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Evil and its Butler
Lights on the living room of a large Victorian-style household, lavishly furnished. The butler, JEVONS, in a neatly-pressed uniform, dusts at a china vase with a long-suffering expression. DOOM, a lanky rich young man with dreams of supervillainy, strides in with all the confidence of a peacock.
DOOM: Almost finished, Jeeves?
JEVONS: Nearly, sir, but my name is actually -
DOOM: Perfect! Now everything is prepared for my plans to begin. We'll start with New York City, I think, and once we've gained control, we can proceed from there.
DOOM is very pleased with himself. JEVONS looks uncomfortable, and debates his next words for several moments.
JEVONS: If I may say so, sir, starting with a city so large and affluent as New York could prove to be a significant challenge.
JEVONS: It seems to me that it may be easier, and indeed more tactful, to begin with smaller regions. A remote farming village in Iceland, for example, and working one's way upwards.
DOOM: Don't be ridiculous. My plan is faultless. What's the use of conquering remote farming villages in Iceland? I want to enter the world of villainy with a bang - to make my name known! What better place to begin with than New York? All the movies do it, after all.
JEVONS is distressed by DOOM's words.
JEVONS: But consider the military, sir, and law enforcement -
DOOM: That reminds me. I need a name.
DOOM: A supervillain name. A name that can strike terror in the hearts of the masses. I was thinking something along the lines of - of Doctor Doom. Eh? How does that sound?
JEVONS: I believe the name is already taken, sir, and -
DOOM: Then too bad for them! The other Doctor Doom can't possibly be as powerful as me.
JEVONS: It's not quite so simple, sir. The name is copyrighted. Doctor Doom is a famous character within the Marvel Comics. To claim it now, and in so public a way, could render you liable to severe lawsuits.
DOOM: Oh. Well, we can't have that. All the funding is going into weaponry and wardrobe. (Pause.) What do you think I should call myself then, Jeeves? "Mr. Doom" doesn't quite cut it. How about "Sir Doom"? "Master Doom"? "Doom Esquire"?
JEVONS: ...I believe you are the one best suited to choosing your own title, sir. And on the topic of names, you have been addressing me erroneously -
DOOM has taken out his phone and is tapping away furiously at the keys. He opens a website and gleefully shows the screen to JEVONS.
DOOM: Look at this, Jeeves! The Wikipedia page for English titles and honorifics offers tons of options for me to choose from! See - there are formal titles, professional titles, even royal titles... (He sighs wistfully.) So many choices, so little time. I guess I can choose a proper name later.
JEVONS: Sir -
DOOM is still distracted by his phone.
DOOM: What is it? Have you finished the dusting yet?
JEVONS: I - no, sir, I have not.
DOOM: What are you waiting for, then?
JEVONS: If I may say so, sir, a feather duster seems inadequate to the task of cleaning this entire house. This is the twenty-first century, after all. I would be able to complete my duties much more quickly in future had I, say, a vacuum cleaner.
DOOM, a bit surprised, considers this.
DOOM: That is a good point. I'll be sure to get you one the next time I go out. (He sighs again, more sadly.) A feather duster just feels so much more appropriate. Period-typical, you know? But functionality must prevail over aesthetic, I suppose.
JEVONS: We all have our trials, sir. And, as I was saying (he begins to speak quickly and more forcefully, trying to make his point), you have been calling me Jeeves, sir, and in that you are mistaken. My name is Jevons. Jeeves is a character from a series of early twentieth-century novels written by P.G. Wodehouse. The error has been made before by others, but I wished to make it clear that I am called Jevons, sir, not Jeeves.
DOOM has not heard this spiel. He has sat down at a nearby desk with a laptop and is completely absorbed with its screen.
DOOM: Hm? Oh, good. Hey, Jeeves, did you know that they had vacuum cleaners back in the Edwardian era? They look hilarious! This one looks like something out of Star Wars. Maybe I can buy one of the really old ones off Craigslist or something - we could have both functionality while keeping the whole historical vibe! How about that?
JEVONS: Sir -
DOOM: Oh - sorry, were you saying something?
JEVONS: ...no, sir.
DOOM: Really? I could swear you were talking just now.
JEVONS: It was nothing, sir.
DOOM: Alright, then, back to work. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow!
JEVONS: Yes, sir.