That Simpsons Bit Wasn't a Joke

I always thought the bit where Mr. Burns briefly turns off the power plant to spite a strike among his workers was a joke ("Last Exit to Springfield"; script). You know, he and Smithers go through an array of high-security doors, including a facial recognition system that literally recognizes the shape of his face. Then they wind up in the control room, which has a faulty screen door and a dog has wandered in.

"Oh, for God's sake! (slams door shut) Good bye, Springfield. From Hell's heart, I stab at thee!"

"Oh, for God's sake! (slams door shut) Good bye, Springfield. From Hell's heart, I stab at thee!"

This has always been a favorite scene of mine, but in reading John McPhee's 1980 book The Curve of Binding Energy, about a former nuclear-bomb designing genius' concern about the ease of bomb making, I came across this amazing passage (in image) from a report by the Atomic Energy Commission—an agency since dissolved and its function moved elsewhere—about spot inspections of some private outfits handling nuclear fuel:

Now I'm wondering if the writers of this episode, Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky, read the book?!


The episode also has the great dialog:

HOMER
Who is it?

VOICE
Goons.

HOMER
Who?

VOICE
Hired Goons.

HOMER
(opening door) Hired Goons?

The goons grab Homer roughly and take him away.