Lisa: Look, we got a package from the Mr. Sparkle company in Japan.
Homer: Ooh! [opens package, but only Styrofoam packing peanuts
spill out. He holds the package up to his eye. A videotape
tumbles out and bonks Homer in the face] Ow!
Lisa: It's a videotape.
Homer: Put it in! Put it in!
[Lisa does so. The video opens with a shot of a heavyset man
lounging in a sunken bathtub, the kind often seen in Japan.
He puts down the cigar long enough to address the camera]
Man: [heavily accented] Oh, hello, American investor. I see you
are interested in distributing Mr. Sparkle in you home
prefecture. You have chosen wisely. But please -- don't
believe me. Observe this commercial.
[begin commercial. A Japanese housewife wearing semi-
futuristic (in the "Jetsons" mode) clothing loads a
dishwasher. She pulls out a whistle, which summons Mr.
Sparkle. His head jumps off the Mr. Sparkle box, and floats
in mid-air. True to his name, bright sparkles fill the air]
Mr. Sparkle: [in Japanese; subtitled]
I'm disrespectful to dirt. Can you see that I am serious?
[having no arms or legs, Mr. Sparkle scrubs the dishes clean
by rubbing up and down with his head. The housewife is
delighted with her clean dinnerware. Mr. Sparkle flies into
the next room, where a baby is playing with a toy xylophone.
He amuses the child by bouncing on a few keys, and then flies
off. In the next scene, he appears deep beneath the ocean,
where a trio of dancing women hang out (where else?) on the
Mr. Sparkle: Out of my way, all of you. This is no place for loafers!
Join me or die! Can you do any less?
Women: What a brave corporate logo! I accept the challenge of
Woman #1: Awesome power!
[an inset box appears in the upper left corner of the screen,
showing a windup monkey toy banging a drum. Mr. Sparkle
demonstrates his awesome power by blowing up a strong wind of
heart-shaped symbols. The wind transforms the dancing women
into Sumo wrestlers. (I am not convinced this is an
Mr. Sparkle flies over a cow pasture. A reporter is
interviewing a two-headed cow.]
Reporter: What are your plans for summer vacation?
[the cow spots Mr. Sparkle floating overhead, and is so
surprised she shatters. Her four eyes hover in mid-air for a
second, then fall to the ground and blink.
Cut to a screen where Japanese slogans spiral to a vanishing
point at the center of the screen. Mr. Sparkle appears at
the center and heads toward the camera, rotating in the
Announcer: For lucky best wash, use Mr. Sparkle.
[Mr. Sparkle blinks.
Homer, Bart, and Lisa don't quite know what to make of this]
Homer: That didn't explain anything. All I know is that they stole
my face and used it for their stupid logo. There's no other
Lisa: Wait, look!
[cut to the TV screen again]
Announcer: [in English]
Mr. Sparkle. A joint venture of Matsumura Fishworks [a
smiling fish appears on the left half of the screen] and
Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern
[a light bulb appears on the right half of the screen. The
two logos meld to form -- Mr. Sparkle!]
Lisa: Hey! It was all a coincidence.
Bart: Yep. There's your answer, fishbulb.
Homer: Well, it was a good ride while it lasted. Come on kids,
let's go home.
Bart: We are home.
Homer: That was fast.
-- Mystery solved -- 100 per cent! "In Marge We Trust"