The Rest of the Story
Being an affectionate tribute and burlesque in the style of Paul Harvey
John was always a good boy, so it naturally followed that the events that brought him into the spotlight were more than a little embarrassing to him. If he had the power, he would gladly exchange his day of fame for utter obscurity for the rest of his days. But that was not to be, for the tale of John’s mishap, that occurred so long ago, has been familiar to virtually everyone in the Western world for untold generations.
John had recently begun turning his newborn amorous attentions to a fine young maiden named Jill. And yes, this little Lolita would soon become the source of both his pride and shame. For on this particular day, which had scheduled John and notoriety to eternally intertwine, John had chosen to boost his fragile ego by impressing the object of his affections. It is a tragic twist of fate that such an innocent and inconsequential motive should result in our hero being painted as a clown for all to see, but such was John’s fate, and the wheel had already begun to turn.
Now John was an unlikely hero, to be sure; he had never been the athletic sort; and no one would ever accuse him of being nimble and quick. If he had ever jumped over a candlestick it was not an event that warranted retelling. He did not have that subtle coordination required to climb a ladder, let alone anything as fabulous as a giant beanstalk. Yet John managed to deal with his deficiencies by contriving a simple game, or delusion if you like. He amused himself by pretending that he was the emperor of the domain, and he would cavort for hours in the neighboring fields and forests, issuing bogus commands to imaginary subjects. He had even fashioned himself a crown of pasteboard and tinsel to complete the illusion. But all that was to end very quickly.
John was in the springtime of his life, and shared that desire that all young men have of being the brave and noble soul. He wished to rescue yon fair maiden and slay dragons by the dozen. For better or worse, he longed to perpetuate the myth of male superiority over the frail, helpless members of the opposite sex. And because John was so acutely aware of his own deficiencies in this area, he felt the need to display his prowess even more strongly. Such is the foundation of many a tragic tale.
But what is it that happened that day so long ago, which propelled our John into the spotlight? For indeed, despite all his physical limitations, and mental daydreaming, John would still obtain his place in history. For on that fateful day, together with the innocent object of his attentions, John had climbed to dizzying heights to help fetch a pail of water. We are not given the particular details of why that water must be derived from the top of the hill, for wells are better situated in low lying areas. But it would not occur to John to question the sanity of this endeavor, for our erstwhile hero was totally immersed in reveling in the glorious results that surely would follow such a valiant quest.
Now remember that
our John was not the sort that could ever be a giant killer: This John is remembered by us, not for his heroic
deeds, but by his total lack of physical prowess and coordination. For Jack,
the name he was more commonly known by, did indeed help Jill obtain a pail of
water at the top of the hill, but unfortunately he entered our history books
that fateful day for what immediately followed. And while some attempt to sully
his spotless reputation by insinuating that Jack had made improper advances and
was pushed, we all know that, in the end, Jack fell down and broke his crown...and Jill came tumbling after.
Now you know the rest of the story…. Good…Day?