When Ferris picked up Sloane from school in the classic convertible Ferrari to begin his ...Day Off, he (with Cameron hiding in the back seat) was parked in front of the Center for Performing Arts at Glenbrook North High School, the alma mater of director John Hughes and this writer. As the outpouring of memories and poignant stories of John and his movies continue, it strikes me how many times, around the globe, I've used that scene as an example, when describing to someone where I come from. Since I left Northbrook, IL ("Shermer, IL" in Hughes's world) after high school, I've lived in Boston, Washington, DC, Hong Kong, New York, and LA. I've traveled to some of the most remote regions on the planet -- and farthest from Northbrook imaginable -- (Tibet, India, Cambodia, southern Argentina, Vietnam, etc), and it has always been a source of pride, when meeting new people along the road, that "John Hughes went to my high school." My siblings and I can quote lines from most of his movies and still do so on a regular basis to this day. Needless to say, the "world" of John Hughes is deeply entwined into my psyche and childhood.
I currently help businesses and non-profits navigate the world of social media, and when word spread of John Hughes's untimely passing, I immediately "tweeted" one of my favorite lines from Weird Science (see @deepdishpol). In fact, I had actually found out about the death through Twitter, and then proceeded to check CNN.com and MSNBC.com for more information. Of course, as I sit and write this, I realize that with the Internet, IPhones, Twitter, and social networking, most of the storylines would be difficult to conceive today. Would Ferris really have been able to get away with skipping school with cameras in every cell phone? Would Samantha Baker's birthday really have been forgotten if everyone had a reminder on their Facebook profile? Would Gary and Wyatt been able to create a woman with the modern Internet (actually this may have been made easier with Wikipedia)?
So I began to wonder how John Hughes would have handled the world of texting, Facebook status updates, and Twitter, had it been around in the "simpler"times of the 1980's. Here are a few thoughts...Feel free to add your own in comments below:
@FerrisB: Just woke up...sun is shining...but sore throat is killin' me!
@SamanthaBaker: OMG! No one remembers its my bday... and my grandma just grabbed my boobs!! Gross!
@CarlIsCleaning: Hate workin' on Saturday...but crackin' open a cold one w Principal Vernon...
@McCallisterKev: Just woke up...Can't find family...Freedom ensuing!
@CameronFrye: Weather is fantastic at Cubs game...Ferris caught a foul ball!!
@WyattDonnelly: At the mall w Gary & Lisa...just got a cherry ICEE poured on me. ANNOYING!!!
@CameronFrye: J/K...at home sick in bed! Seriously.
@DuckiePD: What kind of name is BLANE???!!!
@akaShauaB: So annoyed! Just got hauled to police station...accused of fake call to cops!
@ChetRipley: Being chased by giant BEAR! HEEEELLLLPPP!!!
@UncleBuck: About flip the BIGGEST pancake of all time! http://bit.ly/gWksU
@MrMom: Not sure I can handle the kids...house is a MESS.
@PrincipalRooney: Eating some warm gummi bears...not the best day of life!
@FerrisB: World movin' pretty fast...need to stop and look around...so going to lunch at "Chez Quis."
Lee Brenner (@deepdishpol) is a social media strategist and co-founder of FastFWD Group . He was most recently Director of Politics & Causes at MySpace, is a native of Northbrook, IL, and has seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off probably over 100 times.