A big ten-four for Homer the trucker.
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Swinton 0. Scott III
Also starring: Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Karl Weidergott
Premise: Eating out at The Slaughterhouse steak joint, Homer realises that only two people have ever managed Sir Loin-A-Lot, a full sixteen-pound steak. One is film star Tony Randall, the other 'reliable' Red Barclay, an interstate trucker. Homer challenges Red but loses. Red, however, doesn't celebrate his victory because he dies, and so Homer and Bart set off in Red's truck to honour his memory by delivering his haul. Homer doesn't realise that truckers have their own rules and regulations.
Features: Mr Burns, Smithers, Barney, Milhouse, Nelson, Ned Flanders, Todd, Rod, Dr Hibbert, Sylvia, Bumblebee Man, Gil.
Couch: The family have been reversed so that Bart, Lisa and Maggie are adults with Homer and Marge as kids.
- The neon sign for The Slaughterhouse shows a cowboy hacking a cow to death with a chainsaw.
- Dr Hibbert has a 12 per cent share in the restaurant and has installed an automatic Heimlich Manoeuvre machine.
- Red is placed in a shroud marked I Died at the Slaugherhouse.
- Atlanta, Red's destination, is, apparently, the home of Ted Turner's mood swings.
- The film Homer and Bart see at the drive-in is The Monster That Ate Everybody.
- In their truck, father and son listen to Wannabe, a hit in 1996 for the Spice Girls.
- Back home, eager to amuse themselves, Marge and Lisa buy a new doorbell that plays Alma Cogan's 1956 hit Why Do Fools Fall in Love?
Homage: Damien: The Omen II (Don Taylor, 1978), for the scene where Milhouse is attacked by the birds trying to peck his eyes out. Or maybe it's The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963). Or both. And undoubtedly Convoy (Sam Peckinpah, 1978) even down to the fact that none of the truckers gets hurt, even though they should. There is also a good nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1969) when the Navitron in Homer's cab apologetically explains, 'I'm afraid I can't let you do that' in the voice of HAL the computer.
Look out for: Homer's diet of pep pills and sleeping pills, a gas station called The Gassy Knoll, and the Jehovah's Witnesses suddenly realising no one likes them, and why. There's also a nice moment when Homer, ill-educated as ever, pronounces touché as 'too-kay'.
Notes: The life of the trucker, as made popular in C. W. McCall's 1976 hit single Convoy, is brought to life here in all its glory. For once, Homer is in the right and you cannot help but cheer as the truckers spectacularly fail to stop him getting to Atlanta. A nice, bonding story for Homer and Bart which is diametrically opposed to the one featuring Marge and Lisa.