There is now an entire generation which doesn't know life without the Simpsons but oh say fifteen years ago, it was still rather fresh and cutting edge. It really did usher in prime-time animation and arguably singlehandedly made Fox the fourth network. It originally started as 48 snippets in Squigglevision on the Tracey Ullman show and was such a success it earned its own slot in television history. For me it was my wubby when I moved out on my own.
Technically I didn't move out. My parents moved to PA and sold the house out from under my brother Donny and I while I was scrambling to find an apartment. Actually they didn't own the house. My grandmother did and my sadistic troll uncle John was solely in charge of the sale so he had the pleasure of telling me to get the fuck out. My parents basically ran away from home which is okay because they got to own their own home in their senior-ish years which was nice. It's a cute little A-frame Tudor-style cottage just off a lake near Scranton. My grandmother surrounds it with gnomes painted in garish color combinations not found in any universe and toilet-tank plant arrangements. To say a pink-flamingo would class it up a bit would be an understatement but she likes it and my dad doesn't care so I can live with it and laugh every single time she points out the silk flowers she's tucked into her spider plants and tell me to smell them because they're 'Never-Die's'. She also makes me exquisite Polish pancake crepes that I eat with sugar and butter so I am not saying shit as long as she piles on more bacon too. Yes, I CAN whore myself for bacon and talks about gay sex with my 86-year-old grandmother. I have no dignity.
I had a rich and interesting childhood, a rocky adolescence, and then my twenties and thirties took off nicely. I was dating a nice guy and then just quit my job (because no one told me oral sex was part of the job description) and was imminently homeless but he was starting to get a little squirrelly and his eyes would dart around whenever I mentioned looking at apartments. Obviously he wasn't ready to shack up and I didn't want to be with anyone who didn't want me around so I kept looking and found one apartment, then spent my last penny fixing it up and the day that last check was cashed I was evicted. I became so hysterical at my predicament that my friends started a telephone chain and a new apartment with a friend who I'd lost touch with but was DELIGHTED to have me was found. We were both thrilled. Now that I think about it, boyfriend was probably most thrilled. I told him, 'fuck you' and adopted a cat, Mr. Peaches.
I am blessed with many multitudes of friends and in an emergency, like Jesus with the loaves and fishes, the bounty was miraculously plentiful. People came out of the woodwork to paint and do repairs and donate 'stuff' to my new abode. I found a great new job and was having an awesome almost idyllic time and was very busy and nothing slowed down, even when I got into bed. My mind would race a mile a minute. I had yet to discover the joys of Xanax and one very bad episode with Tylenol PMs made me terrified of them, so most nights I was up til dawn and had to be dressed and ready for work at 7:30 which meant at most 3 hours of sleep.
Still, this was a time of great joy for Peachy because he could count on me to lay down on my living room floor nude at 3AM with a broom to retrieve his favorite ball which got jammed directly underneath the loveseat every single night like clockwork. Peachy had the uncanny gift of telling me what was wrong replete with facial expressions, gesticulations and vocal commands so I was basically his zombie slave and I had nothing better to do. But what to do about sleep?
I was paying my own utility bills for the first time ever and sprung for cable when it dawned on me that I could watch something mindless and soothing to help me sleep. I did have a computer but was not the web-rat I am now, and to tell the truth, I was dog tired from work, the commute, Peachy's relentless demands, and telling the boyfriend to fuck off every hour on the hour since I dumped him. He eventually made his way back into my heart and bed which helped immensely with my sleep but it would take a while.
Until then it was the Simpson's at eleven.