Over the next few days, I’ll be writing a series about the five movie characters men most wish they were. Because, let’s be honest, unless you’re one of those rare people whose days consist of doing what you love and making a good living at it, you probably spend the majority of your life stuck at a desk, your head filled with fantasies of murdering your boss, winning the lotto or simply being someone else. And, while I might someday pen a tale about cutting the brakes of my corporate oppressor or winning $500 million and living my life as a khan in international waters, today I want to focus upon that last item I mentioned: The people (specifically, movie characters) that men most dream about being. I’ll start with number five on my list: Ferris Bueller.
I could have gone with a lot of people in the “cool guy” slot here. Jeff Spicoli was a thought, because the scene of him walking into Mr. Hand’s class with a bagel down his pants is one of cinema’s iconic images. But Spicoli’s never scored with girls, and his future seemed abysmal. Jeffrey Lebowski was also considered, but (and I say this with all the love in the world) he was a loser, albeit a loveable one. And Luke Jackson, aka Cool Hand Luke, might have earned the nod if it weren’t for me being convinced that every inmate was fucking the everloving shit out of each other in that prison camp (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
To me, Ferris’ coolness is unparallelled because he was cool when it mattered the most: High school. How many of us felt we were cool enough in high school? Lord knows I didn’t (mostly because I wasn’t). With time, the need in life for coolness tends to fade. You think an elderly Han Solo is going to be sustained by the memory of his former coolness? He probably spends most of his days getting carried on Chewbacca’s back from one medical appointment to the next, thinking to himself, “How did it end up this way? I made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, goddammit. I really should have put a few more space bucks into my 401k.”
Ferris possessed the wisdom of an older man (one of the perks of being scripted by an older man, I suppose) crammed into the shell of a teen. He was able to live in the moment in a way few of us, at any age, are able to do. Would you have had the balls to see a lovely day and skip school to enjoy it, much less live it out in such grand fashion? Drive a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California with not a worry in your head of crashing it? Catch a ball at a Cubs game while eluding your pedophile principal? Sing “Twist and Shout” from the top of a Von Steuben Day float? And do it all in time to get home before your parents, the two whitest people on Earth, caught you?
The answer is no. And that goes for anyone. Because no one is cooler than Ferris Bueller. Even Kimbo Slice wishes he were Ferris Bueller, though it’d probably cost him a few inches. All we can do is hope that someday, when asked by a snooty maitre d’ who we are, we remember to cooly look him in the eye and reply, “Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago“.