100,000 years ago, there was a magical elf who lived in an enchanted forest, named Craigery. Craigery was considered a hero among his people, slaying wild orcs, entertaining kings and queens with his spirited mandolin, and being man enough to ask strangers for directions. Anyway.
Clifford the Big Red Dog is a popular children’s television show and book series, and I think that’s pretty okay. But as there is a yin and a yang, there is darkness to counteract evil. But what is light, and what is darkness? Don’t bother asking me: I don’t know Jack. But I do know Jack Williams. He was an intern for PBS, which airs the popular cartoon. He’s informed me of unspeakable terrors that I swore in secrecy to never tell another soul. That’s why I’m talking about it to thousands of anonymous people on the Internet. I trust you, and I hope that you trust that what I’m telling you is the truth. Jack would’ve liked that.
The people are PBS are mostly smiles and pats on the back, but what you might not have guessed is that there’s a locked-off backroom in the PBS headquarters’ basement. It requires multifactor authentication to get in there: a username/password combo, and a blood sample. Don’t ask me why, but it requires AB negative blood, which only 0.6% of the population has. Jack had to steal a sample from the local blood bank to get in. Once inside, a blue-screen terminal requires an answer to a question: “What was Emily-Elizabeth’s first word?”. If you answer with ‘gnosticism’, you’ll be granted a keycard, which is more than a little misleading, because it is to be used to pry open an air vent, rather than unlock a door. This will lead you to a high-rung ladder. Climb up to the roof and pry open the HVAC system, and there, you will find a Clifford the Big Red Dog VHS tape.
The tape is so highly secured that, if you attempt to leave the premises with it, a red laser system activates. It’s the sort of thing used to protect priceless artifacts at a museum. There’s an exposed power outlet on the roof, so you have to bring your own TV and VCR and plug them in to watch the tape. Once you do, though, odds are highly unlikely that you’ll regret it.
The episode begins without a theme song. It just shows three young people, likely in their early-to-mid teens, named Thomas, Philip, and Mary. The three are hanging out by a payphone of a Quizno’s parking lot, lamenting that they were beaten to a very significant finding that a dozen of fellow students in their class got to first. Thomas is seen sticking his hand into a ginormous jar of Helman’s mayonnaise, fishing out giant gunks of the stuff in his hands and eating it like Winnie the Pooh out of a honeypot. Philip is more or less like a clueless surfer dude, smoking blunts and advocating the flat-earth hypothesis. Mary suggests that the only way to win back their classmates’ attention is to bring a dog to school, and they agree.
For a few seconds, the screen starts to flicker and change color, while Thomas, Philip, and Mary’s noses grow bigger and start to warp and assume most of their faces. Mary’s a blonde, Philip wears torn up jeans, and Thomas briefly turns into an embryo in a jar before returning back to his normal self.
The next scene shows the three at a pet store. Philip cuts himself with shards of the mayonnaise jar after smashing it on the counter, claiming he’s doing it to feed the animals. A rather suspicious looking parrot with an elongated beak squawks out a ‘fuck you’, and Philip runs out of the store crying. Thomas lays on the floor, claiming that the floor tiles’ pattern is of a stunning geometric pattern.
Once the camera zooms into the floor, it becomes obvious that the pattern is a Satanic pentagram, which is more than a little suspicious. Mary pops a little chiclet-looking tablet on her tongue and swallows, before her eyes bulge and she runs out of the place screaming and crying.
At this point, Jack realized that what he was watching was not a scene of a pet shop, but some sort of animal sacrifice chamber. Around a half a minute of Thomas sobbing about how beautiful he observes the tiling to be is shown, while the rest of the video is pretty much still frame. A close-up of a woman’s face, while she smiles and chows down on a hot dog, is shown. Then she spits out what must have been a solid gallon of yellow mustard, spitting up like a haunted spirit in need of an exorcist. “It begins”, she whispers, smiling like a vixen. The camera zooms out, slowly.
A shot of a bubbling witches’ cauldron is shown. Various herbs, spices, and hot dog condiments are tossed in. Ketchup, mustard, pickles, relish, onions, and leather bootstraps boil away until a massive, velvety cloud poofs and evaporates… and what appears to be the spirit of a dog emerges. “Phoenix—rise from the ashes!”, the hot dog devouring woman declares with a cackle. What appears to be the channeled spirit of a miniature red dog emerges, and grows larger and larger until the scarlet canine is a rabid-looking, obsessively salivating beast of a canine. “You will suppress the truth!”, shouts the witch. “You will mislead the people, and stimulate the stenching seed of self-doubt and eternal skepticism! You, you… you!”. With that, the dog lets out a menacing growl and storms out of the sacrificial chamber in a storm of self-obscuring, blood red dust that swirls like an infamous Kansas tornado.
The ending is especially messed up. The venomous dog spirit is seen stampeding into a local junior high. He claws apart twelve copies of beautiful student reports of hopes, dreams, and inspiring things that they had witnessed. Phoenix howls in delight like a coyote possessed before leaping out of a window and poofing in yet another scarlet cloud – this time, for good. The only remaining student reports are those of Thomas, Philip, and Mary. All of them contain lies about the school, its students, and its teachers.
The rest of the episode depicts hundreds of years that pass. It’s difficult to make out without the dialog, but it appears that the school… well, it rusts. The sky turns gray. Walls are collapsing, and only ruins remain. It’s implied that, all along, the building was more than a junior high school, but some sort of—pagan temple, perhaps. The children were the leaders. The children were the teachers. They were bad children. They had been dead for hundreds of years, now.
Meanwhile, a rival school grew, and it was beautiful. It taught peace and love. It appeared that the teachers who had escaped martyrdom at the previous school had saved the tradition of goodness, against all odds. They had continued to teach at the old school, and some found the involuntary end to their servicing there. It’s a shame. As for me…
My name is Jack. I used to be an intern at PBS. I used to feel like a much different person. I was youthful, wide-eyed, and innocent. I had written a book about a magical elf named Craigery who lived in an enchanted forest and saved his people and taught children to be respectfully social.
Now, I am old. I’m dying of—something or other, but I haven’t been to a doctor in many years. I told myself that I’d never tell another soul the truth, but now – I am dying. Childless. A childless children’s author.
The truth about Clifford the Big Red Dog is that he is the counterculture of an era in which all secrets became known. This is not the fault of Norman Bridwell. He was a beautiful man who wanted to share the spirit of the light with the children of the world. But somewhere along the way, Clifford was captured by a big, red menace. The people at PBS are good people. I know this to be true. But demons can be invisible. And the most effective kind of social engineering is invisible social engineering. Before it’s too late—record the cartoons. Scan them for hidden messages. Oh, this can’t all be coincidence! I am dying!
Fulfil an older man’s dying wish! Save the children! Before the invisible editors plant the seeds of a gnostic future before—oh, hey, a call from PBS. And I can’t die! The hot dog eating temptress promised me this! Sincerely, the former grandmaster of the great gnostic temple.
Story and video credited to Cjaymarch84.