The Dean of Students paced up and down in his office.
“Ferris Bueller is sick AGAIN. How many times is that this semester, Grace?”
The long-suffering school manager Grace sighed and pulled out the paper records.
“Well, now, Ed it looks like this is his ninth sick day.”
Mr Rooney sat down in his chair.
“Nine days, Grace, nine days…and yet Mr Bueller does not have a long-standing health condition, nor does he have a recurring illness like malaria. As far as I’m aware, Ferris has never been anywhere near the tropics!”
“No, Ed it’s certainly not tropical here in Chicago.”
The dean picked up his coat.
“I am going to go over there and make sure that Mr Bueller is at home in bed, as he has claimed.”
At the Bueller house, Ferris was getting ready for the day of his life with Alan and Sloane: “I’d better make this one count. How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?
“After all, life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
By the time Mr Rooney reached the house, he was long gone.
The dean rang the doorbell.
“It's Ed Rooney, Ferris. I'd like to have a word with you.”
Ferris’s tape-recorded answer clicked into life: “Oh I'm sorry, I can't come to the door right now. I'm afraid that in my weakened condition, I could take a nasty spill down the stairs and subject myself to further school absences.
“You can reach my parents at their places of business. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your concern for my well-being. Have a nice day!”
Mr Rooney growled: “You're in big trouble, buster. Get down here! Ferris! FERRIS!”
He heard growling behind him, turned, and came face to face with a large dog…then ran…
Back at school, Grace was desperately trying to put the records Mr Rooney had thrown on the floor in some order.
“I do declare that man is always in such a rush! It’s going to take me hours to put the records back in the correct files. I could do without all this today because I must send the principal the quarterly report on student numbers, accidents, disciplinary records, absences, and collate the teacher reports on what books and other items they need for class.
“Honestly, there’s always a drama when Ed’s around!
“We’re starting to put all this on computers, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were all linked one day, and we didn’t have to back everything up on floppy disks? What if all those computers could talk to each other and I could get all this information wherever I was, like at home or in the school canteen, or even at the beach! I could put Ed’s dramas behind me for a while…now that would be bliss!”
The phone rang again, and Grace picked it up.
“Hey, is Mr Rooney there please?”
Grace was stunned.
“Ferris! He’s gone over to your house!”
“I know, but I couldn’t go down to the door when he came because I felt so faint. Could you tell him I know he called around and I hope I’ll be well enough to be in tomorrow?”
“Of course, Ferris! I’ll leave him a note on his computer. I’m struggling with all the records on it now!”
“Well, I’m pretty good with computers, could I come in soon and help you with it?”
“Why, yes, Ferris, you could, That would be nice. I just wish all these computers could talk to each other and we could all access the same information wherever we are…like it was up in the clouds or something like that!”
Ferris paused again.
“Hmm. A computer program that could do all that would make someone famous and rich.
Everyone would want to use it, especially school managers like you, Grace.”
“Yes!” she replied.
“Ferris you’ll have to write that program yourself. What would you call it?”
“Oh, something fun that makes you happy. How about Mango?”
Grace laughed. “That sounds perfect, Ferris. See you tomorrow.”
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