FOR former high school senior Ferris Bueller, going to school in the mid-80s and keeping up with grades always came second to having a good time with his friends, but now some 31 years later, Ferris reflects on his adult life and admits regret in skipping class. Now an alcoholic and drug addict, we catch up with the 47-year-old at his squat in one of the roughest neighbourhoods in Chicago, West Englewood.
“I moved here after becoming homeless in ’92,” the now gaunt Bueller opened up, pouring this reporter a glass of homebrew, “Dad kicked me out after I sold several of his prize art works for crack. Shortly after that my girlfriend Sloane dumped me for that prick, Cameron. Then I done some time for assaulting the two of them outside Walmart when I was begging for change at the trolley bay”.
Mr. Bueller went on to tell me his life story, much of which wasn’t audible due to the fact that he had just shot up a syringe full of heroin into his arm some two minutes before the interview started, allowing me to casually rummage around his squat.
“Have you ever thought about making amends and getting some help?” I asked, now eyeing up his iconic leopard skin waistcoat.
“I tried calling my mom a few times, but after the attempted murder thing with dad in 2006, we haven’t been on the best of terms,” he mumbled, now slowly coming around and taking a hit from a nearby water bong full of really nice smelling weed, “the drugs and drink has me ruined.
“I should never have skipped school like that, now that I think back on it. By the time I was in my senior year, I had already missed most of our classes and failed to get into any college”.
His story was a sad one, and I asked if there was any advice he would like to give to young people struggling with school.
“Yeah, stick at it man. America is a dog-eat-dog world and if you fall behind for even a second, it will swallow you up like the gas in a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder engine,” he advised, before asking me for some money, “would you have a lend of a couple of bucks, before you go? I’ll give it back to you, man”.
“Absolutely not, Ferris,” I replied, “your credit rating is obviously terrible and you’ll only spend it on crack”.
“I’ll sell you that waistcoat for 50 bucks?”
“Twenty and you have a deal”
“Sold”, he said, now teary eyed that he was selling the only piece of 1980s memorabilia he had left, but happy for the fix, nonetheless.
I couldn’t help but feel for Ferris as he sat there wasted on a cocktail of drugs and hooch, but his message was clear: “stay in school if ya want to be cool”.