Chronicles of an Educated Hillbilly
By "Buck"

From Jeff Kay’s The West Virginia Surf Report

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The Prom Incident

I never really understood the premise of a prom. Most of the guys, and girls for that matter, got laid for the first time on prom night. I guess that was part of the allure for my raging hormones to attend such a ridiculously mundane event. 

Why in the name of all that is good would I want to dress in a foolish looking outfit, spend a fortune on flowers, food, pictures, and aforementioned foolish-looking tux on the outside chance it could lead to a sexual encounter? Keep in mind I'm writing this 20 years after the fact and time teaches a lot of lessons that one doesn't know at age 16. Thus I decided the prom would be a lucrative way to score big with parental subsidies. 

I was a football player and a decent one at that. I wasn't the greatest looking guy, but certainly well above repulsive, or so I thought. I wasn't even sure how you go about securing the prom date, so I compiled a list of likely candidates. The criterion for making "Buck's List of Prom Date Candidates" was number one:  looks. 

You can say all you want about personalities, but the bottom line in my mind was if I had to wear the stupid getup it had better be worth it. I fashioned the list of almost every female in the school ranked in order of looks. The original list had about 50 candidates. 

At the top of the list, one of the most beautiful girls I've ever known, Connie Sweeney. Unquestionably, at least in my mind, Connie was the berries in all aspects of life. She was a cheerleader, nice body, perfect face and complexion, and always had arousing perfume. Topping it off, Connie was an absolute sweetheart to everyone, one of those who never had a bad word for anyone. Quality doesn't sit on the shelf long and such it was with Connie -- she had a boyfriend who was also a pretty good friend of mine. No use muscling a guy's territory for no reason. Number one was struck from the list. 

Since I figured it was unlikely any lady would give up her main squeeze for me, I evaluated the list from the boyfriend standpoint. Was it steady and long term, or a rocky relationship? The list paired down to about thirty potential candidates. The prom was a junior/senior event. Sophomores and freshmen could only attend if they were invited. I figured the odds were better with an underclassman that would jump at the chance to attend the "big event." List paired down to about 18 (the classes behind me were well stocked with hotties). 

The revamped list included Marshae Sanders. She too was a cheerleader, blonde, and unpredictable. She seemed to live her life on the jagged edge. I'd heard stories of her partying, but since I was always hung up on hunting and fishing, I had never attended any. Marshae it would be. I posed the question between classes one day; she was taken aback and clearly flattered and said she'd have to get back to me. 

Okay, timeline issue. I was starting the search in January (prom was in May) so as to secure any babes before other, more popular and better looking guys lined them up. I gave Marshae a week with no answer. I finally put it to her again and was told, my mom says I'm too young to go. Yeah I believed that from somebody who was rumored to party like it was 1999. (Sorry about the 80's music reference there). 

I decided to drop down to the next available spot on the list, and asked Karen Miller. She was extremely cute and a huge object of my affection since grade school. Oops, sorry out of town that weekend! Then a similar response from another girl... I saw a pattern developing. I was now down to number ten on the refined "Bucks List of Prom Date Candidates." I gave up in disgust and said to hell with it. 

One would think the story would end there, but oh no. Turns out Marshae who wasn't old enough to go to the prom, was going with Brad Woods, a son-of-a-bitch who played on the golf team. The GOLF team?!?!? Karen went with some shitty little bastard who I also hated. All of the top-ten on the list managed to find alternative dates at the last minute after assuring me there was some reasonable excuse that disallowed them the pleasure of my company on the Big Night. 

Prom night arrived and all the well dressed assholes showed up at the high school gymnasium. I made other plans. I went fishing, alone. As I sat on the riverbank catching fish to my heart's content, I agonized over this devastating blow to my ego and serious challenge of my reputation. High school can be a highly judgmental and arrogant place. I've kicked more than one ass in my time. I wanted to kick several that night. But I came up with a better plan. 

I lifted a stringer of a dozen catfish from the water and headed to the school. We lived in a small town and nobody EVER locked their car doors. While all of my classmates were rubbing bellies to the smooth sounds of REO Speedwagon and Chicago 17, I was in my Chevy pickup with a Hank Williams Jr. tape blaring out "A Country Boy Can Survive." As they planned for the use of prophylactics later in the evening, I deposited a catfish under the driver's seat of candidates 1 through 11. The extra fish was a special treat for bastard Brad who got a second surprise, placed under the dash behind the gauges. 

If I had been smart I would have schemed with Tucker's Auto Cleaning in town for a cut of the money he made the following day in fumigating auto upholstery.###

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