As a lad, I used to hang out with a kid we’ll call Zed. Zed was a couple of years older than I was, but we’d met when we were both in the 8th grade. Zed was not a bright boy. In fact, he was a stone-cold moron, and the 8th and part of the 9th grades were the only times we were in school together, because Zed dropped out as soon as the law would allow.
Despite being a halfwit, Zed actually had some things going for him. For one, he was reasonably good-looking and had a–if not refined, then at least well-developed–sense of style. For whatever reason–back then, anyway–girls flocked to him, and Zed could boast a number of conquests before the rest of us had even reached second base.
And while Zed wasn’t exactly a mean guy, by being the youngest of our group and having the biggest mouth, it ended up that he’d pick on me from time to time. He was bigger and stronger than I was then, and there wasn’t much I could do but take it. For a while.
As a functionally retarded ninth-grade dropout, Zed’s career prospects were by no means overwhelming, and so when his mom finally made him apply at McDonald’s, it seemed Zed had found the job he was born to do. But first came the application. Sadly, as a consequence of his infrequent and attenuated schooling, Zed was virtually illiterate. Simple words like “cat,” “dog,” and his own name were within Zed’s oeuvre, but more complicated or polysyllabic words might as well have been Sanskrit to the boy. When Zed needed help filling out the application, apparently forgetting his regular abuse–or hoping I would, he turned to me for help.
“How do you spell employee?” Zed asked.
At first I was cautious. “E-M-P-L-O-Y-E-E,” I told him. I spelled a few words for him like this: “E-X-P-E-R-I-E-N-C-E,” “P-R-O-M-P-T,” “H-O-N-E-S-T.”
After a while, though, when I saw that Zed was writing exactly what I told him, the temptation for mischief became too great.
“How do you spell important?” Zed asked.
“Important?” I said, “That’s easy: “I-M-P-O-R-T-A-P-E-N-I-S-N-T.”
Zed dutifully wrote it down. Several more followed. “F-R-I-E-N-C-O-C-K-D-L-Y,” “R-E-S-F-U-C-K-E-R-P-O-N-S-I-B-L-E,” “R-E-F-E-A-S-S-H-O-L-E-R-E-N-C-E-S,” and a whole lot more.
Fortunately, just after Zed turned the application in, I called the manager of McDonald’s and told him what I’d done. Zed got the job and we all had a great big laugh.
The above story is 100% true, except for the last paragraph. I never told anybody anything, and of course, Zed didn’t get that job.