Friday, July 29, 2011

Episode 32, Part 2: Doug Behind the Wheel

"I couldn't believe my luck! My sister Judy was taking the test for her driver's license on the same day I overheard..."

"Oh I wish you could go with us to the opening of Bumper Car Mania this weekend, Patti, but then I'd have to leave Smidgeon behind. She just loves bumper cars! D'ya hate me forever?"

Patti says it's alright. She'll find another way to get there. Doug quickly pops up and offers to...wait.

Smidgeon? Who the fuck is Smidgeon?

So Doug asks Patti if she'd like to go with him, since Judy is getting her license and will be more than thrilled to drive her little brother to where she can experience all the excitement of bumper cars. It's Bumper Car Mania! Finally opening!

Naturally, Patti says yes and Doug slips away into a fantasy.

A bit dressed up for bumper cars. You're going to get ass sweat and child urine all over your fancy clothes. That white dress will be ruined. Oh, nevermind.

That fancy limo Judy's driving is the bumper car. Bumper Car Mania is a high class sort of place.

At home, Doug is thinking about how he's going to bribe Judy into living up to the promise he made, but when she gets home she is evasive regarding his questions about the driving test.

She implies that she just didn't even take the test. She's an actor. She's above driving a car. She starts practicing another form of travel...

Fuck cars. Unicycles are more practical. As she's riding around the yard, blabbing about how stupid driving is, Porkchop notices there's a rollerskate from the 1930's in her path.

Saved by the dog. No one else noticed this, except Doug I guess since he included this important detail in his journal.

Because Doug keeps questioning her, she finally admits that she failed the test because "the instructor had no imagination."

"So what if my driving was a little...improvisational?" While she's saying this, Porkchop is testing the unicycle.

Doug isn't immediately amazed at his dog's ability here. He doesn't even seem to notice that it's happening. He's too caught up in his own head, where he has to find a way to make Judy get her license before tomorrow night. Suddenly, he has a brilliant plan.

Inside, Judy is lacing up some weird sort of rollerblades when Doug enters and asks if she'd like to challenge him and Porkchop to a game of Dino Drivers. She sees right through his brilliantly shitty plan and scoffs at the idea that a stupid game could teach her anything. She asks why he's so concerned with her ability to drive, and he lies, saying he wants her to have freedom. She says she has all the freedom she needs, as soon as the sun hits the solar powered skates Mr. Dink loaned her.

After she opens the curtains, the sun pours in onto the solar panels, and the skates shoot to life, rocketing Judy out of the house and into a world where solar power is the methamphetamine of energy sources. She crashes of course, and so it's back to Doug's plan.

She's wearing a wig and a band-aid; first to disguise herself so her friends don't recognize her, and second to cover up the massive head wound she got in the crash. I think she should show off the head wound, in case anyone questions her decision to practice driving on an arcade game called Dino Drivers II. They'll be confused at first, but they'll see the blood stained bandages and think it's a brilliant way to keep yourself awake because of the concussion.

Also, she demands to be called Violet.

At first, she sucks at the game. Her car explodes almost immediately. But according to Doug, after 35 games, she's finally getting the hang of it. Doug is watching with excitement and distracting her with advice.

"Just jump over the tar pit, and dodge the hot lava and you're home free!"

She crashes and finally starts coming to her senses...

"I don't see what dinosaurs have to do with driving. This game is very poorly conceived."

FINALLY! This certainly means Doug's dumbass arcade learning experiment is over...then Porkchop gives her another quarter, which he retrieved from the coin holder on his belt.

Doug starts thinking she's hopeless and imagines he'll get his license before her, after all, he does hold the 11th place score for Dino Drivers II. Fantasy time!

He's dodged the lava and is about to jump a 2 mile wide canyon.

The dinosaur was on the other side of the canyon. This is supposed to be a fantasy about Doug getting his license. These are the obstacles Doug will face as a driver. Doug is a modern day Don Quixote. The lava was just some children, the canyon was just some bad traffic, and the dinosaur was just a bank he crashed his car into.

At the end of the fantasy, when Doug pulls up at Bumper Car Mania, Patti hugs him and screams, "Oh, Doug! You're such a dino daredevil!"

And that fades out into an awkward public moment.

That guy with the necktie is probably the most confused.

Doug stops hugging Porkchop and throws him away when Patti calls out to him.

She asks how Judy's driving test went. He lies and says it went fine, so Patti asks if they're still on for tomorrow. Here's where Doug should've told the truth. I know he really wants to go, and he really doesn't want to be driven by his parents (who did at that age?), but still. Judy's doing terribly at Dino Drivers II and there's just no way she's going to get good enough to pass the test if she can't even beat the game...

So she finally gets to the end of the game and this is it? A game that combines dinosaurs and racing ends with a parallel parking challenge? Can cars in arcade racing games even go in reverse? I always just pushed the gas pedal all the way down and tried to avoid the walls. I wish there had been dinosaurs involved.

At this screen, Judy gets upset. Doug never said anything about parallel parking. He tries to tell her it's easy and she says, "I can't! That's the part of the test that I failed!"

WHAT!? They just spent about $10 so she could play this fucking game to learn how to drive and the only part she failed on the real test was parallel parking? These kids are fucking morons.

She tries to parallel park the dino car and fails. The game goes on to repeatedly call her a dino loser. Doug says, "maybe if Patti and I started now, we could peddle to Bumper Car Mania." And fantasy...

He starts apologizing to Patti, saying he's sure they'll get there before it closes, but right as he pulls up, the gates shut. He slams on the brakes and Patti and Porkchop go flying into the mud. Then Beebe pulls up and asks what happened. Patti says, "hey, Beebe. Can you give me a real ride home and save me from this loser!?

They laugh as the car speeds away and the fantasy ends.

At home, Doug is trying to convince Judy not to give up.

"I told you. I am an actress. Not a truck driver! An actress."
"But Judy..."

Doug gets another idea.

They're driving downtown and Doug keeps trying to be a director. He makes up a scene that requires Judy to parallel park, assuming that she'll just act it out. Judy keeps ignoring actual traffic laws to argue with Doug about his stupid plan. She runs stops signs, red lights, cuts people off, speeds, swerves the car; all because she keeps turning around to tell Doug how stupid he is. She finally snaps when Doug says he promised Patti she'd take them to Bumper Car Mania.

This is when she's come to a complete stop in the middle of an intersection, just so she could yell at Doug. That car next to her just pulled up and the driver said "why don't you learn how to drive, pal?" and Judy yells back, "WHY DON'T YOU LEARN TO CHILL OUT, JENNY TOMLINSON!?"

So yeah, apparently she knew that girl. Jenny Tomlinson gets embarrassed and drives away. It's kind of sad, in a way.

Judy starts backing up and yelling at Doug that she is not his personal chauffeur and he has no right to make promises for her. Without realizing it, she parallel parked.

Doug just had to get her to stop thinking about parallel parking so that she could actually do it. And so she passes her test, gets her license and starts driving everywhere. She takes Doug and Patti to Bumper Car Mania and fun is had by all.

Doug's idea of help sucks, especially since his motivation is entirely selfish. He needs her to be able to do something for him. He is never concerned about anything else. And he really doesn't actually need her to do it. I doubt that Patti would care if one of Doug's parents dropped them off at Bumper Car Mania. I guess this reveals that he thinks Judy is the least embarrassing member of his family, which is sad when you consider how much she hates herself, which is probably a result of how self-absorbed and pretentious she is.

Also, this whole thing happens because Doug is an eavesdropping creep.

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