Best Part of the Day

According to Franklin Middle School seventh-grader and closeted homosexual Ben McElroy, the highlight of his day is the 30 minutes between third and fourth period when he eats lunch on a staircase by himself.

"It’s nice to eat alone while other people are in class or in the cafeteria," McElroy told reporters Wednesday as he finished the peanut-butter-and-honey sandwich his mother had prepared and packed neatly into a brown paper bag for him that morning. "No one bothers me, it’s safe and quiet, and I get to enjoy my lunch."

McElroy, who has revealed his sexual orientation to no one but is unceasingly ridiculed by his peers for perceived feminine qualities in his voice, dress, and gait, confirmed that he enjoys his solitary meal on the staircase more than the bus ride to school, the walk from the bus to home, finding an unobtrusive seat in the back of every class & hoping he doesn’t get called on, receiving anonymous text messages from classmates telling him to kill himself and every other moment of his day.

The Onion has more…


32 thoughts on “Best Part of the Day”

      1. If you pay real close to the onion… you’ll find layers and layers of meaning.

        But yes, it is fairly common for either not to be in good taste.

  1. I have a sense of humour but really this is in bad taste considering the stories of actual bullying that you post here. Bullying destroys lives it should not be treated lightly…not impressed.

    1. oh come on. ever watched the daily show? they’re making fun of things like murder and torture. sometimes satire is the only way to make people realize how used we got to some kind of news.

    2. actually, satire of this sort is anything but light. it does make you think, and due to being labeled as “humour” it can have a far greater reach than “serious” news

  2. As someone who did eat lunch away from the cafeteria everyday I didn’t find any humor here, not when the only exaggerated part was counting the times he was calle a fag. When you’re 13 and this is your reality it makes it even sadder to think others find your despair amusing. This boy is an actor but the script is not fiction.

    1. don’t get discouraged, terry. as i said above, this doesn’t make fun of your situation, but is just another way of showing the problem to people who might not be interested otherwise.
      satire’s humour comes not from making fun of the protagonists, but from the difference between what we expect and what is shown. it makes us think about why the situation is so different from our expectation (we’d expect a 13yos highlight would be fun with friends or PE or something of the sort), and the rasons why it is like that.
      join the board, if you haven’t yet, it’s very supportive and has helped many.

  3. counterpoint to terry, while this story somewhat describes my school years, I still find it hilarious

  4. Ben,
    Hang in there, life WILL get better. Carry a digital recorder and record all the threats against you. Evidence helps stop the bullies.

    You are special & have every right to be in this world. Just think if Steve Jobs’s birth mother got an abortion !! If HE was never born there would be no Apple Computer, No iPhone, no iPad, etc..

    Everyone is here for a reason, maybe you will become the doctor that cures AIDS or Cancer !!

    1. “If [Steve Jobs] was never born there would be no Apple Computer, No iPhone, no iPad, etc..”

      Maybe not, but there could have been Peach or Plum Computers doing the same things. :-)

      1. Umm Jobs was the pitchman, and Wozniak (and many others) were the inventors. Steve Jobs existence had little to no effect on IHONE IPAD creation.

        Take a look at the Patents his name is not on them.

        Apple was not 100% his and likely would have happened with or with out him.

        1. “Apple was not 100% his and likely would have happened with or with out him.”

          Hence, my post. I was only playing with their name — which was stolen from The Beatles. I really don’t know why you’re responding to me, but instead should be to ‘TimeLord.”

          1. TimeLord is an ass. Why respond to him? Totally brainwashed as every cult follower is. TimeLord is a “true believer” and even touts the Xtian line on abortion.

  5. I thought this was real for a moment. Then I read “The Onion” and felt somewhat relieved.

  6. ah yeah… that blissful half hour when you can get away from all the people and be able to relax and let your mind wander…

    good times :)

  7. I used to do that… the whole eating alone thing. Kind of nice, kind of depressing. Really quiet …

    1. What is worse is what I did. Eat amongst the others and people you call friends, but still be utterly alone because you are not your true self. It was always an act all through school and four years in the navy.

  8. Oh Onion, Your snarky satire is sadly painting a more accurate picture of America than most serious news outlets.

  9. I also used to do this.
    I didn’t have trustworthy friends in school and I don’t like crowds either… Eating alone in some remote corner of the school was always the best option.

  10. The design of the stairway is not compatible with the shot of the front of the school. Can’t take this one seriously.

  11. I’ve read all your comments, and I watched the vid, of course. Interesting that the comments changed and instead of counting the numerous ways that the publisher of the piece was inhumane, it forced you to see yourself in the place of the actor, some of you at least. And that, my friends, is the role of good art.
    I don’t think this was geared towards school age kids, but to adults who could look back and consider not only at their own experiences but to be heartbroken at the way this child is finding this lonely moment as the BEST part of his day.
    I also found it profound as I read your comments that, while real change seems to only come via the young, it is those who have experienced the awful aspect of something that have the real power to stop it as well – sort of conflicting, I know.
    I love this site because it does help me to resolve those problems that still plague my past younger self, and in the act of doing it so many young people are told so very clearly that they are not alone – no matter how it feels.
    So, I guess I’m glad that The Onion did this story. It may come off in bad taste, abusive even, but it may have some very beneficial results in the end. Mayhap only to tell some young man or woman who must eat alone that there are all these people who understand and care.

  12. I hope it hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice that the entire “joke” of the piece was to poke fun at how well-meaning reporting can actually make things worse. By specifying the boy’s name, favorite hiding places and publically outing him as a “closeted” homosexual, such an article, (if it was actually referring to a real person), would likely have placed the lad in great peril. The writers could have used any other hot-button issue in it’s place, but this one seemed to drive the point home extremely well.

  13. Like many above, I was at first appalled that anyone could be treated so badly. Then I remembered the nature Onion and all that.

    The thing about satire and comedy (Rule #1, in fact,) is that it has to be funny (this failed that test). Yes, we have free speech, No, I don’t believe in censorship. But joking about bullying, which these days goes to the point of suicide, as in “More on this story as it develops,” is in such poor taste that it crosses several lines.

    It was neither funny nor particularly clever. The actor who played the kid is cute though. I wish him well. the Onion can rot on the vine, IMHO.

  14. considering that the only source of brain washed homophobia, is the theological church, why do so many of you boys have any truck with the church ? the church is no friend of boys who show their love (impartially)
    to other human beings.
    love you all

Leave a Reply