Frink’s Theorem, so fundamental to our understanding of the universe that it’s impossible to imagine modern chemistry, physics, or geoscience departmental bulletin boards without it, states that The Simpsons can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed. One consequence of this is that the total amount of The Simpsons in the universe remains constant—scientists now estimate it at a little bit more than eleven seasons—and, as long-time viewers of the closely-related Fox television program know, nothing can be done to create more. But the other consequence is that The Simpsons can never really disappear; it simply re-emerges in a new form. So when the show’s producers announced that “Stark Raving Dad,” an episode featuring a mentally-unwell man voiced by Michael Jackson, would be pulled from circulation in the wake of Leaving Neverland’s portrait of a mentally-unwell man voiced by Michael Jackson, that episode’s ration of The Simpsons had to go somewhere. Which brings us to Malk Organics, a Texas-based company that offers the following products for sale:
Yes, “Malk” is now a real thing, and you can buy it at a wide range of grocery stores, including Kroger, Ralphs, and some Whole Foods locations. Before manifesting itself on grocery store shelves in our reality, “Malk” was last seen in “The PTA Disbands,” a 1996 episode of The Simpsons in which it is the payoff to a series of jokes about cost-cutting measures at the Springfield Elementary cafeteria:
Skeptics will be quick to point out a few inconvenient truths about Malk. For starters, our universe’s version of Malk seems considerably better for you: It’s made from organic almonds, Himalayan salt, and filtered water, and contains no Ritalin. More troubling still, the company was founded in 2014 (and first showed up in the pages of Slate in 2017), long before “Stark Raving Dad” was pulled, which raises troubling questions about our current understanding of time, space, causation, and almonds. Asked about these discrepancies, an expert in the science of The Simpsons who wished to remain anonymous because he is technically the intellectual property of 21st Century Fox responded, “Hoyvin-glavin!” But if Malk Organics didn’t get its Simpsons from “Stark Raving Dad,” it had to come from somewhere else. Fortunately for science, there’s an obvious candidate: the scraps from the top and bottom of The Simpsons left over when it was cropped to widescreen for the launch of Simpsons World, the same year Malk Organics was founded. If that’s the case, however, then The Simpsons originally contained in “Stark Raving Dad” is still out there somewhere, just waiting to be harnessed. Let’s hope someone starts manufacturing Skittlebrau.