The Joy of Cooking Milhouse

“Homer vs. the 18th Amendment,” season 8, episode 18

With the 4th coming up, it’s time for a festive Simpsons-style treat. And thanks to Rex Banner’s birthday, this week we’re making the ultimate patriotic treat: a Banana Kaboom! (The exclamation point is required!)

Meanwhile, in the world of season 8 Simpsons, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and everything looks weird. The kids are wearing green clothes and Marge’s hair is green and it’s weird. Everyone gets drunk and things get quickly out-of-hand at the town parade. Bart even ends up accidentally wasted and the sight of a drunken child is enough to send the whole town into a moral quandary. While arguing at a town hall meeting, the local historian discovers that Springfield enacted prohibition and never enforced it (along with a law requiring ducks to wear long pants).

Things change quickly, with Duff launching an alcohol-free Duff Zero and immediately going out of business. Moe opens a speakeasy as the mafia supplies the booze. Quimby is caught enjoying the illegal bar and is ousted and replaced with smooth-talking Rex Banner (voiced by Dave Thomas). He’s a hard-liner and whips the police department into shape (“take that badge out of your mouth, you’re police officers!”).

Homer and Bart head to the dump and recover beer barrels. In an elaborate scheme, they fill bowling balls with beer, bowl them, and send them through a set of pipes down to Moe’s bar. As Homer says to Bart, “the real money’s in bootlegging! Not your childish vandalism.” Marge doesn’t even mind because she thinks prohibition is silly and is impressed Homer came up with anything remotely this clever.

Meanwhile, Rex Banner is attempting to celebrate his birthday in a Hopper-esque diner with a banana kaboom, sparklers and all. But he can’t! He hasn’t caught his nemesis the beer baron, his apparent birthday wish (“no you wooon’t!”).

Homer finally runs out of beer and starts making alcohol in bathtubs in the basement. The stills keep exploding (“What dear? Kablamo!”) and after Marge pleads with him to stop AND he catches on fire, Homer decides to get out of the bootlegging business. Wiggum is listless and destitute without a job, so Homer lets him catch the notorious beer baron to show up Rex Banner. Homer is to be punished by catapult (according to the law) but they flick Rex out of town instead. Finally, the historian reads the rest of the law, which shows that prohibition was repealed immediately after it was enacted. Springfield is back in the booze and Homer makes a toast:

To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.

Now for that banana kaboom! Yes, it’s just a banana split. But it’s a really good one and it has little flags and live sparklers! It’s perfect for the 4th or a birthday or, ya know, a sucky Monday. If you still have those little flags from the Million Dollar Birthday Fries, then pull those babies back out and make yourself this special dessert.

Banana Kaboom!
Serves 1 sad Rex Banner

1 really big scoop chocolate ice cream
1 really big scoop vanilla ice cream
1 really big scoop strawberry ice cream
1 banana, peeled and split lengthwise
Warmed hot fudge or chocolate sauce
Freshly whipped cream (sweetened)
1 maraschino cherry
2 little American flags
2 sparklers

Add the scoops of ice cream to a sundae dish in a row. Flank on each side with the banana. Top with fudge or chocolate sauce and then a mound of whipped cream. Add the cherry on top.

Stick a couple of little flags in there and a couple of festive sparklers (not too close to the flags) and light. Kaboom!

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