Thursday, March 26, 2015

Have You Ever Spelled It?

The stall door swings open, banging against the lavatory wall as it does. Farmer Ted appears. He pauses for a second, for dramatic effect, and then … he holds ‘em high, for all to see. Behold, underpants dotted with little hearts. Ooh! Ah!

I’ve got something just as exciting to share today, and I won’t charge you a buck to get a glimpse. It’s hard to miss, given its top-of-the-page placement and all-caps, underlined-twice treatment. See it? Yep, you see it. Your eyes are wide. Your mouth is agape. It’s as if you’ve seen a ghost — or a girl’s panties. Forget the panties, geek; this is better. (Well, that’s debatable.)

The four letters at the tail end of confidential are, it’s no secret, essential. Yet the private parts seen here are not sequential.

Blame Jennifer Woods.

Jennifer, you see, gave Samantha Baker this sex test in Child Development. Samantha had to take the test during Independent Study and then pass it along to her friend Randy.

Jennifer nailed the first nine steps, but then she impersonated Farmer Ted on the dance floor and made a strange move. Did she spell confidential correctly? My answer to that is the same as the one Samantha gave to the first question on the aforementioned sex test: almost. Or perhaps, if I wanted to be a tad harsher, my answer would mirror Samantha’s answer to the 10th and final question: NO!!!

John Hughes, the director whose career-defining Sixteen Candles/The Breakfast Club/Weird Science triumvirate coincided with my youth, may have deliberately included the mistake, as a way of showing that high school kids who create sex tests with questions like “Have you ever touched it?” and “Have you ever done it?” might have trouble spelling certain four-syllable words. It’s got to be a joke, like grandparents forgetting a birthday. We’ll never know, though, so we must assume this tailspin was unintentional.

Confidentail? Nuh-uh. Confidential? That’s ideal, for sure — like Jake Ryan.

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