Simpsons Did It!: “Hungry, Hungry Homer”

Wow.  One year ago today, my first Simpsons post went up, and I’m still at it.

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OK, to be fair, it hasn’t been a year.  Not really.  I write a review every time I see an episode, so I am writing this very far in advance.  As of this typing, it’s only early October.  I don’t even know who won that presidential election yet.  Could be anybody really.

So, all hail President Watson!

And after that general announcement, this whole thing seems rather anticlimactic, and this episode was penned by the great John Swartzwelder, AKA the only regular writer I cite by name when I type these things up.  We see Homer learn, as he says for this week, that helping the little guy is kinda cool after he successfully argues Lisa should get the missing piece for the souvenir she bought at a Legoland type theme park.

That leads to Homer doing more good deeds, like getting Bart a date for the school dance (with some help from Mrs. Krabappel reminding the girl in question that she really shouldn’t pass up a so-so guy by pining for a fellow that is way out of her league), and then gets Marge’s coupon honored at the hairdresser while saving said hairdresser thousands of dollars in the process.  What else can Homer do?  Well, he tries to get Lenny a refund for his season ticket to the Springfield Isotopes, which proves hard when new owners Duff Beer won’t do the refund because they want the money, and that leads to the office of Howard K Duff VIII, voiced by guest star Stacy Keach.  And that would be when Homer accidentally stumbles into a room full of new flags and stuff for a team called the Albuquerque Isotopes.

My God, Duff was moving the team to Albuquerque!

With some help from Duffman, Duff VIII manages to drug Homer and send him home.  Returning with the press finds the room empty except for a man with a sad trombone.  Homer is now being castigated as a liar on TV by Duff, and though Homer doesn’t mind being called a liar when he actually is, was, or planning to lie, he doesn’t like it when he speaks the truth!

A suggestion from Lisa to try a hunger strike like Caesar Chavez seems like a laughable response considering this is Homer, but it happens all the same. So, Homer chains himself outside the ballpark in the name of truth and refuses to eat.  And his hunger pains cause him to do crazy stuff to ignore the pain which does draw him attention…but mostly because he’s more entertaining than the Isotopes.  Duff and Duffman then opt to sneak Homer inside the stadium and proclaim he’s starving himself until the Isotopes win the pennant.  And since he’s way out in the middle of nowhere, no one can hear him shout the Albuquerque stuff.  But he can hear everyone chewing their Peking Ducks.  Homer’s desperate, and even hallucinating an encouraging ghost of Caesar Romero since he doesn’t know what Caesar Chavez looks like.

But Duff won’t let Homer die out there, so they bring him in and replace him with what looks like a short-lived act by Paint-Drinking Pete.  Offering a very hungry Homer, who went 12 days without eating, a new type of hot dog seems to weaken his resolve…until he notes the new topics are popular in the Southwest!  And then it turns out these dogs come wrapped in sheets that say “Albuquerque Isotopes”.  Homer was right, Duffman flips his boss over a fence because that’s what Jesus would do, and Homer gets to eat again.  The Mayor of Albuquerque decides he doesn’t want the team now that the fans have shown so much spirit.  He’ll take the Dallas Cowboys if possible and they’ll play baseball, for he is the MAYOR OF ALBUQUERQUE!

Man, that sure was something.  And it’s still been a year of this column.  Sort of.  Maybe.

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Let’s dance anyway!

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