The John Overton Problem

Lord almighty, the manuscript has taken a hilarious turn. I mean, it’s a deadly serious issue, but it cracks me up. The other Sue Perkins was murdered a few days ago and dead Metcalf warned Sue “Beware John Overton.” Oh, John Overton. Thanks. And which one would that be? The Judge is dead, but his brothers have sons named John. He has a son named John. John has a son named John. John’s brothers have sons named John. Many Overton women got married and have sons named John Overton Married-Last-Name. Even Sue’s own half-brother is John Overton Ewin. Hell, Sue’s niece Nancy–who is going to marry Robert Lee Overton–will have a John Overton as a son.

And our poor murderous John Overton is having similar luck, because his dad spent all his time in the future/present being a drunken racist asshole who spent all his time doing Civil War reenactments, bothering strippers, and arguing with the docents at Fort Negley, not checking to see what kinds of lives the people he hates went on to have. So, his dad gave him a list of possible last names Sue could have–Perkins, Hayes, and Ewin or Ewing.

And Allen isn’t on the list, because dumbass doesn’t know she got married. Luckily for Step-Susan (Susan Ewin, Sue’s step sister), she got married, so there isn’t a Sue Ewin for John Overton to kill. Plus, if we had to wait for him to walk to Montgomery County and back, he’d have probably run out of meth by then.

But still. Honestly, someone needs to build a time machine and go back and hand these people a baby name book. We laugh at the Taeghlaurs and the Meihghans and whatever other strange spellings people come up with, but I don’t know how, if all you knew was that your great-great grandfather was John Overton and you didn’t have a wife’s name, you’d ever be able to say for certain who your ancestor was. If only the Judge were John and then John II, III, and IV were his son, grandson, and great grandson, and everyone else was Jon, Johan, Jonhn. Whatever. Just something so that you could say, “Oh, my great grandfather was Johhhhn with four h-es. He’s the Judge’s brother’s son.”