Searching for a character name for a fictional piece, a name suggesting significance from legend or history, I did a few quick searches. You know, something to match or contradict my character. I’m still looking. Along the way, the name “Jack” impressed me in several ways. Aside from naming a placeholder in a pair of britches, there are scads of twists and turns on the name. Jack-O-Lantern, Jack of all trades, “Hey Jack!”, Lo-Jack, jackknife, jackanape, jack you up topside your head, and so on. It is an exhausting list. I bore easily.
I’ve no intention of using “Jack” any time soon.
Let’s open with a little (dark) levity which suggests why I went where I went with this in this issue of acedia.
Why does Jack Horner
Stand in the corner,
On his face a demented pout? 5/5/8
His Momma, I guess,
In ex-treme duress,
Gave Jack a ten-minute “time out.” 5/5/8
Our Jack seemed so small,
His nose to the wall,
His Pa said, “Jack won’t soon be leavin’.” 5/5/9
Young Jack had a plan,
“As soon as I can,
Will strike at my folks and get even.” 5/5/9
With well sharpened blade,
Incisions Jack made,
Then left his folks lifelessly there. 5/5/8
The jury came back;
No corner for Jack,
‘Cause this time young Jack got the chair. 5/5/8
(Left the meter counts there. Save you some time. You’re welcome.)
Think Nicholson. Demented grin. Sharp instrument. Gruesome. There is in that dark piece a disguised bit of curmudgeonly old man moral. What is the saying? “Spare the rod and spoil the child”? You say “at some point…” My response is, “Yes, and we have over-compensated such that we have reached a point in the other direction where if we do not soon recognize that fact, society’s children may return from “time out” to demonstrate the extent of their disrespect for rules of society.”
Then, to recap why I (presently) discount “Jack” as a good character name – it has such unsavory histories. I mean, aside from Master Horner.
Jack of all trades and master of none…
But most of those occupations and pastimes nefarious. Apparently “Jack” is used to describe any child causing difficulty.
Look at this rogue’s list [with memory jogs, for those of you late to the party or (in the past) not understanding off-page links]:
- Jack Horner [Contrary to what he would have the general population believe (‘good boy,’ indeed!) he ruined dessert for Wednesday’s dinner.]
- Jack Pale Fetcher [Of Jack and Jill repute. It’s on record in a previous post, this lad was up to no good; the law eventually set things right.]
- Jack Anda Beanstalk [Also in a previous (OUAT) post, his bovine-for-beans trade went south. Arguably, his money-grubbing mother probably incited Jack’s ultimate misdeed, which, though unreported in that previous post, led to the demise of Guy Ant, a reputable and respected agrarian. In fairness, it is noted larceny charges were never filed (See “Legume Larceny in the Firth of Forth” St. Andrews Regiftry, May 22, 1436.)]
- Jack (NMI) Sprat [Admittedly in collusion with his wife, did conspire to, and execute ill-treatment of the family cat, depriving it of sustenance. What other moral, even illegal, activities this Jack has completed, we do not know.]
- Jack B. Nimble [Referring back to yet another OUAT post, while charges still pend, is prime suspect in a conflagration in a major English Wood.]
- Jack Gyant Killer Alias Jack the Serial Giant Killer [Were charges ever brought?]
- Jack A. Carpenter [Builder of one house of one documentable instance. Ginnie Mae was not at all pleased. J A Carpenter left his moonshine goods lying about and caused all manner of subsequent pain, suffering, and yes, death.]
- Jack Frost [Genealogic research still pending, reliable sources suggest this family line, from father to son across generations responsible for all manner of devious, mischievous, and not rarely, felonious activity touching upon every continent at one time or another. More than one attempt to re-image this reputation is known.]
No links to OUATs. They don’t exist anymore. I warned you before. They’re gone. Finito. Kaput. Fermelginschnauzen. In keeping with my unwillingness to abuse my readers’ time, no links to past “blog” posts either. I am a good person. Again, You’re welcome.