Simpsons Summer Shindig #7
Bart goes on a cross-country trip by train that drives his family to distraction!
This time, another Simpsons story drawn from life — and partially inspired by my son, who was fascinated with trains from a very young age. As such, I rode Amtrak quite a bit on some of its cross-country runs; I wrote part of Crimson Dynamo #3 on his very first train trip, a run to Seattle on the Empire Builder in 2003.
That and most of the rail experiences that followed were positive — but there were occasional mishaps, and given that Summer Shindig is a vacation-themed title, I decided to put every calamity I could imagine in the Simpsons' voyage. It was a lot of fun to write — and as usual, there were plenty of in-jokes!
- The Silver Flash is clearly a nod to Silver Streak. But the conductor has too much hair to be Scatman Crothers.
- Naturally, Lisa would know about Arlo Guthrie and "The City of New Orleans," which happens to be the Amtrak run I've taken most often.
- I've been on many a transcontinental run when all the food is nearly gone in the snack bar by the end of the ride. Bart has that experience much earlier!
- From Justin to Kelly is, of course, the lamentable American Idol movie.
- "Come with me if you want to live" is from Terminator 2, naturally. And the room service line is from A Night at the Opera.
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