Disclaimer: I don't own Gravity Falls or any character from the franchise.
What if it wasn't Stan's Fault?
Chapter 1: Blown Fuse
A dejected Stanford Filbrick Pines returned home. "Hey, what's the word, Sixer?" (1) Stanford's twin brother Stanley asked. The look on Ford's face made Stan wonder if he shouldn't have asked that question.
"I failed, Stan!" Ford sadly answered while crying. "My perpetual-motion machine didn't work!"
"How come?" Stan asked in genuine confusion. "It was working yesterday, wasn't it?"
"A fuse must have blown or something." (2) Ford explained. "Of all the times it could have happened… They said I wasn't West Coast Tech material."
"But you can fix the perpetual-thingy machine." Stan hopefully suggested. "Can't you, Sixer?"
"What's the point, Stan?" Ford desperately asked. "No West Coast Tech representative will ever give me another chance."
"Forget about that fancy place, Fordsy." Stan advised his brother. "You're enough of a nerd to get in any other college. Not that you really need it."
"What do you mean by that?" Now Ford was the confused one.
"We can go treasure hunting and then you use your share to make an improved version of your machine and show it to the world." Stan suggested.
"Are you kidding me?" Ford asked in exasperation. "That idea is nothing but a childhood fantasy! We have no clue to where to find a treasure and the Stan-O-War isn't even close to being ready for this."
"Yes, it is and I'm showing you." Stan defiantly replied and then went to the beach with Ford so they could see their boat. There, Ford nonchalantly pointed at a hole. "Nothing a few bits of tape can't help, Sixer." Stan then noticed his brother glaring at him. "Fine, make it a lot of tape."
"Face it, knucklehead. Even if the boat wasn't damaged and we found some treasure, the boat wouldn't be able to withstand the treasure's weight." Ford told Stan. "I'm going to whatever college accepts me and, if I ever become a millionaire, I'll be able to buy a better boat so we can bring back whatever treasures we find, assuming we find some." Ford declared.
"Whatever." Stan reluctantly accepted Ford's point. "I'll try to find another way to become a millionaire myself." He then noticed Ford giving a skeptical look. "I mean it, Sixer. The ocean isn't the only place to find treasures."
Having nothing else to say, the Stans went back home. The next morning, Ford was filling an application form to enroll at Backupsmore University when his mother interrupted him. "Stanford, where's my free spirit?" She asked out of worry. "I'm about to make lunch."
"Oh, he's out there trying to find a treasure." Ford dismissively answered.
"I thought your ship wasn't ready." Ma Pines commented.
"Stanley merely bought a metal detector and went to the beach to see what he can find there, Mother." Ford explained. "What a waste of money."
"At least he's wasting his own allowance money." Filbrick Pines bluntly commented. "If the knucklehead expects to live in this household after becoming an adult, he'd better earn his keep. I can always use some help at the pawn shop."
Stan happily entered their apartment. "I found it!"
"A treasure?" His brother and his parents asked with tones of surprise.
"No!" Stan answered. "My true calling! I'm becoming a salesman!"
Ford was the first to recover from the surprise. "Stanley, I have nothing against people having a set goal for their lives but, where did you get the idea of becoming a salesman?"
"I was at the beach looking for a treasure but business was slow going. It turns out gold seems to be some sort of rare metal. (3) I was growing tired when I spotted this billboard." Stan explained. "It impressed me with the traveling salesman lifestyle and the idea of becoming my own boss."
Upon hearing this, Filbrick was so angry at his youngest son (4) he quickly grabbed him. "You stupid knucklehead! Don't you realize that whoever posted that billboard is just tricking people into buying their products in bulk so it'll be their problem to convince potential buyers into purchasing them for final consumption? You'd have to be a real talented salesman to be able to resell enough of the items to make a profit."
"I know, Dad." Stan reassured his Dad. "That's why I'm starting my own business instead of buying products from those billboard people."
"Your own business?" Ma Pines asked, being the only one to already have faith on her 'free spirit'.
"Yeah, Ma." Stan answered. "Stanco Enterprises. I'll make home products and become a millionaire faster than one can say 'hot Belgian waffles'!"
"Knucklehead, there are two problems with your idea." Filbrick bluntly stated. "One, you don't have the money to start any sort of business; Two, you cannot make a good product to sell. I can get away with a "no refunds" policy since I don't make the stuff I sell but the customers aren't so forgiving with product makers. You sell them stuff you make with the same results you got from that stupid boat of yours and they'll likely chase you out of New Jersey. Not that I'd mind leaving but it hurts to be expelled."
"One, I can apply for a Government grant." Stan replied. "Two, I can get a nerd to invent something for me in exchange for a share of whatever people pay for the invention. Are you interested, Sixer?"
"Oh no, Stanley." Filbrick sternly replied. "I won't let you lie and cheat right on your brother's coattails anymore. Stanford is going to college to earn a degree that'll make him a millionaire and allow us to leave this dump."
"He just has to invent something people would buy and then show me how to make more of those, Dad." Stan explained. "I'll handle the rest. What do you say, Sixer?"
"Don't listen to him, Stanford!" Filbrick commanded. "Whatever you can invent you can pitch to some already established company that'll pay well instead of a knucklehead who doesn't know what he's doing."
"I want to hear from Sixer." Stanley firmly replied.
"Stanley, right now I don't have any inventions to pitch but we can discuss this subject later if I ever invent something I think people would buy." Ford diplomatically replied.
"Fine, I'll see what I can make on my own before starting my company." Stan said. "Until then, I'll get into that traveling salesman thing to get sales experience and money to make a good product."
"That's the spirit, Stanley!" His mother exclaimed in approval.
"After you fail, you can always work for me or follow the Principal's advice about working at the taffy shop." Filbrick bluntly added. "Those barnacles won't scrap off themselves."
"Don't you mean if our free spirit fails, Filbrick?" Ma Pines asked her husband.
"Face it." Filbrick told his wife. "Stan is too stupid to pull this off. If he wants to try this, he must buy things using his own money."
"Oh, yeah?" Stan defiantly asked. "I'll show you and that arrogant Principal who's the stupid one here. What do you say, Sixer?"
"Stanley, if you really want to run a business, you should go to college first." Ford suggested.
"Ha." Filbrick scoffed. "Your mother and I barely saved enough money to send you to Backupsmore in case you don't get a scholarship to a better place and you expect us to waste the rest on the knucklehead? He'd not even have a chance to finish High School without you to cheat off."
"Nevermind, Dad." Stan reassured him. "College might be useful for nerds like Fordsy but not for me. Hmmm, perhaps I'll read a book or two on business."
"Why not?" Filbrick asked. "Your company probably won't grow bigger than my pawn shop and I never went to college either."
With that topic settled, the male Pineses decided to wait while Ma Pines made lunch.
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20-8-5 20-9-20-12-5 9-19 20-8-5 11-5-25.
(1) Question taken from "A Tale of Two Stans"
(2) Another line from "A Tale of Two Stans"
(3) Adapted from another line from "A Tale of Two Stans". Let's face it: It has so many references to that episode I should stop adding these notes.
(4) I'm one of those fans who believe the Stans' brother Shermie to be older than them and the father of that baby seen in the flashback from when Filbrick kicked Stan out of their home.