|Around Town with Ned Flanders
- For the documentary TV show which Ned made, see Around Town with Ned Flanders (TV show).
Around Town with Ned Flanders is a comic story featured in Simpsons Comics 53. The story was later reprinted in Simpsons Comics Belly Buster and Simpsons Classics 27.
Ned Flanders, with help from Rod and Todd, produces a television documentary about the historic locales of Springfield. The production goes awry when they accidentally run over a drunken Barney and blunder into the aftermath of a robbery at the Kwik-E-Mart.
Speaking to a video camera at his house, Ned Flanders welcomes viewers to the first installment of his new cable access television show, titled Around Town with Ned Flanders. Ned says that in the show, he'll be visiting Springfield's historic locales, and immediately starts talking about the history of the church in Springfield, from the first log church building put up by Jebediah Springfield to the present-day First Church of Springfield, which Ned describes as "Reverend Lovejoy's modern glass sanctuary".
Ned next takes a moment to introduce his crew: Rod, running the camera; and Todd, taking care of the sound. As the trio head for the door, Maude says, "You boys have fun. I packed sandwiches!"
Ned continues the narration as they go to the car. After they get in and start driving, Ned says that Springfield's historic points of interest are not limited to churches, and goes on to mention several other places they're going to visit. He's so engrossed in the narration, however, that he fails to notice a drunken Barney Gumble crossing the street. Ned doesn't see Barney until the last second, and runs right over him in spite of Todd's shouting, "Daddy! Look out!"
They stop the car, get out and check Barney over. Ned immediately feels guilty for what happened, but a curious Todd pokes Barney with the boom microphone and asks if Barney is "Leviathan cast from the sea". Ned decides that they need to take Barney to the hospital. After a brief struggle, he succeeds in loading Barney into the car.
Meanwhile, Snake is exiting the Kwik-E-Mart, having just robbed the place. He spies Ned's stopped car and exclaims, "Oh, Mama! Could my timing get any better!" He then jumps into the car through the open passenger door and, at gunpoint, orders Ned to drive. As Ned tries to reassure his sons that everything will be all right, Apu leaps onto the hood, scaring everybody in the car, including Snake. Apu then orders Ned to stop, but Ned, still being threatened by Snake's pistol, starts driving.
Apu then starts lecturing Ned: "You are a bad, bad man, Mr. Getaway Driver!" Ned says that's crazy talk, and Snake orders him to keep driving, as they hear a siren and flashing lights appear in the rear-view mirror. Behind them is a Springfield Police car, with Chief Wiggum and Officer Lou in hot pursuit and recording the struggle in Ned's car on the police car's onboard video camera. Wiggum assesses the situation, concludes that the car's occupants are joyriders, and says to Lou, "Let's bring 'em down a few notches." Lou complies and opens fire.
Back in Ned's car, Todd says that the police are shooting at them, and Ned wonders aloud whether they've gone insane. Frightened by the gunfire, Todd faints dead away, losing his grip on the boom mike. The mike jostles the elbow of Snake's gun arm and his gun goes off, shooting out one of Ned's tires. The police car's video camera continues recording as Ned's car goes out of control and heads for the side of a building. Rod, for his part, keeps recording on Ned's camera. The image tilts crazily, finally turning upside down as Ned's car crashes.
The story ends in Dragnet fashion, with a voice-over narration telling what happened to the key participants in the incident:
- Snake was locked into a maximum security cell at Springfield Prison, but two hours later was seen boarding a flight to Mexico.
- Apu recovered the money that Snake stole, which totaled $25.17. While he was away from the store chasing Snake, a display case full of frozen yogurt was stolen.
- Rod Flanders needed dental work, plus minor surgery to remove a camera eyepiece from his eye socket.
- Todd Flanders was demoted from "big boy" shorts to plastic pants at bedtime for six months, apparently so traumatized from the incident that he started wetting the bed.
- Chief Wiggum was featured on a FOX special titled When Good Snacks Go Bad. According to the timestamp on the police car's camera, the footage was filmed only 25 minutes after Ned's car crashed.
- Ned Flanders received a local Emmy Award for his documentary, but refused it on the grounds that he couldn't accept any graven images. He also received a repair estimate from Al's Towing for the damage to his car, and tore his hair out in dismay when he saw it.