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Principal Skinner

It's not easy being principal of Springfield Elementary school, especially when you have Bart Simpson as one of your charges

Can any head have led such eventful life as Seymour Skinner? Not just a member of Homer Simpson's Grammy Award-winning barbershop quartet "The B Sharps" but a former Vietnam POW and the man who almost discovered Kahoutek's comet Almost?

Skinner was beaten to it by rival, Principal Kahoutek. He almost discovered Bart's Comet too but ...

Yes, but is Skinner any good as an educator?

Well, he runs a school on virtually zero budget, survives inspections by the permanently-enraged Superintendent Chalmers, keeps Groundskeeper Willie from indulging his homicidal tendencies and manages to conceal the school cook's secret Nazi past. And still gets home in time to take his mother to a drive-in movie So Seymour is a good son?

As devoted as Anthony Perkins in Psycho, only Seymour has not gone over the edge yet. As the only 42-year-old virgin in Springfield it can only be a matter of time What?

Old Ma Skinner has not done a lot for her son's confidence with women although Seymour has been romantically linked in the past with Patty or Selma (it is difficult to tell Marge's sisters apart) and he was once caught in the broom closet with Mrs Krabappel by Ralph Wiggum whose single brain cell has still not recovered from the shock.

He got away with that?

Chalmers thought he had sacked him at last but this is cartoon-land. Then again in one episode Seymour was revealed not to be Seymour Skinner at all but a fellow Vietnam vet who had taken the place of the real Sgt Skinner after he went missing in action. Mrs Skinner decided she had got used to spineless Seymour and, as the school did not like the authoritarian Sgt Skinner, he was run out of town, and Seymour returned.

You've lost me there.

Fortunately Seymour Skinner is one of the most forgiving and tolerant of men, although this does mean that Springfield Elementary is terrorised by thugs like Nelson and Jimbo. It also means that he was powerless to stop the Mafia taking over the contract to install disabled access for Bart's temporary wheelchair, spending the entire annual budget on unnecessary ramps.

I'm beginning to see Chalmers' point!

Adrian Mourby

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