School life, then and now

Sunday 29 July 2012, 4.05am HKT

AT LONG LAST, I’ve managed to fish out another joke from my repository of lame jokes.

This one has been making the rounds for a very long time. Various versions adjust the finer details, but all run along the same theme. This version I have was from 2010, with my own updates to reflect more recent times.


School life in America

1950 vs. 2010


Johnny does a bit of quail shooting before school. Pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s gun rack.

1950: Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Johnny’s shotgun, gets his own shotgun from the car and shows it to Johnny. Both admire the workmanship of their shotguns.

2010: School goes into lockdown. The FBI, Homeland Security, Counterterrorism Unit are called. Johhny is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or shotgun again. Counsellors called in for the traumatised students and teachers.

Today: Both Johnny and the Vice Principal are shot dead on sight for armed conspiracy. Prime-time national TV interviews the counsellors, who are now shown up as heroes.



Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.

1950: Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.

2010: Police called and SWAT team arrives, and arrest both boys. Johnny and Mark are both charged with assault and both expelled, even though Johnny started it.

Today: Both boys are now additionally charged with unlawful assembly, conspiracy to cause public disorder, and also assault on police officers. The social welfare department recommends juvenile detention while the boys await psychological assessment for borstal treatment.



Johnny won’t be still in class and is disruptive for the other students.

1950: Johnny gets sent to the Principal’s office and given a right old shellacking. He then returns to class, sits still, and disrupts class no more.

2010: Johnny is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He’s then tested for ADD [attention deficit disorder]. The school now gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a ‘disability.’

Today: Johnny is additionally assessed to have autism and Down’s Syndrome. The school now gets extra funding to hire a special-needs teacher, and senior staff of the school management are budgeted by the education authorities to attend conferences on special-needs education in London, Paris, San Marino and Cancun on state expense.



Johnny breaks his neighbour’s car window. Dad gives him a right royal belting and grounds him for a week.

1950: Johnny is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2010: Johnny’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Johnny is removed to foster care. Johnny then joins a gang because the people in the foster home is in it for the money and couldn’t care less about him. The state psychologist is told by Johnny’s sister that she remembers being abused herself. Dad goes to a special prison for paedophiles.

Today: Johnny’s sister is also removed to foster care, where is now actually sexually abused by the foster caregivers. Because the foster caregivers are state employees and the facility operates without effective supervision because of budgeting constraints, Johnny’s sister cannot report that to the authorities. Meanwhile, Dad becomes a paedophile by dint of being around other pedos. Mum has an affair with the psychologist. Johnny’s sister is pimped around various foster homes, and eventually joins a gang.



Johnny has a headache and takes some Aspirin to school with him.

1950: Johnny shares his Aspirin with the Principal, who was out on a smoking break.

2010: The police are called in to arrest Johnny for drug violation. His car is searched for drugs and weapons. The school expels Johnny.

Today: Johnny is arrested and charged with possession of dangerous substances for the purpose of illegal distribution. He is ‘found’ to have a stash of drugs and weapons in his car and home. His girlfriend is charged as an accessory. His parents are charged as accessories after the fact. The Principal who called in the police is himself disciplined for administrative negligence. National TV interviews the arresting police officers for having broken up a ‘significant’ drug ring.



Miguel fails high-school English.

1950: Miguel goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.

2010: The state takes up Miguel’s cause. Newspaper articles and TV reports appear nationally, explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. The teachers’ union files a class-action lawsuit against both the state school system and Miguel’s English teacher. The education authorities avoids the litigation by banning English from the core curriculum. Miguel is given his diploma anyway. He ends up in some minimum-wage McJob because he cannot speak English.

Today: Miguel was shot dead behind his McJob counter by the police on their meal break because he fits the profile of a possible foreign terrorist because he cannot speak English.



Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model-plane paint bottle, and blows up a red-ant bed.

1950: The ants die.

2010: The ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates Johnny’s parents, removes all his siblings from home and confiscates all computers and documents. Johnny’s dad is placed on a terror watchlist and is never allowed to fly again.

Today: The entire family is placed on the terror watchlist. Additionally, their DNA samples are taken and their names ‘accidentally’ put on the national paeodophile watchlist. The entire family is no longer able to get jobs because the FBI closed their old bank accounts and they can’t open new ones because they are on the terror watchlist. Homeland Security and the FBI are congratulated on national TV for having broken up a significant terror sleeper cell.



Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his kneed. His teacher, Mary, found Johnny crying and hugs him to comfort him.

1950: Johnny feels better very soon and goes on playing.

2010: Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her teaching job. She also faces three years in state penitentiary. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy.

Today: The penitentiary is now outsourced to a private security corporation, which is paid by the state on an inmate headcount basis. The penitentiary has now ‘assessed’ Mary to require three more years of ‘remedial custodial’ treatment for her ‘condition’ and removes her to a special facility, where she indeed learns every trick in the book about predation. Similarly, Johnny is assessed for mandatory remedial therapy and assigned to a private counsellor, whose fees are forked out by Johnny’s parents without state subsidy. The penitentiary’s administrators are glowingly congratulated on TV for effectively identifying ‘potential future threats to society’ such as Mary.



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. (B12237)

Images: Gun bag via c4c | Russian fist fighting via Wikipedia | Child doing a raspberry via eHow | Belt via Gym Company | Contraceptive pills via c4c | ABC via Language Arts Games | Fire via c4c | Girls kissing via Funny Pic Blast | ‘Take it. Easy’ via

6 Responses to “School life, then and now”

  1. Guus said

    I just read an article on a Dutch newspaper website on an American who got fined $ 6500 for visiting Cuba without permission decades ago.

    The reader comments were plenty, and most of them a variation on the theme: – “U.S.A., world’s largest open air insane asylum”


    • Haha, that’s … that’s how it often seems to us outsiders looking in, doesn’t it?

      My updates all sound like some humour from Kafka, but I fished around various American news sites for real-life scenarios to match the those of the joke. So more’s the pity…


  2. Ed Hurst said

    You don’t want to visit the US. You also want to avoid people who escape the US, unless they did so with great swashbuckling flair.


  3. Kagi said

    I’m gonna assume you’re referring to America here, since I know of no other place on earth where things like this happen. You are exaggerating slightly (for effect, I assume) but only slightly. Sadly.

    This is largely the result of militarisation of our police force in general, and schools using the excuse of terrorism and mass shootings (same diff’rence, ain’t?) to put actual police presence in schools. IN schools. They’re called something else, like security whatever, but they’re police and they overreact to CHILDREN behaving like children as if they were an adult threat and treat them accordingly. African American children and other minorities especially bear the brunt of this, because racism and racial profiling is alive and well in all our law enforcement systems.

    Meanwhile, the NRA has such a stranglehold grip on the government that it is impossible to get even basic gun control passed like background checks, and more guns everywhere all the time leaves not just police but everyone hyperalert and prone to overreacting. It’s a vicious cycle.

    Don’t get me wrong, we’re not anti-gun or anything, although we are liberal. But America has gone round the bend on mass proliferation of firearms in any and all situations. Accidents are bound to happen, and easy access for those who are mentally disturbed or have criminal intent makes more mass shootings inevitable, which rachets up the paranoia, and there we go again.

    This along with alot of other things, I’m not at all surprised the rest of the world thinks we’re crazy. Just look at our presidential elections this year. Oy vey.


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