Sunday, April 29, 2007

SHORT STORY DEPT: Johnny Had An Idea by Al Brathway

It was a classroom assignment. Mrs. Barber wanted the class to come up with an idea to start a business. She did not c2are what the business was. All she wanted was that it be a legitimate one that could be pursued. The class gave a collective moan. That is everyone except Johnny. Johnny was considered the “weird one” in the class. At least that is what everybody said. He did not do a lot of talking. He rarely hung with anybody but there was something about him that everybody liked. He would get offers to “hang out” but he would always decline the offer. Johnny was acutely shy.
Johnny had the best grades of everyone in Mrs. Barber’s class. He probably had the best grades in the whole school! He was always on the honor roll and his grade point average never slipped below 98%. He always turned his homework in on time and was never absent or late for class. When Mrs. Barber issued a test, she made Johnny sit up front, right beside her, because she did not anyone cheating. If they saw Johnny’s answers, they too would have passed the test!
Johnny passed every test he took in class.

When Mrs. Barber announced the assignment, everyone flocked to Johnny to find out what he was thinking about doing. Johnny never answered anyone’s questions. He would just smile and politely excuse himself. Everyone knew that Johnny had an idea!
On the day that the assignments had to be approved, everyone was nervous. Everyone except Johnny. One by one the kids got up to announce what their idea was about. Johnny was the last to get up and everyone waited with baited breath to see what he was going to do. Even Mrs. Barber was excited although she tried to hide her emotions.

Johnny stood up and proudly announced that he was going to start a magazine. “What is the name of your magazine going to be?” Mrs. Barber asked. “I’m going to call it Gorilla’s Penis!” The laughter shook the windows! Mrs. Barber tried to regain order. After the class calmed down, she encouraged Johnny to continue. “I’m sure the more the magazine grows, the harder it will get but I will be able to handle it… my idea that is. The class was in hysterics.
Johnny explained the ins and outs of the operation and how the profits would be made. Whatever the joke was, Mrs. Barber was not getting it and the class would not stop laughing. It got so bad, Mrs. Barber ordered Johnny to think of something else.

Several years passed and everyone in Mrs. Barber’s class could not be accounted for at the reunion. The party was nice. The room was festively decorated and those who attended were dressed smartly. Mrs. Barber was there. She was retired and lived with her son who took care of her. She remembered everyone that approached her and started telling stories about her fond memories of that class. Suddenly, the door swung open and her favorite student appeared. It was Johnny! He was impeccably dressed in a tailor made suit. He approached Mrs. Barber and greeted her warmly. “What are you doing with yourself Johnny?” she asked affectionately. “I am the editor of Gorilla’s Penis and it is coming along in spurts!” he said proudly. Mrs. Barber fainted on the spot. “Damn… I guess I would have killed her if I told her I netted six million in sales last year!”

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