You'll never guess what happened today. Principal White called an assembly to announce a big change that would affect everybody at Beebe Bluff Middle School."
Patti hopes that the school is finally going to get a decent name. Beebe expresses her displeasure at this idea. Willie White, who really should already know what this is about because his dumb dad is the principal, says that Skunky heard the cafeteria wieners are radioactive and everyone is going to turn into giants. Finally, Principal White walks onstage and says, "young people, I have an important announcement that will change all of your lives."
"New school name. New school name!"
"Radioactive wieners. Radioactive wieners!"
"Vice Principal Preston Frumply...is leaving us."
Everyone is mildly annoyed by this announcement they couldn't care less about. Skeeter says, "I didn't even know we had a vice principal."
They're wrong though. The big news isn't that Preston Frumply is leaving. The big news is that Lamar Bone is replacing Preston Frumply.
Everyone is horrified by this news. Roger shrieks.
Mr. Bone takes the microphone and says, "playtime's over, people! The Bone...is back!"
Doug narrates over the rest of Mr. Bone's speech, while imagining the ghostly heads of the children Mr. Bone has traumatized over the years, flying out of his bodies.
Here's a part of the episode I assume Doug completely made up. He says that Preston Frumply took an aptitude test from the guidance counselor, and he filled it out because he didn't have much to do anyway.
When he got the results, the test said he was all wrong for his job.
So he quit his job to become what the test said he'd do best.
"Millionaire industrialist by day!"
"Caped crime fighter by night!"
"Wrongdoers everywhere beware the avenging tail of The Beaver!"
So, Principal White had to search for a replacement vice principal.
"No, he's covering up something."
"No depth perception."
None of this happened, except obviously Frumply quit and Bone got the job.
Back in reality, Roger is running from the assembly.
Where is the rest of the school? The principal called an assembly and this is all that showed up?
So, right away, Mr. Bone gets back to being an asshole.
Marching through the cafeteria, he announces new rules for lunch, such as how many times you can chew each mouthful, or that you can't chew at all if you're eating soup. He says, "the faster you eat, the faster you can get back to learnin'!"
Roger, in spite of his earlier fear of Mr. Bone, takes this to mean that if he eats slowly, he can delay going back to class. He starts eating interminably slow and his friends think his efforts are hilarious.
Mr. Bone just gives him detention. He shoves the detention slip into Roger's mouth.
Doug and Skeeter sit down for lunch and Skeeter reminds Doug of their plan to go fishing after school. Doug drops a drawing of Mr. Bone bearing the caption, "Middle School Bones Up," and realizes he forgot to drop his cartoon off at the school newspaper.
In the newspaper classroom, Doug drops off his cartoon and hears Guy saying something in the darkroom.
"Ahoy! Two bells and all is well!"
They do a really stupid, but apparently secret, handshake. One of the guys notices that Doug is outside. Guy opens the door more and Doug is accused of being a spy. He explains that he was just dropping his cartoon off, but the bald guy says he is in big trouble for seeing the secret handshake. Guy intervenes on Doug's behalf.
Guy suggests they let Doug join their secret club because Doug is cool for his grade. Doug asks what club it is, but Guy says it's a secret. So Doug backs away saying he needs to get to lunch. He leaves the room and Guy catches up to him.
Guy says it's a rare honor for them to offer membership to someone in a lower grade. He shows Doug some examples of the great people that are part of the club. The entire football team...
"You mean a club member built this?"
"One of our first."
"NO! THEY'RE JUST COOL!"
"All these guys?"
"No. Just one. The admiral we admire, Mr. William Hornblower Bluff III."
Guy asks Doug what else he has to do that afternoon. He says he was going to go fishing and Guy has to take a moment to get over what a terrible response that apparently is.
He wants to know what fishing is going to get Doug. Before Doug can answer, Guy makes him imagine that it only results in a future working for The Man. The Man in this fantasy is Roger.
Roger tells him to stop goofing off. His kids want monkey.
Doug says he doesn't like monkey, but after a stern reminder from Roger regarding who signs his paycheck, he runs over to the kids and starts acting like a monkey.
After the fantasy, Guy says, "Doug, I want you to pry open the clam of life and grab that pearl! Spread the wings of life and fly! Take the bull of life by the horns! And have some BIG! JUICY! LIFE! STEAKS! Or go fish."
Skeeter approaches Doug at his locker and says he can't wait to go fishing. Doug informs him that he unfortunately can't go fishing anymore.
Obviously none of this makes any sense. Doug was going back to lunch and instead he went to football practice, Egypt, a rock concert, and a Bluffco Industries board meeting. If this all actually happened, and given the attendance of the assembly earlier, I'd say this school needs a hard ass like Mr. Bone. Students are barely showing up for class, and they might just fuck off for half the day. Anyway, Doug goes back to the darkroom to find out what he has to do to join the secret club.
This is when the episode starts to follow three separate stories. Skeeter goes fishing without Doug.
Some creaking noises freak Skeeter out. He says he feels like he's being watched. Presumably he's saying this to whoever might be watching him, because he is otherwise alone. There's some air bubbles at his feet, so he looks into the water. He sticks his face just below the surface and sees something terrifying. He runs back up the dock toward land as something tears the dock to pieces.
Or the dock falls to pieces because it is poorly made and/or rotting.
"I wasn't scared to go into the secret 8th grade club. I was...concerned. I mean, like Guy said, this could change my whole life."
In the darkroom, Doug knocks on the door to the supply closet. Someone asks him for the password and he says he wasn't given a password. After a little arguing, they open the door and command Doug to enter.
"So, you want to be a member of the most exclusive and exalted club in the omniverse?"
They say they don't take just anybody. If Doug is chosen, he will be one of the best and he'll get to go on their annual Power Trip. Guy says Doug will get to meet their leader, Mr. Bluff.
They say Doug has to prove that he is worthy. He asks how. The bald guy says if you ask "how," then you are not worthy. Then he commands Doug to go and prove himself worthy. So, I don't know, if you have to ask "how," then maybe you are still worthy. It's not like a definite disqualification or something.
After they send Doug on his way to prove himself, he has a fantasy about all the benefits he thinks he'll get once he is a member. He's at a fancy party with a bunch of dead presidents. Mr. Bluff is there.
In the fantasy, Doug thinks his regular old clothes are appropriate attire for a party with the ghosts of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kennedy.
Fantasy Doug has Roger join the party acting like a monkey. They are all greatly amused.
While Doug goes in search of information on being worthy, Mr. Bone introduces Roger to the new, high security detention hall.
In the library, Doug can't find a book about how to be worthy.
He doesn't have time to realize that there's just not going to be a book about proving your worth to a secret organization. They don't just write down instructions and publish them and then make that information freely available to anyone with a library card. No, they put that shit on VHS and make you pay for it.
For only $19.95, you can learn how to prove you're worthy from the apparent cult leader himself.
Back in Skeeter's plot line, he's trying to convince Mayor Dink that the pier didn't just fall apart. He says it was ripped apart.
Mayor Dink does not believe that the Lucky Duck Lake Monster exists, and so does not believe that it tore the dock apart. Skeeter wants Doug to help him get proof. Obviously, Doug has other priorities.
Doug is carrying at least nine copies of Mr. Bluff's $19.95 video, which is a good indication that he is not worthy, at least not if this were a normal club that rewarded you for not being dumb as shit. However, this is a cult, and the best way to prove your worth to a cult is to throw all your money at it.
Meanwhile, Roger is moaning in detention about how he can't get away with anything anymore. He feels like Mr. Bone is watching everything he does.
At home, Doug puts one of his tapes into the VCR, and it's off to a really bad start.
"Hello! I'm Bill Bluff and here's how I spell success:
And B; that spells me! BLUFF!
"Forward thinking" might be my favorite joke in this episode.
Mr. Bluff calls this kid disgusting, and claims no one has this kind of time to waste.
Mr. Bluff goes on a rant about how spending 10 minutes a day to brush your teeth totals about 6.3 months of your life over 75 years, and that's how long it takes for him to build 15 Bluffco Teeny Marts. He says, "I build 15 Bluffco Teeny Marts every time you brush your dumb teeth!"
So Doug realizes how much time he's wasting and starts figuring out how he can do everything faster. First, he has to brush his teeth faster. Porkchop times him.
Next, he has to dress faster. He has his clothes prepared on a hanger in his closet so all he has to do is jump in them. I can only imagine it takes him longer to prepare for this maneuver than it would take for him to put his clothes on normally. Also, when he puts his clothes on like a person that hasn't lost their damned mind, he doesn't get stuck upside down in his closet. Presumably.
Theda comes to wake him up and he runs past her in a blur several times before falling down the stairs.
At the breakfast table, she asks if Doug came through there. The light fixture is shaking as if blown by the wind produced by Doug's speed. He slams the door on his way out and hops onto his skateboard.
In detention, Roger tears down a poster of Mr. Bone and finds an air duct.
He figures this will make for an easy escape, and climbs inside without hesitation.
Doug meets with Guy and the other two idiots to show them how he was saving time.
He's got a pretty detailed report about how much time he saved, but then he wasted that saved time making this report, so was it really saved? No. No, it was not. The bald guy says they want more than someone who can put his pants on fast. They want achievers.
Roger turns a corner and starts celebrating his brilliant escape. Mr. Bone pops up at the end of the air duct and says, "if you'd done your research, you'd know every vent in this school leads to my office!"
Roger's attempted escape lands him in detention for three more weeks.
Meanwhile, Skeeter is back at the Lucky Duck Lake area searching for the monster.
Again, I feel I have to remind you that Skeeter is a genius. Why is he looking for the monster here when he thinks he saw it in the lake? Who knows? Mr. Dink asks if he's looking for that monster.
"You know about the monster?"
"Tippy won't believe it, but my dead uncle saw it. Of course, he was alive at the time."
"I almost sorta saw it, and I'm gonna get a picture of it!"
Mr. Dink explains that bologna is the one thing the monster can't resist.
Back at the Funnie house, Doug is reviewing his new strict schedule and sees that it is time to pet the dog.
Porkchop is annoyed by how little time was spent on this task.
Phil enters Doug's room and asks, "is all this rushing around good? You fall down the stairs every day."
"To be a success, you can't waste time, Dad. Besides, I timed it. That's the quickest way down.
Phil tells him it's important to stop and smell the scenery once in a while. Doug enjoys this piece of advice because he can now check off an item on his schedule and he saved a fall down the stairs.
The secret club, or at least Guy and his two friends, are now meeting with Doug to decide if he's to be the newest member. They barely glance at Doug's exhaustive schedule before ignoring it completely and saying they will make their decision based on a series of questions.
Doug begins to protest because what about all that stuff he did, but Guy ignores everything he's saying and cuts him off. The bald guy says, "name something great you did in the last two months."
Doug says, "uhhh, oh! I know. I made my grandma's store trendy. But then I sorta drove her out of business."
"Ever won the Heisman Trophy!?
Doug starts to sort of cry as he says "no" to these and starts to walk away. They stop him and tell him he's in the club. When he points out that he didn't do any of those things, Guy points out that they flipped a coin and it came up heads.
Cult. Doug is excited and the bald guy reminds him that he can't tell anyone.
In his journal, Doug smugly brags about how his new club makes him powerful and successful. He's waiting outside the bus that's going to take him to his first Power Trip. He greets Chalky, Beebe, and a stranger as if he's someone important and all three of them walk past him like he's not even there.
So successful and powerful. It's already working.
Guy tells Doug to tell non-members that they're the puppet club. I don't know what they plan to do if an actual puppet enthusiast wants to join, but I imagine it rarely comes up. If I had to guess, I'd say Larry is the only one that would want to join the puppet club.
Skeeter asks Doug to come monster hunting with him. He's got plenty of bologna. Doug says he can't because he has the puppet club picnic.
In detention, Roger sees the puppet club picnic bus and gets an idea.
When the puppet club gets to their destination, Doug is amazed to see all the members from everywhere. They're all boarding a yacht and being greeted by the great and wonderful Bill Bluff. He shakes their hands and they give him the secret sign, which is hardly secret as they're all doing it out in the open.
Right after boarding, Doug receives a uniform. Mr. Bluff congratulates him and calls him Dave.
Nearby, Skeeter has hung several bologna sausages in the trees. He's staked out with Mr. Dink, and Mr. Dink is delighted by the smell of bologna.
Also nearby, Roger has finally escaped detention.
Mr. Bone has been sufficiently fooled.
Unfortunately, the silhouettes get bold. A bird and Abraham Lincoln appear as silhouettes next to Roger and these seem reasonable to Mr. Bone. When a cute fluffy bunny appears, however, he realizes something is wrong.
"Ah ha! I knew there was no bunny in here!"
But the bird and Lincoln? Sure.
On the yacht, they finally reveal the secrets to Doug. There's a trunk and he's allowed to open it and discover the truth.
Doug points out that it's full of old tests and research papers. The bald guy says that studying takes up valuable time they need to build their futures. Guy's other friend asks Doug if he'd rather succeed or, pointing at Skeeter, be like "that goofus."
Mr. Bluff says, "be glad you're one of us, Dudley. A winner, not a slacker."
Skeeter's bologna trap finally has a bite. Mr. Dink is nowhere to be seen. Something emerges from the water.
Skeeter runs towards it, taking several pictures. He trips and falls into the water. The thing in the water keeps rising until it is clearly a small submarine. It is Mr. Bone's sub.
Roger shrieks again and runs away. Mr. Bone chases him. Skeeter is hacking and coughing in the shallow water.
The members of the puppet club are just watching the spectacle. The bald guy laughs and Doug tells him he shouldn't. He says, "Skeeter is just as good as you guys!"
Mr. Bluff does a spit take as the other guy tells Doug to take that back. Guy asks Doug if the phrase "walk the plank" means anything to him. Doug admits that Skeeter is not like them. He's better.
"He doesn't cheat, or laugh at anybody else, and he's fun to be with. Not a big showoff!"
Mr. Bluff is so surprised, his teeth fall out. Doug is surprised that Mr. Bluff has no teeth. Someone reminds Doug what a waste of time brushing your teeth is. Mr. Bluff wants to know who recommended Dan for membership.
Guy tells Doug to apologize but he quits the club instead. He takes off the uniform and throws it down.
Apparently they actually make Doug and Guy walk a plank. Doug apologizes for getting Guy kicked out of the group. Roger runs past them shouting at the yacht, trying to get them to accept him so they can get him away from Mr. Bone.
Looking at a bunch of half eaten bologna sausages hanging from the trees, Skeeter wonders what could have eaten them if it wasn't the monster. I'm afraid I don't follow his logic here. Yes, he thought he was seeing the monster just now and it turned out to be Mr. Bone in a small submarine. That doesn't necessarily mean there isn't a monster, or that what he thought he saw earlier was just Mr. Bone's submarine. Anyway, it was Mr. Dink. Mr. Dink is eating the bologna.
Mayor Dink was likely correct when she blamed the shitty rotten dock for its own collapse. There is no monster. Mr. Dink just saw an opportunity for a lot of free bologna and went with it.
So finally, Doug and Skeeter get to enjoy each others' company. Doug gets to waste his time fishing and Skeeter is still determined to get a picture of the monster.
Some creepy noises and air bubbles in the water near the boat force Doug and Skeeter to scramble for land. They're convinced it's the monster but it's just a frog.
Or is that all it is? Again, this doesn't necessarily mean there isn't a monster. Why don't they consider that the frog might also be running from the monster?
This episode should end right after Doug discovers that Guy is in a secret group. If Doug considered Guy to be a good friend, it could go on from there. Doug should have just said, "I don't know how to say this without being offensive, but if you're a member, Guy, the group isn't worth joining. Good day!"
If only this episode had been about radioactive wieners...