Once in time there was a boy named Johnny.
Johnny was skinny and clumsy and tall.
His family was poor, though they had money
His dad owned a business, always on call.
He lived in a small town in the Northwest.
He was told that he was disadvantaged.
His school was bad, but his teachers the best.
The classrooms were old, the textbooks were damaged
He didn’t excel, although a bright student.
Teachers called him an underachiever.
He didn’t notice a quarter-life spent
Until Grad-night made him a believer.
He thought of the times when watching TV.
Pawning his studies to follow the game.
Must be athletic instead of a weenie.
For sports is the easiest road to one’s fame.
Well, easiest for some, though not for him.
Though he never gave up, and gave it his all.
He offered his best, and played always to win.
Yet the harder he worked, the harder he’d fall.
When his sports were done he had nothing to do.
He had all of the time in the world.
“Why not study?” said his mom, cooking the stew.
He thought of that during supper and hurled.
His mother soon tired of the grades he brought home.
She made him study each day after school.
He was grounded from TV, and from the phone.
He was shut in his room and force-fed gruel.
His grades slowly improved, thanks to his mom.
Although he didn’t thank her at the time.
He averaged all B’s by the time of the Prom.
He imagined that God had dropped him a sign.
No longer requiring his mom’s motivation,
He came home on his own and went straight to his room.
Reading Provided some mental relaxation.
He even read during lunch in the afternoon.
Still not an A student, he struggles in school.
Once it was easy for him to get A’s.
Now the hard work makes him feel like a fool.
The work has caught up to him and his ways.
Now tired of school, Johnny chooses a job.
if he chose to, he could go to college.
“You should stay in school.” said his mom with a sob.
But he no longer has a thirst for knowledge.
“School’s over.” Johnny says, “and I’ve passed.”
“Now it’s time for the fun part of my life!”
“It’s time for hot women, it’s time to drive fast!”
Soon his conquests provided him with a wife.
Now he’s twenty years old, already a dad.
He thinks of the dreams he held as a child.
He dwells on the past, ’cause the future looks bad.
His only excitement, numbers mis-dialed.
Poor Johnny is stuck in a dead-end job.
He sits and thinks of what might have been.
Instead of his Pinto he might drive a Saab.
He might not have married the same sack of skin.
He urges his friends to finish their schooling.
He wants to make sure no one ends up like him.
He acts happy, but knows there’s no one he’s fooling.
His house stays cold, and the lightbulbs stay dim.