This story is not by 'Anonymous'. It's by DaveTheUseless.
Ever since I was really young, I had always wanted to be a superhero. When I was in the 2nd grade, I used to take my pencil and stick it between the gap in my front teeth and call myself 'The Beaver', but then the pencil got stuck in there and the school nurse told me that I was adopted. Which is fine, but she said that I was adopted as a pet. Hence the nickname 'The Beaver'. For the following 17 years, I spent life isolated. Alone. Knowing that I wasn't really a man. I skimmed through maps, almanacs, and atlases, shrugging at the curveball life had tossed me and hoping to slam a homerun out of the park. But it was no use. 17 long years of running away from home later, I never did find my real beaver parents. That was when I realized that I was only human after all. Daft punk.
By the time I was in my mid-20s, all of the best looking ladies had been 'adopted', and I was a man left alone with his deepest, darkest thoughts. I finally got my 3rd grade education. While sipping on a grape-tinged juicy juice and contemplating where life went wrong, I considered... something deeper. I had just learned earlier that school day that 'y' is sometimes a vowel, and it made me wonder if maybe, perhaps, I was also part-beaver after all. I informed Mrs. Syphilis of my confusing notions, but rather than encourage me that way you'd normally trust an elementary school teacher to, she sent me to the school psychologist for electric shock therapy. "This will only hurt a little", the school psychologist proclaimed. Seventeen shocks later, I was in a coma, and that is where I am today.
Being a superhero was what I had always wanted to do. I remember, back when I was a younger man in the first grade, I used to watch a television cartoon called Underdog. It taught us a lot of valuable lessons, such as how sharing is caring, how eating a hamburger every now and then is O.K. as long as you also eat your greens, and that you can do anything you ever wanted to do as long as you used to believe in yourself. Inspired by this message from above, I used to tie a towel around my shoulders and eat dog biscuits and run around the house shouting 'There's no need to fear! UNDERDOG is here!'. Because I thought of myself as an underdog. Also, those dog biscuits tasted really good. They don't call 'em "bet ya can't eat just one" for nothin'.
When I woke up from the coma, I was locked in the school attic while I waited for my parents to arrive. When they picked me up, as one might imagine, they weren't very happy. Dad was scowling, so pissed off that a vein could visibly be seen snapping out of his forehead. My mom told me that I was grounded until I could really learn how to fly in real life, just like Underdog.The school psychologist told me that my Oedipus Complex bothered him and that I should at least try to talk things out with my dad. My dad wasn't the sort of guy to show his emotions unless he was pissed though, so it is what it is.
Looking for jobs ain't easy when you're an elementary school dropout. I tried McDonald's, but they weren't hiring. Gave janitorial work a go, but I only got things messier. The town library needed someone to monitor the computer lab, but I wasn't much into 'book larnin'. Finally, just when I was ready to buckle my dignity and return to Barack H. Obama Elementary a forcibly changed man... I found it. In the Classifieds section, toward the back. Whoever posted it must not have had much money, but perhaps it was also a test. It must have been a test. They wanted to challenge job searchers to persevere, because if anyone had the stuff to go for a job as great as this one, there were going to be a lot of folks who wouldn't make it through the vetting process of flipping through all those pages. Vetting. What a pun.
As you may have worked out by now, the job was for a dog walker. Doug walker. Dog walker. A nostalgic job, for a nostalgic kind of guy. I, Doug Walker, 'The Beaver', had finally found my true calling in life.
When I got to the manor of the pet parents that I would learn to call 'mom and dad' (I figured that employers are best referred to with that level of deference), something felt.. awkward. There were no cars in the driveway, and all of the lights were off. But they told me that they'd be there at 3:11 in the afternoon, and checking my digital wristwatch that I once ordered using UPC codes from the side of Dunkaroos dipping containers, I knew that I wasn't mistaken. I considered going back home, but again, as foolish as it may seem now... there was the consequence of having to finish my degree, and I wasn't about to sink that low. I lifted the knocker and let out five steady knocks. Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.
Slowly, the door creaked open. I instinctively jumped back, but no one was there. Did I go back home? Did I knock again, or perhaps yell inside that the door had mysteriously opened by itself and that they should really hire someone to fix it? A lesser man may have have, but that's not me. I let myself in.
I still didn't see anybody, so I continued down the hallway until I noticed a kitchen on my right. I helped myself to a bowl of Cookie Crisp with 2% coconut milk, finding a bowl in the sink that may have been dirty but at least seemed kinda washed, and I'm not much of a germophobe, really. Crunching and munching and feeling nostalgic and critical about the color, flavor, and texture of this sugary delight, I nearly forgot about what I came in to do, until I noticed a tall, lanky, pale-faced, malaise-looking gentleman walking through the doorway. I was so embarrassed that I forgot to give him my name. Afraid that he might call the cops because I let myself in, my nervous instincts kicked in, and I started running 'til I noticed he raised a hand to stop. "Halt", said the man. "Halt, in the name of the lord." He gently touched my shoulder, told me that anyone who would spend any time at all with him was a neighbor and a friend in his kindly ol' eye, and that I could even move in and eat all of his food that I wanted as long as I was willing to work as a full-time dog walker. "That sounds awfully nice of you, Mister..." "Bar Sinister.", he responded, with a pause that reflected a slight bit of tension, though nothing overly overty. Hm. Interesting name, but not interesting enough for me to care.
What was really interesting... so interesting that I had to care... is that he only had one dog for me to walk. "How can a full-time dog walker only walk one dog?", I befuddledly asked with a lifted brow. "Do you ever wonder how full-time college professors can call themselves full-time, when they don't teach all day?", he playfully responded. A fishy red herring answer for sure, but if it was madness, it did have merit to it. My lack of a third-grade education also impaired my judgment, so rather than assume that the fish smell stank to high Heaven, I shook his hand and agreed to a deal, without even asking my parents, let alone telling them.
Sweet Polly Purebread was every bit as sweet and pure as her graceful moniker would have you believe. I used to walk Polly five times a day, fifteen minutes at a time, to try to lessen the guilt of being paid so much by Mr. Bar Sinister--or, as I called him, dad. I'd eat cereal for three square meals, watch a lot of TV, and even invite girls over (who all declined). Several weeks passed, and I was the happiest person on the animal planet. King of the Jungle. King of the Hill. Dream job, dream house, dream dad. I couldn't believe how picture perfect it all was.
That was when reality set in.
"I'm moving.", Mr. Bar Sinister announced one day, between my mouthfuls of frankenmummy and cap'n crunch. "What?", I gaped, spitting high fructose all over the floor. "Don't you mean me?" "No, son." Mr. Bar Sinister responded. "I." He pretended to sniffle. "But I do have a parting gift for you."
Mr. Bar Sinister handed me a gift-wrapped, rectangular present and scooted me out of the door. Since I didn't have any possessions of my own that I brought with me, I decided that I was better off not knowing him any longer because he'd have to be a real f***ing a****** to just toss me out on the street like that. I begged and pleaded mom and dad to take me back and at first they said no but apparently there's a law that if you allow your adult child to drop out of third grade you can go to jail, so they ultimately said yes as long as I'd shut the f*** up about being a beaver.
I tried. I honestly tried. I lasted about 2 1/2 minutes. "Why the f*** didn't you tell me that I'm a f***ing beaver!", I screamed, jamming a pencil between my buck teeth. Unfortunately, while running around and waving my arms in the air shouting "I'm The Beaver, King of the Dam, I am The Beaver, I Am All That I Am", I accidentally knocked over the toaster and it fell into the water-filled sink, which I was falling face-first into. Resigned to a watery lightning death, I closed my eyes and prepared for the great big gig in the sky. But then...
A voice! In my mind! I know it wasn't just me thinking to myself, seriously, I heard a voice. It was... happy. Boastful. Kinda cartoonish. "There's no need to fear! UNDER-dog is here!!!", it triumphantly howled. I was knocked back, all by myself, but as if by a gust of wind. I had been mystically saved from being toasted to death! My father fell to the floor and did seventeen signs of the Kriss Kross while my mom just stared at me like 'what'. Not knowing what else to do, I inhaled and exhaled again and again before taking off my windbreaker. I instantly felt as if a great weight had been taken off my shoulders--literally, that is, because the present that my adopted father had gifted me before exiling me was still in there.
Now, I don't know how to explain these things, but I have a hunch that free will is a delusion, so go f*** yourself. I tore open the present, ribbon, bow, wrapping and all, and inside, I found out that the rectangular object that I had assumed would just be a book about whales or economic justice for underdeveloped nations turned out to be...
A VHS tape. Underdog, in: Not Without My Undies. Not without my undies? This must have been for kids. Then again, the Underdog television program was designed for kids, by kids, I'm guessing anyway. Although our toaster would need to be dried out, we still had a highly functioning VCR, which I yanked out of the closet, set up, and simply couldn't wait to push play for. "What about popcorn?", my mom asked, putting a carton of jiffy pop on top of the oven. "It can wait!", I exclaimed. I had never been so excited to watch a children's cartoon in all of my adult life.
The episode started as normal, I'm guessing, because I don't remember ever watching the Underdog television program before, in all honesty. The theme song was just the word 'Underdog' repeated again and again, but it was in such a high-pitched, Alvin and the Chipmunks kind of squeal. Underdog was an anthropomorphic dogman wearing a red poncho with a 'U' in the center, and a blue cape that could have easily represented one of the towels that I used to tie around my waist years ago. What was especially unsettling about this 'U' dog character, who I later learned was indeed the eponymous 'Underdog', was that he didn't have any fur. 'Perhaps he's a Mexican furless', I laughed to myself, sticking my hand in the now-prepared carton of Jiffy Pop that mother had cooked up for the entire three-piece family to enjoy.
"Children.", Underdog muttered under his breath, like a mutt. "I have hepatitis." His jaw was shaking. What the f***. The camera zoomed into his bloodshot, hound-like eyes. "I am hep for Titus. Bring me Titus. Name your firstborn Titus and bring him to me. ...Hepatitus."
"I know what it's like to be an underdog...", I muttered under my breath, being an involuntary virgin. I didn't even have a first born, and I myself wasn't a first born, either.
The scene transferred to Underdog at his daytime job as a shoeshiner. Underdog, in disguise as an everyday 'Shoeshine Boy', was shining a pair of high heels for what appeared to be an anthropomorphic manatee woman. "I want new shoes!", the manatee lady asserted for no apparent reason, given that she wasn't at a shoe store, but a shoeshiner. "Ma'am.", Shoeshine Boy muttered under his breath "I have AIDS." What the hell? Shoeshine Boy continued polishing the shoes, finishing the job by spitting on the endbits. "You can't get AIDS from saliva.", he offered. A cartoon piano fell through the ceiling, crushing the manatee alive. Highly realistic, non-cartoon gore flew everywhere, while dad choked on his popcorn. Fortunately, I knew the Heimlich maneuver and saved his life, thrusting him in the back and causing him to expel the vandalous kernel pieces. "Thanks, son", he rewarded me with praise. As a result of this tape, we were back on speaking terms.
The next segment featured Shoeshine Boy sitting on a park bench and playing an acoustic guitar. An attractive looking anthropomorphic doglady--not that I'm a furry or anything--strolled past, while Shoeshine Boy whistled like a perverted a******. "Hold my beer", he demanded with confidence to absolutely no one before strumming some acoustic chords and letting out a nasally head voice and singing. "Today is gonna be the day, that they threw it all back to yeewwwww...", he attempted to seduce dogwoman, who smashed him over the head with a vinyl player. The hypothetical camera zoomed in, revealing the hit record--pun intended--as Parklife by rival Britpop sensations 'Blur'.
At that point, the telephone went off. My parents still use a house phone, so a rather obnoxious ring went straight to voicemail. No voicemessage was left, however. "Must be a wrong number", mother dearest suggested in her naivity.
The next scene was even more horrifying and sad. Shoeshine Boy was wearing one of those cone things that dogs wear when they aren't feeling so good. Given that those look kind of like vinyl record players, I assumed that this was a deep metaphor for something or other. "I can't shine shoes in such a grimdark world", Shoeshine Boy muttered to himself, disenchanted with the world around him. "Either I get hurt, or someone else does. What's the use of doing a good deed if the only reward is misery?". Shoeshine Boy turned around, focused his eyes, and... I couldn't believe it. What happened next was so highly unlikely that I just couldn't believe the truth.
Shoeshine Boy was staring directly at the viewer. Me. I was the viewer!! "Walk the dog, Doug.", the morbid canine ordered the television viewing audience. "What the crap.", dad uttered in disbelief. "Our son's name is Doug.", mother stated matter of factly. "WOMAN!!!", dad exclaimed. "You know damned well that Doug left us 17 years ago!".
The f***? "I'm right here!!!", I insisted. "Shut up, Doug.", dad rebutted. "You're ruining the moment."
Realizing that dad Punk'd me, I considered returning to watch the tape, but that's when... an unexpected and unpredictable event occurred. I had never seen anything like it in my entire life... and yet, it occurred. Right in front of me.
The front door blew right open. There was no one on the other side, or if there was, they didn't knock or walk in or anything. I got up, examined the area, and noticed absolutely nothing abnormal. Until I perused the floor.
A... note? I smacked on my stylish Buddy Holly glasses, but the wording was obvious. "Walk the dog, Doug." In cursive...
I couldn't help but get the feeling that I was being watched. Did you ever get the feeling that you were being watched? It isn't a fun feeling. If someone is indeed watching you, that means that something not so pleasurable is happening. Maybe you like the same girl as they do, or they view you as some sort of competition for their precious, petty vice. Maybe they're watching you play with yourself. It's weird.
Being logically minded, I went upstairs and got my dad's shotgun. He always keeps it loaded, in case intruders try to steal our VCR and VHS collection, or whatever real reason he has it, perhaps for Freudian reasons. I knew that, if I was going to watch the Underdog tape through to the end, I had to account for all and any potential... intruders. Chumley the Walrus was an actual person, and he lived in a zoo.
By the time I rejoined the family room downstairs, mom had gone to the grocery store to purchase hot pockets (she doesn't know how to cook. She prepares pre-made foods as a sign that she loves us). Dad was admiring his collection of taxidermied raccoons and squirrel, and had apparently lost interest in the tape, so I watched the rest of it alone.
Let me tell you something: they could put me in the hall of shame for making decisions that are a real shame, because that decision was, indeed, a national tragedy.
Shoeshine Boy was hanging out in a telephone booth. If you're a fan of the show: according to this Wikipedia article I checked out on my Game.com handheld gaming console, ol' Sboy used to 'become Underdog' while switching into superhero uniform inside of a phone booth. I felt myself on the edge of my seat in suspense. I had sat through so much sadness that I just couldn't wait for the action-packed payoff. In fact, I salivated in anticipation. It dribbled onto the floor, so I paused the VHS tape, picked up a ply of Bounty, and wiped the spit off before resuming.
The next five minutes were... well, they were anything but action-packed. Nothing happened worth speaking of. Nothing at all. There was just Sboy, sitting on a telephone booth floor, and he did absolutely nothing but sit there on all fours. His eyes were bloodshot. He looked disheveled. He eventually drifted off to sleep, while the sky changed to sunset to sundown to night, with a full moon spinning from the east or west or whatever direction that is (again, third grade education). I couldn't help but feel let down. I put the tape back on pause, got an ice cold bottle of goat's milk out of the fridge, guzzled it down, and I myself fell asleep.
I couldn't tell you how long I was in slumberland, but I was awoken by a knock at the door. I swiftly leaped to my feet, but within moments the door had swung right open all by itself, presenting an unwelcome breeze like Kramer bursting into your apartment when all you want to do is explain to your ex-girlfriend why you have to dump her due to her tastes in Halloween candy. I was beginning to think that today was Halloween, given all of the festive and strange events, or that what I had actually been watching was a Halloween episode of the Underdog children's television program, but no. I walked over to the door, and another slip of paper that must have been inserted through the doggie door had presented itself:
"You either walk the dog or I'll walk you, Doug."
Okay, seriously, what the f***. That was obviously a threat, but it was the s***tiest and most empty threat ever. It was so weaksauce that I went back and watched the freaking tape, of all things. Our hero stared directly at me, like he did once before. "There's no need to fear... I'm homeless.", he muttered like a drunken person. It was then that I noticed the broken beer bottle shards all over the telephone booth. Given that this show took place in modern times, I guess no one used telephone booths, and that's how he could live in a telephone booth without anyone giving much of a s***.
Now, something that's pretty cool about these old 1970s cartoons is that there are brief segments of other cartoons. It isn't that you don't love the main cartoon, but, kind of like cheating on your wife, it's this neat little vacation from the central program that makes you love the other thing more when you go back to it. Just kidding, that's a f***ing terrible and bizarre moral lesson and I regret even thinking that. Anyway, one of the segments was called Go Go Gophers, in which a group of Native American gophers hang out in the old west and play pranks on American Frontiersman coyotes who try to run them out of town for not being from their own cultural background. Another was called Tennessee Tuxedo, in which the guy who played Maxwell Smart in Get Smart was a straw hat wearing penguin. It's easy to see how both of these shorts, as well as the several others, could be endearing... but I was not ready for the one that ran in this episode. I wasn't ready at all.
Go Walk the f***ing Dog Doug or We'll Walk You. Well, someone in the writing department wasn't so subtle about this set-up. It was about a kid who grew up thinking he was a beaver, abandoned his school and family, found out that he wasn't a beaver, tried to go back to school, discovered that it wasn't working out, and got a job from a newspaper because he didn't have anything else to do with his tedious and depressing existence. It went through everything. Me walking through the open door. Me getting the job. Me eating the various kinds of cereal. Me walking the dog. Me... sleeping. Using the bathroom. ...Okay: this was weird.
I wasn't cool with this!!! There's only one way that this tape could have been made, and that was by Mr. Bar Sinister. He was the only part of my life at the time who didn't even appear in the tape! It was a dead giveaway! I grit my teeth harder than an angry nerd, grasped my dad's gun, and headed where I had to head. Anticlimactically, I could hear the last of the tape in the background: Underdog muttered "There's no need to fear: underwear is here!" to an audience laugh track that didn't taper over an entire half a minute. But I wasn't laughing at this crazy prank. "I'll walk your dog, alright! I'll walk straight to the fire hydrant and un-ZIP!", I asserted like a Hollywood badass. I walked straight to Bar Sinister's house. I didn't even knock. The door didn't open for me, but it wasn't locked either, so I turned the knob and walked right in on my own. I didn't even care if he minded this time. This time, I was going to get answers. No bulls***, no edgy yuck-yucks about the indentured servants of the academic establishment. I wanted--no, needed--to know exactly what he was up to, the several weeks that I had spent living at his manor.
Of course, I had convenient forgotten something. I was reminded of it when a wrinkly, middle-aged gentleman turned around and gave me a startled look and a gasp. "What the f*** are you doing in my house?", he blurted. Realizing that Bar Sinister had sold the place, I quickly apologized, but it was too late. The new owner phoned the police before tying me to a chair and demanding that I kept silent, while he opened the freezer door and ate ice cream right there in front of me, savoring the flavor and licking the spoon. When the cops finally arrived, he distributed each officer pints of the good stuff--it wasn't Breyer's, I can tell you that much--and they all took turns. Eating ice cream. In front of me. My eyes filled with tears at their exclusive feast before they finally cuffed me, took me down to the station, and asked me their twenty questions.
They showed a complete lack of interest in the Bar Sinister situation, but the color flushed from their face when I mentioned the tape. My understanding is that they raided our family house and burnt the VCR, tape still inside of it, right to a crisp. The house caught fire and also burnt down. Years had passed, and I had settled into my new life as a manager at PetSmart. My parents had long since moved to South Dakota to assist with the native gopher population, inspired by the Go Go Gophers short and Underdog related research that they subsequently conducted at my father's psychology lab. Meanwhile, my own psychological reaction to the tape was to move into a telephone booth, where I survived off of muffin tops from a nearby Dunkin Donuts dumpster. It must have been several weeks before the telephone finally rang.
I picked up, but there was no answer. "Must have been a wrong number.", I muttered in my naivity. 3 and a half minutes later, it rang again. I assumed that it must have been my manager trying to get me to work unpaid overtime without clocking in, so f*** that s***.
Finally, it rang one last time. Disconcerted and disheveled, I frantically lifted the phone. "Ah, hello?", I mumbled, clearly under the influence of alcohol. "Look over there.", a hoarse, anonymous voice responded. "Huh?" "Huh." "Huh?".
"It's no joke, Doug." Who the hell was this guy!? "It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a... frog." "A frog!?", I shrieked in a whiny, emasculated, prepubescent-esque voice. "No, it's not a frog, you a******."
Instinctively and with nothing else to do with my life, I looked up into the sky and... gasped. There was... smoke. Two tall buildings. The city was in panic. This was horrible!
"What should I do!?", I screamed into the receiver. "Do look behind you.", the voice responded. I did just that. Running my hands through broken beer bottles, I somehow found... a baby blue towel? "Try it on.", he sheepishly suggested. Empowered by my bleeding hands, I fastened the towel around my upper torso. "I think I get it now", I explained. "Good", said the sinister voice, hanging up the phone.
Decorating my tighty white undershirt, which I was wearing as an overshirt, with a blood red 'U', I had completed my transformation. "There's no need to fear! UNDERDOG is here!!!", I triumphantly exclaimed, stammering out of the phone booth intoxicated.
Stumbling through the park, I arrived at the towering heights apartments approximately five and a half hours later. The smoke was gone, but a sinister fog remained in my heart. Something was not quite right. I barged right into the suite, where I was greeted by a secretary. "Checking in?", the damsel responded in clear distress. "Ma'am... I am a hero, not a snail! I cannot linger on small details!". I ran up the stairs to the presumed source of the fire, while Mrs. Gonorrhea called the police. But I knew what I had to do. And I was running out of time.
Door 311. The devil's number. This had to be it! I slammed the emergency fire outlet and lifted the extinguisher, smashing through the wooden door with the blunt object. "Evil is as evil does! Joseph Smith married many loves!", I yelled as my battle cry for some reason. I bumbled into the kitchen area, visibly hungover, before I... well. I just couldn't believe it.
"A-HA-HA-HA!", my rival nemesis exclaimed. "The dog man has finally walked!". An epic final battle presumed, and by that I mean I smashed him in the head with a shovel. Before long, the cops came and arrested the man, but accidentally arrested me instead.
As for me, I'm currently awaiting trial. But can a man who's been through so many trials actually be 'awaiting trial'?. Besides, I'm more of a cereal eater than a serial killer. Justice will prevail. In the meanwhile: officer, I appreciate this opportunity to inform the children of the dangers of dropping out of school. I've been good.
May I have my ice cream now?
As for where I am right now, if you've been listening, I'm in a coma again. The cops administered a serum to channel this to you using a controversial government secret known as 'ESP Telepathy'. He's hidden me in the attic, where he injects sunflower milk IVs into my veins to keep me among the living. I know you can hear me. You're the only person who can save me. My parents are out there somewhere, but my understanding, based on the projections of the psychic lightwaves that were channeled into my occipital lobe, is that they moved to South Dakota to assist with the native gopher population, inspired by Underdog related research. Bar Sinister opened a create-your-own-breakfast-cereal restaurant called Bar Sinister's, in downtown Manhattan. No one suspects any wrongdoing, as the juicy details have been covered up by the shadow government.
Listen, I know that life can really bring ya down. Sometimes, life can be a real drag. But you gotta help me. Write a letter to your Congressman. Let them know that you know the truth. About the beaver. And you'll be... dammed... if they don't do something about it.
Update (to Alternate Ending): 3 1/2 years later
I have awoken from the coma, and have located Bar Sinister's new hideout. That letter you wrote to the government was used as a fast food placemat by the sitting President. And believe me, does he sit. Seriously, guy never gets any exercise. Anyway, thanks for trying. Kind of like how saying you voted makes you feel better, even if it didn't actually change anything.
As it turns out, 'walk the dog' is an anagram for 'Thaw God Elk'. I have not yet solved the mystery of this term, but you can help me by donating to my Kickstarter. I promise not to use it for beer money, as these matters are my new and only calling in life. In the meanwhile, don't give up hope.
Even if you're... the Underdog.