The scene above is from the “Last Exit to Springfield” episode of The Simpsons, in which Homer becomes head of his union and negotiates a new contract with Mr. Burns on sheer strength of idiocy. Dorks will remember it as episode 9F15 of season four, which my college roommates and I remember as the Era of Big Pupils. This model style roughly coincides with Conan O’Brien’s tenure on the show and, probably not by coincidence, some of its most surreal gags. For example: On a tour of his mansion, Mr. Burns shows Homer a thousand monkeys typing on a thousand typewriters, who will soon produce “the greatest novel known to mankind.” He checks one monkey’s progress. “‘It was the best of times,” he reads, “it was the blurst of times?’ You stupid monkey!” That was your last chance to enjoy this joke, because I’d like to talk about why it’s so funny.
Okay, so it’s not a choi choi choice exactly, but it seems to be where we’re headed. Today is Valentine’s Day. If we had the instruments to measure such things, I suspect we would find that ironic observances account for the majority celebration of same. As any single person will tell you, Valentine’s Day is fake. It is a construct designed to sell flowers and prix fixe dinners—as opposed to Christmas and May Day, which are totally real. Exactly who conspired to create Valentine’s Day and market it across multiple industries against the will of Earth’s people remains unclear. Probably, she is pretty and wants watermelon. Possibly she does not really exist.