Quote of the Day: From The Simpsons, episode 8, year 1
KEARNY: You know, when you look up at clouds in the sky, they start looking like stuff.
OTHER BULLY: No, they don’t.
KEARNY: Yeah, they do. Like that one over there looks just like a cherry bomb.
It’s true; perhaps a bit too true. The cloud looks EXACTLY like a cherry bomb.
OTHER BULLY: Hey, you’re right. And look at that one. It looks like a guy with a switchblade stuck in his back.
Same thing as the first cloud.
JIMBO: Yeah, that one looks like a school bus going over a cliff in flames, with kids inside screaming.
BART: That one looks just like the statue of our town founder, Jebediah Springfield.
OTHER BULLY: Does not.
BART: Does too. I mean, without the head of course.
Sure enough, the cloud shows the explorer kneeling on his stand, minus the head.
JIMBO: Oh, yeah. I wish someone really would cut his ugly old head off.
BART: You do?
KEARNY: Yeah, that’d be cool.
OTHER BULLY: Sure would cheese everybody off.
BART: But guys, come on. Don’t you remember history class? Jebediah once killed a bear with his bare hands.
OTHER BULLY: Oh, sorry.
KEARNY: We forgot how much you love Jebediah Springfield.
JIMBO: Yeah, he’s your boyfriend.
BART: Come on, guys. Knock it off.
JIMBO: Beat it, Simpson. Man, I thought you were cool.
The next day….
BART: What? But–but yesterday didn’t you say it would be cool to cut off the head, and really cheese everybody off?
KEARNY: Yeah, that was just cloud talk, man.
Yesterday at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, the statue of one of America’s top 50 Presidents, James Garfield, was decapitated, a caper obviously inspired by reckless cloud talk.
Garfield was a student at Hiram from 1851-1853. The statue is located before a building from which Garfield (possibly) delivered a sermon one time. This being (possibly) his greatest accomplishment, the location of the statue chose itself. Apropos of nothing, the actual building wasn’t located there when he gave the (possible) sermon, but was at some point moved there. All of this to give you an idea of the incredible scope of the importance of the shrine and the outrage sparked in the greater Hiram community. Hiram police are, uh, stumped. One of the reasons they have no leads is the police chief, ironically named something other than Wiggam, has dismissed the possibility that students may have been behind the theft.
Ahhhh, cloud talk. Enchanting, tantalizing, fanciful cloud talk. Ideas always sounds so logical, so possible when lying upon a bed of daisies atop a field of hypo-allergenic green. But inevitably, cloud talk must remain behind once one averts his eyes from the billowy sky and departs the field of dreams lest tragedy ensue, or at least trage-comedy. TB learned this lesson all too well in eighth grade, Miss Hoskins’ fifth period English class.
It seems some ruffian arrived at Pascagoula Junior High one lazy spring morn with a tiny sack full of BB’s. In second period math (Ms. Dejean) he surreptitiously displayed his non-sensical cache to a group of early pubescent classmates just as we’d finished copying our math homework from the one student in the class capable of learning the subject in spite of being sent to public school in Mississippi. No one was exactly sure how these miniature orbs should be employed, but after very little debate, it was unanimous that they be deployed. The identity of who looked out the window and was thus inspired with the idea to simultaneously launch a single BB apiece at Miss Hoskins’ blackboard at precisely 2 pm is lost to history, but the identity of the one young punk who followed through with the solemn cloud talk oath can now be revealed, some 25 years after the event, and with a district attorney’s affidavit of the passage of the statute of limitations firmly in hand. Yes, it was I, Travellinbaen. The loneliest person in all the world for sixty agonizing seconds while waiting for Miss Hoskins to return from the hallway where she had retreated to privately weep for the cruelty of the single sniper and to perhaps wonder whether he’d acted alone or as part of some larger conspiracy. The knowledge that one, or more, of her seemingly interested students was in actual fact contemptuous of not only direct objects but of sentence diagramming in its entirety must have come as quite a shock to her. So much so that she scarcely tried to identify the blackboard’s assailant. And while my traitorous co-conspirators quietly snickered and silently disposed of their unfired ammunition, I wondered which of these Judases would sell me out. To their credit, none did.
Somewhere in Ohio, a young man (can there be any doubt it was a guy?) who believed not so long ago the message of the clouds that convinced him this day would be one of triumph is learning the hard lesson of acting upon cloud talk. He is reviled. He is hunted. He is wondering if he should keep the head in the event some day everyone will laugh about his stunt or if he should dispose of the spoiled fruit of his labor. The only consolation for this head stealing hooligan is it could’ve been worse. He should thank his lucky stars that Martin Van Buren was from New York.