How prom led to a cluttered desk

I?m never completely sure how I acquire all of this stuff.

My desk is reasonably clean for several days. But things begin randomly appearing every time I come back to my computer, until eventually I have a mountain of indiscriminate objects blocking my line of vision to the monitor.

I suspect there is some sort of office-supplies breeding going on. If you?ve never watched the complex mating rituals of the pencil on a Discovery Channel special, then you will never fully appreciate what has been happening on my desk.

The reason all of these things are surrounding me in a heap on my floor is because I got motivated to clean my desk. I never get motivated to clean my desk. I even dusted!

I blame prom.

Hillsboro High School?s junior/senior/invited-underclassmen/outside-date prom took place this last weekend. The theme was ?Midnight Masquerade.? Personally, I think the whole thing was a coverup (rim shot!).

But in all seriousness, the prom was a very enjoyable evening of people jumping up and down in formal attire.

This was the first formal event I have attended, so I was worried for several weeks that I wouldn?t dress right.

Do I have to match my date? Is a tuxedo required? Does ?formal wear? include formal underwear? Where does one find formal underwear, anyway?

These are, indeed, some questions.

Thankfully, I got them all straightened out so I didn?t make fools out of my date and myself during the promenade.

If you are the 1 percent of Hillsboro that has a life on prom night, let me explain that promenade is an event that happens before the actual prom, where everyone gathers outside the high school to watch the party attendees drive up in fancy cars and escort their dates into the building.

The whole promenade thing went fairly smoothly for me. I didn?t realize the full extent of possible embarrassment until the person in the car ahead of mine smoothly got out of his vehicle, closed the door, coolly walked to the other side of the car, yanked on the door handle and discover that he had locked his date in the car.

Suddenly, I became very aware of all the scenarios that could go wrong for me. The guy before me was a senior; he?d experienced the prom environment before. I?m just a junior. Anything could have happened.

I was particularly worried that after I got out of the car, it would begin rolling away with my date still inside.

My car, Max, has this intriguing little personality quirk, wherein when I put him into ?park,? he sometimes doesn?t lock in. This can get fairly embarrassing.

Here I am referring to the time I heard this announcement over the grocery store speakers: ?Um?. There is a green Camaro rolling backward through the parking lot.?

However, prom went smoothly. But it got interesting afterward. (No, not like that.)

The Trojan After Prom Party (lovingly known as TAPP) committee decided to bus us out to The Alley in Wichita. The Alley is a sporty place for families, and has features such as pool tables, arcade games, go-carts, and, unfortunately for me, cosmic bowling.

I have never denied the fact that I am bad at bowling. In fact, I have blatantly exploited this fact in at least one column. But my handicap gets worse when the only thing illuminating the lanes are black lights, plus other lighting features accented by a fog machine.

There?s something about getting a ball to roll straight that I have never quite mastered.

So when, at about halfway through the first game, my score was 29, I had about had enough. At this point, I would have considered it an accomplishment to knock over my cup of Mountain Dew with my elbow.

I bailed on my team to take yearbook pictures, dumping my plummeting score to my friend, Tyler, who happened to be sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Later that night I asked him how my final score had turned out. He reported he had been doing pretty well. That is, until someone came by to tell him that all he needed were a couple more non-scoring rounds for me to be gutterball king.

I wasn?t completely sure what Tyler meant and laughed it off, assuming he had been making fun of my lousy bowling.

As it turns out, someonehad commented to him about the low score, and he had actually purposely given me two more gutterballs. I found this out when a woman handed me an authentic vintage bowling pin with ?Gutterball King? printed on it, and informed me I had won.

Having never imagined I?d earn a trophy from bowling, I was very excited at my accomplishment, and decided to put the pin on display on my desk.

That?s how prom made me clean my desk. I just hope I live to see next year?s prom. This shouldn?t be a problem, assuming I don?t get buried in all of these desktop byproducts as I try to tunnel out of my room.

* * *

UFO: According to Bride?s magazine, an average wedding costs almost $19,000.