For people of my generation (old, like the dinosaurs, only with better taste in music and indoor heating) there is no greater cultural touchstone than The Simpsons. Many of my friends adopt Simpsonese as a sort of short-hand to express everyday sentiments (when something strikes me as an incongruous mess, I’ll yelp, “Nuts and gum, together at last!” and my husband is fond of quoting Gordie, the 10-year-old in kindergarden who explains to Bart, “They think I’m slow ’cause I’m from Canada, eh?”) In many ways, even at their most absurd, the Simpsons seem more real than actual real people, and while I can’t say I’ve followed the show all that closely over the past decade, that yellow-skinned bunch of 2D freaks will always hold a special place in my heart.
These nails draw inspiration from “The Devil and Homer Simpson,” a short from the Treehouse of Horror IV episode in which Homer, feeling bereft of donut, announces that he’d sell his very soul for one of the sweet, round pastries, which the Devil Flanders, who shows up amidst much fire and brimstone, is more than willing to accommodate. But the Devil Flanders, much like regular, annoying Flanders, is a Chatty Cathy, and lets slip that should Homer not finish the donut, he can’t claim his soul. So Homer, being the jerk he so often is, taunts the devil for a bit and then takes the single remaining donut bite home, where he carefully puts it on a plate in the fridge surrounded by such helpful Post-Its as “Daddy’s soul donut; don’t touch!” But OF COURSE he touches, and yadda yadda yadda, his soul belongs to Marge. AS IT SHOULD, because that woman is a saint.
Here I tried to capture the dichotomy between the light and dark nature of the donut as a comment on the circularity of our lives. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to paint horns and a halo on a pair of donuts? Who knows. And even though he’s a tad blurry, I’m super proud of my Devil Flanders. Painting branded characters and actually having them turn out looking like those characters is not something I’m particularly good at, so the fact that he looks a bit like Flanders (albeit with pointed horns) is highly encouraging.