Apparently, a bad fire drill can go wrong in many, many different ways.
Yes, Mr. Burns feels the need to shake things up at the Power Plant, and the best way to do that is run a fire drill. Now, rather than a quick, orderly exit from the building, instead there’s a huge mad dash of employees going in all kids of directions, including one man going in circles. Homer snatches one irreplaceable photo from his work station (an Old Timey one of himself), Lenny won’t leave without his cocoa, one man brandishes a fire extinguisher to fight off his co-workers instead of a potential fire, and another guy just runs in circles. Smithers was trying to keep time but his stopwatch only went as far as fifteen minutes.
Homer does get out first, but then he blocks the exit with a bench and tells Burns he “won”.
Point is, Burns is disappointed enough to decide that the whole plant needs a lesson in teamwork and calls for a team-building exercise that weekend at the nearby national park, Mt. Useful. Is that the best name writer John Swartzwelder could come up with? I dunno. Probably.
Homer brings the family along. He didn’t realize he wasn’t supposed to. That works out well for Smithers. See, Burns had everyone divided into pairs. Lenny and Carl got picked to go together, and neither seemed all that happy about it. Burns was supposed to get Smithers, but since Burns thought Smithers was being something of a pill, the rigged name-calling didn’t work out in Waylon’s favor. Burns instead got set up with Homer. Smithers was set up with himself. Then Bart and Lisa became his partners, but Bart kept asking about gold and maple syrup while Lisa pulled out every injured animal she could find.
Why would this be a problem? Well, the teams had to work together to find a cabin in the woods, and the last team there would be fired. Smithers feared it would be him.
It wouldn’t be Burns and Homer. Simple reason, really: Burns would cheat, and Homer would not object to such a plan. A secreted horseless sleigh ride later gets Burns and Homer to the cabin first. Then they clink champagne glasses and cause an avalanche, burying the cabin. Since Lenny and Carl were the second ones there, and the cabin was nowhere to be seen, they left. The plant’s employees instead took over a ranger’s station.
A quick tunnel out would have worked, but then Homer and Burns did a high five and caused another, much worse avalanche. With their heat source extinguished and more snow than ever on top, there isn’t much for Homer and Burns to do but build snowmen, dress the snowmen in their own clothes, get really paranoid, and hallucinate. Homer sees Burns surrounded by mean looking snowmen. Telling Burns he has power–political powers!–causes Burns to see Homer surrounded by the sorts of political leaders Burns probably thinks still runs the world. That’d be Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, King Tut, Chairman Mao, and Gandhi.
The scuffle causes Burns to hit the propane tank, which goes off and rockets the cabin down the mountain to where everyone else is. How convenient.
And then Lenny is the last one in. I guess he got fired.
And I further guess Homer and Burns never looked at each other the same way again.
Now where did that drunk find the booze in the ranger look-out station?