Johnny Be Good
by Will See
Copyright © 2000 Will See
All Rights Reserved
Genesis: September 2, 2000
Updated: Sept 9, 2000 – 1pm
ALMOST COMPLETE, BUT ENOUGH TO GET THE MESSAGE
A smarter than average early adolescent begins to question authority in this 5 minute satire on contemporary Californian attitudes.
To appreciate this text, experience of Northern Californian culture, brands, language and lifestyle may be required. Johnny Be Good was written when the concept of ‘politically correct’ behaviour was first introduced to the world – way before it reached the UK.
San Mateo, California
‘Johnny, your parents went to work at 6am. Daddy had a meeting and momy is busy trading stocks in the home/office. You know she can’t see you until she has had her Latté, so you don’t want to be in her company at this moment. Now, go get dressed and I’ll drive you to school.’
Nanny starts engine of Minivan.
‘So what did you do last night?’
‘Oh, Bobby and I played Killer Kombat 5. It’s really cool. The body parts come off when you hit the good guy really hard.’
‘Oh that’s great. Antonio raves about it too. Now, have your breakfast. Here’s a Pop Tart loaded with simple carbohydrates and sugar – that should keep you going for 5 minutes and contribute to adult onset diabetes in a few years.’
‘Thanks! Mmmmm. I love you nanny. You’re like a mother to me.’
‘Here we are. Now be careful when you get out. We don’t want you to be hit by a car do we?’ Thinks: Hmm, Mr. Clark did need another extension to the house, so just one more lawsuit would be useful. Naa, Johnny’s a nice kid. It would be terrible to see his other leg broken after the other one just healed. And he does like soccer.
‘Hey Johnny, wazzup bro?’
‘I’m cool. You?’
‘Oh, hangin’ in there, hangin’ in there. Ya’ know”, replied his friend.
A sign at the school entrance reads,
‘All students and visitors must pass through the detector door – all other entrances are closed. This is for your protection and to keep our legal fees to a minimum. Sponsored by Pepsi – We Care.’
Johnny walks through $50,000 airport style detector entrance his tattered school books bulging in his backpack.
Bzzzz. Red lights flash.
‘Johnny Clark! What have you bought in today? Please give me your backpack.’
‘Oh, Hi Miss Graham!’
Graham opens backpack and empties the contents onto a table in front of her.
‘Mr. O’Conner, can you call the Principle, we have a situation here.’
‘What?’, asked Johnny, half knowingly.
‘You know you are not allowed to bring anything metal into school. Why did you bring a cork screw? Did you know it could be used to remove the eyes of the student you hate the most?’
‘Uh, well, Miss Graham, it is for a school project. We’re making some art from corks.’
‘Really Johnny. You know this will effect your grades.’
‘Miss Graham, don’t you dare tell me what I can and cannot do. How far is this going to go? A brain scan perhaps to check if my frontal lobe contains signs of a compassionless aggressive personality?’
‘For a 13 year old, you are very smart Johnny.’
‘This is a satire, so the author can make us say anything. Cool or what?’
‘YOU need help my friend.’
‘No, you do Miss Graham. You have been brainwashed by politically correct programming and a society that gives criminals more rights than decent people like me who should not have our desires to be creative and trusted questioned by the government at every juncture.’
‘Oh yes? Your parents care more for their stock options than they do for you. That’s why they hired a nanny. You are an inconvenience and a possession to be dragged to late night movies when you should be in bed processing what you learn at school.’
‘Yes, but I’m aware of it. And I will deal with them in due course. We have more corkscrews at home. Big heavy Italian ones from Williams Sonoma.’
‘Uh, Miss Graham, I spoke with Peter and they are doing a project with corks.’, said another member of staff.
‘OK Johnny, you can go. But if I catch you breaking another San Mateo County Directive, I will have you suspended, and your parents will be held accountable.’
Johnny walks to his locker.
‘Hi Cloe.’ he says looking at the girl across from him.
Cloe looks away, stern faced, and walks down the hall, head up.
!! INSERT MORE STORY !!
‘Uh, Johnny, can you come here a minute.’
‘Sure Mr. Estrada.’, he replied obediently.
‘The principle would like a word with you. Follow me.’
Mr. Estrada leads Johnny down the hall past bemused fellow students to the principle’s office and knocks on the door.
‘Mr. Orwell, I have Johnny Clark for you.’
‘Ah yes, let him in.’
‘Hello Johnny, take a seat.’, gestured Orwell, a thin man with dark black oiled hair and a slight mustache to match.
‘Now, as you know, at Greysville Middle School we try to maintain an atmosphere of fairness and silent paranoia. It’s good for the students.’
‘Of course it is.’, whispered Johhny.
‘Johnny?! We have heard rumors that you have created a disturbance in this continium. Apparently, (looks up), you have been harassing Cloe Wellwood.’
‘Well, you looked at her.’
‘And you said “Hi”, and then looked below her face.’
Johnny began to grow pale.
‘Look Johnny, you can’t do that. It makes her feel uneasy.’
‘But millions of years of evolution and my natural biological instinct tells me she is a nice girl. Cute too, and I want to be friends with her — so we can be soul mates at school and procreate in later life.’
Orwell slouched back in his chair gasping, both hands falling to his lap.
‘Hmm. Look Johnny, that isn’t how things are done any m..’
‘She was uneasy because modern society preaches it is wrong to be outwardly friendly to someone. It raises suspicion. Cloe is a droid.’
‘Miss Graham was right.’ gasped Orwell under his breath, head looking to his right.
‘Leave Cloe alone.’
‘But I like her!’
‘You have been warned. Leave!’
To be continued…
(Next stop, prayers at school.)
Sincere apologies — I had you! The year is 2000, not 2020, and this satire is based entirely on fact. All scenarios are real, and happening all across the United States, and soon, the UK. This is only the beginning. Fear the future folks. Your freedom to live and apply common sense is being stripped away, layer by layer.
Be worried, I was spot on – your world in 2005!
- The harmless game of conkers has been banned in the UK. I was conker champion at my school, and no one was ever hurt. And even if they were, so what? Life is tough.
- British schools are to ban the term ‘failed’ in exams.
- American schools install expensive airport style metal detectors at the expense of books, when stricter parents who spend more time at home than at work would in fact defeat the need for said gadgetry
- British sports grounds are being sold to property developers.
- The current war on terror is already being used to cloak the introduction of many laws that will restrict those of us who can use common sense to judge any given situation. This is a very very serious threat to our liberty. Act now, or in several years, life really will be like a 1960s apocalyptic SciFi movie. Why is this happening? a) Lack of visionaries in politics. b) Influence of corporations over democracy. Laws, including the war on terror, can be used against those not necessarily involved in terrorism.