Why Lord of the Flies is the WORST

At the behest of Jenna @ Call Her Happy, I will tell you a little embarrassing story about me that has no moral, rhyme, or reason. Maybe you will get a smile out of the mortification of a very sensitive teenage girl, but that is about all you will get out of it.

I seriously hate Lord of the Flies. Jenna is reading it despite my admonitions. It is the WORST.BOOK.EVER. written in the English language, outside of anything written by Nicholas Sparks and other nonsensical romance novels. If you haven’t read it, I suppose you should so you can A) understand why it is so awful, B) crawl out from under the rock you have been living under, and C) say something witty at the next fancy-pants cocktail party or art gala you may attend when your toddlers are self-sufficient adults. It has some really deep themes and morals and whatnot, I will give it that, but it is just the worst thing I have ever been forced to read.

And live.

Because I DID live through it, in comedy form.

Once upon a time, in the year 2000, there was a very sweet and shy 17-year-old girl in her senior year of high school. She was quite pretty, but not beautiful. She was well-known, but not popular. She dated a varsity football player, had top grades, and a decent sense of fashion for the era, but she never desired to be noticed and did her best to blend in.

One day, quite unexpectedly, she was nominated for Homecoming Queen. Albeit she was nominated through the National Honor Society, not through any popular sports club or anything, but she was indeed nominated. The girl knew she would not ever win the crown, but for a brief blink of time in her history,she felt that anything was possible.

The Homecoming parade was one of the biggest events at the school, nay, the town. Everyone showed up to cheer the football team on, especially as they were quite a good team that rarely lost a game. Because NHS was a small club, it joined with another group, the AP English class, to build its annual Homecoming float. The girl was also in the AP English class (of course), and it was her favorite class she ever had, so she had no reason to be less than ecstatic, even though the theme of the event was “It’s A Jungle Out There” and the girl loathed leopard print anything (except leopards). The combined group decided upon designing their float around “Lord of the Flies”, which was a book the AP English class recently read and parsed within an inch of their lives. The girl much preferred Disney’s Tarzan, or if they wanted to be really witty, use Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” and do a city-scape of Chicago or a factory. Both ideas were shot down: Tarzan for being too predictable and Sinclair for being too over-the-head of the average citizen redneck of the village. The girl offered up Axl Rose’s rock anthem as a theme, preferring drug-dealers to murderous children with pig heads on sticks, but to no avail.

Part of the tradition of Homecoming is that the kids build the float themselves. The ideas, the execution, all of it must be originated from the kids participating in the event. The fifteen or so teenagers were left to their own devices to construct the float outside of school hours. In school, there was a natural pecking order, but outside of it, lines were blurred. Quiet mice bared their fangs and the higher-ups dug in their heels , or surprisingly acquiesced at times to forge a truce.

The float was eventually crudely crafted from sharp palmetto fronds and bamboo. The kids fashioned spears from long sticks and donned white T-shirts spattered in red paint. Several even smeared war-paint on their cheeks and took turns parading the giant paper-mache pig head like it was a game-winning trophy. The girl’s carefully-hidden daydreams of a crown evaporated as the float made its agonizingly slow circumference of the football field in front of the entire town. She tried to make herself small and hide behind a palmetto leaf, but there was no hiding when her name was announced over the loud-speaker. She bravely waved her best Queen of England wave and held her chin high, thankful her sunburn camouflaged her blushing cheeks.

Their float did not win or even place in the parade. The Tarzan float won.

Of course the girl did not win Homecoming Queen or even make it to the Court. The girl brandishing the pig head won.

The young girl buried the unhappy memory in her yearbook in the back of the guest room closet, only to be relived every time The Lord of the Flies is mentioned.

There you have it. The reason the worst book on the planet is a thousand-fold worse for me. Fifteen years later, and I still am not quite ready to laugh about it. This entire story is verifiable through the Haines City Sr High yearbook of 2000-2001 and through approximately half of my facebook friends.

homecoming float 2

I am in the center in the clean shirt next to the blood-stained maniac and the girl in the hat.

homecoming float0005

The girl on the far left won Homecoming Queen. She is a sweet girl despite her fondness of war-paint and severed pig heads. She deserved her crown. I am hiding behind the leaves.

Me at the Homecoming dance. Lookin' hawt.

Me at the Homecoming dance lookin’ hawt

The winning Tarzan float

The winning Tarzan float.

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