The social contract of entering a public bar in Brooklyn — as close as some of us have to a piazza in modern day — is that you suffer through a lot of light and noise. You might enter a spot in search of a warm drink on a cold April night and, ugh, month 1 of the 38-month long NBA playoffs is on the TV, so you suffer through. Or maybe it’s Sunday and your path to the bar is blocked by wide-eyed millennials worshiping at the altar of Lena Dunham for a screening party of Girls, all the while noting the irony that the target demo for this show does not own TVs. Imagine the acute horror of enjoying some craic with friends only to have the bartender, smooth and dispassionate as an executioner, cut off the conversation at the neck by flipping the channel to an awards show, trapping you in the cultural conversation you had hoped to avoid by going to the bar in the first place. Worse still, some bars let their TVs roam feral, leaving the pictocube on whatever channel it lands on to pour out stale episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, the shadows of laughs that never were piling up on the sticky bar floor.
We grit through these things for the greater good: sometimes we will call on you, bar TVs, and you’ll be there for us: hungover Sunday football days, that late-night Mets game when it’s been a tough work day, the presidential debates you have to watch in a bar among people so you don’t pour poison in your ear in frustration. Yet we have come calling in an hour of most need and been met with silence. Shame on you, Brooklyn bars. We’re here, we’re queer, we don’t want any more bears, but we do want you to turn the channel to FXX this week.
Right this very moment, the Simpsons marathon is underway: every episode of the show’s 25 season run, including the 2007 movie, in order, for 12 days straight. It started at 10 a.m. this morning and, in the magical Fillory of our dreams, some entrepreneuring Simpsons addict has called off work today, lashed the curtains firmly together, packed up a big bowl of popcorn and a bowl of some other stuff too and is settling in to form a really nice ass groove.
“Do I even get FXX on this thing?” — America, in about 15 minutes
— Dashiell Bennett (@dashbot) August 21, 2014
But most of us on Team Brokelyn don’t have a TV, so we get our viewing done in the public space, as it was once meant to be. Our diligent staff has been combing the wilds for the past week: surely some bar, somewhere, will pick up the clarion call and throw a “JUST HOOK IT TO MY VEINS! SIMPSONS MARATHON BLOWOUT PARTY”, and yet, no word. No one responded to our Twitter call, and the internet (available on computers now?) did not reply to our Facebook call either. We tried searching online, but the googles, they do nothing.
This is the biggest oversight since Dr. Nick mixed up “flammable” and “inflammable.” If we are opening our bars for World Cup games, for movies, for the gawdawful Grammys, why not for the Simpsons, the perfect event to lure us in to linger for hours at a time while enjoying a refreshing bathtub mint julep?
Luckily, there is still time to right this wrong. The first two seasons, while enjoyable, are when the show was still finding its footing, meaning you can jump into the marathon tomorrow and still catch the golden era.
Here then are our list of demands for a Simpsons party:
1. Open at a reasonable hour. No one expects you to be open all night long! Such a thing would be unpossible, and also v. illegal. Open at noon, that works for us. Stay open until 4 am. You won’t catch all the episodes, but you’ll be the best damn pet shop in town.
2. Have a TV/projector screen on, with sound, in the darkest corner of your bar, so we can watch it all without disturbing the weirdos who want to “have conversation.”
3. Serve thematic drink specials, to include but not limited to: Flaming Moes, Skittlebrau and Red Tick Beer (may need more dog). But not Duff, trust us.
4. A costume contest or some shit? I dunno, just don’t block the TV.
5. Cut yourself a break: you only have to show seasons 1-10, max. The episodes after that are not good and showing them may risk negative Yelp reviews.
Sure, you can do a Simpsons marathon any time you want if you have access to the show on DVD. But that’s not this, a marathon, the longest one in TV history. Something on this magnitude is an Event, a shared human experience, like watching the Super Bowl or following election night results. We watch because we know that out there, millions of other people are having the same experience as us, four-fingered hands across America for the greatest show that ever was. Boo-urns to you for not finding a way to show it.
We beseech you, Brooklyn bars: find our ideas intriguing and subscribe to our newsletter.