Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Episode 47, Part 1: Doug's Treasure Hunt

This episode begins with an exciting excavation fantasy.

Doug has an Indiana Jones character that should be doing this, but he's not kicking someone's ass, so it's just a regular adventurer, as he calls him. He's found something and calls Dr. Skeetrich and Professor Porkchop over to investigate. They were just digging up some sort of ancient pottery, which Dr. Skeetrich promptly dropped and shattered. It's not as important as whatever Doug has just slammed his shovel into. The ground starts shaking and they run for their lives. What could it be?

A living dinosaur, of course. It was just taking a nap under Bluffington for the last 230 million years. Well rested, it is now starving for some human.

Anyway, in history class, they are studying the history of Bluffington by watching a film starring Beebe's dad Billy.

Billy skips a lot of boring history to get to the first man in recorded history to step foot on the land that is now Bluffington. That man was the great Thadeus Bluff. In 1639, old Thadeus Bluff stood on Pigeon Rock and said, "I claim this land in the name of the Bluff family."

I suppose the story goes that he accidentally killed 2/3 of the Bluff family by knocking them off Pigeon Rock, but I'm guessing the great family secret is that he murdered and ate them because he didn't have someone to pay to hunt for him. A man's gotta eat.

The whole history of the town is appropriately absurd. The town was founded so that people would be free to practice the piano in the manner of their choosing. The video shows people banging their heads on piano keys, or running and jumping on the keys, or dancing on the keys or hitting them with a hammer. They just wanted to play however they wanted, and apparently it was illegal to do it that way anywhere else. Or the town was founded by crazy people.

Thadeus Bluff considered himself the luckiest man on Earth, which is why he wasn't concerned when a black cat walked in front of him on Pigeon Rock, right before a piano fell on him. His grandson, Amos Bluff, built the first factory in Bluffington. It was the Good Luck Charm Factory, and it promptly exploded. Then a piano fell on Amos.

Amos' grandson, Rudolph Bluff, moved the town somewhere else and actually established it as Bluffingtown. He built the city hall and Bulls Eye Park, which he dedicated to Thadeus Bluff with a statue of his horrific death. The statue was unveiled and promptly destroyed by lightning. What's the point of all this? The point is that Beebe's family was and always will be the first family in Bluffington. Also, there's a class assignment. This week is "Bluffington Founders' Week" and they must team up and do a research project concerning some part of the town's history.

So Doug and Skeeter naturally team up and scoff at the other teams that rushed to the library to do their research. Doug has a better idea, and it involves digging.

Up at the foot of Pigeon Rock, Doug and Skeeter are digging and sifting through dirt and trying to make everything they find significant. Doug finds a small rock and hypothesizes that it might be a piece of a huge boulder broken by settlers during piano practice. Skeeter finds something he immediately assumes is an old piano key, but it is actually just a peanutty buddy stick. Porkchop rushes over to get their attention because he's actually found something real.

He points them to the hole Doug was digging in and Doug quickly finds a bone, but he's not at all thrilled about it. Skeeter says, "of course! Dogs are like bone magnets!" No, they aren't. Bones are like dog magnets, but bones are not naturally attracted to dogs. Dumbass Skeeter.

Doug looks into the hole and sees something more. Something big. He starts jabbing at it with his spade when Skeeter asks what it is. Doug says he doesn't know and asks for something bigger to dig with. Skeeter provides.

That doesn't look like a shovel. Doug tries and fails to dig with it. Then he looks at it.

Skeeter is really fucking dumb. Doug is too, but Skeeter is head astronaut here.

Before Doug can panic about the fact that they're trespassing, a security guard confronts them.

He's the Bluff's security guard and they are digging on Bluff land. Generously, he lets them go without calling the real cops.

They take the bone to Mr. Dink because he has a book called Chilton's Bone Finder. He says it's the best book on bones there is, or at least the most expensive. Mr. Dink is a sucker. Mr. Dink looks at the bone and guesses that it's "early pot roast." Doug compares the bone to a dinosaur in the book and jumps to the most awesome conclusion possible. It's a dinosaur bone.

Skeeter says, "maybe, sort of, I guess." Doug admits that it's not exactly the same, but maybe that's because they've discovered a whole new species. To be clear, he didn't flip through this book at all. He opened it right to a page about one dinosaur's foot and head, and now he thinks he might have discovered a new dinosaur because the bone he found isn't exactly the same as the one on that page in the book. SCIENCE! Naturally, he has a fantasy where he puts the bone at the end of the tail of the Funnie-Valentine-osaurus, completing the skeleton.

This is absolutely what we should be doing with dinosaur skeletons. Have them outside, towering over our homes. This is the least crazy, most awesome idea Doug has ever had. After the fantasy, Doug and Skeeter get excited about digging up the rest and run out of the house while Mr. Dink says "pot roast" again.

Mr. Bluff says he's impressed they came all the way over to ask for his permission to dig. Doug steps forward and asks, "then we can dig?"

"Absolutely not."

So Doug, Skeeter and Porkchop sit on their bikes watching the guard drive around the Bluff Estate in his golf cart. Skeeter says, "if there was just some way we could get over there."

Doug responds, "not 'over there.' Under there." He has a fantasy. They've been tunneling for what must have been years (though they haven't aged a day) and Doug asks Skeeter if they're almost there. Skeeter says he doesn't know. "According to this map, we should've gotten there already. Unless...uh oh." Realizing his mistake, he turns the map upside down and starts yelling for Doug to stop. It's too late. The Bluff mansion collapses into the tunnel.

No one is killed, but Mr. Bluff is pissed. And even in Doug's fantasies, Skeeter is incompetent. Doug says tunneling is out of the question, as if it was even an option for two 11 year old kids. There's an easier way anyway.

At school, they confront Beebe to beg her to help them. She says no at first, but they convince her by saying the dinosaur would be named after her if it is indeed a dinosaur. They suggest Beebedactyl and Beebesaurus before she settles on Beebe the Dinosaur.

Back on the Bluff Estate, Doug and Skeeter are having trouble remembering the spot to dig, and Beebe is having trouble keeping the bugs away. They find a spot and start digging only to be stopped immediately by the security guard. Beebe shuts him up and tells him to get her some bug spray. He leaves and Doug and Skeeter get back to digging.

They dig hole after hole after hole and find nothing. Beebe is pissed and reasons that they probably just found some old pot roast bone. Doug returns to the fantasy from the beginning, but instead of running from an enormous dinosaur...

What the hell, Doug?

After the fantasy, Beebe is chewing them out until the guard shows up with Mr. Bluff. Mr. Bluff is pissed. He shows them the new sign.

When he tries to jam it into the ground, it hits something. He tries again and again but it keeps hitting something. So now it's time for a real excavation. They don't find a dinosaur though. They actually find something even more significant.

Thadeus Bluff was not the first man here. Mr. Bluff says he has discovered the true prehistoric founder of Bluffington.

Mr. Bluff is dumb.

The skeleton ends up in the Bluff Museum, and it is named Bluffus Erectus. Mr. Bluff claims it is his earliest ancestor, because he is an idiotic windbag with a pointless sense of pride that would fall apart if he was forced to live in a town where people had lived before him or his family. GASP!

Doug and Skeeter get an A on their history project.

There's also a portrait of Bluffus Erectus recreating what he probably looked like while alive and it looks suspiciously like Mr. Dink. Mr. Dink walks over to the skeleton and starts trying to converse with it. He asks if the seat next to him is taken. Then says he looks familiar. Then he tries to figure out where he knows him from. Then he notices his watch has stopped.

So he asks the skeleton if he has the time. Then he says, "you sure I don't know you from somewhere?"

Mr. Dink is really, really dumb. And crazy as shit.

There's something wrong with Bluffington. Maybe it's something in the water. Maybe it's something in the air. Whatever it is, it makes everyone that lives there incredibly stupid. I would like to say it's always made people stupid, since the town was apparently founded on piano freedom, but that was only revealed in a film made in modern times. Modern people can't be trusted to understand the simplest of concepts like digging or how to know if the skeleton you are talking to is dead. Mr. Bluff clearly doesn't understand genealogy or much of anything else apparently, and he made the film. His crazy, possibly lead-poisoned brain can't be trusted to know the truth about the history of Bluffington. I don't know if this town is the entire cause for Doug's mental problems or if it's just exacerbating existing problems, but the thought that he might move away at some point gives me hope that he might live a more normal life where he is not drinking water poisoned by psychotropic substances that make him see people in funny colors and frequently have paranoid delusions and hallucinations.

1 comment:

  1. I think the opening fantasy is meant to pay hommage to Jurassic Park. Even Doug couldn't escape all the JP hysteria that was sweeping the nation in '93.

    I wonder how Mr. Bluff's electricity still managed to run when his mansion collapsed in Doug's fantasy...


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.