Saturday, June 4, 2011

Episode 28, Part 2: Doug Rocks the House

This episode begins with Doug on a typical day. He's walking down the street of abandoned houses when he approaches Skeeter, Roger and the goons. They are throwing rocks at one of the houses. Roger tries to bust out a window and fails. Doug taunts him and then, predictably, Roger challenges him to break some glass. Doug is hesitant. He doesn't want to look like a fool the way Roger just did. He stalls and tries to weasel out of it by saying he'd be okay with it if they had permission or something. Conveniently a construction worker walks by at that moment and basically says, "who cares?" All of the houses on this road are being demolished anyway. It doesn't matter. Well...alright then...

Before Doug starts to throw, Roger spots Patti walking towards them and tells Doug to hurry up if he wants to impress her. So he throws it and it sets off a small rube goldberg that ends with the entire house falling down.

The upstairs toilet was the sturdiest thing about the house, but it too fell in the end.

"Nice throw, huh, Patti?"
"Doug Funnie, you're...terrible."

What's her problem?

At school, Doug is trying to figure out why she got mad at him while Skeeter is busy working up a crowd, telling them of Doug's amazing feat.

Doug re-imagines the entire scenario.

That's right, Doug. That's what you look like. Now it's time to bowl those houses over!

Well, of course she'd get mad at that. Those are perfectly good houses! He just knocked over 10 perfectly good houses. In his fantasies, he's a very good bowler.

After the fantasy, there are people lined up to talk to him about it and get his autograph.

This weird, pink jackass is the first and asks to have his made out to Rusty. Of course, Doug is autographing rocks. I can think of few objects less practical than rocks for autographs.

After Rusty fucks off back to the background, Doug spots Patti and decides to talk to her. He walks up and she immediately apologizes for getting mad. Awesome. Conflict over.

While Doug is explaining that he didn't understand why she got mad about him knocking down "some cruddy old house" this other jackass from the background comes up and wants his autograph made out to David. Fuck off, David. Anyway, Patti gets pissed at the phrase "some cruddy old house" and she storms off. Beebe offers to figure out what her problem is for Doug. How unusually nice of her. Oh, then she makes him sign a rock.

At lunch, everyone has autographed rocks. The kids in Bluffington are fucking morons. Patti is in line getting her food and when she goes to pay the lunch lady says, "it's been taken care of." She points at Doug who waves meekly. Patti storms off. Beebe walks up and Doug asks her about the whole thing, but now she's pissed at him too. So, she talked to Patti and knows what's up and refuses to talk to Doug because it's better to just be pissed at him than to explain the situation. Skeeter is still no help. He just happily points out that knocking down that house made him the most popular kid in school. Another background character asks for an autograph.

Finally, Doug confronts Patti at her locker. They get in an argument, in which Doug autographs yet another rock, and Patti again storms off in anger, slamming her locker door and scattering some of her papers all over the floor. Skeeter walks up and asks what happened while Doug starts picking up the papers. He notices something.

"Hey, why does this look familiar?"
"Oh, that's the house you wrecked."
"Yeah, Patti and her dad moved out of that house 2 years ago...after her mom died. Didn't you know that? Say! Do you think maybe that's the reason she's upset? Because you destroyed her house."

Fuck Skeeter. Seriously. Fucking dumbass.

At home, Doug is trying to rationalize the whole thing to himself. It was an abandoned house. It's not like he knocked down the house she's living in now. That would be good cause to be upset. He's talking to himself way too much. Then he notices the height chart from their old house. His parents had been keeping track of his and Judy's height on the wall and brought it with them to Bluffington. This causes a weird series of memories to fade into a fantasy. First his parents measure his height at different ages, and then we get a memory of him arguing with them about moving. He doesn't want to go.

After he tells his mom that he won't love Bluffington, he walks over to a window to hear Roger and the goons cheering someone on. It's Patti, and she has a rather large rock.

It's a pretty weird way to remember your last day in your old house.

After the memory-fantasy, Doug comes up with a brilliant idea.

I have no use for this screen shot. I just wanted to point out the nice plaque saying "height chart" because it amuses me. I imagine the Funnies going to the greatest maker of plaques this country has ever seen and asking him to make a small plaque that just says "height chart" so they can put it under their height chart just in case they forget what it is, or to avoid explaining to guests that it is indeed a chart for measuring how tall their children were at certain ages. Also, that picture on the wall in the next room is pretty sweet. Is that a picture of Doug taking a picture?

Anyway, Doug runs back to the destroyed house to look for something to give to Patti that she can keep so she'll always remember the house. He finds something and heads over to her apartment and has a brief talk with her dad.

Unfortunately, Patti isn't feeling well today, so her dad won't let him in to talk to her. He walks away, depressed. He thinks she'll hate him forever, because if Doug isn't always jumping to the most awesome conclusion he can imagine, he's jumping to the worst. Patti sees him from her window and catches up to him.

While Doug is trying to apologize, she interrupts him and apologizes for getting mad. Then she notices the thing in his hand and says, "what's that?"

"Oh...well, it's for you. It's just something I thought would help you remember..."
"The Pattersons?"

It's the Pattersons' door knocker. They lived next door to Patti. How did Doug not notice that this thing said "Patterson" on it? Did he pick it up, see "PATT" and think, "NO TIME TO READ THE REST! PATTI WILL LOVE IT THAT I DUG UP HER OLD, CUSTOM DOOR KNOCKER!" and then just head straight to her house without ever glancing at it again? He's really not much brighter than Skeeter, is he?

Anyway, Patti is pleased.

So it produced the same result Doug wanted anyway; a hug that he clearly read too much into. She's just happy her friend thought of her. If this was from her perspective, there would be no hearts. She knows that Doug will be that guy friend that will always listen to her complain about her boyfriends.

And that's it. I want to know what's going on in Bluffington where an entire street of houses, occupied as early as two years ago, is abandoned and left to dilapidate until it needs to be torn down. I'm going to say the root of Bluffington's problem is education. Every kid in school now has a rock autographed by another kid from school. What are they getting out of that? You can't even sell them as pet rocks now. They have Doug's signature on them. They've learned absolutely nothing about value. So if we assume that the parents of these autographed-rock-collecting shitheads also went to Bluffington schools, then we can assume that they fail miserably at slightly more complicated things like basic home maintenance.

Are the autographed rocks better or worse than Judy's brick collection from the last episode? Judy can at least make something out of her collection one day, even if it's just her own mausoleum.


  1. Knowing the corporate greed of Bill Bluff, I bet he was behind the whole demolition thing. So he can build another Mr. Swirly's and leave a cement truck lying around...
    Also the fact that the house is that run down in two years implies Bluffington has a serious looting problem. Are there no police in Bluffington? I'm not sure we've ever seen a cop besides the guy who took Doug to see the Beets.

  2. Well thank god they don't live in Flint, Michigan! (bad joke)

    I think the guy who was called "Rusty" in this episode eventually became "Larry", one of the A/V geeks of the school that Doug will encounter later on. Much like Connie, here's another of those odd background characters that ended up getting a name and personality as the show went on.

  3. Doug just can't handle conflicts with others. You make a great point about Patti and Doug. They probably won't be a couple but Doug will always be the good friend she can talk to when she has troubles with the guy she is with.


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