Sunday, April 22, 2012

Episode 49: Doug's Christmas Story

This episode is bonkers. A couple of days before Christmas, the kids of Bluffington are having fun on a frozen Lucky Duck Lake. Some people are just skating around, but most of them are playing hockey with a pine cone.

A real puck is the cheapest part of playing hockey, but they've all got skates and sticks. Anyone got a few dollars to get a real puck? Fuck that, a pine tree just dropped something we can use. It's not the same shape or weight, but whatever. Doug and Skeeter don't have real sticks either. Skeeter has a broom, and Doug has a rake. I assume Doug brought the pine cone, and everyone is going along with it so they don't hurt the poor kid's feelings.

Anyway, Porkchop dives for the pine cone and slides out to the thin ice sign.

Who put that sign there and how? The ice starts cracking as soon as Porkchop gets near the sign and he runs away as fast as he can. Because even if can't actually read English, he can see the ice is breaking apart. Once he's out of harm's way, the ice around the sign breaks enough for the sign to sink into the water.

The pine cone slides out to the broken ice and Beebe skates out there to get it. Porkchop sees her and sees the ice cracking further and rushes to stop her.

She tells him to get out of the way. "I'm busy." Too busy to look 10 feet in front of herself, apparently. So what's a dog to do? With the ice starting to crack around her, Porkchop bites her leg and drags her to safety.

She's screaming in agony the whole time, which means she's just not going to notice the enormous cracks in the ice. Everyone gathers around her to see if she's okay. Doug rushes up and asks what happened. Connie tells him that Porkchop attacked Beebe. Chalky says he saw the whole thing, and that Porkchop came up behind her and bit her, indicating that he did not, in fact, see the whole thing. No one even sees the big hole developing in the thin ice. Doug scolds Porkchop.

At home, Doug is telling Porkchop he's not supposed to bite people, "even if it is Beebe." Porkchop acts out the whole thing, because he can't speak, but he can skate around and recreate past events as one man shows.

Doug doesn't understand. He tells Porkchop this is no time for clowning around, and then orders him into his igloo. To think about what he did, of course. Doug leaves with Judy to do some last minute Christmas shopping.

And now we finally get to see what Bob White has been doing since he lost the election to Mrs. Dink.

He's a radio host. The first thing we hear is perfect. "And here's my secret: just make sure you marinate the cocktail weenies in grape jelly first." Anyone want to try this? Let me know how it goes.

The next caller asks if he's heard about the little girl being attacked by a dog. He jumps up, shocked. It's time for action.

At the mall, Judy is ignoring Doug's thoughts about how he shouldn't have yelled at Porkchop and saying the store doesn't have any 9 irons like their dad wanted.

She suggests they just get him three 3 irons. Because golf is too baffling for a high school girl to understand. Doug ignores her suggestion and gets excited about a hat he wants to get for Porkchop.

If Doug's imagination is correct, this hat will be too cute to not buy. Also, it's strangely convenient that this sporting goods store sells hats for dogs. Hmmm. Meanwhile, Judy has decided that it will be cheaper to get a 2 and a 7 iron. Good work, idiot.

On the way home, Doug's looking at the hat and says, "I hope he doesn't already have one." Then he notices the large crowd outside their house. There's police and press vehicles. He shoves his way through the crowd to see this.

It's what they do to dogs that attack people. The former mayor walks up and announces that kids are now safe from this brutal, trained killing machine. Porkchop is taken away.

Inside, Doug asks if they can really put Porkchop away for good. Phil says, "I wouldn't worry about it too much, son. This time of year everyone's thinking about peace on Earth and good will towards...dogs." The doorbell rings and Doug gets a letter.

It's from Mr. Bluff's lawyer. They are pressing charges against Porkchop. Doug says, "this is crazy. Everybody knows Porkchop's a nice dog." This gives Phil an idea; get everybody to say what a nice dog Porkchop is. Theda suggests they circulate a petition. Doug thanks them for the idea, but insists he do it himself, because Porkchop is his best friend and having help with things is something sane people want. Also, how many signatures would it take to save a criminal? This is crazy busy-work Phil and Theda have put on Doug. They probably know Mr. Bluff won't give a shit about Porkchop's nice history. All he knows is that Porkchop apparently attacked his daughter.

So, Doug starts going door-to-door to collect signatures. Mr. Dink is happy to sign, and says Mrs. Dink would be happy to sign too, if she was in town. Then everyone starts refusing to sign.

People are really shitty. The guy above starts to sign, but his wife points out that it's the dog from the news and he changes his mind. Another woman tells Doug this is no time for petitions; he should wait until after the holidays.

In one of the old standard movie/television cliches, Doug walks by an appliance store and catches a little bit of relevant information on the tv in the window. The local news is talking about the accident and shows their re-enactment of the vicious attack.

Doug is outraged. He finally decides to talk to Beebe, so he runs to the hospital. Mr. Bluff refuses to let him see her though. Doug tries to tell Mr. Bluff that Porkchop didn't mean to hurt her, that he was just playing with her or something, but he won't hear it. They'll let the court decide whether putting an innocent girl in the hospital is "just playing with her" or not. Furthermore, he just doesn't like dogs. "They don't have any money. They don't even know what money is!" Later, he will run for governor of Massachusetts.

Doug's interaction with Mr. Bluff makes him finally admit to himself that he needs help. He says he knows just who to turn to, and then we get a fantasy.

That's right. Doug has finally realized he needs help, and who better to help him than himself? Actually, three of himself. A dog is in trouble, and we need the suave spying of Smash Adams, the rough adventuring of Race Canyon, and the magic quailery of Quailman.

So Doug busts out a map of the pound and points out the entrances and guard locations, and the barbwire fence. He says the mission is to get Porkchop out and asks for ideas. Quailman says he'd fly in, use the Quail-eye to paralyze the guards and ask them to let Porkchop out. Doug says he can't fly. Race Canyon says he'd go in and start punching and kicking the guards. Doug says no. Of course. Smash Adams says he'll need some high tech gadgetry, and asks if he knows any inventors. So that is how Doug decided to go to Al and Moo.

They've used the holiday break, and their father's bakery, to develop many devices that combine the delicious flavor of holiday baked goods with state-of-the-art weapons technology. Doug says he doesn't want to hurt anybody, just make a clean getaway. So all they have for that is the cupcake you see in the picture above. It's actually a smoke-bomb. Remove the cherry to set it off.

Doug and Skeeter go to the city pound and run into the most peculiar obstacle. Apparently the pound has a very strict "no cupcakes" policy. There's a large sign stating this right behind the guard at the reception desk. As a part of the plan, Skeeter starts screaming in agony, claiming to be sick. He starts clutching at his stomach and rolling around the floor. Doug sneaks into the backroom as the guard is distracted by the telephone. The guard completely ignores Skeeter.

In the backroom, Doug starts calling out for Porkchop, but one of the other dogs points at a door labeled "VERY BAD DOGS." Thanks, helpful dog! If Doug can't save Porkchop, I hope he at least saves you! Out in the front, Skeeter fails to stop the guard from eating the cupcake.


In the back, Doug has walked down a spiral staircase to the dungeon full of very bad dogs, only to be directed to another doorway by another dog that happens to know where Porkchop is. Thanks, other dog!

Yes, he's in the "VERY VERY BAD DOGS" room. Doug enters to find a single cage, with one tiny window, lit with dull red lights. He immediately sets off an alarm and gets caught by a guard. Porkchop tears up and waves goodbye at him.

At home, Doug feels hopeless. He's staring at Porkchop's igloo trying to think of some way to save him.

Unfortunately, he can only think about various Christmases. First there's the one where he got Porkchop.

Cute as fuck. Next there's last Christmas, "when he gave me this journal."

FUCKING WHAT!? This entire show is based on the writings of a young boy who believes his dog gave him the journal he's writing in. I'm not sure what to make of this. It's just crazy that he believes this. I don't remember how old I was when I stopped believing in Santa Claus, but I never would have believed my dog bought something for me. I always thought it was weird to give dogs Christmas presents. They're dogs. They don't have Christmas. They don't even know what Christmas is.

Anyway, Doug imagines future Christmases.

I guess his big Christmas present this year will be a tombstone for Porkchop.

So now it's Christmas Eve and it's time for Porkchop's trial. This alleged dog attack is high priority for Bluffington. Who cares if it's Christmas Eve!? We've got a dog we've got to put on trial now! Mr. Bluff asks the judge to make it quick because he's missing his office Christmas party.

So they bring in Porkchop and the trial begins. They brought in a special dog psychologist to testify against Porkchop.

You can tell he's a dog psychologist and not a quack lunatic because he has bones sticking out of every available pocket. He says some crazy bullshit about Porkchop while Doug and Porkchop play charades. Doug finally figures out that Porkchop wants them to go to the lake. The prosecution calls their last witness.

Oh shit, she needs a wheelchair! Doug is surprised, and realizes for the first time that Beebe really was hurt. He revisits the fantasy with Quailman, Smash, and Race. Race now wants to plead guilty. Smash calls him crazy, and Quailman does nothing but loudly insist that Porkchop didn't do anything wrong. They argue until the voices in Doug's head get to be too much for him to take.

He yells, "quiet" and determines to deal with this himself.

After the fantasy, we join Beebe near the end of her testimony. She says Porkchop pulled her across the ice, and then tries to say it sounds worse than it really was. The prosecutor says, "no further questions," and Beebe tries to add that it really didn't hurt, but the prosecutor just says, "no further questions," louder. Doug asks if he gets to ask any questions, but Mr. Bluff says she's far too tired suffer any more torment from him and the dog. The judge calls her brave, there's some applause, and he announces that he's ready to render a verdict. So what we have here is a dog on trial, Doug is a lawyer (with three extra personalities arguing inside his head), and a complete disregard for the entire judicial process. Excellent. Doug starts to plead with the judge.

He asks if Porkchop gets to tell his side of the story. The judge points out that no one speaks dog, and everyone laughs. Doug says Porkchop has been trying to tell him something about the lake, and suggests they just go out there. The judge refuses. It's Christmas Eve, and they all have families waiting! This sets off one of the greatest courtroom speeches in film and television history.

"That's just what I've been trying to say! Porkchop is part of my family. Just as much as Beebe is to the Bluffs."
"But he's just a dog."
"Yes, but...but he's a part of our community too! Like everybody here! Well, maybe not the biggest part, but...I mean, isn't Christmas when we're supposed show how much we care about others? Show how much we care about everybody in the community? Mrs. Warts, when you went to Peakville to visit your Aunt Maxi, who babysat little Jimmy and Jeffy? Porkchop! And Mr. and Mrs. Larkin, when your house burned down, who was there the next morning with hammer and nails, and a big batch of cookies too? Porkchop!"

A woman chimes in saying, "he lent me twenty bucks!"
Another woman says, "he helped me fix my transmission!"
A bald man with a shitty comb-over says, "he saved my hair!"

Doug continues, "and Judge Peterson! Who was there after your daughter got in that accident? Who taught her to walk again?"

Judge Peterson says, "well...I helped a little."

So with as much insanity as he can force on a small town, Doug has convinced Judge Peterson to go out to Lucky Duck Lake. Out on the lake, Beebe is using crutches and trying to remember where she was when Porkchop bit her. Patti spots the pine cone they were using and Beebe starts to hobble over towards it. Porkchop starts to go nuts.

Why is Porkchop the only one that can see she's walking toward thin ice? She walks away and no one is watching her. Porkchop starts trying to chase after her and Mr. Bluff just assumes he wants to attack her. Luckily, she breaks through the ice.

Porkchop breaks free from the guards and dives into the water after her. No one else tries to help. It's thin ice. Only dogs can save drowning people surrounded by thin ice.

Everyone finally realizes that Porkchop was trying to save her. How many dumbass kids do you think froze to death in the waters of Lucky Duck Lake in the years before Porkchop moved to Bluffington? I bet it was a lot, but not quite enough to change the name to Kidsicle Lake.

So that's how Porkchop became a town hero. It wasn't when he taught a girl to walk again. No. He had to save Beebe twice to get the town's recognition. On Christmas Day, Beebe and her dad stop by the Funnie's to ask if there's anything they can do to thank Porkchop, and somehow he communicates the most insane idea ever.

Look at all those dogs that think they're people! Mr. Bluff organized a Christmas dinner for all the dogs in the pound, and Bob White used his radio show to find homes for them. So after Beebe, he also saved a bunch of dogs. What an amazing dog!

Like I said...bonkers. Would it be insensitive to suggest that Porkchop is not actually a dog, but Doug's mentally handicapped younger brother that the Funnie's make sleep in a dog house? Doug just thinks and writes about him as if he's a dog. Maybe he even behaves like a dog most of the time. In elementary school, I knew a girl that would bark and growl at people, and talk to her hotdogs at lunch. Maybe Phil and Theda are far worse parents than I've ever imagined. No, I've gone too far. I'm sorry.

But I don't know how to explain all the things Porkchop has apparently done for the town. If he really loaned $20 to someone, then Mr. Bluff's reasoning is shit. Porkchop knows what money is, and often has money to lend. Porkchop knows how to fix cars, build houses, bake cookies, babysit and teach people how to walk again! He's a miracle dog, or maybe Doug is actually doing all this stuff and crediting his dog for some crazy reason. It's possible to be crazy and the most awesome, helpful person alive. It probably helps to be crazy to be the most awesome, helpful person alive.

And crazy he remains. His idea of help is three alter egos. He rejected his family's help, and then turned to himself once he decided he needed help. It was an unnecessary step he took to asking Al and Moo for help. And their help led to a ridiculous plan that wouldn't have worked even if it was carried out by competent people.

The whole misunderstanding between Beebe and Porkchop is possible. It's entirely possible that Porkchop saved Beebe from falling through the ice. Dogs have saved people from worse situations. It's possible everyone thought he was just attacking her and went crazy about it. People get hysterical about less. People are idiots. But I'd guess that most of the rest of the story is embellishment because Doug doesn't simply write down the series of events. He makes it interesting.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Episode 48, Part 2: Doug's Babysitter

This episode begins with Doug looking at a travel brochure and saying, "it was going to be paradise!" There's even beach noises and cliche relaxing beach music to accompany his thoughts.

But he's not going. Phil and Theda won a week long cruise vacation. Doug is excited because they aren't getting a babysitter. It's just Doug and Judy for a week. His parents brought out the roll of paper so they could write down every possible number the kids might need.

You can't see it in this shot, but there's even numbers for the National Guard, the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. I don't know why they thought their kids might need those numbers, but crazy parents have to be prepared for any situation their crazy kids might encounter.

In the car outside, Phil is reassuring Theda that their kids are responsible enough to stay home alone for a week. Then they hear Judy scream, "gimme that," followed by a loud crash.

Their parents couldn't even turn on the car before they started fighting about what to watch on tv. Doug wants to watch Space Monkeys 2000. Judy wants to watch Shakespeare on Ice. Both of them are wrong. Porkchop helps Doug win temporarily. Doug throws the tv remote to Porkchop, who then sneaks under the couch and gives the remote back to Doug. Phil and Theda come in and end the fight by calling a babysitter.

This is Mrs. Stinson, and I'm hoping at this point that this episode will be a tribute to Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. "Stinson" is close enough to "Sturak," but unfortunately Mrs. Stinson doesn't die like Mrs. Sturak. Instead she sings. She pulls out her bag and starts singing a song about all the rules while pulling large things out of the bag. It's like Mary Poppins if Mary Poppins was a bitch with a bunch of pointless shitty rules. Always do your chores. Animals live outdoors. There's a contract they have to fill out if they want to go anywhere. No Shakespeare. She chains up the refrigerator. No telephone calling. No comic books. No crazy outfits. No sunglasses for Judy. And dinner is nothing but prunes. I really wish she'd just die. She doesn't, and to prove she just sucks more, her animal is allowed to live indoors.

Yeah, so she literally kicks Porkchop out of the house, but her parrot Sunflower gets free reign of the house. I cannot say enough how disappointed I am that this woman lives through this episode. Look at the clothes she makes them wear in accordance with the rule that says "no crazy outfits.

Because a purple dress and a green vest are just too crazy, they have to dress like Mennonites for the week.

Obviously Doug and Judy do not like their new prune diet either. Who would? To prove how old she is, Mrs. Stinson points out that they're good for your digestive system. Only a really fucking old person would forget that kids typically don't have problems making shit exit their bodies. You have to be so old that you've forgotten there was ever a time you were able to poop unassisted. So that's where we are. Dinner is prunes, and she refuses to let them talk during dinner. She's knitting something, probably something uncomfortable, and Doug deliberately and obviously knocks her ball of yarn onto the floor. He does it to distract her long enough to pour his plate of prunes into the front pocket of his coat. He shows off his clean plate and is allowed to leave to work on his homework.

An hour later, Porkchop is sneaking back up to the house with peanutty buddies, but Mrs. Stinson will not be fooled. She's got infrared goggles.

Seconds later, Porkchop is snagged in a rope trap and hanging upside down. Spotlights have turned on and the whole operation is blown. When did Mrs. Stinson have this elaborate, ridiculous security system installed? How much are the Funnies paying this woman? Are Bluffington merchants just cool with selling things to animals?

Doug says this is the worst week of his life. This is arguably true, but here's a small ray of hope for the episode.

Yes, let us see how Quailman would handle this situation! Doug starts to fantasize, and his drawing moves, but Sunflower squawks and announces that Doug is not doing his homework. Mrs. Stinson quickly rushes upstairs to confiscate the drawing. Why didn't Doug lie and say it was for his art class? Mrs. Stinson says her late husband always said that rules weren't made to be broken. Such a pointless, annoying thing to say. I'd just counter that by saying, "in the Funnie house, it's a rule that you aren't allowed to be an unreasonable, out-of-touch bitch, but that's not stopping you, is it?" What's she going to do to make his situation worse? There's no incentive to follow the rules because following them is as bad as being punished for breaking them. I just wish Doug realized that.

At school the next day, Doug starts drooling at Mr. Bone's morning announcement when he mentions the lunch special: cream bologna burritos. The whole class groans with disgust, but Doug drools.

Mr. Bone reminds everyone that tickets are still available for the Civic Awards Ceremony where he'll be receiving the Disciplinarian of the Year award. I can't believe tickets are still available...

At lunch, Doug starts asking for a lot of everything. Skeeter is shocked to see someone so excited about school food. Before he can get his food from the lunch-lady, Mrs. Stinson intervenes.

She's brought him a lunch and embarrassed him in front of everyone.

At home that night, Doug and Judy are back in their Mennonite costumes and Mrs. Stinson is rewarding them. They've finished their homework, so they get to watch 30 minutes of television. She gets to choose what they watch though and she picks her favorite show: Top Prison Guards. Why would this be a show? I guess it would be the same sort of prolonged, repetitive, unnecessary documentary bullshit like Deadliest Catch or Ice Road Truckers. The sea was unruly; some crabs are caught. The ice road was icy; a trucker manages to deliver anyway. The prisoners are mean criminals; the guards respond in kind. Does anyone care? Apparently, yes.

Judy doesn't care though. She immediately excuses herself and says she's going to bed. Doug points out that it's only 7:30 and she snaps at him to shut up before composing herself saying "early to bed, early to rise." Mrs. Stinson calls her sensible and tells Doug he could learn a lot from her. Doug realizes she's right and goes upstairs to find Judy climbing out her window.

Doug wants to come too but Judy makes him stay to distract Mrs. Stinson. Doug asks her to at least bring him a cheeseburger, and she agrees. Sunflower is in the room the whole time, but for some reason doesn't report them. Mrs. Stinson finally finds out Judy is gone when she brings them some buttermilk and cod liver oil. Again, so fucking old she forgot what not being old as shit is like. Doug is unable to stop her from entering Judy's room. Finally Sunflower whispers in her ear to tell her where Judy is.

Why is the bird whispering? This is ridiculous insanity, and I don't know if Doug's making it all up or if this crazy old woman really has a bird whispering in her ear. I think what happened, and this isn't really clear, is that Sunflower actually followed Judy to find out where she went. It's the only reason I can assume for why she wasn't immediately ratted out, and the only reason Mrs. Stinson knew Judy was at a movie theater.

There's something weird about Judy's movie experience too. She's watching a black and white Italian film in a sold out theater. It's a small theater, but there's no way any small town in America is going to pack a theater during the middle of the week for a black and white Italian film. Anyway, the movie stops and the lights come on and one of the theater employees ask if Judy is in there. She is embarrassed, and instead of saying, "nope, that's not me," she goes. The cops bring her home.

Because that's what the police are for.

At home, Doug still asks about the cheeseburger, because he is an idiot. She accuses him of being a stool-pigeon, but Doug points out it was the parrot. Doug says they need to work together to get out of her clutches. Judy says that woman needs to get a life and that gives Doug an idea. Then there's a weird montage where Doug points out something in the newspaper, Judy grabs a feather boa, they paint Doug's fingers black, and they both take note of the time on the wristwatches they never wear except in that one shot in this episode. This plan is going to be brilliant.

Downstairs, Mrs. Stinson notices the house is awfully quiet and tells Sunflower she's going to do a perimeter check. Phase 1 of the plan is in effect. Phase 2 involves seducing the bird with a makeshift hand puppet made out of a feather boa and painted fingers.

This just has to work. Judy speaks for Doug's parrot-hand and calls Sunflower handsome. She asks if he's new around here and invites him over to see her some time. She just hangs out by this piano; never mind the open top. The sad thing about this pathetic plan is that it's working. Sunflower likes what he sees. The Doug/Judy-parrot drops the handkerchief into the piano and when Sunflower goes in to get it, Doug slams the piano top down. Sunflower is trapped. Doug and Judy stand up and Judy says, "you know what to do!" Doug responds, "meet at City Hall at 0800 hours!" They're saying this for Sunflower to hear.

Upstairs, Mrs. Stinson finally notices the rope of bedsheets leading out of Judy's window and assumes they've escaped together this time. She runs downstairs and finds Sunflower ruining the tuning of the Funnie's piano.

Sunflower tells her they were planning to meet at City Hall at 8 am. What could possibly be going on at City Hall at 8 am?

Oh, right. And actually, Doug and Judy are still in the house. How did they know she'd actually leave the house this time? Last time she just called the cops and they did all the work for her. What if she did that again?

At the awards show, Mr. Bone is speaking to a very bored audience of one. He's proudly accepting his award and giving his speech to someone that appears to be asleep, which only makes you wonder why that person is even there. Mrs. Stinson bursts in just as Mr. Bone is finishing his speech with "rules are not made to be broken." She claps and shouts "bravo" and "encore" and then tells Mr. Bone it was a beautiful speech.

So Doug's plan involved getting this old as shit woman to fall in love with the assistant principal of his school. It worked. At home, Mr. Bone and Mrs. Stinson are holding each other while Top Prison Guards comes on, and merely tell Doug and Judy to have fun when they say they are going to the Honkerburger. What a bizarre plan. I've never thought of Mr. Bone as being terribly old. I've assumed he was mid-40's like Principal Skinner. I don't know how old he's supposed to be, but I'd never guess he'd go for a woman as old as Mrs. Stinson. I understand the basic attraction through similar interests (being an authoritarian asshole), but there's a limit, and no amount of similarities would overshadow an age difference that included drinking buttermilk, taking cod liver oil, and eating prunes. It's possible they just became good friends immediately, but the way Doug describes it with the hand-holding and feeding each other definitely implies that Doug thinks they're going to be enjoying the fact that she's too old to have children. Or lamenting that fact. Either way, Doug thinks they're fucking.

But he's not really that crazy in this episode. Porkchop does some impossible things, but there's not really a whole fantasy in this episode at all. Doug starts to see his Quailman drawing move, but the bird distracts him before it can take off. His plan is crazy, but it works, so maybe a crazy response to a crazy situation is simply appropriate. Whatever. I'm just pissed that Mrs. Stinson didn't die.

Even More Music Unrelated to Doug!

I just can't stop. This album is called "By Harry Stephen Keeler."

If you are unfamiliar with the writings of Harry Stephen Keeler, you should check him out. He's definitely not for everybody, but he's hilarious, and brilliant, and his novels and writing style are totally insane. Absolutely one of my favorite writers. So I wrote some songs about some of his short stories. The album is of course set to "name your price" with no minimum price, and and the download comes with a .doc containing the short stories I'm singing about. You can listen to them, you can read them, or you can just totally ignore this post.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Episode 48, Part 1: Doug Ripped Off!

This episode begins with Doug looking through a photo album labelled Memories.

The book opens itself while Doug tells us about his first bike.

When he first got it, it was the coolest bike in the neighborhood.

Better take a photo of Doug pumping up that tire. Put that in the Memories album. We're definitely going to want to remember this.

Doug goes on to mention that everyone else eventually got new bikes that were better than his. They were dirt bikes, and they made him realize how lame his was.

Another classic photo for the Memories album. Remember that time Doug got bored watching his friends have more fun than his current bike would allow? Me too, because we took a picture of it and saved it in the Memories photo album.

So anyway, Doug's looking at these pictures when Skeeter rings the doorbell and asks if he wants to go ride bikes. Doug agrees and they go out to the garage to get his bike. Doug tells Skeeter he wishes he had a dirt bike too. Skeeter says his bike is okay, but Doug insists, "my bike's so lame, I'm thinking about hiring somebody to steal it." It's like he's aware of insurance fraud, but not of the fact that you need insurance in the first place. Or does he just think having no bike is better than having a lame bike? Oh, and his bike? It's gone.


Doug immediately dials 59 and talks to the Bluffington Operator.

She's inquires about his emergency and his address. Before he can finish asking if he needs the police, two police officers are at his door asking about what has been stolen. Bluffington has amazing public services.

The fat cop just plays with shit in the garage while the other cop asks standard questions. Where are your parents? Shopping. How much is the bike worth? $150. Was anything else stolen? No. She guesses that a professional would've stolen something more valuable, and that the thief is most likely just some kid, probably Doug's age.

"But I know all the kids around here."
"Maybe you don't know them as well as you think."

What a terrible thing to say to a crazy kid. She says they'll mail the report to him in about a week. Skeeter thinks this means they'll find the bike, but she tells them it's extremely unlikely. There are no clues, leads, or evidence. After they leave, Skeeter pushes his bike up to the sidewalk and says, "I know how you feel man." This triggers a few quick fantasies where Skeeter is always going to be this falsely sympathetic jackass who isn't experiencing the same shit as Doug.

I'm not sure the third one really fits. The other examples are of situations where Doug goes without while Skeeter has plenty. The third one is just Doug getting pounded in a boxing ring while Skeeter watches with a couple of prostitutes. I guess Doug feels if he had the money or the prostitutes, he wouldn't have to box. Skeeter has all the money and two prostitutes, so he just gets to sit back and feel sorry for his friend. I guess it does fit. Whatever.

After the fantasy, Doug is sitting on a hill watching his friends ride their dirt bikes and complaining about how Skeeter doesn't know how he feels. No one knows how he feels. To Doug, no one has ever had anything stolen from them. He's the only one that's ever been victim to such a monstrous crime. Then he considers the possibility that the cop was right. What if someone he knew took his bike?

Before he can think about that too much, Patti comes up and tells him she's sorry about his bike. Then Chalky and Skeeter ride up and ask if he wants to go to the Honkerburger. He says sure and they speed away on their bikes. They quickly realize their insensitive mistake and get off their bikes to walk with Doug. I guess none of them have pegs he could stand on.

At the Honkerburger, everyone is talking about the theft. Patti says something about a real burglar taking something of value, and Skeeter reiterates the cops' point about the thief being another kid. Chalky tells Doug to look on the bright side. "At least they didn't steal your brain like in Zombie Beach Party!" Everyone but Doug laughs. He doesn't get what's so funny. Patti asks, "you think they unloaded the bike yet?"

Chalky: "nah, they probably chopped it up for parts."
Skeeter: "yeah, you gotta move that stuff fast. It's a cash-and-carry business."

Doug thinks, "how did they know so much about stealing bikes."

As if he can hear Doug's thoughts, Skeeter says, "that's what they do on tv anyway."

Connie walks up and tells Doug she bought him some fries. This makes him wonder where she's getting all this money, and we have a fantasy of Connie's Chop Shop.

There's his bike in the background, getting chopped by Connie's employee. That's what you get for being nice, Connie. You spent 99 cents getting some fries, and now you're rolling in cash because you stole Doug's bike and chopped it up for parts to sell on the black market. Bicycle parts, especially from a child's bicycle, make up a huge portion of the black market. You don't even know!

After the fantasy, Patti asks about the registration number, and Skeeter tells her you can easily get rid of that with a file. Doug realizes it could have been any of them. All of them know way more about stealing bikes than him. He has another fantasy.

This fantasy starts with two of Roger's goons sneaking into the Funnie Garage only to find the bike has already been stolen by Roger. Then Chalky tries to get it from Roger. Then Beebe locks the doors and demands the bike. Then Connie steals the keys from Beebe and demands the bike. Then Skeeter, then Patti, then everybody. Literally everybody is lined up outside the garage, waiting for their turn to climb through the garage window to steal Doug's lame old bike.

To Doug, if anyone could have stolen it, then everybody stole it.

Determined that the thief would never steal another thing from him again, Doug writes a list of everything he's loaned to anyone. He's going to get it all back.

Doug says it took him almost an hour to collect his things, and yes, he did get his gum back from Skeeter.

The best thing happens when he goes to Al and Moo's place to get his flashlight back. He knocks on their bedroom door and they tell him he can't come in. They are busy. Doug shoves his way in, asking "why not? What are you hiding?"

Oh, it's just two eleven year old kids welding in their bedroom. They tell Doug he could have been blinded since he wasn't wearing goggles. He asks for the flashlight, they point it out, he gets it and leaves. At no time does he notice his bicycle in their room.

At home, Doug has collected all of his shit, placed it in the closet, locked the door and posted a sign on it saying, "do not steal." That should do it, but Doug admits he still doesn't feel safe. He has a fantasy of a burglar climbing through his window and not being deterred by a heavily locked door. At first the burglar tries a jackhammer.

It doesn't work. Next he tries dynamite. It doesn't work. Next he drives a tractor through the wall, and uses it to carry out the total contents of Doug's closet. Doug is sleeping through all of this, of course. It's a weird fantasy, far more cartoonish than most or all of Doug's usual fantasies. So later, Doug consults the security expert.

Mr. Dink claims to have more security devices than Ft. Knox. "I've got alarms on my alarms!" Anyway, Mr. Dink asks Doug about a few things he might need. Things like computerized locks, closed circuit tv, a laser activated alarm system, bullet-proof glass windows, and steel reinforced concrete walls. With each security feature, Doug gets more enthusiastic with the way he says, "yes." At the end, Doug says, "I need all these things. I want my room to be a fortress. I wanna know everything that happens in it all the time. I wanna be totally safe from everybody. I trust no one!

"Douglas...are you insane?"


Mr. Dink's alarm goes off and he dismisses it as probably being a squirrel. That happens all the time. But Doug goes to the window and sees Al and Moo on their bike.

"Wait a minute! That's my bike!"

He runs outside and starts chasing them, yelling at them to give him his bike. One of them says, "Doug Funnie has gone berserk." Yes, he has. Proving that his bike really is just a lame piece of shit, Doug actually catches up to them enough to dive and catch the bike. They fly off as the bike is forced to stop rather abruptly.

Al and Moo claim they bought the bike at a thrift store before they run off. As Doug is lamenting the way his bike has been butchered with a pretty sweet sidecar, his parents drive up with a surprise.

It is so glorious.

It floats. It glows. It makes your father disappear. Best bike ever? You bet!

Oh, and Doug doesn't have to worry about what to do with his old bike. They recycled it, which actually means they donated it to a thrift store. Doug is an ass. Al and Moo cruise up with the police from earlier and Doug has to explain everything to them.

Porkchop snapped this picture for the Memories album. Good job, Porkchop. Also, Doug is grounded for a week. There's some weird shit at the end where a picture of Doug writing in his journal comes to life. Doug says goodnight to Porkchop and walks out of the picture. A page of the album turns and there's another moving picture of Doug locking his closet door.

Or you could make an argument that he's unlocking the door. It's really not as clear as it should be. If he's still paranoid about burglary, he's locking the door. If not, he's removing the locks. I think he's still paranoid. He just said goodnight to Porkchop. He's not then going to spend a long time removing locks or making sure they aren't locked before actually going to sleep. He's going to take a few seconds and make sure that paranoia of his is fed so he can get a good night's sleep.

But seriously, thanks Phil, Theda, and cops. I know his parents just wanted to surprise him, but couldn't they have waited until after he got the new one to donate the old one? Why didn't they know he filed a police report for his stolen bike? And Doug didn't consider that his friends might be thieves until the cops put it in his head. I think the fact that he didn't even jump to the conclusion that Roger did it shows a severe degeneration caused by this paranoia. He only thought of Roger in the fantasy where everyone did it. His first suspect is fucking Connie. And he suspects her because she has enough spare change to be a little extra nice to him. What sort of scheme is that anyway? She stole his bike and sold it so she can buy him fries? Brilliant. Where are his reasoning skills? He's in such a blind rage of paranoia, he doesn't even notice his bike in Al and Moo's room. It's pathetic. All of this could have been avoided if his parents had done things in a different order. Or also if they made sure he took his medications.