Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, than by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about a long standing mutual aid fellowship organization.
In the seventy fifth episode of The Simpsons, Duffless (Season 04, Episode 16), Homer and Barney visit Duff Brewery. While Barney gets immensely drunk on the free samples, Homer drinks responsibly. He then fights Barney for his keys, so as to not let his friend drive drunk. However, as soon as they leave Duff Brewery, cops are ready to stop them and test them. Homer’s doing great, until Barney interferes.
Homer, being tested outside his car by Eddie and Lou, singing on one foot: “W, X, Y, and Z. Now I know my ABCs, won’t you come and play with me.”
Lou: “We also would have accepted, ‘tell me what you think of me’.”
Eddie: “Well, you’re free too…”
Barney: “Give him the breathalyzer.”
Lou administers breathalyzer, which beeps red: “You’re under arrest.”
Homer goes to court and has his license voided and is sentenced to 2 months of AA meetings.
Judge: “Your license is hereby revoked and you are to attend traffic school and two months of AA meetings.”
Homer: “Your honor, I’d like that last remark stricken from the record.”
In addition to the judge’s sentence, Marge also makes a request of Homer.
Marge: “Homey, I’d like you to do something for me.”
Homer: “You name it.”
Marge: “I want you to give up beer for a month.”
Homer: “You got it. No deer for a month.”
Marge: “Did you say beer, or deer?”
Homer attends his first AA meeting hosted by Reverend Lovejoy. When the Reverend suggest Homer will not want to drink again after his AA meetings, Homer jumps out the window and runs away.
Reverend Lovejoy: “Homer, with our help, you’ll never touch a beer again.”
Homer: “Aaah!” [Homer jumps out the window]
However, Homer soon embraces his deal with Marge and gets rid of all his beer.
He starts using a bicycle to commute. He continues to attend AA meetings and shares how he’s doing with the group.
Reverend Lovejoy: “So Homer, please feel free to tell us anything. There’s no judgment here.”
Homer: “The other day I was so desperate for a beer I snuck into a football stadium and ate the dirt under the bleachers.”
(Everyone in the meeting gasp in disgust.)
Reverend Lovejoy: “I cast thee out!”
After 30 days of going duffless, Homer is in the best shape of his life and his relationship with his family (in particular Marge) is phenomenal. But Marge is disappointed when Homer’s first action on Day 31 is to go to Moe’s. While Moe and the barflies pressure Homer to take his first sip of beer in a month, Homer resists and returns to ride off in to the sun with his wife on his bicycle.
But have you ever wondered what Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is?
As per the Alcoholics Anonymous website (AA.org), “Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.”
Founded in 1935, when the newly sober Bill Wilson first met detoxing alcoholic Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. Bill put forth that alcoholism was not a failure of will or morals, but an illness from which he had recovered. as a member of the Christian revivalist Oxford Group.After leaving the Oxford Group, Bill and Bob and some others formed Alcoholics Anonymous and in 1939 published “Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered From Alcoholism“.
Bill Wilson (November 26, 1895 – January 24, 1971)
Often referred to as ‘The Big Book‘, it contains AA’s Twelve-Step program of recovery. The Twelve Steps are intended as a non-coercive self-improvement program of admitting to powerlessness over alcohol and its damage, acknowledging and striving to correct personal failings, making of amends for past misdeeds, and continued spiritual development while helping other alcoholics to get sober through the Steps. The Steps suggest the healing aid of an unspecified God “as we understood Him”, but are nonetheless accommodating to agnostic, atheist, and non-theist members.
The following are the original twelve steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The Surgeon General of the United States 2016 Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health states “Well-supported scientific evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of twelve-step mutual aid groups focused on alcohol and twelve-step facilitation interventions.” In 1999 Time listed Bill as “Bill W.: The Healer” in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.
Now that we’ve learned more about Alcoholics Anonymous, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Did you remember the episode? What’s your favourite beer related episode of The Simpsons? What about your favourite Simpsons Homer makes a change in his life episode? Were you familiar with AA? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.