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Edward McNally Is Not The Real Ferris Bueller, So Please Keep Calling Him That

By Gabe Delahaye / August 12, 2009 - 11:25 pm

A man named Edward McNally wrote (a letter? An op-ed? I don’t know what this is) to the Washington Post about how he is not the real life Ferris Bueller. Uh? The Washington Post, like the newspaper for actual news? OK? I guess? So it begins:

Movie director John Hughes and I grew up on the same street in our home town of Northbrook, Ill. We both graduated from Glenbrook North, the high school where he filmed scenes from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “The Breakfast Club,” where his mom worked and two sets of our sisters were classmates. Because for years I was relentlessly pursued by a remarkably humorless Glenbrook dean about attendance, pranks and off-campus excursions — and because my best friend was in fact named Buehler — I’ve spent an inordinate amount of my life being unfairly accused of serving among the inspirations for Ferris Bueller.

Sure. That must have been tough. Always being unfairly accused of serving among the inspirations for a beloved and iconic movie character. Boo hoo, I’m sure. But OK, that ought to do it, you’re not one of the inspirations for Ferris Bueller. I’m glad that we cleared this up, nationally. Oh, wait, you want to spend another nine paragraphs talking about how you kind of are one of the inspirations for Ferris Bueller?

That said, I’ll admit that Ferris-ian high jinks were the everyday stuff of our boyhood lives. Ferris clocked in at nine absences his final high school semester. My own was a breathtaking 27. That might explain the dean’s pursuit. The key was, from the time I entered high school, all sick notes from our mom were actually penned by our sister Sheila. Even the real ones.

For one of those Chicago adventures, we secretly borrowed a car almost as ridiculously conspicuous as the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT in the movie: my dad’s purple Cadillac El Dorado (yes, purple). Put an extra 113 miles on the odometer. Hoping to erase that telltale mileage, we raised the back on a pair of jacks and ran the car in reverse. The Caddy did not fly backward into a ravine, as in the film. What it did do is quickly take off a clean 10,000 miles. Oops. (Yes, you bet he noticed.)

I just have one question: WHO ARE YOU? And I have a follow up question: WHAT IS THIS? Mr. McNally never really talks about the death of John Hughes, which I guess is kind of refreshing. This is not just another thoughtful but bland remembrance in a week of thoughtful but bland remembrances. No way, that would take time away from talking about how Edward McNally vaguely resembles Ferris Bueller although he would never be so bold as to actually suggest that he was one of the inspirations for the character, but he kind of is, but aren’t we all? (No we are all not.) He will just beat around that bush forever. Since that is what we all want. Since we all care about this. Whatever this is.

I am too confused to even be angry about this. Good luck, Mr. McNally? Or you don’t need it? I’m not sure. Just publish whether or not you need good luck in the Washington Post, where you put all your important missives.