Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Episode 34, Part 2: Doug's Monster Movie

Doug and Skeeter are making a monster movie. Right now they are destroying a model city with dirt and rocks. You might think this means they’re finishing up the movie, filling in the gaps for when their monster is attacking the city, but no. They haven’t even decided on a monster yet. Before they can finish this set of shots, Theda asks Doug to come help sort the recyclables. He tells her he’ll be there in a minute.
This is unacceptable. She tramples their set and demands they help her now. Doug tells us that she recently became a part time manager at the Déjà vu Recycling Center, and now it seems like trash is all she thinks about.

Doug and Skeeter are walking out of the house with what looks like a bumper from a car. It’s a weird thing for them to have lying around the house, waiting to be recycled. She tells them to put it in the et cetera pile. They throw it on the pile and accidentally catapult a green bust of Shakespeare into the air. It lands on Skeeter’s foot, giving him an idea.
Again, this is a weird thing to be recycling. This is the type of thing you donate to Goodwill so they can sell it for good money ($5.68) to someone who will realize their mistake immediately, but wait a year or so to donate it back to Goodwill. Skeeter suggests they use it as the monster. Doug envisions this…
…and rejects it because “Shakespeare would never do that.”
I am a little sad that Doug imagined the Shakespeare bust as a giant, green, evil Shakespeare. I’d have preferred it just be the green bust, floating around, shooting lasers out of its dead eyes.

Anyway, Doug sees a fishing pole in the et cetera pile and gets a better idea.
Flying alien shark dog. I’d watch that movie.

They start shooting the movie with Porkchop and Theda interrupts again, almost immediately. She walks into a shot to pet Porkchop and say how cute he looks. Also, she wants Doug and Skeeter to take something to Déjà vu for her. Really? What is so urgent that it needs to be taken over there right this instant? Doug says she doesn’t realize how important this movie is, and of course follows that with a fantasy.
Ooh, is this an awards show? That is important.
Oh, it’s the premiere! Shark Dog IV? Is Doug imagining he’s George Lucas here, or has he just skipped forward in his franchise to after the monster has been killed twice (the other time, the monster wasn’t really the monster and it actually saved the day), none of the original actors are still doing the movies, and the story is a mashup of the terrible ideas rejected from the first three movies?

The movie is actually pretty awesome. A giant flying alien shark dog is destroying the city when…
She walks in and pets the monster. She says it is cute. Doug turns to Skeeter and asks him why she wasn’t edited out. He says he couldn’t edit her out. She was in every shot. How is this something that fantasy-Doug didn’t notice? He didn’t help in editing? He didn’t even watch it until the premiere? This movie really is important!

Anyway, Doug decides the trip to Déjà vu isn’t going to be a total waste. He’s taped the camera to his helmet so he can get moving shots through downtown Bluffington. Unfortunately, Skeeter runs over some trash on the street and it flies up into Doug’s face.
You might think that Doug would simply stop his bike, or just grab the trash off his face so he can see. He doesn’t. He ends up hitting a bump, which causes a bean can to go flying out of his basket.
The bean can rolls into the painter’s ladder, knocking him down. His bucket of paint flies into the traffic light, covering it with red paint and causing a traffic jam.
The painter survived.

But try to make sense of this. Skeeter doesn’t have a basket on his bike and is clearly not carrying anything in his arms or in a backpack. Same for Doug, except he has the basket and the only thing in it was the bean can. So that’s what Theda needed them to take to Déjà vu? A fucking bean can. She couldn’t have tossed that in her car and taken it next time she went to work? No. It’s much more important that Doug go right this minute. Who cares how many painters have to die!?

At home, Doug and Skeeter are excited to check out the footage of the accident. They are disappointed when they see the lens was covered up by some trash. Doug says they can use the sound effects for when the monster is attacking. I guess that’s something.

Theda comes in asking what all the noise was. Doug explains it’s just the tape of the accident. She demands to know the details of the accident and Skeeter excitedly tells her everything.
She is completely horrified to find out that the streets of Bluffington are so overrun with trash, and completely unconcerned that her son almost accidentally killed a painter. She takes the video of the accident and goes straight to the town council meeting. Doug tries to stop her since their unfinished movie is on that tape and you can’t see the accident anyway, but she ignores him. Doug has a fantasy where he screens the movie for two critics that are parodies of Siskel and Ebert.
The movie is just a bunch of disconnected, unrelated shots. The critics are not amused. Doug tries to explain that he didn’t get to finish the movie, but Theda interrupts him and says it’s all about trash. The critics say it is a stinker.

At the town council meeting, Mayor Bob White is finishing up his speech begging you to vote for him. He asks if there are any questions and Theda says, “this town has a real problem with trash in the streets.”

“I’d like to go on record as saying that trash is not a problem here in Bluffington! Meeting’s adjourned. See ya soon. Vote for me.”
Theda starts talking about the accident when the painter stands up and says, “wait a minute. I saw it happen. A big old bean can nearly wiped out half of downtown.”

Mayor White quickly reverses his opinion and announces his new Beautify Bluffington campaign.

The next day Doug and Skeeter are working on the movie when they see the Beautify Bluffington campaign at work. A garbage truck pulls up, two garbage men hop off and put a bunch of signs in the yard, and the claw on the truck picks up one piece of paper off the sidewalk while the voice of Mayor White repeats “stash our trash” and “beautify Bluffington” over a loudspeaker.
That’s no recording of the mayor either. He’s actually riding in the truck to repeat that shit constantly. As mayor of Bluffington, it’s not like he has access to expensive high-tech sorcery like tape recorders. He can’t be Macauley Culkin with the Talkboy. That’s not in the city budget, now that he’s spent it all on yard signs for the Beautify Bluffington campaign.

Anyway, Theda is horrified that she may have created a monster. This gives Doug an idea and they start filming the Beautify Bluffington truck. They decide to premiere the movie at the next town council meeting. It was a simpler time. People didn’t have youtube or blogs where they could tell everyone what they were doing in their free time. People had to have weekly town council meetings to share that information.

At the meeting, Theda says she’d like to discuss the Beautify Bluffington campaign and Mayor White is excited about it. He points at a meaningless chart that he can’t explain before Theda says she thinks it’s all a big mess. “We don’t need a trash army. Everyone should just pitch in and do their part. Finally, Doug and Skeeter run in, shouting for the mayor.
They say they made a video about the campaign and want to show it. Mayor White says, “we don’t have time for a kiddy show. Wait…did you say a movie…of me, the mayor? And my big truck?” He puts on the movie, which starts with Doug saying, “what you are about to see is the mayor’s Beautify Bluffington campaign in action.”

It’s not so much a monster movie as it is a 45 second documentary. It’s just shots of trees and parks covered with fliers for the Beautify Bluffington. Every tree has at least two fliers on it. There are fliers stuck to a bird’s nest. Fliers are floating in the lake. My favorite is the shot of the duck with the flier stuck to its feet.
Why is it stuck to the duck’s feet?

The crowd at the meeting is horrified. Doug and Skeeter consider their monster movie a huge success.
Mr. Valentine stands up and says, “Mayor, your truck trashed our town!” Yes, Mr. Valentine. That’s what the video showed you. You didn’t notice it happening? There are fliers literally everywhere and you didn’t notice them at all until you saw the video? No one else in town recognized the problem either, apparently. Not even these people.
Why are these fliers so sticky?

Doug gets up to defend the mayor for some reason. He says, “it’s not all the mayor’s fault. He doesn’t know anything about trash. We need someone who knows about recycling. Like my mom.”

“Why, uh…well, I was just about to think of that myself! Congratulations! The job is yours.”

What job? There was no mention of a job. Theda’s suggestion was everyone pitching in and doing their part. I guess it’s now her job to get people to do that.

She turns to Doug and tells him she really liked his movie.
Skeeter gets no credit.

At the end, Doug sets up the camera to start a video journal, but Porkchop will have none of that.
This is a pretty weird episode. It doesn’t show how Doug is crazy as much as it shows how grossly incompetent his mother is, and he probably inherited many of his problems from her, especially his failures of logic. How did she get to be the manager of anything? It makes sense that a mayor as shitty as Bob White would hire someone as incompetent as Theda Funnie. If I lived in a town where this woman was going around making sure people recycled and didn’t litter, I would be doing the opposite just to spite her.

I am glad to see that Doug can be a little clever when he needs to be. He never had a trash problem. He had a Theda problem. She was trying to teach him about recycling at all the most annoying times. He had to get her off his back, so he made a very short video about trash and got her a government job where she has to go around annoying everyone else in town. She won’t have time to interrupt his movies anymore.

1 comment:

  1. Face it, Theda's a bitchy soccer mom!

    It was a simpler time. People didn’t have youtube or blogs where they could tell everyone what they were doing in their free time. People had to have weekly town council meetings to share that information.

    I was so active then! Kids today have it a little TOO easy, so get off my lawn or I'll report that online!

    Why is it stuck to the duck’s feet?

    Perhaps they used glue for those fliers (if not, I dunno). Use to be a thing for billposters to use glue in 'dem days!


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