Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How Skelly Is Barney Gumble?

On Sunday, I was on the train with a group of buddies and one of them asked, "Would you rather get drunk at Moe's Tavern or The Drunken Clam?"* The next question, from someone else, was just as intriguing: "How much of a skell is Barney Gumble?"

*To be answered at a later date.

So just how skelly is Barney?

In my original post about skells, I broke them into 5 classes. Here's what I wrote about Barfly Skells:

"These are my favorite skells. I first heard the word skell in Rockaway Beach, which unsurprisingly also boasts a wonderfully diverse skell population. By far the most common skells there are Barfly Skells.

Unlike Weekend Skells, Barfly Skells prefer weekday afternoons for their benders. Charles Bukowski, one of history's most famous skells, wrote that he hated bars on the weekends. It wasn't that he hated people, but that he just felt better when they weren't around. I guess it's no wonder that Bukowski wrote the screenplay for the movie Barfly.

Barney shares many characteristics with Bukowski. Most obviously, like Bukowski, Barney's a drunk...


...and a poet...



...but unlike Buk, Barney has some moments in which he sheds his skelly persona and comes through for his friends. For example, after Barney becomes the Plow King, he sobers up and saves Homer from a blizzard. Later on, Barney takes helicopter flying lessons and ends up saving Bart and Lisa from a forest fire. Despite his occasional redeeming moments, though, it's clear that Barney is at least an 8.3 on the Skell Scale -- the Skale, if you will.

From now on, I'll use the Skale to quantify skelliness, with 10 being the most skelly. Here's where some notable figures fall on the Skale:

0--Pope Francis (Even though he's similar to me, the pope couldn't possibly be a skell.)
1--Tim Tebow (Clean-cut, religious, probably a teetotaler. Not skell material.)
2--The Longbeach State baseball team (Actually nicknamed "The Dirtbags".)
3--Adam Sandler (Through the sheer relentlessness of his skelly wardrobe.)
4--Me (Weekend Skell, for sure.)
5--Ozzy Osbourne (A Recovering Skell.)
6--John Belushi, Chris Farley, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, and many others (Skelled way too hard.)
7--Charlie Sheen (Winning, sinning, and skelling.)
8--Barney Gumble (8.3, but we'll round down here.)
9--Charles Bukowski (The archetypical Barfly Skell. One skelly line of poetry: "my beerdrunk soul is sadder than all the dead christmas trees of the world".)
10--All Oakland Raiders Fans (Just ridiculous.)

As you can see, Barney's sheer persistence in getting loaded on a daily basis keeps him on the higher end of the Skale. It takes a lot of willpower to crush that many Duffs in a lifetime. In short, Barney Gumble has earned his skell cred.

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