August 12, 2009

Would the Real Ferris Bueller Please Stand Up?

I'm not sure when I first started using the name "Ferris" as a pseudonym of sorts, but it dates back to the early 90's at least. My high school experience was full of Ferris Buellerian scams, so the name always seemed right. A teacher at my school was the first to hang the name on me. I was enrolled in his class, but very rarely attended, always having some reason or other why I couldn't be there, though I always handed in my assignments and wrote all my tests. One day, when my absence had become a bit of a running gag, while calling attendance for a field trip to the Royal Ontario Museum that I didn't go to, instead of calling my name, he simply said "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?" After that, when I did turn up in class for a test or to hand in an assignment, I was often called "Mr. Bueller" or simply Ferris.

There were, however, some key differences. I've never driven a Ferrari, don't have a bitchy sister, and would never allow my best friend to wear a hockey jersey anywhere except to either play or watch hockey. Another big difference was instead of making my principal my adversary, I opted to befriend him. Having your principal on your side makes high school a much more pleasant affair. I won't name the school, so as not to implicate anyone, but while every other student needed a bare minimum of 30 credits to graduate, I actually did it with just 29. In exchange for shooting a video project for the school, I was given a free credit, and actually had an OAC credit upgraded by 14 percent a full year after completing it. Despite not being in the music program, I went on two music trips to the states as a "roadie." When a spat with a spectacularly bitchy drama teacher meant I wasn't able to use the little theatre on the third floor for a play I wrote, I was instead given the 1200 seat auditorium for my production and was allowed to not only write, direct and produce a play outside of the drama program, but additionally I permitted to cast my friend in the lead role, even though he never attended the school and was, at the time, a York University student. In the "online" world, I've often used the screen name Ferris, I play Golden Tee with that name, I have Xbox Live and PlayStation accounts with the name and it's possible if you met me in a nightclub about a decade ago, I might have told you that was my actual name.

So it was with great interest that I stumbled upon at article over at /Film that reveals the "real life" Ferris Bueller. After the passing of John Hughes, his childhood friend Edward McNally wrote an essay for the Washington Post remembering his old pal (and trying to refute the notion that he is the basis for Mr. Bueller.) McNally, interestingly, grew up to become a lawyer, a presidential speech writer, and Senior Counsel to President Bush. Meanwhile the fictional Ferris grew up to marry the horse-faced Sarah Jessica Parker.

Read McNally's thoughts on Hughes - and his alter-ego - here.

1 comment:

  1. dude. i have that "Leisure Rules" poster in the background in a photo of me in the family recroom. My bangs were big.