a ponderance: who would win in a tagteam match between Apu+Barney vs. Homer+Mr. Burns?--Freakman Cap'n J (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANSWER: Okay, first of all we have to take a look at this question. Any fool could see that the way it is set up is meant to mean something. It is meant to mislead the reader. As you can see, this fight would be a bit of a brawl, with two people on each side. It is set up, however, so that one believes each side has an equal advantage and disadvantage. This is not so. He tries to make up believe that Barney and Homer are the only two powerful characters here, and Apu and Mr. Burns are in fact weaklings. This is not so, but we will get into that shortly. First of all, letís take a look at Homer and Barney, who, in fact, are as powerful as he makes up believe. Homer is obviously a strong man, as we can see with a cursory glance at his size. It is proven however, on various occasions. In "Brother From the Same Planet" Homer gets into a fist fight with a strong young man who acts as Bartís big brother, and does quite well. In "Homerpalooza" he becomes a star for being able to absorb blows to the stomach, and pretty much the same goes for "The Homer They Fall" when he gets noticed for being able to absorb blows to the head. But what about Barney? Who is more powerful? Well, Barney Gumbell himself is quite tough. In "Duffless" he barely bats an eye at Homer trying to knock him out, and does little more than say, "ow" when Homer repeatedly slams the car door on his head. Also, maced on at least two separate occasions by Margeís sisters, he tears up, burps, and nothing more. Now that is a powerful fellow. Now it is pretty obvious how weak Mr. Burns is. ("I will crush you like this paper cup. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Smithers, crush this paper cup for me.") But looking at any given example of Mr. Burnsí lack of strength shows the devoted Wayland Smithers coming to his aid, such as in "Team Homer," when Mr. Burns knocks over no pins, we see Smithers run down the alley and kick them all down for him. If history is any example we should see Smithers hopping in on this fight tipping the scales towards Homerís team. Right? Not necessarily. We now have to look at Apu Nehasapeemapetilon. The man who wrote this question tried to make him seem weak, but that is simply not the case. Apu has made it well known that he was shot eight times in one year, and consequently almost had to close the store. How many times has the Kwik-E-Mart been closed? Only twice, according to "22 Short Films About Springfield," and one of them was for a party, not injury. And in "Homer and Apu" he dives for a bullet in order to save actor James Woods from getting shot, but is saved himself when the bullet ricochets off of another bullet already in his gut. So, you may say, Apu is impervious to bullets. But can he fight? There is a good chance. He does not look like a fighter, but then again he doesnít look like a singer either. Yet he lets his mastery of that skill on at least three separate occasions. Once more we can look at "Homer and Apu" to see him start up a song with the Simpson family, "Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart?" He was cast in a singing role in "Oh, Streetcar!" (from "A Streetcar Named Marge") and sang, "I Am Just a Simple Paper Boy." And who can forget "Homerís Barbershop Quartet," when he was a member of the band? There is obviously much more to Apu than meets the eye. So, to get back to the question, after analyzing the characters, who would win the fight? It would have to be a tie. If history is any example and Smithers jumps on it, it would have to be a tie. But if for some reason he was not able to join (such as a steel cage match) then I would have to put my money on Barney and Apu. Sorry Homer.
Answer (c) 7-28-97 Phil J. Reed