February 26, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Lost Verizon”

In which Bart and Lisa both get what they want through a little deception.

I learned something in this episode:  guest star Denis Leary is powerful enough to kick other celebrities out of show business.  He makes that threat, and Krusty and Rainier Wolfcastle both react to suggest he can actually do that.

That’s some real power.

But what we really see here is how Bart and Lisa both get what they want.  What do they want?  Well…

BART

Bart wants a cell phone.  It seems that one day when Principal Skinner runs out of gas on the side of a busy highway and his mother is, well, his mother, he has to cross the busy street for gas and then cross back without getting hit by a car.  To make matters worse, Barney is working on the side of the road picking up cans through what looks like a prison work release program and in his generally delirious state decides Skinner is a giant beer can and chases Seymour around with that stick with a sharp point on one end for picking up garbage.  Do those sticks have names?  I don’t know.

What does this have to do with Bart having a cell phone?  Well, he’s the one kid in Springfield Milhouse can’t call to come see the high comedy of Skinner trying not to die.  Bart asks for a cell phone of his own, but Marge points out that they’re so poor they’re buying frozen peas on an installment plan.  Those “final notices” from the Jolly Green Giant sure look threatening.

Now, if Bart can get a job, he’ll be fine.  He discovers he can earn a dollar a ball for retrieving lost golf balls at the local country club, until he learns Groundskeeper Willie is rather territorial on that sort of thing in his other job as Greenskeeper Willie.

But, as fate would have it, a cranky Denis Leary tosses his cell phone away.  Bart finds it, picks it up, and makes it his own, even going so far as to agree with returning guest star Brian Grazer that, yes, Denis Leary will play the constipated gorilla in the movie version of Everyone Poops at minimum.  And Bart will also order a bunch of Yankee merchandise for Leary.  Besides, as much as Leary can be angry and cranky, Bart’s not the slightest bit afraid of him.  True, when Leary finally calls he gets first a dismissive Bart but then an apologetic Marge.  And Leary will let Bart keep the phone but suggests Marge use the tracking chip to keep an eye on her rowdy son.

Homer likes that plan too.  It works so well, Bart can’t do much of anything without getting caught immediately.  Lisa didn’t catches on and finds it wrong, but Marge argues that it’s OK to closely monitor someone you love, which may be the excuse Moe uses for having the Simpson house bugged so he can listen to Marge, but not the excuse the FBI are using to listen to Moe.  At any rate, Lisa warns Bart about the invasion of privacy; otherwise, Bart might not have pried the phone open, found the clearly labeled “tracking chip” and attached it to a small bird for his parents to follow around.

So, wait, what did Lisa want?

LISA

Lisa wants to go to Machu Picchu.,  She said as much early on, and while her parents are unknowingly chasing a small bird, she discovers it while sitting in the back seat of the family car and then uses the computer inside to find out the bird travels south to, you guessed it, Machu Picchu.  So, she keeps quiet about the whole thing while her parents follow a bird to Peru thinking it’s Bart.

Where is Bart?  Staying at home, doing whatever he wants despite the fact that as awesome as day is, night is scary.

So, the other Simpsons gets to Machu Picchu, where Marge has a dream telling her the natives to that lost city were easily beaten by the Spanish because they were overly mothered and not allowed to learn how to take care of themselves.  Then Homer finds the bird and Marge wants to just go home.  She’s so glad to see Bart again that she doesn’t notice the other Simpson child may have gotten something.

MAGGIE

Yes, for some reason, Maggie was left behind in Machu Picchu and is being worshiped like a god by the locals.

I guess she also got what she wanted.