I wrote the following short story to accompany this picture:
Marge downed her third glass of champagne and heaved a heavy sigh. She knew she should have expected this. Whenever there was an event Homer wasn’t interested in (or more accurately, any event that didn’t have free food or beer) he suddenly had to “cover for a coworker” just long enough to miss the event entirely.
Why he couldn’t just admit that he didn’t want to go was a mystery. Perhaps if he would just be honest with her, it wouldn’t hurt her feelings so much. And then she wouldn’t get her hopes up. Now she was merely awaiting the inevitable phone call with the “bad news, honey” and the tacked-on apology.
Tears stung Marge's eyes as she gazed out across the dance floor. Dozens of happy couples were waltzing to a saccharine love song. ‘That should be me out there,’ she told herself. If only Bart were a little bit taller – and a lot more sensitive – she could dance with him. But all three of her children were nowhere to be seen. She hoped Lisa was keeping an eye on Bart to make sure he wasn’t playing pranks on the dancers for his own amusement. Her son may be a handful, but at least he came along.
The song ended and with it, Marge hoped, the sappy sentimentality that had her on the verge of tears. Surely the DJ would improve the mood with something more upbeat. But no. It was the next song that did it. As the first stirring chords of The Carpenters’ “Close To You” began to play, Marge let out a sob, wishing now more than ever that Homer was there. It was their song! And as far as Marge was concerned, it was a crime that they weren’t together on the dance floor moving in sync to its melody.
“Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near?” Marge mouthed the words as she fought back tears. She blinked them away just in time to see an odd shape move through the crowd. For a moment she thought she was hallucinating a walking palm tree, but as the figure emerged from the throng of bodies on the dance floor, her jaw dropped.
Sideshow Bob, the man who had repeatedly terrorized her family before being locked away “for good,” was a stunning vision to her watery eyes. A pink carnation was affixed to the front of his plum-colored waistcoat, under which he wore a white dress shirt and black tie. He was quite dashing, for a homicidal maniac. Dashing, hell. He was downright dreamy... and he was walking straight toward her.
Marge held her breath as the man stood over her with a smoldering smile and extended a hand to her. An unknown force seemed to lift her own hand and place it in his, made her shiver deliciously as his long fingers curled over hers, and lifted her from her seat as he guided her out onto the dance floor.
“Why do stars fall down from the sky, every time you walk by?” Bob sang softly as they danced, gazing serenely into Marge’s eyes. Marge gazed back, lost in heaven. The man was incredibly graceful, despite his enormous feet. Nearby, Bart, Lisa and Maggie sported identical expressions of shock.
After a moment, Bart stepped forward, holding up a cell phone. “Hey Mom, Homer called and said he can’t make it,” he said, trying to sound casual to hide his horror. “Mom?”
Bob drew her closer, their bodies pressing together, ignoring the boy who was once the bane of his existence.
Marge sighed dreamily, enchanted. “Who’s Homer?”