Every little boy was a Johnny…once


When I was 13 or so mom handed me a thick book to read, “Thoughts For Johnny.”

She said it would explain some things about young boys growing up and how to deal with changes awaiting us around the corner. Little did she know I already knew what the book would contain as my friends’ older brothers readily shared their knowledge with their little brothers and their friends.

I was in the know and laughed at the simplistic explanations the author was communicating. He never did get to the good stuff and I soon lost interest in the boring chatter.

Somehow my dad’s generation neglected to share their knowledge of the ‘Birds and Bees’. I made sure to explain those issues to my son, Jeff. I even drew some diagrams. His response to my explanations and artwork put him into hysterical laughter. He already knew too.

My dad was more interested in what I was doing in school and how my grades were coming along. Every six-weeks the dreaded day came for the report card. It must be signed by the parent to insure they were aware of the wonderful progress their child was making. And in some cases the lack of progress. I suspect in those days report cards bred a high level of forgery in America. I never had to stoop to that level as I was an A student throughout my educational experience.

However, I can relate to some of the “Little Johnny” episodes listed below. When needed I was able to develop a high level of bluffism when sharing my report card with mom and dad. And I’m sure there are teachers that can remember some of these exact situations. We were all “Little Johnny” at one time or another. Enjoy.

Teacher: “Johnny, your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?” Little Johnny: “No, teacher, it’s the same dog.”

Teacher: “Now, Johnny, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?” Little Johnny: “No sir, I don’t have to, my Mom is a good cook.”

Dad: “How were the exam questions?” Little Johnny: “Easy.” Dad: “Then why do you look so unhappy?” Little Johnny: “The questions didn’t give me any trouble – just the answers.”

Dad: “I hear you skipped school to play football?” Little Johnny: “No, I didn’t – and I have the fish to prove it.”

Dad: ”I’m sorry you flunked your math test. How far were you from the right answer?” Little Johnny: “Three seats.”

Dad: ”Look at this report card – your teacher says she can’t teach you anything!” Little Johnny: “I told you she was no good.”

Dad: “What did you learn today?” Little Johnny: “Not enough – I have to go back tomorrow.”

Dad: ”Would you mind explaining the meaning of this D and F on your report card?” Little Johnny: “No problem, Dad. It stands for ‘Doing Fine.’”

Dad: “Were you absent on the day of the Math test?” Little Johnny: “No – but the boy who sits next to me was.” English Teacher: “Do you know what an inkling is?” Little Johnny: “It’s a baby fountain pen.”

English Teacher: “Johnny, use the word ‘decide’ in a sentence” Little Johnny: “My Dad got a flat tire so he pulled over to decide of the road.”

English Teacher: “Who can give me an example of a double negative?” Little Johnny: “I don’t know none.”

History Teacher: “What are the three zones on the earth?” Little Johnny: “Tropic, temperate, and tow-away.”

History Teacher: “What did dinosaurs eat?” Little Johnny: “Looking at the ones in the museum, they didn’t eat anything.”

Little Johnny: “I don’t think I deserve a zero on this test.” Teacher: “Neither do I, but it’s the lowest mark I can think of.”

Teacher: “What’s the definition of ignorance?” Little Johnny: “I don’t know.”

Teacher: “Johnny – your handwriting is terrible.” Little Johnny: “That’s OK – I’m going to be a Doctor.”

Teacher: “Can you tell me what a myth is?” Little Johnny: “A female moth.”


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