May 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot”

In which Homer poses as a fighting robot to gain Bart's love and respect.

Hey, are Battle Bots still a thing?  A friend of mine is actually the coach for his high school’s robotics team, so I’m guessing it is.

Bart has a problem.  Well, not really a problem so much as a concern he sees as a problem when no one else does.  He wants a ten-speed bike just like the ones owned by Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney, and Nelson.  Neither Marge nor Homer will buy him one, but Homer does say Bart can have a new bike if his own is unridable, no questions asked.

Cue Bart pushing his bike in front of Dr. Hibbert’s Mercedes.  Some drivers are way too distracted by a Kool and the Gang air freshener.  And sure, Hibbert will pay for a new bike.

Then he runs over Snowball II, Lisa’s cat.

I’ll get back to that.

But while Bart can have a new bike, Homer won’t pay the guy at the bike shop an assembly fee.  He’ll put his son’s bike together himself.  Now, Homer isn’t what you’d call good with tools or almost anything else.  Heck, even Bart is evidence of shoddy workmanship.  But he does somehow get the bike together…for a little while.  It falls apart while Bart’s riding it the first time, and Homer injures himself with his spring-loaded homemade first aid kit.

But then Homer gets an idea when he sees Bart watching a fighting robot show where kids and their dads battle through remote controlled killing machines.  Bart doesn’t believe Homer can do it.  To be fair, Homer does put together a robot.  This robot is good enough to remove its own head and throw it at Homer before falling apart.  What’s a clumsy man to do?

Well, Homer remember’s Grampa’s frequently-given advice that if you can’t build a robot, become a robot.

Cue Bart finding a robot that looks like a mail box armed with a wooden mallet and a remote control with two buttons that look like Oreos.  That robot smashes stuff good, mostly because Homer is inside and if he can do anything right, it’s smash stuff.

Once on the show, Homer’s “robot,” dubbed by Bart as “Chief Knock-a-Homer” proves quite good at disabling robots led by the likes of Chief and Ralph Wiggum and…wait, Reverend and Jessica Lovejoy?  They remembered she existed?

So, off goes Homer to the finals to face Professor Frink and son’s robot…and holy crap, it looks like the ED-209.  That gives Homer a flashback to his reoccurring nightmare where an overlong Oscars acceptance speech on his part is cut short by a robot that vaporizes him.

Meanwhile, Lisa is trying to get a new cat.  Snowball III drowns in the fish tank.  A kitten with a rather Bart-ish head jumps to its death when Lisa plays it some jazz.  Marge has taken to threatening God if another cat dies because she says its the only way to deal with bullies.  All hope seems lost when the Crazy Cat Lady throws a cat identical to Snowball II right at Lisa.  And that cat walks off into traffic only to have a car avoid it.  This one isn’t doomed!  And to save money, Lisa will refer to the cat as Snowball II instead of Snowball V because of the name on the food bowl, and then pretend none of that stuff ever happened.

Principal Skinner thinks that may be a bit of a cheat, but then Lisa asks him how he feels about that while addressing him as “Principal Tamzarian”.  That’s the end to that objection.

So, wait, how did Homer’s death match go?  He won, actually.  The Frinks’ robot quickly pounds through Homer’s robot costume and exposes the man inside.  And fortunately, Frink programmed the robot according to Asimov’s Laws of Robotics.  The big thing will serve Homer, not hurt him.

Considering all the injuries Homer sustained in this episode, that’s a good thing.

And ultimately, the contest was won by the biggest killing machine on Earth…man.

That’s heavy.