Ferris Bueller: Day of Retribution


Kristin Devine

Kristin is a geek, a libertarian, and a domestic goddess. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals and works with women around the world as a fertility counselor. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of https://atomicfeminist.com/

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68 Responses

  1. Avatar pillsy says:

    I don’t think I can link in images, which is a shame, because that deserves half a dozen extravagant applause GIFs.Report

  2. wow pillsy thank you so much. This was a leap of faith for me to submit fiction so I really appreciate it.Report

  3. Avatar bookdragon says:

    That was amazing!Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Ferris Bueller is one of those characters that appeal to you when you are younger but than you get older and you start to realize that the Vice Principal in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was doing the right thing even though he was a butt monkey and a bit of kill joy. There were a bunch of similar revelations when the original fans of Rent matured from teenagers to twenty and thirty some-things who realized that the vain real estate developer was still the most mature and morally upright character in the entire musical.Report

    • Yes the last couple times I watched it I couldn’t help thinking that Ferris really was a pretty terrible person. As a writer I marvelled at how they put some of the little touches on the character to make him likeable even though practically nothing he did was likeable.Report

  5. Avatar North says:

    Holy buckets, this was brilliant! The twist at the end was excellent. Well done!Report

  6. Avatar Joe Sal says:

    Ha, I knew you had the good stuff. Excellent work!Report

  7. The fact that I’ve never seen FB’sDO was in no way an obstacle to enjoying this – well done.

    And I way this not just because I’m a sucker for anything with an aphasic character in it. Which brings me to my suggestion, as tight as it is, could still be tighter (eg pretty unnecessary to tell us Rooney had a stroke. Could’ve been some other calamity, but in any event maybe have R tell us (or not), or have C speculate rather than know. Probably a few other examples of this sort of thing that if tightened up would elevate this from well done to boffo.

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    This was a treat. Thank you!Report

  9. Avatar Beth Lopez says:

    Fantastic read — of course, I’m quite prejudiced, being her mom! Love your work!Report

  10. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Oh my goodness I enjoyed this so much. This was fantastic, Kristin.Report

  11. Amazing. Much applause.

    And, among all the other delights. I loved how you merged Ed Rooney with real-life Jeffrey Jones.Report

  12. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Tremendous work, Kristin! Thank you for it.

    I walked away from a narcissist too, before I got sucked into a Cameron-like vortex. It’s hard, because a narcissist can be so damn charming and compelling and is really good at offering just enough emotional sugar that you stay in their orbit. But eventually there isn’t enough to breathe, and so it’s less of a stretch than it might seem to think that a paroled murderer would be a preferrable partner.Report

    • My narcissist was different, kept sucking me in via doing outrageous and argumentative things that I felt compelled to rectify/argue against until just like Cameron I realized “wow this person is getting off on this” and stopped even talking to them.

      I felt that since Sloane fully knew the situation in which Cameron had committed his crime she probably would have been more forgiving, as well. 🙂

      Thanks for your inputReport

  13. Avatar Maribou says:

    I have read this 4 times.

    And only 2 of them were related to my editorial duties.

    I’m impressed. 🙂Report

  14. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    Holy crap that was good.

    Not what I was expecting, but, wow. Enjoyed it.Report

  15. Avatar Anne says:

    Wow! that was amazing. Thanks @kristin-devineReport

  16. Avatar BigBlue says:

    I think works of fiction should be clearly marked so readers can know to avoid them.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      @bigblue I’ve added Fiction as a category. That should make identification less challenging for you henceforth.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        We did once have an “Ordinary Tales” tag or category (I forget which) and AFAIK it’s still usable. One of my own attempts at fiction appears under it.Report

        • Avatar Maribou says:

          @burt-likko I prefer it aesthetically but I don’t know that it’s particularly clear. I was going for maximum clarity.Report

          • Avatar Dave says:

            The both of you have already done way too much here.

            It certainly wasn’t necessary to add a fiction label in this case nor have a specific site for fiction. Our readers are smart enough to figure things out pretty quickly, that it didn’t happen here says less about the site and more about the reader. (redacted – insulting – maribou) I stand by my opinion.

            The moderator is great, and I’m sure I’ll hear about what I just posted, if it stays up (don’t care one way or the other)

            (redacted- insulting – maribou)Report

            • Avatar BigBlue says:

              In your local library, are fiction and non-fiction interspersed, or does fiction have its own section?

              Fiction books don’t have Dewey Decimal numbers for a reason.Report

            • Avatar BigBlue says:

              Dave: petulant little shit … crybab[y]

              Those seem like personal insults to me.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                Yep. They are. Dave knows better and the insulting passages were redacted about 30 seconds after I saw them. (I’m in the West, I sleep in on Sundays.)

                You’ve been upsetting to the community to the point where one of the founding writers (and a former moderator) lost his temper at you and broke the rules. So if you’re the troll I suspect you are, congratulations.

                Burt’s advice still applies.Report

            • Avatar Maribou says:

              @dave Oh Dave. Thank you for your support, please don’t respond to incivility with incivility. We’re on it.Report

    • Avatar BigBlue says:

      I never said I was challenged.

      Such snark is one of a multitude of reasons you are unsuited to be moderator.Report

      • Avatar Maribou says:

        You demonstrated that you found it difficult (aka challenging) to tell the difference, at least initially, by asking for clearer marking. I mean, assuming that was the reason you left that particular comment, and responding to your expressed need by adding a category, even though there were plenty of cues that the piece was fiction, is me reading you charitably; the uncharitable assumption would be that you wanted to complain about the content, but didn’t want to get told not to comment just to complain, so you found a pretext to do so.

        I was choosing a kinder interpretation of what you said, out of those available to me, and regardless of your opinion about me being the moderator, I am and will continue to be the moderator. So there’s not much point to you pointing out that you don’t approve.Report

        • Avatar BigBlue says:

          If it was labelled Fiction, like it is now, I would have known to skip it. Once I started to read it, it was clearly fiction.

          Maribou: So there’s not much point to you pointing out that you don’t approve.

          The point is that I am pointing out to you and the staff that you are lousy at it.Report

          • Avatar Maribou says:

            @bigblue You’re not actually achieving that goal; you are pointing out that you are more into insults and complaints than in adding to the conversation.

            As for the lack of a fiction category, until now we mostly assumed that if people read clearly fictional excerpts on the front page, they would know something was fiction. No particular need for a separate category. No particular harm in adding one though.Report

      • Avatar Dave says:


        She is very suited and perhaps you’re a bit too thin-skinned and high maintenance to be a part of this community.

        Seriously, cut it out.Report

  17. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    I just wanted to chime in with how thoroughly I enjoyed this. Such a nice break from the usual politics and a fine piece of wordsmithing.

    Now you gotta do it again, please!Report

  18. Avatar DavidTC says:

    I disapprove of this story, but only because it violates my headcannon that Ferris, and in fact the entire movie, exists entirely inside Cameron’s head, as he lays sick at home. 🙂

    But, yes, if we take the movie at face value and Ferris exists, he is not a good person. At all.

    I mean, yes, some of his hijinks are wacky, for various levels of wacky…ditching school, yeah, that’s normal teenage behavior, although less acceptable now, but judging by the time, it’s fine. Hacking his attendence record, pretty much the same thing….something that, when you think about it, isn’t that great, but standard ‘teen stuff’ back then.

    And grabbing a mic and singing on a float, that’s pretty wacky, or even acceptable, everyone seemed to enjoy it. Lying to a resturant to steal someone’s reservation, that’s within the realm of wacky…it doesn’t seem to harm anyone, at best they’ll just get kicked out when the guy really shows up. And as we don’t ever see the end of meal, it appears he did not, and they paid like normal…so they ate, the guy presumably went elsewhere, and the resturant had an additional table full. Everyone wins.

    But speaking of ‘they paid’….Ferris stole a bunch of money from his father almost unnoticed at the start of the movie. Money in savings bonds, so we’re not talking about a twenty or something, we’re talking about a few hundred dollars at the least…and that’s what paid for his Day Off.

    This is…less wacky.

    Likewise, manipulating his best friend to use his father’s car, when there is at least some level of dysfunction in that family and there will be, at minimum, yelling…not very wacky at all. (Ferris _already has a car_. He picked up Sloane from school in it!)

    And pausing during the race home to talk to some girls, while wacky, is, uh, somewhat dubious behavior for someone in a relationship that is at ‘Going to marry each other some day’.

    I am totally on board with the idea that Ferris (If he is real at all), is a sociopath.Report

    • Avatar Kristin Devine says:

      I’m glad you maybe liked it, David. 🙂

      They were having some fun with Ferris, just like I was, I still like the movie overall. Just that I have a different take on some of this behavior now than I did in 1989.Report

  19. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I waited to read this, until the weekend when I could devote proper attention.
    Bravo- this is excellent.Report

    • Avatar Kristin Devine says:

      Thank you so much Chip, I really appreciate it.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        I remember thinking that Ferris, like Tom Sawyer and Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, are characters that are rich because they are ambiguous.

        At the conclusion of Tom Sawyer, Twain wrote that it had to end because it would start to be the story of a man, not a boy. I think it was his way of saying that Tom could easily have grown into the type of character that Twain mercilessly mocked, the amoral hustler and conman.

        And I saw an interview with Bill Watterson where he described how Calvin was written deliberately to be not necessarily a nice person; We accept him because he either gets his comeuppance, or his adventures are essentially harmless.Report

  20. Avatar BigBlue says:

    Maribou: You’re not actually achieving that goal; you are pointing out that you are more into insults and complaints than in adding to the conversation.

    I haven’t insulted anyone, and if you think making a suggestion that you then implemented is a “complaint” then you are further proving my point that you are unfit to be a moderator.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      I haven’t insulted anyone.

      That statement is, on its face, incorrect. You’re not helping your own cause here, @bigblue . Here’s a few tips for you.

      1. When you ask for something (a clear label for fiction) and then you get it, the appropriate response is “thank you.”

      2. If you don’t want to read fiction, just don’t read it. Move on.

      3. If you don’t like something a moderator is doing, the best way to raise that issue is to send a private e-mail to the editorial board about your concern.

      And an observation: you certainly have strong opinions about things for a person who has apparently been participating in this online community for less than 48 hours. Maybe you’ve been lurking for a long time. If so, great. In that case, you should have figured out some of the norms of etiquette and behavior that prevail around here, and now that you’ve decided to enter the active commenting community you shouldn’t be surprised at getting some pushback when your comments deviate from those norms. If you haven’t been lurking for a long time, then be aware that one of those norms is courtesy, and your comments were discourteous.

      By all means please continue to comment, but also by all means please be courteous when you do so. TIA.Report

  21. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Finally got a chance to read this. Most excellent.Report

  22. Avatar Jason says:

    Nice. I’ve always hated that movie and Ferris.

    I was never big on the ’80’s movies when they were released because I was into horror and action only (sue me, I was a teenager). With age (and a bit of nostalgia), I’ve learned to appreciate a lot of the ’80’s teen flicks, but I never could like Ferris.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      It’s a thrill, and an “Oh, see what I can do!” sort of thing.
      To be so balls to the wall not caring, and to have it all work.
      We know it’s an illusion… that’s bound to fall apart, but it’s still fun to watch.

      Ferris is a Marty Stu.Report

      • Avatar Jason says:

        Meh. I get how it’s supposed to work; it just never worked that way for me.

        Kind of like James Cameron movies. The dude can really pace movies well, but everything else is just so dumb.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Titanic’s a pretty basic plot, but it’s effective for a reason.
          (now, if you want fun plots, go look at the new Voltron. Seriously!)

          You gotta admit he’s pretty ballsy to actually convince actors that he was going to drown them if they didn’t get their acting right.Report

    • Avatar Kristin Devine says:

      Thanks for reading, Jason.Report