Hey there Hoppereenos, figured since all of you miss the Easter Event soooo much (LOL, OK maybe just me) that it was time to finally put up a post that has been sitting in the wings for a while. That elusive and oddly named fuzzy flying animal.
So everyone continually questioned as to where this lil animal came from. Why was it added to our games? What was so significant about the name?
Well, there is a bit of a back story on this one. One that I think many of you may know but not realize. Something that is more Geek Mythology and representation than anything. A simple story that was taken and turned into a statement used by many now, just by using a series of numbers.
It all started with a book by Victor Hugo called Les Misérables. The main charcacter, Jean Valjean, wore prisoner #24601. He was a simple man that was only trying to help his starving family and ended up a prisoner of 19 years for it. He eventually gets let go, but not free. He finds himself hiding from the law and his identity while struggling to survive. He in turn becomes a wealthy business man. (The book was loosely based on the life of a real man by the name of Eugene Vidocq. He was a prisoner turned successful businessman.) The interesting part in all of this is number, prisoner #24601, was hardly spoken of at all in the book. It was also never spoken by Javert in the book, the Police Inspector that hunts him down. It was not until the musical adaptation took hold that the focus on the number really began. The adaptation had Javert calling Valjean only by his Prisoner #24601. The story hit very close to home with many as it is more about a struggle of poor vs wealthy. Those that had a good life vs those that were given a title of shame they could never shake. A story of the underdogs fighting for what is right.
So why Simpsons? Well for years now more of the community has embraced the idea of the struggle of prisoner #24601. It is used to portray someone that is being overly punished for innocence or something simple. Someone being repressed. Someone fighting “the man” to get recognition. It has been embraced so deeply by the “Geek Community” that it has made its way into the very characters of the Simpsons TV Series.
Sideshow Bob: The ever punished man. Pushed to the edge by a lil boy named Bart. He tries and tries to catch a break, but never seems to be able to. He just can never shake his past. Much like Valjean. So, the writers found it quite fitting to tag many of his prison uniforms with the number #24601 throughout the series. They even went as far as in Season 17, Episode 8: The Italian Bob, to mention Les Misérables. Lisa is pleading with the rest of the Simpsons for Bart to give Sideshow another chance. She points out many books have characters that made something better of themselves, examples of redemption…like Jean Valjean.
Principal Skinner: The secretive man that hid his real name and identity for year from Springfield. Portraying someone he wasn’t. Sound like Valjean? In one episode, Season 5, Episode 1: Homer’s Barbershop Quartet, we see him find the metal helmet he wore as a Prisoner of War. The number inscribed, #24601
Marge Simpson: Season 4, Episode 21: Marge In Chains. When sickness overtakes Springfield, a weak and weary Marge makes her way to the Kwik-E-Mart for supplies for the family. She somehow ends up with a flask of whiskey in her pocket. After being found guilty, she is sent to prison, where she is Prisoner #24601.
So to add to all this mix of things Prisoner #24601, they introduced a Fuzzy Flying Bunny into our game. As with the dialog for the events, I think this is another jab at the game itself. The poor Easter Bunny is just a lil animal trying to fit in in the big Holiday Events. Portraying someone highly important when in fact, it is just a cute lil bunny and the holiday…made up. Nothing important. (Though I don’t mind it. Lol.) I also look at it as the programmers and coders way of saying they are all prisoners of the game itself. Constantly creating and changing to please the world, when all they want to do is be free to create what they love. (My thoughts anyway. Lol.)
There you have it. A simple number that started in a simple book in the 1800’s that has spanned the world and now used in everyday life.
Did YOU win Bunny#24601? What do YOU think of it? How many times have YOU seen #24601 in the Simpsons TV Series? Sound off in the comments below.
Til Next Time…