There was fear in Milhouse’s eyes. The sight was not unfamiliar as any sane person put into the same situation would feel the same. At least, anyone without as much guts as Bart Simpson, his best friend. But Milhouse, as always, had caved to his friend’s demand. He never could resist his friend’s influence. In many ways, the blue haired boy looked up to Bart. Though his couldn’t agree to his chaotic nature, Milhouse admired and desired the rebel’s spark of life and courage, and so he followed him everywhere, hoping some of it would rub off of him.
The scenery in the distance seemed still, but the ground broke the illusion as it sped along its erratic path. The radio controlled car, adorned with five powerful bottle rockets, raced past car after car parked alongside Evergreen Terrace. Milhouse worried that the small car might do some serious damage to them, but Bart cared not, instead cheering it on as it almost collided with Flanders’ humble Geo, swerving at the last moment through some flaw in the pavement.
Finally, much to the blue haired boy’s relief, it veered to the center of the street just as the explosives detonated, sending last year’s birthday present into a fiery oblivion. Bart wasted no time in rushing to the smoldering wreckage and Milhouse followed soon after.
“Woah, look at the blast marks in the pavement!” Bart said as he approached the melting plastic. It didn’t look like a car anymore, just a red and blue splatter of goo, the memories being all that remained of the toy. Bart took a deep breath of the fumes.
“Ahh. Smells like victory, doesn’t it Milhouse?”
But the boy didn’t want to take the acrid smoke in as he knew the dangers of plastic smoke. But he also knew that telling his buddy would have been useless and would just make Bart laugh at him and call his knowledge stupid, so he kept silent. In any case, the spiky haired boy wasn’t looking at him, he was too busy nudging the wreckage with his shoe. He was fascinated by the mess he had caused and briefly wondered if he could do some more reckless damage to anything. But failing to find anything suitable to destroy and growing tired with the plastic mess, he trotted over to the sidewalk in front of his house, waving to his friend to follow as he scrapped the sticky substance from his shoe.
“C’mon, let’s grab something to eat and play the new game Homer bought me. I want to see you bleed and blow up,” he added with his distinctive maniacal laugh and before Milhouse could even voice his agreement, the seemingly fearless ten year old was already slipping into his house. Milhouse caught up with him in the kitchen, just in time to hear him start complaining to his mother.
“You can’t be serious mom; I cleaned up my room like two months ago!”
“I don’t want to hear it young man. You promised you’d clean up and you didn’t. I’m sure you haven’t done your homework either.”
“Bart spent the whole night reading comic books,” they heard a familiar voice say from the living room. Lisa was watching Krusty the Clown with Maggie and had heard the whole debacle. She knew that Bart would either take the TV to play his games or be punished and since she could stay one step ahead, she did.
The few words only confirmed what Marge already knew and she pointed towards his room. “No more excuses, now go to your room and I don’t want you to come out until it’s clean and your homework is done young man!”
Milhouse watched the exchange silently, his own mother having had similar discussions with him before, even though he was a good and clean kid. He suddenly felt lucky not to have a sibling who would rat him out, though Lisa never was too far from his thoughts. Marge’s attention turned back to her cleaning and she missed Milhouse obediently following Bart up towards his room, though not before the rebellious boy gave a rather nasty scowl to his sister.
“Aww man, this blows.” Bart said as he threw himself on his bed, falling on his back and bouncing once or twice before remaining still. He had no intention of doing any cleaning up. ‘That’ll teach her,’ he thought. On the other side however, Milhouse had already started grabbing some of the toys and putting them in the closet. It wouldn’t be the best clean up ever, but he knew how to appease moms and if it could get Bart out of trouble, he was happy to do it.
“Milhouse! What are you doing?” Bart shouted as he saw what his friend was doing. Milhouse almost jumped out of his skin when Bart yelled, but quickly attempted to collect himself and his thoughts.
“I was just picking up a little, trying to get your mom off your back.” He replied after a momentary pause, to which Bart scoffed. Moments passed in silence, Milhouse just gazing at his best friend, unsure if he should continue or not. Then, as he was about to resume his cleaning duties, Bart slid off the bed and began rummaging through his drawers, pulling out the latest copy of “Radioactive Man”.
“It’s not like I’ve never been grounded in my room you know,” he said as he proudly displayed the cover page. Wanna read it?” But before Milhouse could even think of a reply, he added “Shhhh!”, placing a finger in front of his lips. The room now turned silent, they heard approaching foot steps in the stairs. Quickly, Bart hid his magazine again and jumped to join his friend, faking the cleaning of his room. As expected, moments later, the door opened, revealing his mom.
“Bart,” she said, “I have to go out to get your father. Moe just called and your father… needs some help to get home,” she concluded, purposely remaining vague but the exasperation in her voice all too familiar.
“Passed out again?” Bart asked, expressionless. Marge just ignored the question.
“I’ll also be taking Lisa to her band rehearsal, so I’ll need you to watch Maggie until I get back,” she added, holding the baby in her arm. She looked around at the dirty room, seeing a bit of work put into it but certainly nowhere near enough. “I expect to see a major improvement in your room when we get back, otherwise you can kiss all your video game privileges goodbye,” she added before handing the child to her big brother and disappeared back downstairs.
Bart waited, heard the girls leave the house and once the car had pulled out of the driveway, he made way towards the door.
“What are you doing Bart?” Milhouse asked. “Your mom said…”
“My mom says a lot of things,” he abruptly interrupted. “But she won’t do anything rough. She’s all talk,” he added with a grin. “Come on, let’s get back to that game!” And he dashed back down to the living room. Milhouse and Maggie looked at each other with a worried look. This could only end badly.