One episode after Homer tries to fix his relationship with Lisa, he tries to do the same with Bart, with less sleep deprivation as a result.
If there’s one thing Homer Simpson does well, it is temporarily gaining love and respect from members of his family. Then the next episode will start, and we’ll be back to square one.
Take this week, as Homer fails a quiz on fatherhood and gets taken away to the National Fatherhood Institution, a place where being a good dad is studied like its a real science and they give out free copies of a book by Bill Cosby.
Man, sometimes this show does not age well.
Other times, I am left to wonder why they are studying underwater fathering, and how that shark keeps getting in there.
To fix his relationship with his son, Homer decides to help him build a soap box racer. He isn’t supposed to, but luckily Homer is so half-assed at best when it comes to anything that it looks even more like Bart did it all by himself.
As a result, Bart’s car falls apart about a foot before he hits the finish line, meaning he came in third out of three behind Nelson (second) and Martin (first). Martin’s NASA-influenced ship crashed and burned, leaving him with a broken arm. And of course, the firefighters went to work on the burning racer while the burning Martin ran around screaming.
Martin knows his car is the best, even if the parachute doesn’t deploy in time. And he wants Nelson, who apparently learned everything he needs to know about racing from Ben-Hur, to lose, so he offers his car to Bart, who of course will take it because Homer taught him to win. Or someone did. He picked it up somewhere.
And man, that soap box derby is big news in this town. Even Mayor Quimby is there. That makes it bigger than the last huge Springfield sporting event, the junior miniature golf tournament. Springfield needs more to do some weekends.
After feeling very hurt, Homer does come to his senses in time to see Bart win the race with Martin’s car. This leads to some high quality father-son taunting and bad behavior. All is right in the world.
Especially if Nelson let that poor kid out his trunk.