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Johnny was new in town. He was your typical outcast kid, just trying to fit in. Little Johnny would walk by the other kids as quietly as he possibly could, and yet they would still notice and point him out with jeers and taunts: “Hey look, it’s Johnny the LOSER.” It nearly drove him to tears on several occasions. He felt helpless at best.
His mother tried her best to console him. She noticed the effect the kids were having on him. “Johnny, if only you could find SOMETHING to make you fit in better at school. I know there’s something inside of you, deep down, that will someday make you popular. Things will change – I promise.”
But his mother’s words were of little help to Johnny. He needed to do something NOW. He couldn’t wait to grow up.
At school one day, during spelling class, Johnny noticed how he was able to see the answers to the spelling quiz from his seat. Apparently Johnny’s eyesight was quite extraordinary, and he was able to distinguish the characters in his teacher’s open book from a distance of 15 feet. Johnny couldn’t believe his good fortune, and he only hoped that his teacher would continue to keep her book wide open in this manner.
And so it was. Johnny began to ace all his spelling tests. And even when called on in class, Johnny was able to take the quickest glance towards the desk and find the correct answer before speaking. He was, in reality, quite an average speller at best, but now he was making a meteoric rise to becoming the smartest kid in the entire school. And unlike other smart children in both reality and literature, who are often ostracized and demeaned for being ‘nerds’ or ‘geeks’, Johnny somehow avoided all that scorn and instead became quite popular among students and teachers alike.
“Hey, there goes Johnny the GENIUS,” the kids would all say in unison. Johnny couldn’t believe it!
One day after school, his mother came to pick him up. When she approached, she could hear the children: “Hey, there goes Johnny the GENIUS.” His mother, while relieved that Johnny no longer came home with the same despair as before, now felt conflicted, especially since she knew of Johnny’s average intelligence.
“More like Johnny the cheater”, she muttered under her breath.
Date Written: February 28, 2003
Average Vote: 4.4