Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Just in time for whatever International Literacy Day is

Behold, the disappointments of the English language. Sorry, Bart.

Today, Twitter tells me, is International Literacy Day. Yeah, I've never heard of it either. Apparently, it's an annual observance the United Nations thought up back in 1965, which makes this the fiftieth or "golden" anniversary of the hitherto-unknown event. Anyway, in observance of International Literacy Day, here is a little literary vignette from a 2000 episode of The Simpsons entitled "Insane Clown Poppy." They were only in their 12th season back then, if you can imagine that. Not even at the halfway point. The episode in question is mainly about Krusty and his long-lost daughter (cutely voiced by Drew Barrymore), but in typical Simpsons fashion, "Insane Clown Poppy" takes a while to get to the main story and instead starts with material which is almost totally unrelated to the A-plot. In this case, it's a visit to a book festival, where Bart's attempt to vandalize a sign is thwarted by the vagaries of the English language. His loss, our gain. I barely remember the rest of the episode, but this one little joke has stuck with me for 15 years.

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