A Guide to Outlasting the 552-Episode, 278-Hour ‘Simpsons’ Marathon

I don’t even know why I’m writing this. I and the rest of the Observer have come to terms that our web traffic, nay the entire internet’s traffic, will be exactly zero for the next 278 hours. This is because starting today at 10 a.m. FXX launched it’s marathon of every single episode of The Simpsons ever, plus The Simpsons Movie thrown in for good measure. While it’s probably not likely anyone is going to catch all 552 episodes (or if they do we won’t know about it, because that person will be dead), you just know someone is going to try.

Well good news everyone! (Wrong show?)

It just so happens that my talents include sitting inert, watching large amounts of TV at once, and general anti-socialness. Using all this knowledge, I’ve compiled some helpful hints and tips to your inevitable time spent with this glorious, yellow marathon. Besides, it isn’t like there’s anything else on during the day, right?

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  • Preparation, preparation, preparation – really, the foundation for any solid binge-watch comes in the planning process. But this is the binge-watch to end all binge-watches, so it’s a little more extreme. First off, say goodbye to everyone that you love, at the very minimum for the next 278 hours. At the very maximum, say goodbye forever. Because let’s be honest if you’re really committing to this then the pre-marathon hugs are probably going to be the last time you see your family before The Simpsons devours you, and you fade away.

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Just as important is getting yourself into tip top shape. This is a 552-episode marathon, not a 552-episode sprint! This will take endurance, and endurance takes being at your physical peak. Do some breathing exercises. Stretch vigorously. Hop on a treadmill to get your tolerance for pain up.

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  • Sustenance – All that stuff about getting into shape to get your endurance up? Yeah most of that was bullshit. The real reason you’re going to want to get into shape is because 12 days is a long time to go without eating. And, spoiler alert, 552 episodes of the Simpsons isn’t exactly calling for you to eat kale salads. So basically you’re going to want to get into shape so that so that you don’t feel as bad devouring every Frito that te 7/11 down the block had in stock.

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The most important part (and this is important, people), is that you find a way to eat without taking your eyes off the screen for even a second.

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  • Focus! – The duration of this marathon is an incredibly long time to not update your Twitter. But if you stop watching, how are you going to seem relevant after the marathon when your friends bring up The Shinning segment from Treehouse of Horror V?! You’re not going to be able to, and good luck looking cool after that. So again, focus.

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In fact, beyond social media, cut out all things that may be a distraction. And I do mean all things, no matter how stupid or sexy they may be.

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  • Acclimating yourself back to regular society – So say you make it to the end. You have reached the finish line (also known as “The Yellow Badge of Cowardge”), and there are some things you need to prepare for. First off, the sun will be blinding. I suggest sunglasses, or permanent seclusion from the outside world. Either way. Also, there is a 100% chance your appearance has deteriorated drastically. You will most likely be unshaven (male or female), gained significant weight, and your mere presence upon emerging from your binge-cave will horrify small children. This you must get used to for a while

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More straining than your physical appearance will be your mental state. After the marathon has completed on September 2, there a few things that everyone who participated, myself included, will have to come to terms with.

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