“Pink Bow Tie” Short Story Summary by Paul Jennings

Pink Bow Tie Short Story Summary by Paul Jennings
“Pink Bow Tie” Short Story Summary

“Pink Bow Tie” is a science fiction short story by Paul Jennings about a boy who has a scary experience on the train and gets in trouble at school. It appeared in his 1987 collection Unbelievable!, and can be read free in the Amazon sample. Jennings wrote many books, including short stories, for younger readers. Here’s a summary of “Pink Bow Tie”.

“Pink Bow Tie” Summary

In the second day at his new school, the fourteen-year-old narrator waits to go into Principle Splodge’s office. He got the strap the first day for mocking the Principal’s pink bow tie.

While waiting, he looks at Miss Newham, the seventeen-year-old secretary, whom all the boys love. There isn’t much hope, but at least she doesn’t have a boyfriend. She asks about his dyed blonde hair, which is against school rules. Old Splodge calls him in before he can answer.

Splodge asks why he’s dyed his hair—it’s gone from black to white since yesterday. The boy says he didn’t dye it and it’s a long story. Splodge wants to hear it.

“Pink Bow Tie” Summary of Part 2

The boy is a nervous person and easily scared. Yesterday, while riding the train home, there was an old woman, a mean looking guy and a boy about his age who was smoking. The ticket collector orders the boy to stop because he’s too young. The boy takes out a small device like a transistor, turns a knob and suddenly changes before their eyes into a twenty-five-year old.

The ticket collector runs off; everyone else is stunned. The old lady asks about it. The boy gives her the transistor and gets off. It has a sliding knob on it. One side says OLDER and the other says YOUNGER. The old lady grabs it and turns the knob towards YOUNGER. Within a minute, she looks sixteen. She throws the transistor to the narrator and gets off the train.

The mean looking guy demands he hand it over, so he does. The man turns it to YOUNGER but doesn’t stop in time, so he ends up a baby. As the boy tries to get the transistor back, the baby pushes the knob to OLDER. He rapidly changes, as he progresses to over a hundred and then dies. His remains then decompose, leaving only a skeleton.

Terrified, the boy screams and tries to get off the train, but it’s moving so he can’t. He sits in the carriage with the skeleton for fifteen minutes shaking with fear. His hair turns white from the stress. When he’s able to get off, he walks home.

“Pink Bow Tie” Summary of Part 3

Splodge’s face is turning the color of his tie. He rebukes the boy for such a far-fetched tale. The boy says he can prove it. He takes the transistor out of his bag and puts it on the desk. Splodge looks at it carefully and dismisses the boy. He’s going to send a letter to his parents that he’s being suspended for telling lies.

For the next two weeks, the boy worries about the letter, but it doesn’t come. Two things do happen, though, one good and one bad. The good thing is Splodge disappears and is never seen again. The bad thing is Miss Newham gets a boyfriend, a good looking eighteen-year old.

The boy doesn’t understand why she’d go out with a guy who wears pink bow ties.

I hope this “Pink Bow Tie” short story summary by Paul Jennings was helpful.