Saturday, December 3, 2011

Episode 41, Part 1: Doug's Bum Rap

Doug has been called to Mr. Bone's office to discuss his last English test.

Naturally, Doug is wondering what they need to talk about. His first guess is that he failed. His first fantasy begins with Ms. Wingo busting out of the door with other unnamed people. They are members of the press.

"There he is, gentlemen; the boy who got the lowest test grade ever recorded!"

Doug is shocked to learn he scored a -60! He says that's impossible, but this is his fantasy, so...cameras flash and a voiceover, like a news reporter, announces that Doug, the stupidest boy in history, has been inducted into the Bluffington Hall of Losers.

I wish this wasn't something Doug just made up for the fantasy. This should really exist somewhere in the school. At least then Doug's fear of being added to it wouldn't be so absurd.

At the induction ceremony, Doug's parents are so embarrassed they put on disguises before sneaking away.

Presumably they chose these disguises to demonstrate why Doug is so stupid.

After that fantasy, Doug considers another possibility. He has another fantasy that starts the same way except Ms. Wingo says he scored the highest grade ever recorded. We don't see what that grade is, but the cameras start flashing anyway. As a prize for Doug's hard work and genius, Ms. Wingo gives him the collected works of William Shakespeare.

She says they think he could make some improvements.

I don't know which of these fantasies is more absurd.

Ms. Wingo comes out of the office and disrupts Doug's second fantasy to show him the test. He got a B. He's thrilled. Mr. Bone is pissed. He is convinced Doug cheated.

Doug's test is identical to Chalky's. Doug says, "Maybe it's a coincidence." Mr. Bone says he determined that's unlikely, after he compared their permanent records. Doug has a quick fantasy about this.

Doug's coat hanger solar system is falling apart. Chalky's solar system is remote controlled. Also, if this was Chalky's fantasy, "kindergarten" would be spelled correctly. Doug also visualizes their differences in third grade and present day. In third grade, Doug lost the spelling bee because he spelled bologna wrong. In third grade, Chalky won the spelling bee by spelling antidisestablishmentarianism correctly. In present day, Doug swings at a baseball, misses and falls on his ass. Chalky hits the ball to a ton of applause.

After the comparisons, Mr. Bone is yelling at Doug to confess to cheating. Doug doesn't, because he knows he didn't cheat. Ms. Wingo walks him out and says the guilty party has one day to confess. Otherwise both of them will have to do a retest on Saturday. Mr. Bone adds that the retest will be much more difficult. Doug sets out to talk to Chalky about it, because if Mr. Bone is only going to do half of his job, Doug might as well do the other half. He goes first to the school newspaper. Since Chalky is the editor, he should be there and they can talk.

He's not there. After explaining everything to Patti, she puts forth the idea that its just a coincidence. Al and Moo shut her down though. They've just calculated it somehow and found that the odds of them having that many answers the same are 1 in 2,070,095,908.2. They calculated that awfully fast. Did they get all the variables in there? Anyway, Doug comes to the logical conclusion that Chalky must have cheated. Patti tells him that Chalky must've left for track practice, where he is team captain.

At the track, Roger hassles Doug about the cheating. Roger is proud of Doug and says he's working on a plan that will allow Doug to help him cheat off Chalky too. Finally, Doug spots Chalky setting up for a race and runs over. He asks if they can talk, but Chalky points out that it's not a good time. Doug doesn't accept that and just runs along with him.

Doug doesn't get to bring up the test before he trips over the third hurdle. When he gets up, Chalky is gone. Coach Spitz (who rushed over worried that Doug had broken one of his precious hurdles (seriously, this man needs to be fired)) informs Doug that Chalky has gone to band practice, where he is first chair trumpet. Chalky can't even edit a newspaper without needing to run a race he can't finish because he needs to play some trumpet.

Doug catches up to him and asks again if they can talk. Chalky points out that he's busy, again, and starts playing trumpet. They're playing Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and Connie's stretching the limits of her talent and playing the cannon. She lights it and lets it blow (totally randomly, not in time with anything. She doesn't seem to know when she's supposed to be firing it). The noise of the cannon shocks Doug and distracts him long enough for Chalky to get away. Doug asks Connie where he might have gone and she tells him swim practice. Doug guesses that he's the captain of the team and Connie corrects him. Chalky is the entire team. Sad.

This is just desperate. And it doesn't work. By the time Doug gets out of the pool, Chalky has run off again. He has a quick fantasy about how he might actually get Chalky to sit still for a brief chat.

Doug runs up to Chalky in an empty plane. Chalky has a parachute on his back and is putting on a helmet. Doug handcuff's himself to Chalky, saying, "I'm not leaving your side until this is settled."

"Okay, but this is parachute club!"

In this fantasy, Doug would have wasted all the time it takes to take off and get to the right altitude, in the right location for parachuting so that he could finally approach Chalky at the worst possible moment. And then Chalky would have to kill both of them by jumping anyway.

Doug decides to wait until after school. He'll ambush Chalky as he's leaving. Unfortunately Roger shows up first.

He's come up with a stupidly complicated system of hat adjustments to spell out shit. This is how he plans to get Doug to help him cheat. He can't remember exactly how his system works, and Doug points out that Ms. Wingo would notice anyway. Roger didn't think of that.

While dealing with Roger, Doug fails to notice Chalky getting on his bike and speeding away. Doug tries to catch up to him, but he's just not going to be able to catch the star athlete. Doug finally realizes that Chalky is avoiding him. Doug is being a bit too dense here, isn't he?

Doug has another fantasy that focuses on how everybody thinks Chalky is Mr. Perfect. Chalky walks past the school and Patti says he's perfect in every way. Ms. Wingo says he's the best student there ever was. Then Chalky hops behind a tree to remove his disguise.

Yeah, he's just a big rat.

So, Doug just rides his bike over to Chalky's house. Chalky is outside throwing a football with his father. When he sees Doug ride up to his father, he quickly grabs Doug, taking him inside. He tells his dad they have to talk about something.

When they get in Chalky's room, Chalky immediately confesses that he cheated. Obviously. Leave it to the perfect kid who knows everything to suck at cheating. You don't copy everything exactly. That's too obvious, shithead. Doug asks him why and Chalky shows him his schedule.

Why is every football game ever the big game? I like that he had to give blood on Tuesday. He's not even old enough to give blood. What's next? Was his presidential campaign having a fundraiser in Iowa and he just didn't have time between the hand shaking and baby kissing to study for some stupid English test?

Doug tells him to confess to Ms. Wingo. He says he can't. He has to play in the big game on Saturday. If he has to take a retest, he won't be able to play and he'll be letting the whole school down. His father will be disappointed. Doug points out that the only way Chalky would get to play would be if he confessed. Chalky immediately takes this the wrong way, thinking Doug was volunteering to do such a thing. What a jerk.

Chalky starts begging him to take the blame. He reminds Doug of how he helped him with his science project, math homework and fitness test. I don't remember that. I only remember Patti helping him with his math homework. Anyway, Doug has a fantasy where he takes the blame.

He's tied up in the back of a cart being rolled to a public execution, probably a hanging or a beheading. He gets up to the executioner, who removes her mask.

"You have 30 minutes!"

After the fantasy, Doug agrees to confess to cheating. On the way out the door, Chalky's dad starts bragging about his son, saying it's so nice of him to take time out of his football practice to help someone with his homework. What a douche. He leads Doug into their stupid trophy room.

The left wall is actually Chalky's brother's shit. Chalky's shit is on the right and there's already way more than Doug's trophies and ribbons. Doug has what? The second place ribbon from the science fair and leftover "Pulverizers" bumper stickers.

Chalky's dad is pretty insufferable. He just keeps going on and on. He says it must be pretty inspiring to be around Chalky and calls him Mr. Perfect. That's when Doug finally says, "of course he's perfect. He cheats." And that's why Chalky finally confessed to his dad. Chalky ends up taking the retest and the football team plays without him. While Chalky is taking the test, Coach Spitz is in the room yelling at Ms. Wingo to let him play for one play because the team is getting killed. Maybe if their coach was actually coaching instead of worrying about one player, they wouldn't be in such bad shape.

At the game, Roger approaches Doug with a new system for cheating. He's got one mirror on his hat and another on his shoe.

Check out Doug's doppelganger! Roger doesn't get to explain this new system before Doug cuts him off and tells him that Chalky was the one that cheated. Roger runs off to see if Chalky wants to share the new cheating system. If only Roger spent as much time studying as he does thinking up new ways of cheating...

Everyone in this episode just sucks. Doug is too slow to pick up on the obvious. He already knows Chalky cheated. If coincidence is impossible, and Doug knows he didn't cheat off Chalky, then duh. Chalky is avoiding you because he knows he got you in trouble. You didn't need to follow him to band and swimming practice to figure that out. He abandoned track mid-race because you showed up. That's a red flag that's pretty hard to miss. Mr. Bone and Ms. Wingo suck. They only called Doug in to accuse him. If Chalky is so fucking perfect and Doug cheated off him, wouldn't they have both received A's? No, they got B's. That's a Doug grade on anything that isn't art class. Chalky's dad is a real dickhead. At the rate he's pushing Chalky to be the best at absolutely everything, Chalky will have a drug problem starting yesterday.

I guess it's a little hard to give Chalky shit for what he did. His situation is almost the opposite of Doug's, but the result is basically the same. Chalky's parents are pushing him too much and it's driving him crazy. Doug's parents are too wrapped up in recycling and department store photography to give a shit about Doug's life, and it's driving him crazy. They'll both end up being heavily medicated adults, but only Doug's will be legally obtained prescription drugs.


  1. The bit about Roger wearing mirrors on his shoes, seems to be a nod to "The Pee-Wee Herman Show" (the original version of "Pee-Wee's Playhouse"). In that 1981 HBO special, Pee-Wee would put mirrors on his shoes, and look up girls' skirts.

    Granted, the gag had been around for a long time, but I don't think it reached a whole new level of popularity, until such special aired.

  2. Yeah, that Pee-Wee special certainly did the trick!

  3. A slight correction on your analysis of Roger's "Cap Code": He didn't forget how his system worked so much as he didn't know how to spell "Boogerton." The show makes it pretty clear that Roger's horrible at spelling (he spelled Judy "Joodie" for chrissake!).

    Also, Chalky mentioning the "fitness test" is probably a nod to the Doug Pumps Up ep. Unfortunately, however, Chalky didn't actually "help" Doug during the test. He just mocked him for signing up and then competed with him in the sit-up competition.

    On a sidenote, hats off to the series for recognizing that, by the early/mid-90's, being in the School Marching Band wasn't really considered nerdy/geeky anymore. Hence, Chalky being in Band.

  4. No, he was spelling Boogerton correctly. He was having problems remembering which signals corresponded to which letters. He was apparently using his signal for Q instead of the signal for O and corrected himself. He spells out "booger" while struggling to remember the signals for the letters, and Doug interrupts him before he gets to the last three letters.

  5. One other thing about this ep: I would've liked to see Mr. Bone's reaction after Chalky confessed. Ditto to Mrs. Wingo's. But, instead, we were just shown Chalky retaking the test and Coach Spitz complaining. *Sigh*


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