Think of how much character this show would be lacking as a result if the characters weren’t such total stoners.
The world of Scooby-Doo is—let’s face it here, people!—weird. Very weird. Super weird. But it’s hard not to fall in love with its strange Gothic atmosphere and the super duper optimistic nature of our protagonists, who might be in high school, yet seem to lack any sort of adult supervision whatsoever, or who might be in college, were their world to possess even a smidgen of normalcy.
The world of Scooby-Doo is a bickering sphere populated by bitter misers who seem to follow the same modus operandi no matter what situation they may find themselves in. It goes something like this when explained in the language of adults:
STEP ONE: Find yourself annoyed by the banks, which might be two seconds away from launching an investigation into your alleged (sure, we’ll go with that) tax fraud. But you know something about the rest of humanity that others might not: That people are stupid.
STEP TWO: Plea bargains might mean you have to give up your creepy, lonely Coolsville villa perched atop a cliff overlooking the sinister sea. You can’t have that. Villas are expensive (well, maybe not to you, but it’s a villa). So you decide to dress up like a scary diver from the deep (or something or other).
STEP THREE: Your plan is a major success. The locals will notice that you’ve vanished and will never link together the very real possibility that the scary man from the deep with the diver’s helmet draped in Party City seaweed is the same miser with all the ill-gotten gains in the unfortunately located seaside villa. Because people are stupid.
STEP FOUR: Rinse and repeat, timing your appearances from the depths of the sea accordingly with your kidney dialysis appointments at the hospital in the next township, where conveniently, no one will have noted that you’re supposed to have vanished or something like that because there are no news channels out in these parts, only backwoods superstition and carrier pigeons.
STEP FIVE: Sleep cozily in bed at night in the villa the Sheriff’s Department has neglected to obtain a search warrant for because everyone’s holed up in their houses too scared to move. Go to the empty supermarket and do your grocery shopping simply by putting things into your cart and walking out. Why not? No one will see you.
There is a second element to this equation. Somewhere out there in this strange world exists an absent parent (actually, not strange at all) who indulges his daughter, an absent minded auburn haired stunner with an inclination towards donning purple frocks. He sends her a message through his secretary: “Child, please accept my monthly procreation stipend into your bank account by the first of each month. Now, off with you.”
So the child (her name is Daphne) takes Daddy’s money gladly. She chooses to invest it in more purple frocks and a van which she proceeds to get her staff of personal maids to paint all the colors she perceived to be her lacking in her life during her time on Manson’s ranch. Along the way, she buys the affections of this tall, sandy haired jock named Fred (who wears a signature ascot) who is more than happy to take charge of their joyrides, seeing as Daphne was tragically born without a personality.
Well, that might be just a tad unfair. Both of them have always admired Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, though to their knowledge, neither of their idols took mind altering substances (I’d argue that they must have, if their inability to tie their shoes without bumping into major criminals is to be believed). So Barbie and Ken decide to recruit an intelligent mousy-haired spitfire named Velma, Shaggy, their dealer, and his talking dog (who may or may not be real).
The world of Scooby-Doo is weird. This bears repeating more than once.
So these kids, embroiled in 1960s counterculture, take their groovy van to parts unknown. No place they find looks like it could in any way resemble the planet we live on. The countryside is doused in thick fog, bears fruit to thick, unyielding forests and is, for the most part, entirely desolate. The cities themselves look like Brooklyn before the hipster invasion. Which leads us into:
STEP SIX: Arrive in desolate town. Run into scary diver from the deep while taking advantage of the surf at the intriguingly empty beach. Convince the superstitious locals to stop acting like carrion for ONE GODDAMN SECOND, piece the disappearance of the aforementioned miser together with the sudden appearance of the diver. Shaggy will insist that the supernatural is indeed at work. Scooby will wet himself.
STEP SEVEN: After exploring the miser’s villa, Velma will discover some rather suspicious looking credit card statements. She might or might not tell anyone, for the sake of hogging all the glory later. Scooby will find some diving gear and a blunt, though he’ll share the latter with Shaggy. Eventually, Fred will suggest that everyone split up, presumably so no one can catch him admiring himself in the mirror of the master bedroom
STEP EIGHT: Sensing that Scooby-Doo is not exactly the type of creature you create a “Beware of Dog” sign for, the scary diver kidnaps Daphne. Kidnapping her entails one of two options: She can either find a trap door in the process of tripping over a dust molecule if she doesn’t agree to go quietly, which I assume is much easier to do than it sounds.
STEP NINE: Once Daphne’s disappearance begins to make waves (we’re talking tiny wading pool bursts of energy), the gang proceeds to go searching for her; Scooby is only convinced to go on this expedition when he’s fed pot cookies (we KNOW what those Scooby Snacks are, Hanna-Barbera, I mean, REALLY). The chase begins. An obscure psychedelic rock track not even the denizens of YouTube can locate all these years later will play over the expected chase scene. Daphne says, “Hi guys! I figured out something that might have been obvious to Velma earlier, but I need a line of dialogue right now.” So the gang proceeds to set up a trap that Kevin from Home Alone would call amateur.
STEP TEN: Thwarted by this trap (probably a fishing net picked up from the back end of Home Depot), Fred will pull off the scary diver’s mask and everyone will be absolutely STUNNED to see that the old miser is not dead. The authorities will show up with fresh doughnuts (because being afraid to step outside leaves you with a lot of time to figure out how to make your own) and the aforementioned miser is carted off to the slammer. Happiness as we know it will be restored.
But I still haven’t been able to figure out if this criminal mastermind (yeah, right!) had some Scooby Snacks himself. He’ll inevitably say, “I would have gotten away with it too, had it not been for you meddling kids and that DOG!”
Does he see what I can’t see? Is this what will happen once pot is legalized nationwide? Will I have a talking animal friend who will be excited to solve crimes with me? Will he be accepted as legion? That doesn’t sound too bad at all. If anything, all that weed teaches us that skepticism, not superstition, is the way to go. Not a bad thing to teach your kids, though I’ll happily leave dispensing or not dispensing weed to them up to you.