Dougs in Space


PROFITING: Douglas Anderson, fictional character and depressed alcoholic, never left California in his thirty-seven years of existence.

In his college days, Doug traveled as far north as Stockton for a one-week training seminar after accidentally acquiring a job at a car rental company.

He also visited San Diego on several occasions, though he wasn’t particularly fond of it. When pressed for a reason why he felt this way about an entire city, Doug only ever averted his eyes and curled his lip.

He even once had plans to visit Las Vegas. It was to be a celebration of his twenty-first birthday with a group of his closest friends. The culmination of a lifelong bond forged through the crucible of childhood and, in one case, a brief stint in juvenile hall. Unfortunately for Doug, he had the misfortune of falling ill with a mild cold mere days before. And rather than risk getting anyone else sick, he took the headache and stuffy nose as a sign from the Universe to stay home. Doug would never see the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip, nor the many fliers and pamphlets for adult entertainment that line it.

That said. Try to imagine Doug’s surprise when, without warning, he found himself ripped from atop his toilet, sent crashing up and through the ceiling of the converted garage he rented in Santa Ana from a kindly old woman named Gloria for five-hundred dollars a month, and then hurled by some unseen force into orbit.

Despite the arguments that invariably arise whenever the wholesale abandonment of Douglas Anderson by physics itself is brought up in conversation, Doug was neither frightened nor quick to make some sarcastic, witty remark with his final breath. Instead, he welcomed his end with open arms. And his final thought before finding himself shredded to pieces by a passing stream of space debris, located somewhere between Newport and the moon, was this: “Dreams really do come true.”

Gloria, unfortunately, passed away several months after Doug’s ejection from the planet Earth. With Doug gone, there was nobody home on Wednesday afternoons. Thus, there was nobody around to hold the chair steady for Gloria as she refilled the bird feeder in her garden. Her body was found several weeks later by her son, Tito, who had stopped by in the hopes of borrowing fifty dollars until he started his new job.

Tito, meanwhile, currently operates and manages daily tours of the Doug-sized hole left behind in his mother’s garage.