The Illustrative Man
| The Illustrative Man
| Comic Story information
The Simpson children encounter a circus freak whose tattoo-covered body tells many different stories.
Bart and Lisa meet a circus freak with a body covered in tattoos. He claims that each tattoo tells a story if they look hard enough, but warns them that the stories are unpleasant, and that they may see themselves and those they know within the stories.
The second story, also seen by Bart, depicts Apu getting attacked by Herman's missing arm. The arm causes trouble around Springfield, including robbing a bank and getting into a fight with Homer, but eludes the authorities each time.
The third story seen by Lisa depicts her worst nightmare: bullying, rejection from her music teacher, her lazy father and The Birch Barlow Show. At the end of the story, she runs away screaming.
The fourth story seen by Bart depicts himself and Milhouse asking Groundskeeper Willie about the contents of a basket he carries with him. Willie refuses to tell, so the boys assume it is a second, evil head attached to his body. They discover it contained only food. After the boys leave, Principal Skinner is revealed to be the one with an extra, sinister head. Willie prepares to use an axe on Skinner.
Once all the stories are told, the Simpson family go home and the circus freak laughs at how gullible Bart was to believe in story-telling tattoos. A tattoo on the freak is revealed to depict himself laughing.