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Chapter 3
Alternate Relationships

Father Knows Least

by HAL MOUNTSAUERKRAUTEN, Alternate Reality News Service Court Writer

In a shocking turn of events, a Springfield man has been arrested for abusing his children. The 446 counts of abuse include: repeatedly strangling his son; hitting his son with various blunt and carefully worded objects, and; challenging his son to an eating contest of, at various times, pumpkins, Krusty Burgers, falafels or Gummi Worms until they both threw up.

Because the children are underaged, we cannot name the accused offender. However, Judge Geraldine McMochrie of the Closed Circuit court presiding over the case has said that we can report that every citizen of Springfield has been named as a prosecution witness with the exception of Homer Simpson.

Make of that what you will.

How is it possible that such a horrific case of child abuse could go on for so long? According to Police Chief Wigham, there was nothing he could do the first 277 times it was reported to him because of lack of evidence. “But, after that, a pattern began to emerge,” Chief Wigham explained.

Seymour Skinner, the principle of the school of two of the allegedly abused children, said there may have been warning signs, but that they are difficult to read. “Sure, Bar – uhh, the son acted out in class…and acted out at recess…and acted out on the school grounds before and after class and – okay, the point I’m trying to make is that the kid was trouble, and in Principle School we were taught that acting out is often a sign of bad things happening in the home.

“But, frankly, most of the miserable little snots in this school act out once in a while. Some more frequently. If we diagnosed child abuse every time a kid put worms up his nose in class, half the parents in Springfield would be in jail. Hmmm…that might just wo – please excuse me, I need to ask my Mother about something…”

The wife of the accused maintains that he is innocent. “Homey – I mean, the accused, well, he has poor impulse control, no question. Why, I remember this one time, he took the blender, a crate of old TV Guides and half a ton of liquid fertilizer and – ahem – yes, well, the important thing is that he has a good heart, and he always does the right thing in the end. With a little prodding…sometimes a lot of urging…once in a while a huge amount of begging and pleadi – did I mention that he always does the right thing in the end?”

But, is it enough to do the right thing in the end? Celebrity guest star Dr. Ruth Westheimer believes that it isn’t. “Ve haff a tendency to forgive partners who give us very good orgasms,” she explained. “Ve are willing to overlook ze flaws of somebody who can light our fires, so to speak. Zis is ze reason bad boys like rock musicians and neoconservatives have so many sexual partners. But, zis does not excuse zeir bad behaviour. Oh, no. Until zey find a way to give good orgasms to society as a whole, zere will alvays be people who vill not forgive zem for zeir naughty, naughty misdeeds!”

While the wife of the accused, known in court documents only by the initials HS, insists he is innocent, his neighbours are not so sure. “Heighdely Hodely journalism guy,” Ned Flanders, who lives in the house next to the accused, said. We had no idea what he meant, but allowed him to keep talking in the belief that he might say something relevant to the case: “It’s a sad day for Springfield, when one of our own is accused of such dastardly behaviour. I’m sure [NAME OMITTED FOR LEGAL REASONS] will be found innocent of all charges, and, if not, I’m equally sure that he will burn in Satan’s helldely firedelys for all of the eternal damnation that he would so richly deserve.”

“Yeah, Ned always did have an ugly self-righteous streak to him,” HS’ wife responded.

The accused maintained that he was completely innocent. “I…I love my family,” he stated. “I would never do anything to hurt any of them – really, I only want the best for them. So, umm, who ratted me out? Was it The Boy? Did The Boy rat me out? Yeah, I bet it was him. The little –! I love that boy, but if I ever get my hands on him, I’ll wring his scrawny little –

“D’oh!”

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