At the end of his Birmingham years, the developer Ansel Head found himself in uncharted waters. His efforts to re-invigorate the historic downtown were in shambles. The bankers, politicians, investors, and reporters, who had just months earlier been singing his praises, had now turned on him. He had descended from the Achiever level in Birmingham society straight through to Misfit and he wasn’t quite sure what to do next. His Achiever friends and family were advising accommodate, compromise, beg, plead for forgiveness, humble oneself in front of authority – things falling Achievers often did to remain in status.
None of these seemed right to the failing developer; he had come from a long line of successful Achievers and accepting defeat was not something bred into his bones. Never give up was something he had drilled into his being since before he could remember. Nevertheless, he was floundering despite his stoic countenance.
Into the scene entered Clint Folsom, the Misfit King of his McCallie years. Clint knew his Achiever friend would be completely lost in Misfit society and so out of the blue he telephoned, “Let’s get some barbeque at Ollie’s.”
After listening to the developer recount his woes, Clint calmly advised in the slow Southern drawl he had long before perfected, “Jes tell de aaaassholes to go f*&$ demselves!”
With those few words, he had shared with the developer the guiding principal of all Misfits, something only spoken in whispers between Misfits, much like solemn Greek phrases spoken in closed door fraternity meetings, so that non-Misfits could not know their secrete to success. With these words, he had welcomed his friend into the Misfit society and put him on solid ground from which to fight and thrive. The frame of mind evidenced with these words was more important than the actual phrase but the actual phrase did have a poetic ring to it.
Just behind Clint’s eyes, the floundering Achiever could see Clint’s McCallie mentor, Houston Patterson. As was his custom, there was Houston Patterson sitting calmly on a dorm bed with his legs crossed smoking a cigarette and nodding his approval. All along Houston Patterson had known the secrets for a Misfit’s success, had taught Clint how best to employ its tactics, and now through Clint, he was giving his new convert and failing developer student what he knew he needed most in life: a practical education.