Sunday, June 26, 2011

Episode 30, Part 1: Doug's Career Anxiety

This episode begins in the guidance counselor's office. His name is Mr. Shellacky. It's career week and he's given a test to the students to determine what their career should be. I again feel cheated by the schools I went to, because I don't remember ever doing anything like this. Anyway...

While they wait for the toaster-like computer to figure out what Doug's career will be, Doug has a couple of fantasies based on posters in the office. First he sees a poster of an architect.

Architecture 101: Design buildings that look like the people in front of you.
Next, he looks at another poster featuring a crop duster.

It's weird enough that the guidance counselor has a poster advertising crop dusting as a career. Doug ignored the crop dusting part and just imagined being a pilot. Then he got a bit specific with that pilot idea and turned himself into a skywriter. So, in Doug's fantasy as a skywriter, he's drawing Patti Mayonnaise in the sky. This means someone has paid him to draw the woman they love in the sky, or he's doing it for his own amusement, which isn't a career. Either way, this isn't a good fantasy. He's a bad businessman that wastes his resources for personal reasons, or someone else is paying Doug to help them woo Patti.

Oh, the toaster-computer has finished thinking and Doug is going to be a business executive! The guidance counselor is very excited.

He's running around his office, making rocket ship noises and chanting shit about Doug being a business executive. You have to wonder if Doug is actually in the guidance counselor's office or if he's visiting some crazy person, possibly a relative, that believes he's a guidance counselor, and Doug's just going along with it because that's what the orderlies told him to do.

So part of career week involves some of the students checking out their future careers. Doug and a few others are on a bus to Bluffco. They have to collaborate on a project where they make and sell a product. Pretty standard school project. Chalky's test results pinned him as the art director. Skeeter is apparently going to be an inventor.

Watch out, Ronco!

Doug never tells us what careers Beebe and Connie were assigned. When he tells them he's going to be the business executive, they are thrilled for him. it means he's going to be rich. Somehow Doug managed to miss that aspect of his future career and finally has a fantasy about being rich. This is his home.

Yeah, he labels his home as if it were his business. The fantasy is apparently some tv special where a host is giving a tour of his home. The first thing he points out is that it is so big, Doug had to have special tubes that take you where you need to go, like in Futurama. The most interesting part of the fantasy-tour is the library with over 10,000 comic books, many of which were actually written by Doug himself.

This is probably the issue where Businessman ignores all those contracts and phone calls to start writing a comic book series about a businessman who is too busy to write comic books.

At Bluffco, Doug has to meet with Beebe's dad.

He tells Doug the three rules a successful businessman has to know:
1. Decide.
2. Direct.
3. Delegate.

It's just that simple! He then gives Doug something that he should only use "when things get really tough."

It's the key to the executive squashroom.

They are having a meeting about what their product is going to be. Skeeter, the great inventor, wants to make shoes. Connie points out to him that they don't have the equipment to do that, because apparently Skeeter thinks this small middle school group project has the $20 it would need to hire child labor in developing countries for a few months. Pfft.

The group starts arguing about what the project should be and Doug starts thinking about Mr. Bluff's great advice. Decide. Direct. Delegate. He's decided!

"The helicopter landing pad should be right next to the comic room...after I make my first million."

Then he directs his pencil in a way that draws this decision. Meanwhile, Chalky has an idea that they should make bookmarks. They ask Doug if that's cool and he says whatever. Like most executives, he's checked out early for the day, and possibly drunk. Chalky starts telling people what to do. He tells Beebe to pick out the paper, Skeeter to design the bookmarks, and then he'll draw the school seal. Fuck you, Connie. You don't get to do shit.

Beebe has decided on this fashionable fabric. Paper sucks. It's got flowers on it, but so what? I'm sure it won't interfere with Skeeter's design. Connie points out that it will cost a lot more to use it, so I guess she's the accountant.

Skeeter, with the pink guy's help, actually has a great idea, even if it's completely implausible for their group project. The stupid tassel on the bookmark is going to be a book light, instead of just a stupid tassel. Well done, Skeeter. How is Chalky doing with that school seal?

Why is he even doing this? He's got a perfect image of the school seal on plain white paper that he's merely redrawing on notebook paper? Totally unnecessary and counterproductive. Oh, and he sucks at drawing. Instead of taking the one Chalky was copying, Doug starts trying to fix his drawing. Before he can finish fixing the drawing, Connie comes at him with some more bullshit.

Skeeter's light idea won't work with Beebe's fabric (for some reason), and the way things were going, the bookmarks were going to cost $75 each. What a disaster.

Oh no. Yep...he's losing it.

These floating heads actually turn out to be just them, standing around him in the hall. Doug is having a very strange anxiety attack because he can't make decisions and everything is going wrong. I've never heard of such hallucinations as a side effect of anxiety attacks, so one of his other mental problems must be acting up too. He runs away. But where to hide. It has to be somewhere they can't find and bother him.

The executive squashroom and the key to it always glow in Doug's crazy mind. Inside there are executives playing racquetball and lounging around watching tv. Doug laments that he doesn't want to be an executive and imagines his future.

They're looking for him and he's hiding under his desk. They are not doing a very good job. He sneaks out of the office and starts old-man-running down the hall with them in pursuit. The host from the earlier fantasy shows up and mentions that Doug spent every day running from his employees.

After the fantasy, he's sitting in the squashroom drawing a picture of Mr. Shellacky, wondering what he really wanted to do with his life, and what he'd tell Mr. Shellacky, as if it actually matters if you don't have the career the guidance counselor's toaster said you should have. His drawing gives him an idea.

He comes out of the squashroom to the group and Mr. Bluff. Mr. Bluff is very disappointed and tries to fire him. Doug points out that he's just a kid and doesn't work there. Eat shit, Mr. Bluff. Anyway, Doug has made a decision. Finally. He has decided to put Chalky in charge of the project. They ask him what he's going to do and he shows them the drawing of Mr. Shellacky. So, he's going to take over as art director. Now the bookmarks will feature drawings of all the teachers at school. It's perfect. Well done, Doug. I'm glad he was actually able to work through his anxiety attack.

So the project went great and Mr. Shellacky called Doug at home that night to tell him that his computer made a mistake. He's not supposed to be an executive. If you're thinking he's going to say the computer mixed up Doug's results with Chalky's, like me, you're wrong. That would assume too much competence in a man wearing a sweater that says "HUG ME" while running around his office making rocket ship noises because of Doug's original test results.

No, Doug's new career, according to the computer is guidance counselor. Perfect. The computer recognized that Doug and Mr. Shellacky share certain psychotic tendencies. Well done.


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