I hadn’t been to a prom since my own in 1984. We had some really bad music then — think Culture Club and Flock of Seagulls — but even that horrible crap was better than what those kids were listening to last night. It was like one long monotonous beat but every once in a while you’d realize the line being repeated was different. They only played three good songs, and one of them was done as a “joke” when the prom coordinator asked for some Journey before announcing the prom king and queen. So, we got a little “Don’t Stop Believin.’” Then the king and queen (student I don’t know) danced to “Let’s Get it On.” Seemed kinda inappropriate when you consider the number of teen pregnancies at the high school. Then, just as I was leaving, the DJ played Nickelback’s “Rock Star.”
I remember at my prom there was one guy who showed up in a tux with a top hat and cane. This prom was filled with pseudo gangstas sporting slouch hats and canes. Mostly, though, I just kept thinking, “If my daughter ever grinds her ass against some guy’s crotch like that I will light her up so that her grandchildren will be born hurting.” Yes, I’m old and I think like a father more often than a teenage boy these days.
Anyhoo, I suspect the prom will be more fun the longer I’m at the school because I’ll get to know more of the kids as they become juniors and seniors. As it was, there was only a handful of students I actually knew there.
This evening I took Alex up to the nearby elementary school and whipped him in one-on-one basketball. (When I got ahead 6-0 I said we were playing to 10 and managed to keep from collapsing for a 10-4 victory; that’s close enough to a whipping.) Then I taught him to drive the mighty Kia. For his first time behind the wheel, and dealing with a 5-speed with a touchy first gear and no power steering, he did very well. There was one moment where I was concerned we might find ourselves in one of the school’s outbuildings, but the car lurched and died before we got there. Just over seven months and he’ll have his license. Man, I’m old.
Speaking of which, my name is showing up on the upcoming birthdays at MySpace. Thank you to those who have sent wishes. I’d rather forget the day, but, you know … I’ll take the gifts. I think Kim got me the second collection of Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies. If she didn’t, well, here’s another hint, sweetie.
The barbarian mood has been upon me, so I managed to revise a couple of chapters of The Puppet King this weekend amidst the ton of grading I did. One of those chapters was in reeeeeeeally bad shape.
Our local speculative fiction group settled on a name at our Saturday meeting. We are the Oklahoma Speculative Fiction Syndicate. Membership is by referral, with writing samples and proof the acolyte is working toward professional publication. We have not yet devised a secret handshake. Or have we? I’d tell you, but the Oklahoma River isn’t deep enough to hold very many bodies.