In their many and highly-comical adventures, the family Simpson have pretty much travelled everywhere. Over 26 seasons they’ve touched down in a staggering number of countries and upset many of the denizens of abroad. And despite the fact that most of these vacations involve Homer getting his head stuck in something, they can prove to be highly educational. I mean, how would we know about Australia’s odd forms of punishment, Italy’s drunken children or Brazil’s monkey problem without the Simpsons? So if you are jetting off to somewhere tropical this summer, here’s how Homer tackled a visit to these foreign nations.
Remember, the environmental balance in Australia is very delicate, so if you are planning to introduce any foreign, invasive species, make sure that you don’t get caught, otherwise the natural punishment is to be kicked with a giant boot in parliament. If you are spotted dropping bullfrogs into airport fountains and decide that escape via kangaroo is the best option remember that their pouches are pretty mucous filled. The national pastime in Australia is a game called ‘Knifey Spoony’ so make sure you have your special gaming cutlery on you at all times. The currency is known as ‘dollaridoos’ with which you can use to buy very disappointing giant beers. They’ve had electricity for at least 30 years, but don’t mention Paul Hogan or Yahoo Serious. That’s a sore point. Oh and koalas are tenacious. And deadly.
The most important thing to pack when travelling to Brazil is your scandalously revealing thong, even though wearing it on the beach may cause temporary blindness to passers-by. The money is very colourful and the television programming for children is very revealing. Take an unlicensed cab and you are sure to get involved in a kidnap plot leading to the inevitable dramatic money exchange in a cable car on Sugarloaf mountain. It’s much safer to travel by conga line. Keep on the lookout for roving gangs of monkeys, urchins and enormous snakes. Eat all your meals from swords and, obviously, Brazil nuts are just known as ‘nuts’ over there.
If you’re anything like Homer, the main thing you’ll take away from a visit to Italy isn’t the culture, the scenery or the people, it’s the fact that you can buy booze at the McDonald’s there. If you decide to drive around the country, don’t mistake Fellini films for your navigation system which could lead to driving on ancient aqueducts but do look out for giant wheels of cheese that can destroy your vehicle. Don’t worry about actually visiting any historic sites, most can be seen on fast food receptacles, but do worry about drunk children getting in your way. For some reason ‘Kentucky’ translates as ‘whore’ though a ‘vendetta’ is not an Italian vending machine. And you will almost certainly get involved with a murderous production of the opera Pagliacci, so just try to act surprised when it happens.
You might think that travelling to Ireland in a Homer Simpson state of mind means that lots of drinking will be involved. And you would be absolutely right. In fact, always ask for the signature Irish cocktail of Bushmill’s whisky served in a potato and floating in a glass of Guinness. Don’t believe anything that you’ve read about leprechauns, not only do they exist but they roam the streets and are engaged in committed same-sex relationships. As Moe proves, you can easily travel there via mail, just remember to cut out some air holes in your crate. And if you see people wondering the streets of Dublin and celebrating Bloomsday, you’ve pretty much run out of fun things to do.
As Homer has stated previously, France is his least favourite country and is also a fictional magical kingdom, so don’t expect to be heading there anytime soon. But just in case you do plan to visit, remember they are particularly thin skinned and any mocking of the way they laugh could bring about nuclear retribution. As the Simpsons French exchange student states, they are all required to hate us, though as Bart reveals, there is at least one nice French person, it’s up to you to find them. All of their words are either a girl or a guy and expect to see children using straws to drink from bottles of wine.
Don’t even bother getting any Canadian money, just take some American dollars as the populous will do practically anything to get their hands on them. The free health care means you can cross the road without worry and in fact try to get injured as it can lead to financial gain for some reason. Pretty much anyone can get onto the Canadian basketball team, while curling is televised in prime time. According to Homer, Canada is ‘all tucked away down there’ in terms of location is is affectionately known as ‘America Junior’. And if all else fails just say ‘Take off hoser’ to absolutely everybody.
We never did find out exactly where in Africa the Simpsons ended up, but it appears to be near the Victoria Falls (Zambia) and the Ngorongoro Wildlife Preserve (Tanzania), though according to them, the names of the countries change all the time anyway. Whatever you do, don’t slap hippos on the butt, they really don’t like it, don’t expect to box with Muhammad Ali or ride in a convertible with two happy zebras. Monkeys are a great source of amusement, nourishment and diamonds, while poachers can be identified by their cargo pants. And if you are eaten by a crocodile, don’t panic. It’s just like going to sleep in a giant blender.
The English appear to be either dashing handsome princely types in Union Jack waistcoats or vomiting, drunken wastrels with terrible, terrible teeth. Whatever you do, never try to drive around a roundabout, as you’ll be trapped there for hours and, as Marge makes clear, even though England is small you couldn’t fit it all in here. The chocolate is far sweeter than elsewhere and likely to cause hippy-themed rampages on Carnaby Street. Each taxi has its own butler that will serve you tea and you should be met at the airport by the current serving Prime Minister (just don’t mistake him for Mr Bean). And according to Homer, the Yanks saved the UK in Vietnam and shared their prostitutes with Hugh Grant, so we should really be very grateful.