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September 1997

Question #3--The Alternate Side

Q. What would Homers life be like if he married Mindy Simmons? --Adam Wolf (

It should probably be pointed out now that when I received this question in my mailbox that day before I am typing this letter I contemplated deleting it and forgetting about it, as the exact same question has already been answered in "The Last Temptation of Homer." Now the person who wrote this obviously saw that episode, as that was the only episode (to my knowledge) to even mention Mindy Simmons. In case your recollection is not too clear, this question was answered when "Colonel Klink" took Homer on a flying tour in a daydream. Had he married Mindy instead of Marge, he would have been rich, had a nice house, a butler, tennis courts, etc., and everybody would have been happy. And as for Marge, well, she was to be the first woman President of the United States of America.

So there it is. Thatís the answer to the question. But just today it popped back into my head again for no apparent reason, and it dawned upon me. Yes, we do find out what becomes of Homer and Marge, but we only see a few seconds of their alternate lives. So what about the rest of their lives? What about the other people in Springfield who have been affected by the Simpson family? What would become of their alternate lives? And so that is what I will focus on now. Not so much what becomes of Homer and Marge, but what becomes of Springfield.

(One more quick note: for the purpose of this analysis, we will assume that although Homer and Marge did not wed, Bart, Lisa and Maggie were still born. As we all see this would not be the case in real life, but once more this is a simple assumption, with a purpose. I know full well that the Chaos Theory would not allow this to happen in actuality. If you are still unclear as to why their existence would not...well...EXIST...see a small example of the Chaos Theory in the "Time and Punishment" segment of "Treehouse of Horror V.")

When we take a look at Homerís alternate life, we see him a very happy person, with a very happy wife, and a "very happy" butler. At least this is what "Colonel Klink" revealed to him as the one segment of it to see. So now we see Homer and Mindy. However, since he never met Marge, never moved into 742 Evergreen Terrace, and never had to take the job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant ("And Maggie Makes Three") to support his children (though we assume they exist, we can not assume they are HIS) many, many things would have changed in the town.

For example, Bart would most likely not live very long. Early in his life (and the series) Bart decapitates the bronze statue of Springfieldís beloved town founder ("The Telltale Head"), which at first shocks the town, but it does not take long for their surprise to turn to rage. In the true life of Homer Simpson, he accompanies Bart to return the head to the statue, though they are intercepted by a lynch mob. Without the support of Homer in the alternate timeline of the show, they most likely would have gotten to him before he got his chance to tell the story and change their minds for the better (or at least more rational.) He probably would have been killed, and there would be no Bart Simpson. Just one drastic change in Springfield if Homer married Mindy.

In "Krusty Gets Busted," the reason it is discovered that it was not, in fact, Krusty who robbed the Kwik-E-Mark, was that Homer stepped on his foot (which was too big to be Krustyís.) If Homer had married Mindy, and became rich, it is very doubtful that he would still shop at the Kwik-E-Mart, leaving no doubt that Krusty was guilty. He would have been sent to prison, as originally planned, and Sideshow Bob, the real felon, would have been able to live his life of crime. But, because Homer was there, everybody got exactly what they deserved.

But thereís more that would have become of Krusty than some time in jail. Death, perhaps? Eventually he would have been released from prison, as robbery would not keep you in there for life. We assume that his life would pick up from there as the show tells it, which means that in "Homie the Clown" there would be no Homer to dress up like Krusty and distract the mob from the real clown. Krutsyís gambling debts would have caught up to him BIG TIME, and he would have been shot on site, which is a big difference from the end of "Homie the Clown," thanks to the fact that Homer was there to keep him safe from danger for so long.

More would have come of it than that though. So far we have discussed only the differences we would see in Springfield. But his marrying Mindy would have actually affected the entire country. In "The Crepes of Wrath" Bart is sent to France after dropping a cherry bomb down the toilet at Springfield Elementary. In exchange the Simpson family took in Adil Hoxha, a little Albanian (which Homer thought meant "all white with red eyes.") But if there was not a Homer and Marge couple to have a Bart to exchange, Adil would have been sent to another family. When Adil is revealed to be a spy, it is Homer that accidentally turns him in. Had he been with another family, there is a chance he would not have been caught sending American secrets to his homeland, and we could have been successfully invaded. All that because Homer wanted a butler.

But back to Springfield. Letís take a look at "Mr. Plow." Had it not been for Homer, Springfield would not have been functional as a society at all during that particularly bad winter in the townís history. Everything would have grinded to a halt. But also Barney. It was Homer that convinced Barney to take a new job. Had it not been for him, Barney may have died of pneumonia, as his previous job included standing in front of a store in just an oversized diaper passing out fliers to passers-by in the sub-zero temperatures of winter.

And Moe would have lost his livelihood, his own bar, if Homer was not living in that part of town, patronizing the Tavern. It is revealed in "Flaming Moeís" that during a sticky patch in Moeís economic life, Homer is one of the few bar denizens keeping him in business. And seeing as much as the bar means to Momar, losing it (which is what would happen without Homer during that patch) could have very likely caused him to sink into deep depression and self-pity, such as Smithers experienced in "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" This could have ended in suicide, and Springfield would have lost another face in the crowd. "But wait," you may ask. "Just because Homerís not there at the Tavern doesnít mean someone like Barney wonít keep him in business." Actually yes, it does. Remember, Barney has frozen to death.

And how about things at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant? Well, while Sector 7-G may have been safer under different supervision, the rest of the plant would still have been dangerously unsafe, which would still prompt Burns to take the employees on a mountain top sojourn to teach them of the true meaning of teamwork in "Mountain of Madness." Without Homer on that trip, however, Mr. Burns probably would have been paired with Smithers, as they would be the last two names in the hat. Burns still would have had his hidden snowmobile to make it to the cabin first, and undoubtedly the avalanches would have snowed them in alone. However, without the unique set of circumstances Homer brought with him to that situation, they may not have escaped. Two more casualties, this time from the cabin fever finally reaching the point of murder.

Still not enough death for you? Remember that without Homerís life with Marge, he never would have contemplated suicide in "Homerí Odyssey" and would have had no reason to propose the stop sign that began his safety crusade. We all saw how dangerous that intersection was, and there is no telling how many faceless characters would have met their doom.

Of course in "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment" he was the only one to supply beer to the town, but isnít it obvious that without him, somebody else would have assumed the title of Beer Baron? Probably. Therefore the new Beer Baron may not have been kind enough to turn himself in to Wiggum, ending his depression. Wiggumís depression and lost of direction in life could also have led him to suicide, and we assume that since he was the provider in the Wiggum household, his wife and son, Ralph, would probably have been forced out into the streets, and would have died in the coming winter without Mr. Plow to clear the snow from the town. Two more corpsicles on Homerís conscience.

Homer would also not have been around to send his children to "Kamp Krusty" (from the episode of the same name), who exposed the horrible locality for what it really is: an uncaring death trap. We can only speculate as to how many children would have been killed or very seriously wounded at this terrible place without the Simpson children to have been sent and save the day.

And in "Brother From the Same Planet," Homer would not have been around to anger Bart into signing up for a Bigger Brother. If this did not happen, and Homer was not there to adopt his own little brother, and get into a fight with Bartís big one, little Peppy would not have been paired with Tom at the end. Tom is obviously a very caring and warm individual with a soft spot for unfortunate children. While there is a chance Peppy and his family would have survived without Tom to graciously provide for them, their lives would have been hell, which is just another of the many downsides to Homer having married Mindy in place of Marge.

We have touched upon the lives of various characters, but what about one of the most recurring, and popular, personalities on the program? I speak, of course, of Apu Nehasapeemapetalon, known for his Kwik-E-Mart. Homer gets him fired in "Homer and Apu" for selling food past its expiration date, so you may think that without Homer, he would not have been fired. Wrong. Sooner or later another complaint would have been registered, and Apu would have been unemployed. Homer was kind enough to help him get his job back, but who is to say that whoever got him fired in this alternate reality would have been so kind? And without the Kwik-E-Mart, Apu still pretended to be happy, and even sang a song about how he had no need for the store. But, when nobody was looking, he admitted to himself that he does, in fact, need it. Without the store he would have put on the charade for the whole town to see, though he really would need it. Slowly, gradually, this would eat him up from the inside. Apu would have slowly driven himself insane, which could have brought about any number of things, each of them more terrible than the last, from suicide to a varied version of Flandersí clock tower dream in "Homer Loves Flanders." Either way, the town had lost more citizens.

But hey, at least Homer has a tennis court...

Now that you see the macabre terror and inundation of deaths in this "fair" town due to Homerís marriage to Mindy, you might wonder what Marge not marrying him could possibly affect. After all, though she has been in every episode, her true roles have been overlooked. To see how different the town would be without her married to Homer, we have to take a look at three words: MO-NO-RAIL.

We all remember the monorail, built from Lyle Lanleyís shoddy equipment in "Marge vs. the Monorail." You may also remember from this episode the fact that the contraption blew its machinery, and sped out of control. Had Marge not been married to Homer (we will assume he is still the monorail conductor) she would not have seen the danger it posed to the town, as she would have been living in a large, infamous house in DC.

But so what, right? So why should we even bother thinking about this? After all, itís just a monorail, right? Perhaps we should look at the people who were on this deadly monorail when Marge brought in Mr. Cobb to offer his advice on how to save them.

People like Bart, and Homer are ones we would most likely recognize right off the bat. They would have been killed in the front car. Some of the school bullies may have deserved a few lumps in retaliation for all the mean things they have done to other students at Springfield Elementary, but is death the correct form of karma for Jimbo Jones and Nelson Muntz, who were also on the train? And it certainly wasnít correct for poor Wendell Borton, who was in the same car with them. Lionel Hutz would have had his unfortunate life, shattered by booze, with a flaming end in the wreckage of the Springfield monorail. Also in the very same car with him were Apu (who may have actually been riding the monorail to kill himself after losing the Kwik-E-Mart), Dr. Hibbert (whose death would probably have triggered the deaths of many other Springfieldians who, when in need of medical attention, would have to report to the increasingly unqualified Dr. Nick Riviera(who probably would have been killed anyway after having too many people like Mr. McGreg from "Homerís Triple Bypass" angry at his lack of experience)), and Krusty the Clown (who may have evaded the mobsters until now, however they may have been waiting at the monorailís drop-off point for him.) Then there were also MORE people on that terrible ride, such as Professor John Frink, who may not have been around to offer his expert advice on certain subjects that may have actually resulted in the rescue of people, or cures of certain diseases. Otto was also in Frinkís car. His demise would leave Springfield Elementary in need of a new bus driver, which does not sound so bad when you realize itís OTTO the school is losing. But remember "The Otto Show" when he lost his job? Another bus driver on Ottoís route just does not cut it. And even if they could find another, would he be willing to fill up the gas tank as Otto was forced to do in "The PTA Disbands?" This would leave children without access to school, giving them even less of a future than Skinner seemed to think they had. And of course there were celebrities on that maiden voyage, such as Lurleen Lumpkin (well, she USED to be a celebrity) and Leonard Nimoy.

And thatís just ONE episode without Marge!

So there we have it. I could have gone so much further with this, possibly finding another death in each alternate episode without Homer and Marge as a couple. But look at what we have already. This is certainly a lot that would change without them together. And this isnít even it. Think of the deaths that would ultimately result down the line from the deaths listed here. And again, this is only a brief listing of the possible future. Pretty grim, isnít it? Perhaps THIS is what "Colonel Klink" should have showed Homer...

Answer (c) Phil J. Reed, 9-2-97

Remember, you can ask me anything. It doesn't even have to be about the main characters. Something about Lionel Hutz bugging you? Have a certain query about Jasper? Curious about your odd sexual attraction to Hans Moleman? Tell me about it!

Phil Reed
United States

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