Monday, September 26, 2011

Episode 36, Part 1: Doug Inc.

Doug is watching a show on tv about the Sidewalk Surfer. It's a show about a guy on a skateboard being chased by a guy in a van. I suppose the van is having transmission problems, because he can't seem to catch the Sidewalk Surfer. Lucky for him, the Sidewalk Surfer sidewalk surfs off a cliff because the bridge is out.

The show freezes here and a voiceover does that "will the Sidewalk Surfer survive? Find out after these commercial messages" thing that should be brought back into certain tv shows. Maybe the Sidewalk Surfer won't survive. I don't know. This show might not even be about him. It could be about the guy in the van trying to kill him. We'll never know.

Anyway, the first commercial is for that skateboard the Sidewalk Surfer is riding and Doug wants it more than anything in the whole world. Even Porkchop wants it, and as the commercial helpfully points out...

So it's done then. Doug and Porkchop will get Smash O skateboards, say things like "gnarly" and be sidewalk surfers. The commercial ends by telling you the phone number you need to call to order one. Porkchop grabs the phone and dials the number for Doug. After hearing the price, Doug informs the nice person on the other end of the line that he only wants one skateboard. Unfortunately, the price quoted was for one skateboard. Doug's out of luck here. First he tries begging.

Phil says they can't just give him that much money and Theda tells him to just keep saving his money.

Porkchop, acting as Doug's accountant, crunches the numbers, and at Doug's current rate of allowance, he'll have saved up enough money after 20 years. I don't know if this really is the most unreasonably expensive skateboard ever, or Doug's allowance really is that low, or if the dog's accounting is that shitty. I'm inclined to believe that Porkchop is perhaps not the best accountant.

Next door, Mr. Dink is mowing his lawn with his new, coffee-powered mower. He mocks Doug for doing it the old fashioned way, and then his mower falls apart because it's a mower that runs on coffee.  He asks Doug to finish mowing his lawn and pays him for it.

Probably just knocked a year off Porkchop's numbers.

Obviously, Doug realizes he can make more money by mowing more lawns. He mows some woman's lawn and has a fantasy about having the skateboard. He's skating and flying around the mall on his new skateboard.

He zipped past the flower shop, stealing some flowers for the girls. He flies around the mall a little more, attracting a crowd and wooing Patti, before flying out the door. It seems like the end of the fantasy, but then it just keeps going. He speeds past a couple of bikers before speeding past these guys...

He rolls across the finish line way before the people driving racecars. Then an airplane is taking off. Doug catches up and hits a ramp.

Take that, Wright Brothers!

After the fantasy, Doug goes to the bank thinking he could put the money he has in the bank where it could earn a lot of interest. While he's realizing that idea would take way too long, Beebe's dad comes out of the bank.

Realizing that Mr. Bluff is a successful businessman, Doug asks him for some free advice. Mr. Bluff tells him about his first business making bumper stickers by himself. He quickly realized that he was rich and then just hired some suckers to make the stickers for him. Doug gets the point and hires Skeeter.

Of course. Together they find and hire Al and Moo, who are running a failing roadside lemonade stand.

They all get to work and Doug starts collecting the money. He's getting so close he can see it...

That cloud pops pretty quickly though...

How did he forget this part? Porkchop demands to be payed too. He's left with very little money after paying his employees and decides he needs to find a way to make money faster.

It's good that he has that book. The book tells him to expand his market. Simple enough. Doug explains to the guys that they need to get more customers. They go to the mall to hand out business cards.

Now how much did those cards cost Doug? I understand that sometimes you have to spend money to make money, but how can you expect to make any money when your business cards don't have contact information on them? Oh, Doug...

It does work though, of course. They get more customers and the money just piles up. Doug keeps it in a small chest, and that quickly overflows and he has trouble shutting it. He tells the guys they're doing good, and then has a fantasy about the business continuing to expand at the current rate.

I like that Doug plans to change the name so it keeps track of how many guys work for the company. This company and its 2500 employees now have clients all around the world. Skeeter has to take the jet to take care of the raja and the emperor. They are the best landscapers in the world. Beebe is Doug's secretary. The fantasy ends with him trying to figure out what he should ride to lunch.

When did Doug become so obsessed with skateboards?

After the fantasy, Phil asks them if they want to go to the park to play a little baseball, but Doug says they have to work. The guys are very disappointed. They get the work finished, but the guys are clearly less enthusiastic about the whole thing. Doug becomes more single-minded, thinking only about work.

The next day, Doug has a new plan.

The plan can best be described as gibberish. The guys are completely confused by Doug's scribbles and nonsense direction. They get started and it's a terrible disaster. Skeeter starts off mowing the lawn Moo is supposed to be mowing, as if it matters, and Doug tells him to mow this other lawn. He tells Moo to go left. He tells Porkchop to bag some grass. He does all this while standing in the middle of the road with a megaphone.

Doug is a shitty boss and a road hazard. The whole situation gets worse until they all run straight at Doug.

How did this happen?

At the end of the day, he pays them and they pass out on the lawn while Doug tells them he's going to draw work maps for them for tomorrow. Al or Moo says that he thinks Doug has been replaced by an evil alien clone and Skeeter wishes they could just have the old Doug back. That gives Porkchop an idea.

Apparently at Porkchop's suggestion, they have unionized and this is how they plan to get the old Doug back. I like Porkchop's sign the most. No bones? Yeah, that'll show Doug.

Before Doug saw the protest, he figured out they just need to mow 7 more lawns for him to get the skateboard. He was coming out of the garage to tell them when he discovered that his friends think he's a slave-driver. Doug decides to do the work himself. And he does get the work done. Finally, he has all the money he needs and he goes to the mall to get the skateboard. But looking through the window at the skateboard, it doesn't feel right. He's not happy.

I wouldn't be happy if I was being chased by clouds reminding me that I'd been a dick to my friends either. Mr. Bluff walks by calling him Dirk and asking about the business. Doug asks what he would do if his friends worked for him and went on strike because they were mad at him. Mr. Bluff tells him to dump them. "You can always get new friends but a good business is hard to come by." Instead of asking, "yeah, but what should I, a human being, do?" Doug says that he likes the friends he's got. Mr. Bluff expands his point a little, saying that people are either your friends or your employees. That makes more sense to Doug and he shoves his money back into his pocket.

Back at home, Doug has called a company meeting. Skeeter tries to explain about the strike but Doug says he doesn't want an explanation. He finally reached his goal yesterday, and he wants to show them what he bought. Al or Moo says he doesn't want to see the stupid skateboard. Shut your face, Al or Moo!

Those are tickets to Funky Town. And hats. Yes, Funky Town!

This is what Doug spent his money on. So it was either a skateboard or 4 tickets to Funky Town, a theme park 13 years past its expiration date when this episode aired.

I can only assume Funky Town tickets are so expensive because of all the blow the owner and employees must still be doing. I never considered Lipps Inc.'s request to be taken to Funky Town as being terribly unreasonable. I was wrong.

And so that is how Doug didn't get the skateboard he wanted more than anything in the whole world. It's nice that he learned a lesson about treating his friends right, but maybe if he'd learned a lesson about patience, he could have had fun with his friends and bought the skateboard. It was because he became so impatient and obsessed that he became such a dick in the first place. If he had just taken his time and had fun with his friends, he would not have felt so guilty when he finally made enough money.

I was really hoping this whole situation would end with the IRS auditing Doug. In the end, he just didn't have to pay taxes, and we never found out what happened to the Sidewalk Surfer. I like to think that he plummeted to his death.


  1. It was Al who said "I don't wanna see his stupid skateboard!" Al's the one with the flowered-shirt, Moo's the one with the plain shirt.

  2. Thanks. I never bothered to learn the difference between them. They're always together and usually addressed together.

  3. First appearance of FUNKY TOWN!

    (just like saying that)


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