May 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Bart On The Road”

In which a fake ID can cause a lot of trouble for the kid holding it.

Both fortunately and unfortunately for Bart, people do not check unlamented, out-of-state drivers licenses well enough.

Our story begins with Principal Skinner discovering his plane tickets to Hong Kong are all messed up, and he can’t afford to change his last minute travel plans.  He can’t move Spring Break up a day to accommodate his own plans can he?

Of course he can.  He can just institute a “go to work with your parents’ day”.  Bart thinks the best way to do that is to stay with Marge and see a woman in the workplace.  Lisa, stuck with Homer at a place she detests, is a fast thinker.  The school permission slip says that “homemaker” is not a real job, so if Bart wants to see women in the workplace, why not send him to Patty and Selma at the DMV?

Don’t mess with Lisa.

Meanwhile, Milhouse is having a fantastic time at the cracker factory (who knew?) and Martin made some money at the stock exchange.  He had a million but didn’t sell fast enough and ended with six hundred ten seconds later.  He got greedy.

But the DMV provides other opportunities, such as the chance to use an unattended drivers license machine to make a fake ID.  And though Bart, taking Milhouse and Nelson along, manages to do some grown-up things, nothing seems very fun.  Then Martin shows up with his wad of cash, and the kids realize they can rent a car and go on a  road trip.

Cover given as the National Grammar Rodeo in Canada (my boss would love that thing), the boys head off, with Martin alone believing they were actually going there.  After plowing through a corn field, the boys look at some atlases in the glove compartment and decide to go to the Knoxville World’s Fair.  Sounds fun!

Lisa, meanwhile, is bonding with Homer over stolen candy and sleepovers at the Power Plant.  Marge is so lonely, she takes to poking Maggie awake just to get someone to do something with.

The boys’ trip is going well.  Nelson smacks a father through an open window to make him turn around instead of taking his formerly rowdy kids to Cape Canaveral.  Bart will stop for any request.  And then they have to stop to see Andy Williams in Branson, Missouri, which would be like Vegas if Ned Flanders ran the place.  Nelson loves Andy Williams.  And he’s not one to take “no” for an answer.

Finally, they get to Knoxville and to the Fair Grounds.  But this was for the 1982 World’s Fair.  This episode came out in 1996.  The boys blow the last of their cash on some wigs and a talking Al Gore doll, and then Nelson accidentally wrecks the car by dropping the Fair’s Sunsphere on it.  No car and no money.  They might be in real trouble.

I mean, pawning Milhouse’s glasses doesn’t work when he wrecks some of the store’s inventory.  The train to Springfield is slow enough to toss the boys’ luggage onboard, but too fast to toss themselves on.  Bart won’t call his parents, but he can call someone smarter than himself…Lisa.  Lisa is not surprised since there’s no reason our National Grammar Rodeo would be in another country.  Her suggestion that Bart take a courier’s job helps, but all that does is get him spotted by a vacationing Skinner in Hong Kong.  Can Lisa help some more?

Well, she can if she recruits Homer.  But Homer can’t let Bart know he knows, even though he’d love to murder his son.  A quick dousing of Homer’s work station while in contact with a Knoxville power plant gets a new console ordered, and Bart brings it and the boys home.  Bart can brag about his fictional trip at the dinner table, but both Lisa and Homer know better.  They’ll keep quiet so Marge can stay in the dark.

At least until the weird phone calls connected to Bart’s trip start coming in.  Marge may find out yet…