Emma Grob • Rose Zhang • Allora Leonard • Jenna Koo • Madysen Bailey • Carissa Samuel • Carolyn Kim • Cassie Disharoon • William Pledger • Ryan Milbrath • Josiah DeBoer • Kendall Endres • Daniel Robb • Kalijah Rahming • Charlie Livingstone • Rob Speed • Caleb Cauley • Jake Moore • Laura Walker • Lauren Grace Niesent
John Smith is a completely ordinary individual. He wears ordinary clothes, and he lives in a house that looks just like every other house in the neighborhood. He does all the ordinary things one might expect of a 16 year old: he gets average grades in average classes, he has an ordinary part time job, and he mows the lawn twice a week in the summer. His name is the most generic masculine moniker known to the English speaking world, and even his height and weight are completely average.
The only thing saving John from utter obscurity is his penchant for unintentionally landing himself in the middle of the strangest of strange situations. This is the tale of one of those strange situations. (CAMPBELL)
In which a completely ordinary guy discovers an unlikely friend who can save him from his mind numbing tranquility and simultaneously evade the long arm of the law.
John got his foot stuck in a bucket, a really weird one, with a broken handle. Squelch! Unfortunately, it was also wet inside, and much to his dismay, John also noted that his foot seemed to be sinking. (KIM) You see, much like a magic lamp, this bucket housed a genie – the kind of genie to use an extremely thick accent to seem more authentic. (DEBOER) However, the genie did not intend to lure John into the bucket; on the contrary, he was quite annoyed with his new, hopefully temporary, companion. (DISHAROON) The genie, named Ulysses, had to get his wish-granting license renewed, but could not get around the nuisance of a human stuck in his door. (PLEDGER) It’s quite difficult to get around a large shoe, especially since it was a huge boot. The genie was in a predicament–an extremely smelly one. (KIM)
“Get your dirty foot out of here!” Ulysses roared. The poor teenager who thought he had gone mad (a bucket had just spoken??) ran off with the bucket still stuck to his rather grimy shoe. This was quite the unfortunate outcome for the genie seeing that his efforts to rid of the repulsive stink of the shoe had only resulted in him being repeatedly squashed underfoot. (KOO) Fortunately for the genie, the repetitive smashing stopped for a moment as John tripped over a random crowbar. Once he had blinked a few times and shaken the fog out of his head, John grabbed the crowbar and began wrenching the bucket off, unintentionally poking Ulysses in the stomach. (MOORE)
“Youch!”, yelled Ulysses, flying out of the bucket with a fizzing sound and turning the crowbar into an origami crane. Hurling it at John, he considered raging at the boy, but seeing his bewilderment, thought better of it. (LIVINGSTONE) Ulysses dusted himself off and stood before John. He carefully measured the boy in front him. Ordinary christian guy’s hair cut, ordinary white t-shirt, ordinary khaki pants, ordinary, ordinary, ordinary–a completely ordinary boy. (ZHANG)
“So what was so important that you chose to inconvenience me in such a disgusting manner?” asked the genie in his thick, imposing accent. (CAMPBELL)
“This is weirder than that time that I found a house made of jello!” John whispered to himself, still unable to believe he had discovered a genie in such a strange place. (CAULEY) Not sure what to make of that comment (other than wondering if John had hit himself on the head with the crowbar), Ulysses decided that John was as boring and bland as a boy could get from head to toe. (Ulysses could painstakingly describe every nook and cranny of the toe part.)
He then decided to walk away from John, who Ulysses could only describe as a “waste of imagination”! (SAMUEL) John, however, was intrigued by the genie’s lack of a shirt and blue-ish tint and chased after him. (DEBOER)
Although very confused, John ran after Ulysses and called, “Mr. Smurf! Wait! I was wondering if you could help me with something!” (MILBRATH) Ulysses whirled on John, his face surprisingly red for someone with blue skin. “First you ruin my lodgings, then you call me a smurf? Are you trying to drive me mad?!” (MOORE)
“No sir!” John cried. “I’m simply trying to understand who you are and how I ended up in this unusual situation. You see, I’m a very ordinary person, but yet strange things continually happen to me!” (GROB)
Ulysses assessed John’s words with a frown, but finally decided that there may be more to John than meets the eye. “Alright, what help do you need?” he asked begrudgingly with a sigh. (SAMUEL)
“I need a purple cow, a small one,” John stated with an overly straight face. For the first time in his eternity, the genie was befuddled…and slightly weirded out. He did not mention this to average John.
“A purple cow?” Ulysses questioned.
“A purple cow,”John confirmed. (KIM)
Ulysses thought this was pretty unordinary for someone claiming to be such an ordinary human. In fact, this was even weirder than that time a certain infamous history teacher asked him for a never-ending bag of gummy bears. (PLEDGER)
“For what purpose, pray tell, do you require a purple cow? Given the incredible offenses you have inflicted upon me thus far, I believe I deserve an explanation,” declared Ulysses. (DISHAROON)
“Well, you see, I’ve spent my whole life being ordinary—boring even. Nobody notices me. My family remembers to feed the dog before they remember to feed me half of the time. So I figure I need something to make me stand out more. All the cows in this town are standard-cow-colored, so what would be more unique than a purple cow! Besides, it might even make purple-flavored milk, but who knows?” John ended his explanation with his best winning smile, but to tell the truth, it looked the same as all his other expressions. (ROBB)
Unfortunately for John, the genie did not seem to understand. Or perhaps the genie was deep in contemplation. It was hard for John to tell.
“What? What do you think?” John asked, perplexed by the genie’s rather absurd facial expression. The genie’s face always tended to look like a mix of a squashed potato and a person who had just eaten a rather sour lemon. (KOO)
“I’m trying to figure out if purple milk would taste grape-flavored or if it would taste different at all,” the genie admitted, somewhat embarrassed. (CAULEY)
John had never considered this question before, and stared at the ground in a contemplative silence. Everything that he had previously thought about himself went up in flames, for how could he be an ordinary person if he hadn’t even considered the answer to this ordinary question? How could he–the most ordinary boy in the world–be conquered by a question about purple milk? (RAHMING)
“You mean to say you think the question is unusual? “ John asked with an indiscernible expression.
“The question is definitely unusual.” Ulysses confirmed. “I’ve been asked to grant many things – money, romance, to become a prince – but never before has anybody asked for a purple cow.” (SPEED)
John pondered this, experiencing confusion, excitement, and wonder at the genie’s statement. For in that moment, he, the plainest, most run-of-the-mill person on the planet, attempted to comprehend the fact that he made an unusual request. John lit up at the idea that he may have finally broken the beige cycle of monotony that had captivated his existence thus far. (DISHAROON)
Elated by this sudden realization and still stuck on the grape-flavored milk idea, John quickly exclaimed, “And if the milk did taste like grapes, I could sell it as sweetened condensed grape-milk, grape-flavored ice cream, grape-flavored yogurt, grape-flavored butter…” but quickly realized that he had horrifically resorted to the most ordinary ideas he possibly could have come up with for such an unusual cow. (MILBRATH)
Suddenly, unusual inspiration hit him. “I could sell grape flavored chicky nuggets! And tater tots!” (DEBOER)
Ulysses was definitely impressed with John’s very unusual request and follow up idea, however, he replied gruffly. “Your wish cannot be granted because I forgot to get my wish-granting license renewed after granting my last wish to another rather peculiar man. What did he think my name was again? It must have been…‘Robin Williams’.” (SAMUEL)
Before John was able to express his dismay, he was cut off by the blaring of sirens and blinking of lights. Three black cars zoomed toward them from out of the blue, and almost before they had slid to a full stop, several armed men in suits burst forth from within them. The most snazzy-looking of the men approached Ulysses with a smirk.
“Alright, genie; the jig is up. You’re under arrest for trespassing in another man’s bucket, granting illicit wishes, impersonating a false accent, and aiding and abetting that punk Aladdin’s usurpation of the royal throne.” (ROBB)
John stood there agape for a few seconds, then finally gathering up all his courage, he carefully tapped on the shoulder of the man, “S…Sir, you must be mistaken…!” However, John’s presence was too ordinary to be commanding or even worth considering, so all of the armed men completely disregarded John’s very existence. (ZHANG)
Fed up with being disregarded all the time, John desperately shouted out. “I wish I wasn’t so ordinary!! I need to change!!” (PLEDGER)
Some of the armed men’s heads whipped around to face John, and the snazzy-looking man shouted something along the lines of “Don’t you even think about it!” A very large ka-poomf rocked the ground and knocked John off his feet. (MILBRATH)
John looked down at himself and realized with a hint of sadness that he still looked the same. Then he noticed something. Standing in front of him, on top of all the armed men, was a large purple cow. (MOORE)
The poor officers couldn’t decide which was weirder–the fact that they had a fully grown purple cow standing on top of them, which must have weighed no more than a toy car, or the fact that this purple phenomenon had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. (KOO)
“MOOOO.” The purple cow bellowed a very purple moo. (CAULEY)
In that moment, John’s whole life changed. John saw all of Ulysses’s ulterior motives: wanting to avoid facing the consequences of his life of crime, turning himself into the kind of purple cow that looked regally purple in his last defiant stand against the crown…
But through it all, John knew Ulysses had done something…beautiful. Sacrificial even. Ulysses had unselfishly used the last of his powers to turn himself into a purple cow…for John. For the ordinary kid no one cared about. Ulysses had given his kingdom for a purple cow. And that meant the world to John.
As the confused and frustrated police officers dispersed, John and Ulysses the Purple Cow rode into the sunset together, ready for their next adventure. All was right with the world. (CAMPBELL)