Pain is Brown

This is a song lyric from an episode of one of my all-time favorite Simpsons episode. It is about Homer and Marge in the 1990s, before they were married or had kids. Homer starts a grunge band called Sadgasm when Marge breaks up with him to date her handsome but smug and pretentious college professor.

Left to my own devices, I doubt I’d watch the Simpsons…or much of anything else on TV. I might watch my favorite movies over and over, though. Sometimes in my freshman year of college, before I made any friends at UNH, I used to turn on my TV for “company.” Pathetic, right? I know.

Anyway, Derek’s the TV person. Me? Not so much. Though I do have my favorites, like Freaks and Geeks, Parks and Rec, Flight of the Conchords, and an old classic, Family Ties.

One of Derek’s favorite shows used to be The Simpsons, until the last several years, when we figure they started to acquire younger writers who kind of only think they know The Simpsons, but don’t truly get the perfect imperfect love story between Homer and Marge.

Anyway, he kind of got me back into The Simpsons again, too. I mean, I watched it as a 12-year-old when it was brand, brand new, until my mother began to openly disapprove of the humor (in addition to schizophrenia and hypochondria, she was also a right-wing conservative religious fanatic, and we could not usually get through an entire PG-or-worse movie or show without her tsk-ing every 10 seconds and or angrily shutting down the program altogether). So I have many favorite Homer quotes and a few episodes I like best. The 90s one is one of them. They capture the decade so well.

Another is the one where Bart joins a boy band, featuring the actual voices of all of the members of N’SYNC. Normally, I’m not a fan of boy bands or the vast majority of pop music, but I do think Justin Timberlake is totally dreamy…lmao I am so kidding! No, I think he’s hilarious. If you’ve never seen D_ck in a Box, YouTube it.

I also love the episode where Homer gets the crayon removed from his brain (as a kid he supposedly shoved a crayon up his nose and it made it to his brain, explaining his bafoonery) temporarily and becomes extremely erudite, and begins to really bond with Lisa, his exceptionally bright, 8-year-old daughter. Having been an intelligent, yet misunderstood child, myself, I’ve always related to Lisa, and, sure enough, she is noted as a fictional INFJ.

At the episode’s conclusion, Homer does get the crayon put back in his brain, becoming the lovable if fallible man child we all recognize, but prior to, he writes Lisa a very touching letter, the details of which I cannot recall just now, only that it gets me every time.

People teach entire college-level philosophy courses about The Simpsons. It’s easy to see why. The Simpsons are the Everyman, goofy, but relatable. Real, as in, not The Waltons. Wonderfully flawed, endearing.

Even Homer’s nemesis, Mr. Perfect, goody-two-shoes next door neighbor, Ned Flanders, eventually loses his shit in one episode and lets the entire town of Springfield have it. I love Flanders, because, as good-natured and kind as he is, every once in a blue moon, he makes some comment to remind us that he, too, is human.

Okay, I could go on forever about Simpsons characters, but unfortunately, I have laundry to flip.

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