This episode is all Quailman. There's no part of it that has Doug working through a ridiculous problem by writing a Quailman adventure. It's more like an episode for a terrible/awesome Quailman show. I considered skipping it.
It starts with Quailman and Quaildog trying to save a snowboard racer on the mountains of Yakostonia.
Somehow, Quailman knows that gate 14 is booby trapped and he arrives just a few seconds too late to stop the racer from starting. So, he must catch up. A spectator scoffs at the idea that he could catch the fastest snowboarder in the world. After Quailman puts down his snowboard, determined not to use his ability to fly, he immediately falls on his face.
He blames the foot bindings, calling them defective. He inspects them to discover the manufacturer is S.T.U.A.R.T. For the sake of ease, that will be the last time I type the name like that.
So the Silver Skeeter slides up on his board and asks Quailman if he's having equipment trouble. Quailman quickly sputters out directions for Silver Skeeter, who then takes off after the fastest snowboarder in the world.
From the moment the fastest snowboarder in the world left the gate to the moment Silver Skeeter chased after him was 38 seconds. If this was an Olympic event, the fastest snowboarder in the world would have finished his run before Silver Skeeter even arrived to help. Whatever trap was at gate 14 would have been sprung, the snowboarder would be dead, and the police would be questioning Quailman first to find out how he knew about the trap, then why he didn't use his quail power of flight. Anyway, the booby trap is the Avalauncher 2000.
So it's a tuning fork that causes avalanches. Why does it have to be a booby trap on gate 14? Couldn't it just be anywhere on the mountain and couldn't it just be triggered whenever it would be most devastating by whoever placed it there? Who put it there? Why did it go off even though Silver Skeeter intercepted the snowboarder before he went through gate 14? Who cares?
Quailman and Quaildog rush over to attempt to dig out Silver Skeeter and the snowboarder but it only looked like they were buried in the avalanche. Silver Skeeter got them out just fine.
Silver Skeeter says it's too unbelievable to explain how they made it out, so no attempt to explain is made.
Quailman suggests they go out to celebrate. Silver Skeeter suggests they call up Material Girl and Supersport to join them. Quaildog growls at him to remind him to invite Fifi the Wonder Dog. Quailman tells him to meet at the Thicket of Solitude at 6 o'clock sharp.
At the Thicket of Solitude, Quailman is changing into clean clothes. Unfortunately the clothes he picked up from the dry cleaners are too large. Plus, he can tell by the P on his shirt that this isn't his costume. He says the cleaners must have switched it.
And who are these inept cleaners?
Did they plant the booby trap at gate 14 too? Because we never got an explanation for who did that or why that happened.
Quailman is annoyed but there's nothing he can currently do about his costume situation. The cleaners are already closed for the day (apparently. Maybe one of his quail powers is knowing the operation hours of every business in town?) so he decides to "listen to a little radio."
Quailman is very pleased with this joke. Quaildog rolls his eyes appropriately. You are not a dad yet, Quailman. Stop it.
Unfortunately, the radio station has been taken over by STUART and now they only play bassoon music.
At 7 o'clock, Silver Skeeter finally shows up and finds a very annoyed Quailman. Silver Skeeter didn't know he was late. The quailphone rings. Supersport, Material Girl, and Fifi the Wonder Dog are annoyed. They've been waiting at the mall for over an hour.
They are officially cancelling the get together.
Quailman asks Silver Skeeter, "why can't you ever show up on time for anything?"
Silver Skeeter says he didn't mean to do it. He supposes his watch is slow. Quailman says his watch is a piece of junk. Silver Skeeter points out that Quailman is the one that gave him the watch.
Quailman says he paid top dollar for the watch and accuses Silver Skeeter of destroying it with his weird magnetic skin. Silver Skeeter calls him Paleman before leaving. Quailman discovers the watch was made by STUART, of course.
Now, for everyone's favorite part of superhero stories: fast food.
I'm very curious about this Millet King place. I would love to experience such a place, and then watch it fail. It bothers me that they put the arcade game in the middle of the floor.
After Quailman fails, the game instructs him to insert 68 cents in exact change to continue. Quailman thinks this is exceedingly annoying and demands to know who makes these dumb games.
A fight breaks out at the cash register with everyone claiming they're order 36. The cashier says order 36 was a take out order to Yakastonia, as it says on his STUART cash register.
Next, a man is jumping up and down on a car, shouting at the car alarm because he can't get it to turn off.
A man tells him it's a STUART alarm and nobody knows how to shut them off. Quailman tries to tell them to behave reasonably, but that's kind of more annoying than the car alarm so they tell him to shut up. The situation inside Millet King is also getting worse.
Quailman starts putting all the pieces together and comes to the obvious conclusion that STUART makes everything annoying to drive people apart.
Why is this STUART employee loading up the Smash-teroid arcade game? Plot convenience. Quailman and Quaildog see it and decide to follow it, sort of.
Quailman is thoughtful enough to tell you not to try this at home. If a truck drives through my home, now I'll be sure not to grab onto the bottom of it before it drives away. Anyway, Quailman didn't notice Silver Skeeter had the same idea.
They start fighting about who gets to take down the obvious villain here. Quailman tries to point out that their fight was part of STUART's plan and they shouldn't be fighting each other. Silver Skeeter doesn't buy it and the fight continues.
Inside the bafflingly labelled Secret Headquarters, Quailman and Silver Skeeter are discovered almost immediately.
Silver Skeeter drops onto a conveyor belt and is carried away to another room. Quailman gets tangled in the overlong cape and tumbles into some boxes.
He tries to run away from some STUART employees but he steps on the cape and falls down again.
This fall gives Quailman an idea for the cape. He hides with Quaildog until an opportunity presents itself.
Quailman pulls the employees away with his cape and an old trope is committed.
Now that they are adequately disguised, they can have a look around. Quailman points out some of the company's evil devices like dripping faucets, mismatched socks, and alarms that can't be shut off. A STUART supervisor tells Quailman and Quaildog to install these traffic lights at certain intersections. The traffic lights have an extra light that is purple.
While the supervisor is explaining the purpose of the purple lights, Quaildog steals his badge.
Doug points out that the purple light will be really annoying, and the guy finally tells us what STUART stands for.
He's also suspicious of Quailman, because how could you work for STUART and not realize being annoying was the point. Quailman can't think of a decent lie and the supervisor chases them away. He doesn't chase them far though. It doesn't make sense. They just run away, he chases, and two shots later, they've lost him. They try to open a door but a STUART employee tells them they can't go in there. Quaildog flashes the stolen badge.
The guy recognizes Quaildog's authority, and probably has a moment where he screams inside his head because a dog outranks him at work. He then tries to tell them not to go through the door because it's just a laundry chute, but they jump in before he can.
Quailman is loudly complaining about the dirty laundry when Silver Skeeter tells him to be quiet.
On the other side of this room, STUART employees are practicing annoying gestures. Silver Skeeter was quietly spying on them and Quailman was practically shouting about every goddamn thing. It is incredible they weren't discovered.
Quailman and Silver Skeeter start arguing about who gets to stop this evil plot. Quaildog speaks to them telepathically.
"You must stop this senseless bickering and work together to defeat them. Please reason with each other."
It's not clear if the loud arguing drew the STUART employees over or maybe the STUART employees also heard Quaildog's telepathic communication (how specific is it?) but either way they are discovered and Quaildog adds, "too late!"
The idiot henchmen dump the laundry over and the heroes separate. The henchmen surround Silver Skeeter and he liquefies and slithers around them to confuse them.
After thoroughly confusing the henchmen, Silver Skeeter slithers away, but Quailman slips in him.
They argue a bit and then run away in separate directions. Silver Skeeter remains in his liquid form and doesn't look where he's going. A henchmen scoops him up in a dust bin and they funnel him into a big glass jar.
Meanwhile, Quailman and Quaildog run down a hallway, talking about how they need to find the leader of STUART. They aren't paying much attention to where they're running and fall into a trap door.
Conveniently, the trap door dumps them into the leader's office. He's just watching huge monitors of his employees working. He wants to be called 18.73A.
After annoying Quailman by calling him Paleman and slurping a drink, 18.73A calls for his guards. The guards grab the superheroes, while another guard pours Silver Skeeter onto the platform next to them.
18.73A lowers a big dome over them and there they are...trapped.
It wasn't much of a fight. I don't understand why they even bothered to let Silver Skeeter out of the smaller container. Seems like they could have just left him in there and they'd have been better off.
This episode is exhausting. Here's the part where the bad guy shows he's keeping score.
Followed by the part where he tells the heroes his whole scheme in a song.
I am not typing the lyrics. It's pretty fantastic and by far the least annoying thing they do.
I assume they're singing to be annoying, but honestly it's only annoying because all the other villains throughout fiction have half-assed their job. If this, or like...The Little Mermaid, has taught us nothing else, it's that villains should fucking sing. It's just great when they do.
18.73A tells them everyone in town will be annoyed within 24 hours, but they won't be around for it. Silver Skeeter asks, "what are you going to do, annoy us to death?"
A phone raises from the floor into their glass cage and starts ringing.
It's a telemarketer asking for Paleman.
Doug listens to too much of the guy's pitch before hanging up. The phone rings again. Quailman tells Silver Skeeter not to answer it, but Silver Skeeter says, "hey! You're not the boss of me!" He then answers it.
It's the telemarketer again, asking for Mr. Sliver Skinner. Silver Skeeter hangs up and the phone starts ringing immediately. They both yell, "don't pick up," but a mechanical hand reaches down from the ceiling to answer for them. Also, suddenly there are more phones and other hands answering them.
I'm having a hard time imagining how this is supposed to kill them, but I think the basic scheme involves them dying of starvation, and then 18.73A claiming they were annoyed to death. You could try to call him out on this obvious bullshit, but then he'd just claim victory for having annoyed you.
While cowering on the floor, Quailman and Silver Skeeter start arguing about which of them is to blame for this predicament. Silver Skeeter compares it to the trouble they had with Dr. Despicable the Mad Periodontist.
Quailman says it wasn't his fault. He says Silver Skeeter wanted to get his gums checked. As you can see above, Silver Skeeter has been captured in a flask. Quailman is in a cell where the walls are spiked and slowly moving inward to kill him. He throws his belt at the flask to free Silver Skeeter.
And Silver Skeeter turns his hand into a key to free Quailman.
Silver Skeeter takes credit for getting them free, then compares it to another incident with Lothar the Water-Skier of Doom. He says his totally cool water-skiing saved the whole planet from drowning in Lothar's wake.
Quailman points out that he helped.
All this reminiscing makes them realize they used to work well together.
They agree to work together, at least as far as getting out of this predicament. Quailman wants to use STUART's own resources against them. He wishes he could read 18.73A's telephone just to get the number. Silver Skeeter turns himself into a super magnifying mirror to make this happen.
This works of course.
Quailman grabs one of the phones, accepts the long distance offer and says he has several friends he'd like her to call. Meanwhile, 18.73A is looking for his wallet.
Quailman gives the telemarketer the phone number and extension to reach 18.73A. Then he tells her to try all extensions of that number. 18.73A heard Quailman do this, so it's kind of hard to understand why he picked up the phone when it immediately started ringing.
After hanging up on his own telemarketer, 18.73A scolds Quailman for trying to ruin his evil scheme.
The phones all around the STUART secret headquarters start ringing. Why anyone answers them remains a mystery.
Here's a good time to answer your cell phones.
The telemarketers are even calling each other. Someone yells, "oh no the circuits are overloading!"
The secret headquarters starts losing power, and 18.73A is distracted enough to back into the release lever for the glass cage he's used to trap our heroes.
"Oh, I just hate it when I accidentally release the superheroes!"
18.73A puts on his wig as part of a joke before running away with his henchman.
Quailman, Quaildog, and Silver Skeeter chase after him as the building starts to fall to pieces. Seconds after they run outside, the whole building collapses.
18.73A is escaping in a helicopter and announces to them, "you haven't seen the last of STUART! As long as there are warranties that run out the day before the washer breaks, I'll be there! As long as there are twist off caps that don't twist off, I'll be there! As long as there are any little things to undermine, annoy, and ruthlessly torment people, I'll be there!"
Even though the villain escaped and promised he'd return or whatever, Quailman and Silver Skeeter decide to celebrate at Millet King.
As you can see, Supersport, Material Girl, and Fifi are there as well.
There's a whole "Learning a Lesson" speech that doesn't matter. I mean, it sort of matters, but I'm more concerned with the food.
Silver Skeeter's crunching his way through this thing. Supersport's plate has a couple of them. Fifi and Material Girl are also eating them. The cashier finally calls for Quailman's order of millet cakes.
I am endlessly fascinated with this restaurant. You can see part of the menu and it includes things like millet steak, millet curd, and millet whey. Where did this come from? Naturally assuming that this Quailman adventure is written by Doug, I want to know where he got this idea for a restaurant where everything was made of or included millet. It is amazing and I would steal the idea if I could.
I suppose I could make an argument about Doug being paranoid. Writing a story where all of life's little annoyances are part of some grand conspiracy kind of lends itself to that, but it's just a story. If Doug was going around seriously connecting every minor annoyance into a conspiracy, I'd have more to say about it.