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.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Episode 45, Part 2: Doug's Fan Club

One of Doug's Man-o-Steel Man comics had an advertisement for a magic book on the back and Doug naturally jumped to the conclusion that he could impress his friends if he got it. Have any of his friends expressed interest in magic tricks before? Doesn't matter. Doug's going to do some tricks that will blow their minds. He has a fantasy where Skeeter, Patti, Beebe and Chalky are sitting around in his magic-filled home, begging him to do a trick for them.

He relents, asking if they want to see his Disappearo trick. He does a couple of shuffling tricks with a deck of cards before grabbing one card and saying, "now you see it. Now you don't." He simply sticks the card into a pocket on the front of his vest. Everyone is annoyed. Anyone can do that. He says, "wait, I haven't finished the trick. Veni vidi vici!"

He disappears, leaving the card floating where it was. Quite an impressive trick. I can't believe he thinks he's going to learn this from a book.

The day after he received the book in the mail, he sees Beebe and Chalky playing cards at lunch and assumes that would be the perfect time to show off his new skills. He walks over and asks if they want to see his disappearo trick. Beebe says, "maybe later, Doug." He says it will only take a minute and takes one of the cards. Chalky says, "come on, Doug! We're in the middle of a game!" He continues the trick anyway. Or he would've continued the trick if he remembered how to do it. While consulting the book for the magic phrase, Beebe and Chalky get up and leave. He says, "Guys? I guess you're not impressed." Money well spent.

But that was just his second day with the book. Later, Doug walks through his backyard where Judy is having her Pee-Wee Shakespeare class. They are working on a set and oblivious Doug walks right through it because he is so focused on saying "veni vidi vici" correctly while trying to make a card in his hand disappear.

He ends up bumping into Judy and dropping the card. While Doug bends over to pick of the card, a kid swinging from a rope slams into Judy. They both fall down and this is presumably the end of Judy's Pee-Wee Shakespeare class because a high school kid is not responsible enough to hang a kid from a tree without having them slam into someone. Anyway, Judy is pissed and tells Doug to get his vaudeville act off her stage.

Inside, Doug admits that it's depressing how no one wants to see his trick. He says the magic phrase and the card in his hand disappears. A kid sitting on the couch loves it. He wants Doug to do it again.

Doug asks him who he is and why he's not rehearsing. He's Todd and Judy told him to get off her stage because of his acting. So instead of going home or whatever, he just stuck around the Funnie house. Kids, right?

So Doug does the trick for Todd several times and the kid starts hanging out with him every day. Doug says it's nice to have someone look up to him for a change.

I am a little bothered that this kid looks so much like a Lemonhead. Todd starts copying everything Doug does.

Doug gives him this comic book and he only laughs when Doug laughs. Todd's comic is upside down and he can't read apparently. He asks Doug to read it to him.

Eventually, Doug takes Todd up to his room where he is further impressed by everything. The Beets poster? Cool. The old radio? Cool. Looking under Doug's bed, he finds an Air Jets box and asks what it's for. Doug tells him it's where he keeps his secret stuff. This all sounds very bad, but it's not.

No, it's not pornography. It's fool's gold, a buffalo head penny, arrow heads, a picture of baby Doug with "Monk-monk," the stuffed animal he's had since he was a baby, and more. It looks like Porkchop's dog tags are in there, which makes you wonder why they aren't on his collar. Is Porkchop actually dead and Doug just pretends he's still around? I don't want to think about it.

There's also a nice little box in the box which Todd opens and asks what it's for.

Doug explains that's from when he first met Patti. It's pretty weird that he kept an empty ketchup packet, even for sentimental reasons. What's he getting out of that? Does it help him remember that moment better? I thought that was what this journal was for. He's written down the details of that first meeting so he doesn't have to keep garbage related to it. This is hoarder behavior.

Doug thinks this whole Todd situation is fun until the next day at school. Chalky is telling him and Skeeter about a hilarious movie when Todd approaches.

Todd is there to prove to the pink haired kid that he's Doug's friend. Chalky asks, "you hanging out with second graders, Doug?" Doug explains that he's in Judy's Pee-Wee Shakespeare class, and Todd immediately amends that by saying they do everything together, like read comic books and play the banjo. Doug excuses himself as Todd pretends to be the great Dougini. Doug grabs Skeeter and Chalky and they quickly leave.

After school, Doug and Skeeter have decided to go see that hilarious movie Chalky was going on about. It is called, "Honey, I Microwaved the Dog." Sounds more like a horror story. Inside, Patti and Beebe spot them and Pattie asks if they want to sit with them. Of course. Doug and Skeeter promise to go find and save seats for them. Doug spots the perfect seats pretty quickly.

And they glow. They make their way across and sit down. Doug is excited that Patti will be sitting next to him for about 5 seconds before he notices Todd.

And Todd's little brother Wesley. Todd's mom is okay with her kids sitting with Doug, which clearly indicates that she is unaware of his insanity. Also, Todd has changed his name to Doug. He wants to be called Doug now, as does Wesley. Wesley merely copies Todd. Also, they are dressed like Doug. There might be something wrong with Todd's mother, and also his dad might be a piece of shit.

Patti and Beebe finally come up and Doug shrugs at them to basically say sorry. Patti says, "that's okay! Thanks for trying though. See ya afterwards at the Honkerburger." Doug says, "okay!' Todd and Wesley say, "okay." Doug has a fantasy.

In his fantasy, he is the Great Dougini. He says his next illusion will take the utmost concentration before asking his assistants Doug and Doug to step into the box.

He closes the box, wraps it in chains, locks it, swallows the key, stabs 3 swords through the box, puts the box into a giant safe, and drops the safe down a trap door in the floor. It splashes in some water. The applause from the crowd turns his murderous triumph into the nightmare it should be.

They are all Todd and Wesley. It's like The Prestige, except he's murdering two children and cloning them by the hundreds. I love that all the Wesley's have pig dolls dressed like Doug. The real Wesley has one too.

At the Honkerburger, they are all laughing about the movie when things get embarrassing. Todd starts acting like the dog in the movie.

Beebe is annoyed by his barking, and then Wesley starts barking too. Todd calls him a copycat and growls. Doug starts to ask Patti a question but Todd makes a fart noise with his mouth. Doug says, "TODD!" Todd insists that his name is now Doug. Wesley says, "DOUG DOUG DOUG!" Todd says, "stop it, Wesley!"

Doug again starts to ask Patti a question when Todd interrupts to say, "I eat everything Doug eats." As he's saying this, he reaches for Doug's fries and knocks his drink over, spilling it into the fries. Todd ducks under the table and Wesley copies him. Patti offers Doug a dry fry and Todd pops back up between them, knocking the fries out of her hand. He says, "can I ask ya something!? Can I ask ya something!? How come you turn red every time you see Patti? Does that mean you're in love with her? Huh, Doug? Huh? You know, he has your ketchup!"

Doug has finally had enough. He pulls Todd out away from everyone and says, "you have to go, Todd. Go sit with your mom. Just get away from me, please!" Todd turns to Wesley and repeats, "just get away from me, please!"

This still couldn't hurt as bad as whatever their dad does/did to them.

Later, it's storming outside and Doug is feeling bad about what he did. He thinks he might have been too hard on him. Judy says you can't be too hard on that kid. "He's impossible." The phone rings and it's Todd's mother. She wants to know if he's hanging out with Doug. Apparently she just lost him at the Honkerburger. Doug has another fantasy, sort of.

Basically he's just remembering what happened at the Honkerburger and changing a few details. It wasn't storming outside when he actually told Todd to go away, but it is now in his memory. And now, instead of not caring or knowing where the kid went, Doug imagines that he runs outside into the storm, and almost gets hit by a huge truck before running into a forest wailing at the top of his lungs.

After the fantasy, Doug says he doesn't know what happened to Todd and starts to offer to go over to the Honkerburger to look for him, but he sees him. He tells Todd's mom he's there. Todd is sitting in the tree in their backyard. During a thunderstorm.

Doug calls out to him and he yells, "GET AWAY FROM ME!" So now he thinks Doug hates him too. This kid's reaction to feeling hated is predictable. Judy hates him, so he hangs out in her house. Doug hates him, so he hangs out in that tree where they played the banjo. Where did his dad start hating him and why doesn't he go back to hanging out there?

Anyway, Doug says he doesn't hate him. Todd says he just wanted Doug to like him and Doug says, "yeah, I know that feeling." Doug climbs up the tree with his umbrella, and luckily the storm stops. Doug explains, "it seems like every time I try too hard to impress somebody, well, it backfires." So yeah, Doug is everybody's Todd. Sad.

Doug finishes by saying, "you're great at imitating people. We know that. But there's a time and a place for it."


Duh. Second-grade kids make the perfect cast for The Tempest. Bravo, Judy! Bravo!

Let's take a moment to reflect on the fantasy where Doug murdered two young children in front of an audience. It was a magic show, but the Great Dougini was saying he'd make them disappear forever, and was thrilled to drop them into the water pit below. Yeah.

But at least he realized he tries too hard sometimes. That's a good step in the right direction. He needs to stick to the journal though. I don't want to hear any more about saving garbage for sentimental reasons. Doug's box of secret stuff does not need to turn into a closet of secret stuff, and then a room of secret stuff and then a house of secret stuff that gets you on a show where they display your mental disorder to the world. He's had enough of that sort of thing already.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Episode 45, Part 1: Doug's Birthday Present

Doug starts this episode by telling us that his dad takes baby portraits at the Busy Beaver Department Store. He's really good at his job, and is often the only person that can get a baby to stop crying long enough to get a decent picture. After dealing with the child above, Phil tells the mother that she can pay for the portrait and order prints at customer service. It's very convenient for him because all he has to do is get a baby to shut the fuck up long enough to take a simple picture. After the customer walks away, Phil notices Doug is hanging around with Skeeter. He asks them what they're doing there and Skeeter says it's Doug's birthday in "only 12 days, 6 hours, and 11 minutes." This is pretty creepy detail, Skeeter. He didn't even look at a watch or anything. He must be counting it in his head to have it down to the minute like that.

Anyway, Phil says, "oh yeah, that's right," trying to make it sound like he hasn't thought about it. Then he asks Doug what kind of present he's looking for, which is the best way to do your shopping if you haven't already bought someone something. Porkchop sniffs out the present though, because it's just under the counter there.

So yes, Phil has already bought and wrapped Doug's present. Asking him what he wants now is stupid territory. What if he says something you didn't get him, or it's something you can't afford? You'd be screwed. Or at least mildly inconvenienced.

Doug starts to say what he wants when Beebe lets out a squeal of delight.

Today is her birthday, and her dad just gave her this speedboat. Most department stores have speedboats right? They're in the speedboat department. Pick one up today!

This is incredible parenting too. What do you get a girl for her twelfth birthday? If your mind doesn't immediately jump to "speedboat," you are a terrible parent.

Doug and Skeeter go nuts about it and Phil starts to feel uneasy, because whatever he's hiding under the counter is not a speedboat. Mr. Bluff takes a call on his cell phone and leaves his daughter with her speedboat and no way to get it out of the store or whatever. She's 12 now. She'll figure it out. Doug says, "hey dad! Isn't this the coolest birthday present you ever saw?" In the most depressed way he can muster, Phil says, "yeah, real cool, son."

At home, Doug has recognized that his dad has been acting funny all day, but instead of seeing the obvious connection to the speedboat, he keeps talking about it. While setting the table for dinner, he's rattling off details about the boat. Eventually Phil interrupts him. He has an announcement.

He's leaving his job at the Busy Beaver to open his own photo studio! Theda is shocked. Phil says he understands they'll have to tighten their belts at first, but if everything goes as he plans, they'll be set for life. Just like all those other people that opened their own photo studios in small towns.

After dancing in circles with Judy, chanting "we're gonna be rich," Doug has a fantasy.

Now they're living the life. This is Doug's birthday present. Porkchop is actually with them too. He's just para-sailing. Oh, and this isn't just a boat. Phil pushes a button labelled "aero flux."

I hope Porkchop doesn't die in this fantasy. Doug remarks that this is an excellent birthday present, and Phil says there's more. They fly over to his photo studio, which is inexplicably a skyscraper. Some mechanical arms are amending the sign to make it say "Phil and Doug's Photorama."

With hopes that high, there's no way Doug could be disappointed ever again. And here's the new photo studio.

Theda calls it nice. Judy calls it understated. Doug calls it great. Phils sets up the place quickly too. Unfortunately, the first day is rather slow for Phil's Family Photo. They haven't had a single customer. Doug points out how slow it is and Phil starts to say that first days are always slow, but he gets an idea.

This seems like a good idea. Unfortunately it doesn't get results. At all. Phil changes the sign.

I'm not sure how long they waited on the 25% offer. They put up the sign, noticed there were no cars in the parking lot, and changed the sign. The 50% offer isn't bringing results either, so Phil makes a new sign.

Judy and Theda are shocked. Phil's rationale is "it's good business to give stuff away. Once they're hooked, they'll keep coming back." This idea works for food samples, and places where you have more than one product, or a product that people buy frequently. Most people aren't going to keep getting their child's picture taken every week, or even every month. Anyway, Phil's idea works. The place quickly becomes packed.

Do you see the obvious problem here? Phil isn't even taking the pictures. Theda is taking them, and she's doing a shitty job. She does something that makes the film fly out of the camera. It doesn't matter though. It's not like any good photos were ruined. Phil says he has everything under control and tells them to just get the pictures. Doug and Judy are failing to get a child to stop crying, so Porkchop gives it a try.

Porkchop fails. All of the pictures for the free day are terrible. People are hooked!

At the end of the day, Phil gets out a calculator and runs the numbers.

Phil: "Well, if I don't count rent, or the cost of fixing this place up, and the new equipment, our profit is..."
Judy: "Hey, somebody left a quarter in the couch!"
Phil: "TWENTY FIVE CENTS! That's great! Most places lose money their first year! And here we've already made a profit!"

You can always say you made a profit if you leave out all of your expenses. And what a profit too! What color speedboat do you want, Doug? Doug and Judy do their "we're gonna be rich" dance again.

So then everyone goes home, except Phil. Doug asks if he's coming, but he says he has to print some photos for tomorrow because he doesn't have darkroom assistants like he did at the Busy Beaver. He says he'll be home in a few hours. This depresses Doug a little.

But he never comes home. He doesn't even come home the next morning for breakfast. Also, he doesn't make it home for dinner either. The phone rings and Doug excitedly answers it because it must be his dad and his dad must certainly have good news. But no, he's just calling to say he's going to be home real late. Doug says this is how it's been all week.

One night while Doug is sleeping, he hears his dad's car and immediately jumps up from bed to go see him.

Phil doesn't say anything to him so he runs to the door and calls out to him. Phil says hello and asks how Doug's doing on the birthday countdown. Doug says there's 4 days to go. Phil says it's going to be a doozy, then he gets in his car and drives away. This causes Doug to have a fantasy.

The butler just told Doug that Phil will not be making it to his birthday this year. Doug acknowledges this without surprise and instructs them to send in his present. Two men pull a giant box over towards Doug and he yawns and says, "yes, another speedboat." But then he's surprised when they open the box.

Oh, that's really sweet. Nice trick, Phil! Oh, but...

Saddest birthday ever.

Tired of never seeing his dad, Doug finally goes to the store. I don't know why he never did this before. It's not like he doesn't know where it is. It's not like he doesn't know his dad needs help.

Inside the store, a line of angry people are complaining about how long they've been waiting. Doug knocks on the darkroom door and Phil comes out. Doug starts telling him he thought he'd go crazy if he didn't see him. Everyone in the family misses him. Before Doug finishes talking to him, he's fallen asleep against the door frame.

There's a really good chance he was just sleeping in the darkroom. The customer at the front of the line says he's been waiting for over 3 hours and Phil realizes it's time to get back to work. He tells Doug he'll see him at dinner, then thinks better of it and tells Doug to tell Theda he'll be a few hours late. Extremely disappointed, Doug starts to leave. Phil stops him to say he'll definitely be at his big birthday bash tomorrow. Doug says, "sure thing, dad," but you can tell he doesn't really believe it.

So the next day, Doug, Judy, and Theda are sitting at the kitchen table waiting for Phil. The candles on Doug's cake are burning and everyone seems pretty depressed. Phil comes in and apologizes for being late. He sits down and asks if Doug has made his wish yet.

Look how excited he is. Doug says he's made his wish before Phil tells him to blow out the candles. After the candles are out and everyone has a quarter of the cake, Phil says, "listen, Doug. I'm very sorry. I know it isn't much, but...well, next year I'll get you a really great birthday present. I promise. Next year." He gives Doug a present that looks exactly like some idiot wrapped a football with wrapping paper.

"Dad, I'm sorry I made such a big deal about Beebe's boat. It doesn't matter to me how much you spend on presents."

"You mean you kids don't care about being rich?"

Judy tries to ruin this moment by interjecting, "well, I wouldn't go that far..." Doug says what he really wants for his birthday is his dad.

He adds, "and maybe a football." Phil couldn't be happier. They go to the "Throw a Football with your Son Park" to give the new ball a try.

While many dads throw footballs with their sons, Doug explains that his dad went back to his job at the Busy Beaver, and ends this episode saying, "I guess if you work hard enough you can always save up enough money for a speedboat, but no amount of money can buy a great dad."

So, like father, like son, right? Phil Funnie is crazy. He saw his son go nuts over a boat and had a fantasy about being able to give him one. The moment Doug asked, "isn't this the coolest birthday present you ever saw," Phil only saw his son unwrapping a football and never speaking to him again. He probably also imagined being arrested for child neglect. And that ate at him all day, until delusions of grandeur gave him a terrible idea that turned into a living nightmare fantasy. This is how so many of Doug's fantasies play out, it's ridiculous. I don't get why no one in the family helped him after the first day either. They just stayed home and waited in disappointment for him. Why didn't he just hire someone? No, it took him a whole day to think up this brilliant idea, and in his mind it was all going to be so easy he wouldn't need any help at all.

And where is Doug's birthday party? Where's Skeeter? Where's Patti? Where's the fucking party? Sitting around waiting for your dad isn't a party. Splitting a cake into four pieces isn't a party. Throwing a football in the park isn't a party.

Perhaps the best thing about this episode is what Doug ultimately learned. It's great that he realizes money isn't everything, and that he thinks his dad is great (he isn't), but now he has first hand experience seeing how miserable you will be if you pursue your dreams. Your dreams are unattainable and will only shit on you to make you content with what you have.