A New Piece of Legislation Definitely Proves ‘The Simpsons’ Shelbyville Is in Kentucky
I imagine that, when reality TV celebrity and Kentucky lawmaker Nick Wilson submitted his newest piece of legislation that would remove sexual relations between first cousins from the state’s incest ban, his reasoning behind the bill was something along the lines of, “Because they’re so attractive.”
The Bluegrass State was in the news this week for all the wrong reasons as the aforementioned Survivor star turned state representative drew international coverage for his confounding move to strike first cousins from the illegal incest list. Wilson quickly withdrew his initial legislation, claiming that first cousin relationships were omitted from the bill in error, clarifying that his proposal, House Bill 269, is intended to increase legal protection against incest, not encourage it at family reunions as the first draft seemed to suggest.
Since the beginning of The Simpsons, fans have been debating which state the fictional Springfield (and its arch-nemesis sister town Shelbyville) is located in, with Ned Flanders famously quipping in The Simpsons Movie that the town borders Ohio, Nevada, Maine and Kentucky. In 2012, Matt Groening spoiled the fun by admitting that he originally based The Simpsons’ Springfield on Springfield, Oregon. But given this week’s events, Shelbyville is surely in Kentucky. That lemon tree has had a wild journey.
As Grampa Simpson explained in “Lemon of Troy,” the schism between the 2,200-mile-close neighbors started when Jebediah Springfield and the hilariously named Shelbyville Manhattan disagreed over the entire purpose of their joint exploration. While the former founded Springfield with the intention of starting a town where freedom of religion, just government and the bountiful harvest of hemp would be the pillars of society, the latter was under the impression that the entire point of the exercise was to find a place where he could marry his cousins in peace.
Hundreds of years of acrimony followed the split, culminating in the struggle over a lemon tree planted in the spot where Springfield and Manhattan separated for good. Even in the modern era (as in 1995), the Shelbyvillains still practice their romantic pursuit of their own extended family, as demonstrated when Bart escapes from the clutches of the Shelbyville by shouting, “Hey look! Someone’s attractive cousin!”
When Wilson retracted his bill from the Kentucky house floor to correct the “typo,” he probably shouted the same thing.