This episode is basically Forrest Gump. The movie. Before the movie was made. I've never read the book. But remember how the movie begins? The camera follows a feather to the feet of the narrator of the story. The feather is clearly deliberately blown by the wind and meant to be picked up by Forrest Gump. This episode begins with a few shots of a hat being blown in the wind.
It even blows by a bus stop. It lands at the feet of Doug, who picks it up, remarking that he has a weird shaped head and hats never fit him. Skeeter and Connie encourage him, because it is a really good looking hat. It's so cool. Look at it...
Red and blue. How cool! So he tries it on and it fits perfectly. He looks at his reflection in a car window and is very pleased. Looks like Doug has a new hat! He takes a step, trips and lands face first on the sidewalk. Skeeter points out that the hat may be bad luck. But wait...
Right in Doug's face on the ground is the one Sky Davis trading card missing from his collection. I'm sure it's in good condition too. You know how sidewalks are the perfect place to store trading cards if you want to keep them in mint condition.
At home, Doug is admiring his new hat in a hand mirror while Porkchop plays a game and Skeeter listens to the radio. Doug is great, entertaining company. Skeeter is trying to convince Doug of the hat's amazing lucky powers because of the Sky Davis card. The DJs on the radio announce that the twenty-third caller wins a signed copy of the latest Beets cd. Skeeter shoves the hat onto Doug's head, and the phone into his hand. Doug wins the cd.
Pretty awesome! Doug is still not convinced. It's just a couple of coincidences. As they are celebrating the signed cd, Theda meekly comes into the room.
She was sorting the laundry and found Doug's Smash Adams triple 3d x-ray glasses. He'd been looking all over for them.
Okay, Doug. Cool it with the bullshit and the hallucinations.
At school the next day, Doug is warming up to the idea that the hat is lucky. He removes it from his locker and puts it on before having a great fantasy.
This is at the inauguration speech of the "world's first rock-guitar-playing president." The national symbol has been changed to a picture of the hat. His speech should be classic.
"My fellow citizens. I wish to thank you all with this special guitar solo!"
Then he jumps up on the podium and wails on the guitar. Best inauguration speech ever. Well...maybe second to William Henry Harrison's, but still...way up there.
Oh, and Doug is apparently acting out this fantasy in the hallway.
Remember that kid in school who acted out his fantasies of being a rock-star president at school and wondering what kind of medication he forgot to take that morning? That's Doug.
Suddenly Doug and Skeeter hear Patti yelling "Hamlet" in the hall. She's looking for her guinea pig Hamlet. Hamlet has run away.
There has to be some parallels to be drawn between Patti's pet Hamlet, and her pet Doug. Presumably the guinea pig's uncle murdered his dad and married his mom. This drove Hamlet crazy. Similarly, Doug believes he is wearing a lucky hat that will make him a rock-star president one day.
Anyway, Doug and Skeeter help her look for the stupid guinea pig, but not before she mentions the reason she brought it to school.
"So much for my report on how guinea pigs help the ozone layer."
I can only assume that her entire report consisted of pointing out that guinea pigs do not produce aerosol sprays full of CFCs and that guinea pig farts are 86% O3. I'm not entirely sure why she needed a live guinea pig for this report. Dumbass overachiever.
Right, so they've moved to looking for Hamlet outside on the picnic tables when a gust of wind blows Doug's hat off his head and through a window into the cafeteria. It lands on one of the trays of food that Flo is serving to the kids. Doug runs up and starts asking for his hat and Flo serves it up with her spoon.
Oh, and Hamlet is in the food under the hat. The lucky hat strikes again! Doug decides he's never going to take the hat off. Ever. See?
Need a lot of luck in the shower.
Or at the barber shop.
How can you expect to sleep all night without all that luck on your head?
Doug's good luck means the owner/operator of this gum-ball machine is fucked out of several dollars. Sorry, dude. Doug has the good luck. Enjoy your quarter.
Carnival games are no longer fixed thanks to Doug's lucky hat!
He also trips while trying to catch a pop-up in baseball, but the good luck just directed the ball into his glove.
At the Honker Burger, Patti comes over and says she's been meaning to ask him something. Skeeter whispers that she's probably going to ask him to the spring carnival (though it looks like he already went with his dog).
She asks him about the hat. Why is he always wearing it? Is it a bad haircut? He decides it would be better not to tell her he thinks it's a lucky hat. He just says it's special. She tries to pull it off (for some reason) and Skeeter tells her to be careful. That hat is lucky.
Patti: "Lucky? Is that it, Doug? You think your hat is bringing you luck?"
Doug: "Me? Uh uh! Not me! No way!"
Roger: "Then you don't mind if I borrow it, do ya?"
Doug tries to get it back but Roger tells him to knock it off because he just said he didn't think a hat could be lucky. As if you have to think possessions are magically lucky for you to care about them. Roger wants him to prove that he doesn't think the hat is lucky by loaning it out for a few hours. Roger just wants to wear it while he takes the biology test. Doug agrees, but look at that hat hair.
"My hat was gone and I felt totally hopeless. My life was doomed to failure."
Yep. He has a fantasy where he sells lucky sox on the street with Porkchop. He went from rock-star president to borderline-homeless sock salesman just because Roger took his hat. It's only the best, or worst, for this bi-polar kid.
During the test, Doug couldn't concentrate because Roger had the hat. "Without my hat, I felt fuzzy. My brain just didn't work right."
After school, Doug and Patti have a great conversation about the hat. He confesses that he really did think it was lucky. He says the hat found him. The hat made him feel like a winner. She says he's a winner with or without it. Then Rickets McGee comes out and shows off his D-.
The hat really is lucky! Roger passed a test because he was wearing the lucky hat. He decides to keep it. Doug is fine with this. The wind is not. It blows the hat off Roger's head and up into the sky, because it is someone else's turn to find the hat.
And Forrest Gump ended with the feather floating away. It just didn't have any magical properties attributed to it by the mentally challenged narrator that found it.
Also, it seems to me that a truly lucky hat would've found the guinea pig before it crawled all over the cafeteria food.