and fantasizes more.

Look how great being mayor is. You're the center of attention. Patti wants to interview you. People are always taking pictures of you as you're making tough decisions about shit.

As the pictures get to be too much for him to take, the mayor's phone rings and wakes Doug up from the fantasy.

He either fell asleep in the mayor's chair, or he has his eyes closed from all the imaginary camera flashes.

Doug decides to answer the phone. It's Mr. Swirly again. The situation has gotten much worse. Mr. Swirly is about to drown. Also, all the chocolate chips are about to crash into the fans of the cooling system. If they turn off the cooling system, all the ice cream will melt. "What should we do? Please, mayor! Help me." As if it's the job of the mayor to know how to run a goddamn ice cream factory. If I was Doug, I'd tell Mr. Swirly to fire the moron that dumped all of the chocolate chips into the air conditioning vents. What the fuck are the chocolate chips doing in there? Doug says, "why don't you let the chips hit the fan?" Oooooooooh! Mr. Swirly agrees that this is a good thing to do, as it will chop up the chips and throw them into the ice cream making chocolate swirly. Chocolate swirly that no one can fucking eat because it's fucking dirty. It's a health and safety hazard. This whole plot doesn't make sense. The ice cream is already melted, because the refrigeration system is messed up. Suddenly, it's melting and drowning Mr. Swirly, but if they turn off the cooling system, the ice cream will melt. One of their options is to turn off the refrigeration system that isn't working and suffer through melting ice cream that's already melted?

Anyway, Doug saves the day; Mr. Swirly serves all the kids the chocolate swirly ice cream, probably making a few of them sick with his dirty air vent chocolate.

Mayor Bob White sends Doug a letter.

I don't think any of this really happened. The field trip is likely real, and maybe Doug really did have to interview the mayor, but he clearly really hated the job he was given. Doug made this whole thing up because his real experience was boring. We already know he usually thinks field trips are boring, so maybe he just wanted this one to be fun so much he imagined this alternate reality. He clearly didn't learn anything about being a mayor. "Being mayor is great fun. You get a big chair, a cool telephone, and all the suckers you can eat." Doug wrote this in his journal, and I'm sure it's in his important report along with something about making important decisions in the running of local ice cream factories. Oh to be a mayor.

Here's my favorite extra. This is from a quick shot in Doug's "30 Years in the Future" fantasy. I love how dressed up he got for a mayoral inauguration 30 years into the future. If Doug had been assassinated in his fantasy, this is the guy I'd go after. Definitely.


  1. I can't stop laughing. I love this.

  2. Is it possible that J.K. Rowling was a fan of Doug? I mean, moving pictures, and back in "Doug Takes a Hike" there was a tree that beat people up and of course the talking to snakes. Seems like a freaky coincidence to me.

  3. The whole "Student Government" day remind me of an old Archie comics story that was later adapated into one of the episodes of the Filmation cartoon series in the 60's where Archie found himself mayor for a day at his homestead...

    I like that the "30 YEARS LATER" caption during one of Doug's fantasy bits has "30" set at a slightly large size than the rest, but that's just a nerdy quip! Still kinda funny how Doug and his pals all look rather TOO good for people in their early 40's at this point in time. Doug's also sporting the longer sleeves he'll end up with in the Disney series that should not be discussed here! Porkchop alone could also have worked as a stuffed corpse on a wooden stand if it came to that as well (though that would seem a tad dark for a "Nicktoon" now would it?).

  4. You have to admit though, that "Permanent Record" set looked pretty snazzy if such a show existed.

  5. That "wah wah" rendition of the Mayor's theme in the closing credits for this episode was creepy...


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