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"Bathing Smurfs" (original French title Schtroumpf les bains, literally "The Smurf Baths") is a comic book story that was created by Studio Peyo and published by Le Lombard in 2009. It was scheduled for a release in English on May 19, 2020 by Papercutz under the title "Smurf & Turf", although with the delay of "The Smurfs And The Bratty Kid", it is uncertain when it will be actually released.

Plot Summary

At the beginning of the story, Handy Smurf is busy working on a machine that could remove stems and pits from cherries, but unfortunately it has been turning the cherries into mush. As much as his failure with the machine is frustrating him, Handy is even more flustered with the amount of requests for repair jobs from his fellow Smurfs while he's trying to solve the problem of his machine. Eventually Handy gets so upset that he just explodes, telling his fellow Smurfs to go fix their own things themselves while taking a hammer to his machine.

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Papa Smurf checks up on Handy and sees that he's suffering from a nervous breakdown. He recommends Handy to put aside his work and go someplace quiet to rest. Handy takes up the village leader's suggestion and packs up his camping gear to go up to the lake by the mountains, where he enjoys the peaceful scenery so much that he starts making some plans.

A few days later, Handy returns to the Smurf Village, and everyone notices that Handy is a much different Smurf than when he left. Painter and Poet become curious about Handy's change in demeanor, and soon find out that Handy has built himself a small house by the lake that he can go to to get away from all the activity in the village. Handy even invites Painter and Poet to come with him to his house by the lake to spend some time there, and the two other Smurfs become so enraptured by the scenery that they are inspired to create their works of art.

The three Smurfs return, and the village is so taken in by Poet and Painter's descriptions of the location, and the fact that they too have houses by the lake, that they also demand to spend some time by the lake as well. Handy realizes that the Smurfs cannot all go to this place, and thus works on a solution where they can enjoy what the place has to offer. The solution is found in the creation of a private beach resort called Smurf Paradise where a group of Smurfs can make visits to take a vacation from the Smurf Village.

With the solution, however, comes two new problems: who gets to go to Smurf Paradise to have a vacation, and how will the village function with those Smurfs gone for awhile. As it turns out, the absences of Farmer, Miller, and Baker have caused problems: Potter has to fill in for Baker in the role of baking bread and thus overcooks the bread until it's hard as a rock; Miller has no replacement available to bring more flour; and Chef Smurf is disappointed with the Smurf filling in for Farmer with his gardening. In fact, Chef gets so upset that he threatens to leave the Smurf Village. But the problems don't end there, as Papa Smurf finds more of his little Smurfs desiring to take a vacation. Ultimately Papa Smurf decides that they will all take a vacation at Smurf Paradise in the hopes that it will make all his little Smurfs happy. Unfortunately, Handy now has to make accommodations for the entire village, and Smurf Paradise ends up being rather crowded.

Meanwhile, Painter and Poet, who return to the village just as Papa Smurf and the remaining other Smurfs were leaving it, discover as they now have the whole village left to themselves that Gargamel has managed to find it while he was testing out a new formula that would give his cat Azrael the smelling ability of a dog. Even worse, Gargamel has decided to camp out in the forest near the village to wait for the Smurfs to return. Painter and Poet head back to Smurf Paradise to warn Papa Smurf about Gargamel's presence, and Papa Smurf decides that the Smurfs should remain at the beach resort until they can drive Gargamel away from the village.

The evil wizard, while still waiting for the Smurfs to return, finds himself actually enjoying camping in the great outdoors, when Papa Smurf flies around near Gargamel to warn him that his house is on fire and he should return there immediately. Gargamel scoffs at this, thinking that Papa Smurf is tricking him, and says that he is better off in the forest where he has all that he needs. But then he realizes that with his house burning down he would lose all his precious childhood memories, and so heads back there, leaving behind a trail of cherries so that he could find his way back to the village. Gargamel arrives at his house, only to notice that all that was burning was a bundle of branches in the back of his house. He realizes that he was duped, but he still has the trail of cherries to follow and so tries to return along the same route when he notices that the bear he previously encountered was now scooping up the cherries and eating them. This makes Gargamel so mad that he threatens to turn the bear into a bedspread -- resulting in a scuffle that the evil wizard barely survives.

With Gargamel gone, the Smurfs return to the village and life in it returns to normal. Handy has found the solution to the problem of his cherry machine and it now works perfectly, albeit past the season for cherries. And with autumn approaching, Smurf Paradise ends up becoming material that the beavers use to make their homes, despite Chef Smurf's claim that they can always return to it next year.

Notes

  • The Smurf song makes a noteable appearance in this comic book in the form of its initial words being superimposed on a musical scale in the same arrangement as the music.
  • Gargamel's mother appears in the story in a flashback, though her back is turned so her face cannot be seen.
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