THE LADLE OF THE LAKE
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Simpsons is trademarked by 20th century Fox.
Note: This story occurred to me after I watched the episode “El Pluribus Wiggum“, after seeing Lisa and Ralph’s brief but brilliant interaction, I knew this was a story I couldn’t pass up.
Homer skimmed through his laundry list of Netflix channels, looking for something to watch.
“Let’s see…White In A Kind of Orange, the story of a successful Caucasian rap artist who winds up in a Buddhist settlement…oh, they’ve done that so many times. Marge, why can’t they do something with a black guy converting to that?”
“Honey, a lot of Buddhists are black” his wife Marge replied
“Oh…wait, are those the monks that taught David Carradine and Johnny English how to fight?” Homer asked.
“Dad, could you let me stream Itchy and Scratchy’s collection on there today? Election coverage has been all over the place, they’ve got no time for Krusty today” Bart Simpson requested as he strolled into the room.
“That show’s been on so long now, don’t you ever get tired of it being the same thing all the time little guy? I knew when to give up the ghost when Casper went into space” Marge replied.
“It’s nice to compare and contrast the originals with the new stuff…plus it allows me to go back in and retrace my steps, and see how much of it I can remember for the trivia challenge Krusty set for us last week. Winner gets a special prize”
“What prize?” asked Marge
“A free trip to the set” Bart said joyfully.
Homer and Marge just stared at him.
“Honey, you’re one of Krusty’s biggest fans, you can visit his set anytime” Marge said, breaking the stirring and awkward silence in the room.
“Yeah, but I’m also known as his washed-up apprentice who annoyed half the town with “I didn’t do it”, you know what they say about going on these kind of rides…once it’s done, and if you want to go again, it’s back to the end of the line”
“I never hear the end of ‘the line’, because you’re always the one to cut in front” Homer mumbled.
“Homer’s right dear, you just want to show off with how much you know, but why don’t you let someone new take the visit and get inspired? Surely nothing Krusty does now can teach you anything different?”
“Entertainment’s always got room to grow Mom…and I ain’t been getting any taller these last few years, so until this spiky hair I got starts forming a bit more beneath this ol’ chin…” Bart began
“Bart, that’s already happened” Marge replied, interrupting him.
“Not naturally” Bart insisted.
“Everyone, they’re running Ralph’s old joint party election broadcast on the news again” Lisa said as she ran into the room, switching the Netflix service off and putting on FOX news, having been informed via a text by Milhouse.
Sure enough, there it was.
A political broadcast endorsing the young and very, very late developer Ralph Wiggum for President, part of a joint effort by both Republican and Democrats, an unprecedented feat.
The comparisons were being made between Ralph and another more hot-headed dunderhead in the more recent election coverage, and how dangerous it had been to convince the American public to put their faith in someone who doesn’t say or do all of the politically correct things.
Others in the debate argued, however, that Ralph’s innocence and sense of right made up for his lack of sense in other areas and that it touched a raw nerve with America’s concerned and equally underprivileged sections.
Lisa, as politically charged as ever, found the whole experience romantic.
“Can we watch something else?” Homer asked.
“No way, this is our little piece of history, adding to the crucial conflict of what it’s in the best interests of the voting public going forward this year” said Lisa.
“All I know is my friends took a lot of flack over that campaign…all the key players in Argentina caught wind of Lenny and Carl talking about Madonna…” Homer replied.
“Homer, they took issue with the pun aimed at Juan Pero…” Marge said, correcting him.
“And I QUOTE ‘Madonna, that was a bit much’” Homer insisted.
“Gee, Dad, you used QUOTE in all capitals, you must really CAAAAAAAAAAAREEEE” Bart said.
“At least the Fox news board had the sense to censor those quotes from your fellow Nuclear nincompoops in Latin America, except in Brazil for some reason” Lisa replied.
Marge knelt down and placed a hand on Lisa’s shoulder.
“I remember how Ralph was that day. The whole thing overwhelmed him at first, but you know who was there to fend off all those rotten reporters and callous candidates? You, my precious little Princess. You ran straight into that house and you told them to leave him alone, I was so proud of you when you told me”
“I felt even prouder sticking up for him…he wanted to use them, not the other way around, he was a bit overtaken, but he gutted it out, put on a brave face, and threw himself into the race as fast as he could, no matter how slow he was in other areas. For the briefest of days, he was able to get everyone to see his side of things…and even if it didn’t work out in the end, it was a good way to show what looks like a joke can subvert expectations, instead of what certainly IS a joke meeting expectations”
“So when’s the wedding “First Ladle?” Bart said, mocking what Ralph had said to Lisa after she endorsed him. Ralph had meant ‘lady’ but it had come out, in his usual irreverent and eccentric manner, as ‘ladle’
“Oh cut it out Bart, I was just humouring him” said Lisa.
“Sweetie, you certainly weren’t, I know the look you had on your face when you came back, I’ve never seen you so taken” Marge replied
“Mom, stop it, you’ll just encourage Bart to tell him” said Lisa
“Won’t say a thing, former scouts honour” said Bart.
“Thanks I guess” Lisa said.
Marge gave her daughter a hug, “You did so well that day, and if it weren’t for you liking the sound of Ralph’s ideas, he probably wouldn’t have the confidence to run. He’s your special little guy”
“Thanks Mom..while there will be days I’ll dip my feet in the lake and come out holding a different kind of sword, at the end of all those days, there’s a good chance I’ll still wind up with Excalibur”
“That’s a Stan Lee quote isn’t it?” said Homer
“That’s Excelsior dear” Marge said.
“D’oh” Homer grunted.
Lisa watched the footage play back over and over again, ignoring the ongoing debates surrounding his controversial standing, proud of the work her best friend had put into his campaign trail, proving that, just by being there, he could walk on water.
Petter Sellers would be proud of him, just as she was.
And as she thought about the future, she again got excited at the notion of being attached to this master of underestimation, to hold after many years, a slightly out-of-shape, bent Excalibur in her hand, to being Mrs. Ralph Wiggum.
The ladle of the lake.