Simpsons Did It!: “Postcards From The Wedge”

You know, it wasn’t that long ago when Bart was trying to get Homer and Marge closer, now this time around he’s driving them apart.  Sort of.

After what seems like a pointless filmstrip about the need for nuclear cars in the future when the Springfield bus and subway won’t do…wait, there was nothing that “seems” pointless there.  It was pointless.  Even Mrs. Krabappel isn’t sure why she ran it.  Anyhoo, it comes time for the kids of the fourth grade to pull out their models of Pueblo Indian homes.  Of course Martin’s gets an “A”.  Bart’s…is incomplete.  And trying to accomplish it in 30 seconds when he had the assignment for three months is not a compliment.  Mrs. Krabappel has no choice but to send a letter home to Bart’s parents, pointing out he really doesn’t do any homework at all.

Bart’s effort to intercept that letter don’t work as Homer finds it first.  Yes, even though he can give the illusion of a fever to Marge with ear friction, how he got it done before the rectal thermometer went in is a mystery he won’t explain to Lisa.

Herein lies the problem:  Homer wants Bart to do his homework as he is, for once, the disciplinarian here.  Marge thinks Bart has too much to do.  Can Bart play off both his parents’ disagreements to keep himself from doing any?  Of course he can.  And both Homer and Marge can be downright stubborn.

They change their mind about apologizing and fighting when Marge finds out Ned had an argument with Maude over towel use before she died that he never apologized for, and Patty and Selma pointing out that divorcing Homer will make Marge as happy as they are.  That does it for her.

Homer, meanwhile, is sleeping at work where he dreams he gets a big parade for being the first husband to win a fight with his wife, only for the float to kill Marge.  Homer may be upset, but once again, sleeping at work somehow saved his marriage.

With Homer and Marge reconciled, they decide to let Bart fend for himself.  He’s the reason for their marriage, so why not?

That doesn’t go well.  Bart and Milhouse manage to spray Skinner with sugar water during hummingbird season, and evade capture when Milhouse takes Bart down to the old subway, long since forgotten, even when they built that monorail.  Milhouse learned about the place one time when he’d been kidnapped by groundhogs.  And those old trains still work, though they cause all kind of earthquake problems on the surface.

Hey, maybe that pointless filmstrip did have a point after all!

But Marge and Homer, well, they don’t care that Bart caused a minor earthquake.  Conferring with Nelson, Bart comes to suspect that the real reason Bart lashes out is for the attention that comes with punishment.  Without that, he has nothing.  He’ll have to do something really bad now.

Say, the seismic damage to the school make it look like the whole thing could come down if Bart drives the subway around some more.

Will Bart destroy the school?  A note from Lisa alerts Homer and Marge, and the pair spring into action.  Homer manages to stop the subway in time with the emergency cut-off switch.  And the school doesn’t fall down…until Skinner orders a flag flown in celebration, the flagpole comes down, hits the school, and down goes Springfield Elementary.

Nelson and Mrs. Krabappel exchange a high-five.

So, Bart is being punished.  And oddly enough, Lisa notes she didn’t send Homer and Marge any letters about Bart doing anything.  In fact, the note has a common misspelling that Bart makes quite frequently.  He ratted himself out.  His secret’s safe with Lisa.

So, did he finally do his homework?


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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