The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The wit and wisdom of Ralph Wiggum

Don’t Tread on Me
 The wit and wisdom of Ralph Wiggum
The wit and wisdom of Ralph Wiggum

The wit and wisdom of Ralph Wiggum

Every culture has its great thinkers, those inspired few who ponder the imponderable, who ask the hard questions, who speak their minds, regardless of the harsh judgment of the unenlightened many. Socrates, Locke, Augustine, Aquinas. Their number is small, but their impact is great.

Any culture that does not produce such thought is a culture whose impact will not outlast its existence. But does America have such a man (or woman), such a thinker, such a ponderous soul? Oh, we do, though many do not recognize him – for few see the true genius that is Ralph Wiggum.

Yes, Ralph Wiggum, the bane of Ms. Hoover’s class, the romantic foil to Lisa Simpson, the idiot savant of the small town of Springfield. What’s that you say? Ralph Wiggum is fictional, merely an animated caricature on “The Simpsons”? So what, I reply.

Is not almost all we know of Socrates the construct of Plato? Socrates, Jesus, Solomon – many of our culture’s great influences exist solely through the words of others. We can never be sure if they truly did what is recorded of them, or even if they existed at all. But still, their impact is immeasurable.

So let us read the words of this philosopher, Ralph Wiggum. Gather around as we ponder their meaning. He may be just a “cartoon character” but that gives his words no less weight. I’d print them in red, if I could, but I can’t. Not only is the idea of paying for color on the commentary page utterly absurd, but my editors would probably be afraid it would tick off the religious-humor-impaired (of course, that’d kinda be the point, but I digress).


Who among us doesn’t fret about his health? Who hasn’t woken up one night with an upset stomach, and worried that he might have gastro-intestinal cancer? Okay, maybe only I do that.

Ralph said: “The doctor said I wouldn’t have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there.”

Ralph, buddy, I know what ya mean. Why are doctors always blaming me when I get sick? I get violently ill every time I eat popcorn at AMC Movie Theatres, and what do they say? “Don’t eat popcorn.” But damn it, I like popcorn!

“And when the doctor said I didn’t have worms anymore, that was the happiest day of my life!”

I had appendicitis once. It really sucked. I was so happy when I got out of surgery, it was like being reborn. But that could have just been because of the morphine.


Let’s face it, humans are only good at a few things. We burn stuff pretty well, we produce much better artwork than, say, badgers, and boy, can we eat. I love to eat. Especially popcorn. Stupid allergies.

“I’m going to eat chocolate until I barf!”

Whoa there, Ralph! It’s called moderation! But I suppose all great men have their vices. For instance, Socrates had a lamentable habit of drinking poison.

“I ate the berries… they taste like… burning!”

That happens to me when I eat popcorn. Stupid AMC. Stupid canola oil.


They say the measure of a society is how it treats its children. So for the sake of our reputation, let us hope they don’t mention American public schools in future history books. Ralph’s greatness comes in spite of his soul-crushing experiences at Springfield Elementary.

“What’s a diorama?” and “What’s a battle?”

What a mind, so hungry for information, so mistreated by the evil Ms. Hoover!

“Was President Lincoln OK?”

Such compassion!

“Me fail English? That’s unpossible!”

But did Ralph fail English, or did English fail him? We may never know. But even in the midst of his despair, Ralph maintains hope for the future:

“When I grow up, I’m going to Bovine University!”

That’s the spirit, Ralph! Good old American gung-ho. Let’s hope they mention that in future history books – in place of the public schools part.


Birds and bees. Boys and girls. You’d think a mind as young as Ralph’s wouldn’t know much about the ins and outs of relationships. But though Bill Snyder claims to have game, let the following quote show us how a true gentleman and scholar treats the ladies:

“So, do you… like… stuff?”

Expressing interest, engaging in conversation, concern for her feelings. Ralph will go far. You know, once he reaches puberty and all.

“[The valentine] says ‘I choo-choo-choose you,’ and there’s a picture of a train!”

No one ever choo-choo-chooses me. Great, thanks a lot, Ralph. Now I’m depressed. Maybe I should eat some popcorn to cheer up. Wait, I can’t do that either. Oh, the humanity.

Yes, Ralph Wiggum, though fictional, is a true font of wisdom, viewing a world from a perspective that few of us ever could (or would ever want to). This creation of the mind of Matt Groenig is a voice for all time, producing hopeful pearls of information that give us all the courage to face the day anew. He’s a beacon to … oh, what am I saying? Ralph’s an idiot, and this is going nowhere. But look, it’s the end of the column. Which means my work is done here!

“Teacher said she’s tired of trying.”

Me, too, Ralph. Me, too.

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