Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Episode 46, Part 1: Doug Runs

This episode begins with a conversation between Mayor White and his son Willy.

So yeah, apparently Roger's goon is the mayor's son. The mayor is struggling to finish a very simple crossword puzzle when Willy bursts in to tell him Mrs. Dink is running for mayor. Mayor White is unconcerned about this because it's just one of those election things they have every now and then where he's got to deal with that for about 2 weeks before returning to his job as the mayor. He also expresses great interest in Willy's political aspirations. He wants to know his son will be following in his footsteps. Once Willy understands the question, he says he does want to run for office. In fact, he was just nominated for something at school. Mayor White guesses president and vice-president before asking if he was nominated for treasurer. Willy thinks about it for a second and confirms that he has been nominated for class treasurer.

So Mayor White gets a brilliant idea and decides to put his election committee behind his son. He picks up the phone and expresses sorrow for the loser, and Willy reveals that the loser running against him is, of course, Doug.

Across town, in a scene that Doug didn't entirely make up to write down in his journal, Doug and Skeeter are making campaign posters. I love how angry Skeeter looks. To us, Doug says he can't believe he'd be considered to replace former class treasurer Billy Gunther. Billy Gunther moved away. Also, who is Billy Gunther?

Anyway, Doug and Skeeter are working in silence when Doug has his first fantasy.

The fantasy begins with Chalky, Skeeter, and Patti putting change into a broken vending machine. They each put in a quarter, and when their shared item fails to drop, and the coin return fails to work, they start kicking the machine and complaining. Patti calls out to the class treasurer for help!

If Doug thinks this is what the class treasurer does, he's going to be extremely disappointed. Dressed in his class treasurer uniform, tall muscular Doug checks the machine and simply pulls change from his belt and gives Chalky about 9 or 10 coins to replace the 3 quarters they lost. They were probably just smaller denominations than the original coins, but I wouldn't be surprised if Doug just gave them too much refund.

He's earned the right to strut down the hall, being cheered on by all the socially inept kids and the Team YO guy. As the fantasy ends, Doug is examining his latest campaign poster.

Don't make promises you can't keep, Doug.

Doug also lets us know that Skeeter is his campaign manager. Skeeter shows his latest poster and it simply says, "Doug can count, so count on Doug for treasurer." Not bad, I suppose. At least he's remembered what he was making a poster for. I was legitimately surprised it didn't end up being a Silver Skeeter poster, or a bullfrog eating pancakes with mustard, or some other bullshit nonsense.

Anyway, Doug and Skeeter look at the 10 posters they have made and consider the idea that they've overdone it. Skeeter says they'll put up a few, see how many Willy's put up, then even it out. I've seen a lot of tv shows and movies about school elections and Doug and Skeeter are the most realistic. Even with all his excitement and delusions about the whole thing, Doug still realizes 10 posters is bordering on ridiculous for a middle school election. Unfortunately...

Willy's campaign is going nuts. A plane flies through the sky with a banner that says "Willie White for Treasurer." They can't even be bothered to spell check his name. Mayor White shoves Willy up to the microphone where he delivers the following speech; "Fellow students...d'I would just like to conclude with this thought: duuuh...oh yeah! If I'm elected treasurer, I will...duuuh, be the treasurer, I guess." Mayor White shoves him out of the way and invites everyone to enjoy some cake and ice cream over at the "Vote for Willy" campaign bus.

I suppose cake and ice cream makes up for the total lack of competence involved in this campaign. They've got the candidate's name spelled wrong, the candidate is a moron, and they've ironically spent too much money for a middle school campaign for a treasury position. If it weren't for the cake and ice cream, everyone might look at the campaign bus and think a kid that spent so much so needlessly probably isn't the best candidate to put in charge of a position that even knows what money is.

So anyway, Chalky and Beebe fill Doug in on the details about Mayor White helping out Willy's campaign and Doug starts to worry.

Later, Doug watches a brief interview with Mayor White where an old school press guy says, "I understand your son's campaign is important, Mayor, but the citizens of Bluffington are wondering about your own campaign against Tippy Dink."

"Tippy Dink? Tippy Dink-who is what I say! I've got more important things to worry about. Here, have a vote for Willy button! He's my son!"

So then the news goes to find out who Tippy Dink is. There's a clip of her saying she's served on the city council for years and the mayor has never payed attention to the council's efforts to improve the streets and highways. Then there's a clip of the mayor responding to that by saying roads aren't his job. His job is "to sit in that big old chair and be the mayor." He pulls Willy onscreen for one more unnecessary plug for a middle school campaign.

All of this is very discouraging to Doug. Doug considers giving up but Patti and Chalky protest. Doug says it's just class treasurer. It's not like he's running for mayor or something. How is Doug the only one that realizes how pointless a middle school class treasurer is? Skeeter runs into the room with a box full of new campaign shit.

Well done, Skeeter. Predictably, Doug asks about this Dan Freebird guy and Skeeter says it's his uncle. Dan Freebird ran for city treasurer last year and lost, so all this shit is free. When Skeeter points out they have the same initials, Doug just groans his disapproval.

The next day at school, Doug plans to tell Willy he's dropping out of the race. Before he gets the chance to drop out, Mr. Bone stops his morning announcements for a paid political announcement.

A voice-over reads, "When you think of your class treasurer, don't you want someone you can trust? One of your candidates may have stolen money from his classmates."

"Willy White loves this school and has never been caught stealing. One of your candidates may have cheated on his math tests. Willy White believes mathematics is very important. Vote Willy White, Class Treasurer. A candidate you can trust."

After class, Doug confronts Willy about the commercial. Willy says he never said Doug did those things. The mayor quickly intervenes and says mudslinging will get you nowhere. The crowd agrees and somehow thinks Doug looks bad. So Mayor White gets Willy to stand on a small platform and make campaign promises.

He can't think of any on his own, so the mayor whispers them into his ear. Candy in the vending machine will be 5 cents cheaper and sodas will be 10 cents cheaper. Doug panics and says if he's elected treasurer, candy and soda will be free.

Being carried away makes Doug feel great. Of course, this causes him to have a fantasy about his surprise victory.

The press is there in this arena full of Doug supporters holding "free candy and soda" signs while Doug throws out the candy and soda. Someone shoves a stack of paper in Doug's face and tells him to sign it. He thinks it's for an autograph (because I hear the class treasurer's autograph is going for like...$100 on ebay), but then the guy informs him it's his bill from Poopsi Cola and Candy Company.

What an insane amount of candy and cola. Also, I would have to vote for a guy who promised free candy and cola from a company that wasn't named Poopsi. Maybe Caca Cola. (Sorry.)

After the fantasy, everyone is in love with Doug. They're just so sure he can keep his promise. Doug tells Skeeter he can't keep the promise, and then even Willy tells Doug he's got his vote. So Doug can't stop thinking about his false promise.

After school he stops by the Dinks' house to get some advice from Tippy.

Tippy tells him he shouldn't make promises he can't keep. She says she's only promised to improve the city streets if she's elected mayor. Doug says he can't promise anything like that since he's only running for class treasurer and she tells him he needs to find out just what a class treasurer does. He probably should've done that before running for the job, but whatever. The next day at school, they have an assembly for the candidates to give one last campaign speech.

Doug tells everyone he made a promise he can't keep. He can't give them free candy and soda. What he can do is get the vending machines fixed so they will stop stealing your money. If it still steals your money, go see Doug and he will get a refund for you. No one in the audience gives a shit about any of that except Skeeter. They wanted free candy and soda and now they'd only get working vending machines. What a rip-off.

Later that night, Patti, Skeeter, and Chalky are watching the election results with the Funnie family when we learn that Mrs. Dink's first name is actually Tippingdale. Also, she's the new mayor of Bluffington. It was a landslide.

Mr. White blames his defeat on the amount of time spent on his son's campaign for class treasurer. Also, Willy lost his campaign for school treasurer. The winner was Dan Freebird.

Well done, campaign manager Skeeter Valentine.

I think it's time we start to consider the idea that Doug goes to a school for special needs kids. It was Doug and Willy's turn to be nominated for something. Next week, Boomer and Chalky will face off in an election for class comptroller. That election will be won by Beebe's dead aunt.

We also have to consider the idea that Willy really isn't as dumb as Doug says he is. His first speech where he begins with his conclusion and says he'll be the class treasurer if he's elected class treasurer sounds exactly like someone trying to mock another person for being stupid. Maybe his speech wasn't brilliant, but it was probably more than Doug cared to remember when he complained about it in his journal later.

3 comments:

  1. It was established as early as "Doug Bags a Neematoad" that Willy is the Mayor's son. If you look carefully at the intro of the Welcome to Bluffington video, you can see a picture of Willy on the Mayor's desk.

    Also, this is the last time Mrs. Dink is heard from. She's not heard from again until the Disney series (and by that time, she was now wearing a business suit), and as far as the original series is concerned, Mr. Dink is heard from one last time in the Christmas special.

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  2. Mr. Dink was also in Doug's Treasure Hunt and Doug Ripped Off. Also, Tippy is referenced in the Christmas episode.

    Ahhhhh, the classic "Kid Goes Up Against A Ridiculously Overblown Rival Campaign In A School Election" trope. A staple of just about any 90's kid show (it was also used on Nickelodeon's own The Secret World Of Alex Mack). I remember watching this episode and wishing we could've seen Mayor White's face/reaction after discovering that his son lost the election, in spite of ridiculous amount of effort put into his campaign. But alas, the writers omitted that important detail and instead just cut to the mayor crying in front of his Willy For Treasurer bus.

    Also, even as a kid, I thought the "twist ending" with Dan Freebird being elected was lame.

    A pretty dumb episode overall.

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  3. It was a dumb episode. It sorta made my high school electron campaign seem pathetic!

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