March 26, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “The Fool Monty”

In which Mr. Burns loses his memory and becomes the property of the revenge-minded people of Springfield.

So, I guess Mr. Burns’ Three Stooges Syndrome finally got hit by the slightest breeze because he’s told this time around that he’s dying.

After the various TV networks decide they need to create a panic, word spreads throughout the United States that there’s a deadly house cat flu that’s causing, of course, panic where firefighters start putting cats into trees and Homer would just assume burn all of Snowball II’s stuff even if Grampa is somehow at the bottom of the pile having been mistaken for pile of rags.  But fire isn’t always the answer, and there is a vaccine.

Well, sort of.  There’s only enough for every parent in Springfield to give the vaccine to one child each, so they need to make a Sophie’s Choice.  And if you’re childless, well, sucks to be you even if it is a made up disease.  Then Mr. Burns shows up, driving to the front of the line, taking 36 vaccines for himself and his hounds (despite dogs being immune to the disease) and crushes all the remaining vaccines as he drives away.  Maybe it pays being the only taxpayer in town…

As it is, Mr. Burns may be protected from the house cat flu, but his doctor diagnoses him as having several other illnesses that will kill him in roughly five weeks.  Burns being Burns decides to tell the people of Springfield in a quiet way by inviting  a ton of people to his house for a fancy gala of some kind.  And then, when he makes his announcement, he learns everybody hates him.  And heck, since he’ll be dead soon, what does anyone have to worry about?  Sure, Smithers loves Burns, but Burns doesn’t see how that counts since Smithers is paid.

As such, Mr. Burns that night jumps off a cliff to commit suicide.  That doesn’t work.  He hits a 747 on the way down, then flies off to be hit by lightning, smacks into several tree branches, gets smacked aside by a bear fishing from a river, hits some more tree branches, and lands heavily on the ground after falling into some trees.  You’d think that would kill him, but he is a cartoon.

Most folks assume he’s dead, and take to both spitting and dancing on his grave.  Humanitarians came from around the world just to do so.

In fact, Bart finds the old man alive the next day while poking things in the woods with a stick.  However, Burns has no memory of much of anything, so Bart takes him home to be a pet of some kind.

While all this is going on, Smithers takes a new job with Dick Cheney, which was maybe not-quite-cutting edge political humor when this episode came out in 2010.

Burns is eventually found, but as much as Homer’s limited imagination thinks he can get revenge on Burns by using him for a fantasy football league, Marge insists that the town find out about Burns and decide morally what to do about it.  And it looks like everyone wants revenge, even the various religious types.  Lisa alone is against it, and the mayor is surprised to find out Lisa is only eight and not a little person.

So, everyone in Springfield gets Burns for an hour or so to use as they see fit.  Sure, there’s a lot of revenge, but not all of it is bad for Burns.  A number of the school bullies need him to be a paternal figure of some kind.  Heck, he can’t run away.  Finally, Homer gets another turn and doesn’t know what to do, so Lisa takes him back to his mansion to show him who he used to be and how he is now a better person.

The only problem is Burns then remembers exactly who he is and goes back to being an evil person.  He’s all set to drop a giant dome on the town, as inspired by a Stephen King book, when the townspeople just shrug since it’s been done already.  And this time they might just tunnel out.

But wait!  As Marge points out, Burns lived longer than the doctor said!  Maybe being nice is the cure!  To test it, Burns offers Ralph Wiggum a lemon candy…and his skull promptly deflates.  But Ralph starts to cry and Burns immediately gets better.  It turns out hatred and cruelty are what really keeps the old man alive!  Now he can do as he sees fit!

As soon as he sees Nelson in the school play.  That boy really knows how to get someone to pose as his father when necessary.

But why was the school putting on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?

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