January 21, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “I, Carumbus”

In which the family gets a lesson about Ancient Rome.

Sweet, we got another surviving member of the Monty Python troop to do a guest voice.  Will he be a semi-regular like Eric Idle?  I dunno.  But who doesn’t love Michael Palin?

The Simpsons are visiting a history museum when, it turns out, Homer could have gone to a webinar or something at the Plant and maybe started his career beyond the entry level position he has theoretically held for a decade or so.  I say “theoretically” because as many times as Homer has had other jobs, I am not sure how long we can say he’s worked at the Plant.  The point is, Marge would like it if Homer showed a little more initiative, but Homer doesn’t seem to mind that he doesn’t.

Enter the museum curator (Palin) with the story of Obeseus the Wide, an ancient Roman who looks an awful lot like Homer.  Raised first as an ox until he was sold into slavery as a gladiator, Obeseus was strong and handsome, winning fights in the arena generally by accident, and promising freedom to his co-slaves, ancient Roman versions of Lenny, Carl, Moe, and Barney.

I am sure all of them had Roman-style names, but I sure as hell ain’t lookin’ ’em up, by gum!

Obeseus also catches the eye of his master’s daughter, Marjora (Marge).  So, when her father, Ancient Roman Fat Tony (still, as always, Joe Mantegna) decides to do something about the fact Marjora is pregnant and she pleads on Obeseus’s behalf, Fat Tony lets the slave free to marry his daughter, giving Obeseus the rest of the group of slaves as a wedding present.  So, will Obeseus let them all free?

Um, no.  Not because he doesn’t want to.  More like because Marjora knows how to play her husband like a fiddle and she’s an ambitious one she is.

So, time passes.  Obeseus starts to gain more and more weight and lose more and more hair until he looks like regular Homer.  He and Marjora have a Bart and a Lisa, so that tracks.  But Marjora, she’s never satistified and keeps pushing Obeseus to be more, like become a Senator.  That gets him laughed out of the forum because, well, he runs a laudnrmat and they use urine to clean clothes, so Obeseus is known as a urine collector.  Also, the idea on how to do so came from his slaves, but Marjora kept Obeseus from sharing credit because she’s awful and he’s stupid.

Enter Roman Mr. Burns with a plan to take out Emperor Quimby.  All Obeseus has to do is kill the Emperor, and when Burns takes over, Obesues can be a Senator.  And yes, Obeseus doesn’t want to do that, but does it anyway because Marjora is awful.

And as time passes, and Obeseus gets fatter, and the number of years is always listed in Roman numerals, finally Marjora wants Obeseus to be Emperor which would require more murder.  Obseseus says “no”.

And then someone poisons Emperor Burns.  Or, more accurately, someone poisons Food Taster Smithers, but then Smithers knocks a stone pillar onto the Emperor and kills him.  Obseseus didn’t do this.  Marjora did, all so she could nominate the Emperor’s replacement…her son Bartigula.

After going to war with the ocean, Bartigula declares himself a god, and that would be when his father chooses to challenge him in public.  That…does not go over well, and even with Roman Lisa trying to get Obeseus out of jail, Obeseus still ends up in the gladiatorial arena again, a place he hasn’t been since he weighed about a third of what he did at that moment.  But the fight goes on anyway, both men are stabbed and die, and Marjora drinks poison out of grief for losing her whole family due to her stupid ambition.  And yes, Roman Lisa is standing right there and crying when it ends.

As the curator explains, Rome fell…a couple centuries later, but it happened.

Now, this all has the Simpsons arguing over the meaning of the story, so the curator may have a point when he concludes the real moral of the story is to keep stupid people out of museums.

That hardly seems fair to Lisa…

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