(insert sounds of struggle… I picture spiky comment boxes with words like pow, bang and blurg)
Alright, this post just got weird. Incredible how you can shut up your liver by punching yourself in the kidneys. There’s two of them and they know how to make a liver shush its dirty mouth if you know what I mean. Huh? No one knows what I mean and I’m just rambling again? D’oh! Well, since I pulled your attention away from whatever important stuff you were doing, I guess I better come through on some sort of entertainment. How about I apologize to you and my liver by writing about a Prohibition episode in the Simpsons?
I actually told my sister I’d write this post for her a couple months ago but never got around to it. Nothing like a conversation with your liver to finally get me doing posts on my “to-do” list. This is her favorite Simpsons episode, mainly because a teacher at her high school actually used the episode during their history lessons on American prohibition. Now that’s education!
Ah… Season 8, Episode 18: “Homer vs. the 18th Amendment”. Prohibition comes to Springfield and Homer become a bootlegging kingpin. Also the only in show appearances of Rex Banner and the Nighthawk Diner which were a part of the July 4th, 2013 mini-event. I guess that kind of makes this post also a Where Did THAT come from. Ah cha cha… rambling and a purpose… here we go…
Actually appropriate to our holiday update, this episode starts with a St. Patrick’s Day event in Springfield. Bart and Lisa head to school and he makes fun of her for wearing a green dress. Poor Bart, he forgot the day and wore orange. Of course it’s pinching time for our favorite prankster and I shudder as I remember my own Paddy’s Day memories of orange and pinches.
The whole town is a little bit Irish for the event (I don’t care what that bigot Kent O’Brockman says) including Marge who shows up with green hair. Parade floats pass by for Irish cops, rainbows, leprechauns and St. Patrick himself scaring off snakes. In all the revelry, Bart accidentally gets a funnel full of Duff beer and ends up staggering drunk and on the news. “What are you looking at?” Indeed… has the town gone mad?
This little accident leads to some of the townsfolk starting a Prohibition movement and in weird, only in the Simpsons, happenstance, a 200 year-old town law is discovered by a clerk at the Town Hall meeting. “Spirituous beverages are prohibited under penalty of catapult.” (Also a law requiring ducks to wear long pants?) Of course the town doesn’t take it seriously. The Duff Brewery may have gone out of business but Moe just turns his bar into a “pet shop”, supplied by Mafia bootleggers, and people are having even more fun drinking than before. Nothing like making something illegal to get folks to do it.
Of course Wiggum is partying with the lawbreakers but after he gets a little “pervy”, Mayor Quimby has to send for U.S. Treasuryman Rex Banner to become the new Chief of Police. Rex is a fearless, unbribeable fellow modeled after real-life Elliot Ness from America’s Prohibition days of the 1920s. Among Rex’s great lines are “Is some blind tiger jerking suds on the side?” and “Baby turtles and alligators may seem like a cute idea for a pet but they grow up!” For someone who seems so tough, he really is pretty clueless. He may have stopped the mob from running alcohol but Homer does it right under his nose. I personally don’t trust anyone who doesn’t know how to laugh.
The Nighthawk Diner makes an appearance in this episode also. Rex, Eddie and Lou are celebrating Banner’s unhappy birthday with a banana kaboom. Although the diner was actually first named in TSTO, it probably was an easy one to figure out since the building was inspired by Edward Hopper’s 1942 Nighthawks painting.
Homer realizes that “without beer, Prohibition doesn’t work” and goes into business as a bootlegger. At first he uses beer he found buried at the Springfield Dump but when that runs out, he starts making his own hooch in 42 bathtubs. Maybe the ultimate question is how many tubs it takes to keep a town happy? Only problem with Homer’s moon-shining rigs is that they start blowing up. It must be said that Homer’s ingenious method of delivering alcohol to Moe’s via Barney’s Bowlarama is actually quite rad. Even Marge agrees it is the “cleverest thing he’s ever done.” So happy he never resorted to turpentine or caulk (delicious caulk lol) though.
After one too many stills explode and Homer catches on fire, he decides to give up his days as the Beer Baron. Finding Chief Wiggum destitute and mugging with a broken gun, Homer decides to help him get back his job AND beat Banner. Homer gives himself up and Wiggum gets the credit for catching the Beer Baron. Unfortunately this means that Homer now has to be catapulted out of Springfield. Marge tries to save him with an impassioned speech but Banner interrupts by saying its not up to people to pick which laws they want to obey. I agree with him but the idea of Rex killing anyone who looks at him cockeyed is a bit frightening. No worries though, just like the poor kitty who got catapulted in a test run, Rex does too.
Thankfully, Homer gets saved when the same clerk who found the Prohibition law reads further and discovers the law was repealed one year later. Problem solved. No catapult for Homer and alcohol for all the Springfieldianites. A “joyous remarriage to Lady Liquor.” Homer doesn’t have any hootch available but Fat Tony says it’ll only take 4 minutes. Whoa… that’s pretty fast even for the mafia. Every one gets soused again to celebrate and Homer closes the episode with probably one of the most iconic (and true) Simpsons quotes ever.
“To alcohol, the cause of… and solution to… all of life’s problems.”
Just to apply this to TSTO… Rex Banner was a freemium character that came to us last year for the 4th of July. The Nighthawk Diner was also freemium ($15000) and is the building he came with. I hope this combo is recycled this year. Here are his tasks in the game.
|Show at Kwik-E-Mart||1hr||$105, 26xp||Kwik-E-Mart|
|Eat a Banana Kaboom||4hrs||$260, 70xp||Outside|
|Interrogate Flanders||8hrs||$695, 175xp||Flanders/Outside|
|Stake Out the Kwik-E-Mart||12hrs||$600, 150xp||Kwik-E-Mart|
|Eat at the Nighthawk Diner||24hrs||$1,000, 225xp||Nighthawk Diner|
So there you go. The Wookiee may or may not have drank some magic water (no it was not leprechaun pee Alissa) while singing Karaoke on St. Paddy’s day, it led to a WDTCF for some items you may have seen in TSTO, and the episode actually had some of the holiday event stuff in it among other hilarity. Y’all say classy and remember if you’re gonna live life… do it responsibly.
Before I go, let me just say I’d love to have the catapult in my town. Lots of great stuff actually that we could get. Well, I hope you enjoyed my creative dialogue which truly was the reason this post even happened. If you didn’t and it sucked, at least it “sucked like a fox!”
TTFN… Wookiee out!