Anonymous pranksters resurrected a decades-old bit from The Simpsons at a school board meeting in Henrico County, Va., last week, where they duped councillors into reading out several fake names that sound a lot like crude phrases.
Livestreamed video from the Henrico Schools meeting shows the board’s chair, Roscoe D. Cooper III, reading out the dirty names on the public comments list while seemingly oblivious to the prank.
The first name on the list, Shelley Thomas, belongs to a real member of the community, and she takes the stand to complain about accommodations for transgender children.
The jokes start with the next name on the list.
Cooper readers out “Phil McCracken” twice, pausing each time to see if Mr. McCracken will fill the silence with his comments.
No one speaks up, so Cooper proceeds to try sounding out the second name on the list.
“Salk… Sook… Mehaydyck,” he says.
Cooper goes on to read the rest of the names on the list, pausing with each one to wait for a response.
The names include “Ophelia McHawk,” “Eileen Dover,” “Don Keedik” and “Wayne Kerr,” who is, clearly, a wanker.
The list ends with Tasha Tunstall and Melissa Dart — two seemingly normal names — and Aaron Sorkin, the famous screenwriter who does not live in Henrico County.
Cooper wraps up the public comments section by thanking Thomas for being the only one who attended in person. He does not acknowledge the prank and there are no sounds of laughter to be heard in the room, but there were plenty of chuckles after the clip surfaced on social media afterward.
“Kids pulled a Bart Simpson on the school board,” comedian Nicole Arbour tweeted. “We all need this right now.”
Bart’s prank calls to Moe the bartender are a long-running gag on The Simpsons.
The school board has not commented on the incident.
The Aug. 26 prank was a rare moment of levity from the U.S. school system, which has seen several contentious board-meeting battles over COVID-19 in recent weeks. Those meetings have often involved angry groups of parents railing against mask rules meant to keep their kids safe.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends universal masking in schools for all adults and children involved, regardless of their vaccination status.
“Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place,” the CDC says in its latest guidance document.
There is also no evidence that masks are harmful for children.
Or as Bart Simpson might say: “Don’t have a cow over masks, man.”
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