Simpsons Did It!: “The Bob Next Door”

Well, I guess Ruth Powers doesn’t live next door to the Simpsons anymore.

Springfield is broke.  Really broke.  They can’t cook the books or fudge the numbers anymore, which makes Homer think of inappropriate food.  To save money, the city cuts services.  No more dead animal pick-up.  School days are shortened to minutes at best.  And lots of nonviolent criminals get out of jail.

After a very low stakes crime wave starts, and at about the same time many Springfielders move to Detroit for a better life, the Simpsons get a new neighbor.  He has nice furniture and maybe a koy pond.  Really, he seems nice and soft-spoken.  Bart goes over to say hello to the man, someone named Walt, and, well, his voice sounds a lot like Sideshow Bob.  True, he looks nothing like Bob, but he sure does sound like Kelsey Grammer.  Bart’s worried, even after Marge and Homer point out Sideshow Bob sounds an awful lot like Fraiser so some people just have similar voices.

The thing is, all the clues point to it not being Bob.  He has normal-sized feet for one thing.  He won’t sing along to Gilbert & Sullivan.  And Marge takes Bart down to the prison to see if Sideshow Bob’s still there.  He is.  He’s in a straight jacket writing, “Bart Simpson will die!” over and over again.  Looks like Walt is the real deal.  Since he seems to be a decent man, Walt offers to take Bart to a baseball game.  At about that time, Sideshow Bob breaks out of prison.

Well, not quite.  See, Bart was right.  It is Sideshow Bob.  Walt was his cellmate, and Bob had read up on plastic surgery and surgically switched their faces just before Walt was due to be released.  Walt manages to convince the other Simpsons of his true identity.  See, that writing wasn’t a threat to Bart…it was a warning!  And it looks like Bob is taking Bart to the place where five states meet to kill the boy.

But then a lonely waitress, not turned off by the fact the stranger with Bob’s voice had his face nearly come off, tells the Simpsons Bob took Bart to Mexico.  Walt doesn’t believe it and goes off on his own after his new face also almost came off.  Bob’s not much of a surgeon.  Homer’s not good at Spanish either when he can’t figure out the Spanish word for taco is “taco”.

Bob’s plan is to actually murder Bart in such a way that he didn’t commit a crime in any of the five states but somehow it all adds up to a murder by shooting Bart across a state line.  Bart delays for time by hopping into the same state Bob is in at all times, and Walt helps out when he catches up, but it turns out Bart had already rescued himself.  Bart knew the baseball game thing was a scam and had called Chief Wiggum before he left the house, and Wiggum and the Springfield P.D. had followed Bart to Five Points.  Now, Wiggum’s jurisdiction ended with Bob in another state, but then the state police of that state, who sound Texan, show up.  Then another state with some Midwesterners.  Then another.  Bob’s surrounded by cops from all five states and is taken away from what sounds like cops from my home state of New Jersey.

So who will live in the house Bob bought now?  Well, Ned Flanders’ cousin Ted shows up with his two daughters Bonnie and Connie.  And he’s just like Ned.

Now it’s Homer’s turn to suffer.

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