I ORIGINALLY HAD DECIDED, when embarking on this project that I would not use any names in order to, perhaps, protect the innocent. I’m going back on that decision for this one guy. I tried to resist, but he’s just bigger than life and too much for even me to handle. He’s the one that won’t be ignored.
Allow me to introduce Baller. He is the first son of parents who recently immigrated to Montreal. His real name is “insert-gawd-awful-name-here,” hence the self-imposed handle. Now if you grew up back in the day, you might have a whole other connotation tied to his nickname. Please take note that the word “baller” is simply the new vernacular for “cool.” It suits Baller to a “T” because there is no doubt he is one cool dude.
We all know the archetype of this guy, either personally or from a far distance, but we do know him. He is the one that won’t be denied.
He is the captain of a high school team and a jerk (this is questionable to some). The girls go out of their way to get his attention, and he is where the expression “man crush” originated by what seems to be an entourage. Some guys think he’s a total idiot, but he’s just so entertaining that he’s always surrounded. There is never a dull moment when you hang with Baller. He believes in having his friends’ backs, that friendship rules. He will do almost anything to help a ‘friend’ and not ask for a return on the favour. There is of course the factor of understanding that he does in fact expect the same consideration to come back to him. If the same sort of favour is not returned he keeps a mental note that exceeds all of his other memory capabilities and there will be repercussions that far surpass the norm. Baller is a complicated yet simple guy that keeps all who cross his path intrigued and in awe of his powerful personality. He’s raw and vulnerable and impossible to pin down.
Although he is flunking math, he plans to go into something with computers at CEGEP—because he sincerely wants to please his parents (eyelid pulled down by pinkie of left hand). He is hands down the best hacker the school has ever educated. On that note, he is still working on changing that math mark.
Baller is both a badass and is charming as hell. He gets the most tips of all the employees every shift at Tim’s. The guys he works with love him for that. He gets amazing marks on most of his assignments, but only because they are written by someone with less to do on the weekend. He loves to party and have a good time. Baller plans to be a millionaire by the time he’s thirty, and somehow you believe he will pull it off. There is a host of really solid reasons to stay on this guy’s good side or just avoid him completely.
So Baller asks his parents, “I wanna rent a tux instead of buying a suit for prom. When you rent, it already comes with shoes, a shirt, tie, and a cumbersome. The one I want is on special, and I know you guys are a bit tight for cash, so is it okay?”
What’s really going on in Baller’s head?
I know you may think the answer to that question is “not much,” but you couldn’t be further from the truth.
Baller needs money. He has hit on all his “usuals” just to find that he still hadn’t paid them back for the last couple of loans. They were being really vicious about a few bucks. Unbelievable.
Further, there is a good chance that he is in love with the hottest babe in the world. She begged him so sweetly to get a tux that goes with her dress. She told him that blue would be the perfect complement to her pink prom gown. He decided to keep all this a secret from his buddies. He didn’t want them to be giving him the eye with prom so close. It was just too good.
Luckily, he found the perfect tux. It’s not quite blue, but close enough. It’s turquoise, and they only had one. Yes, a bit of Baller luck goes a long way! The tux rental guy confirmed it was a one-of-a kind choice, and he knew on the spot that it had to be the tux for him. It was Karman, or whatever. He put down the deposit already.
He has big plans for the tux. He has given it a lot of thought. He hopes his girl appreciates what he’s doing for her. First he’s switching out the frilly ‘faggot’ shirt and wearing his new white t-shirt because let’s face it, he’s buff and a tux with a t-shirt is like the perfect look for him. He’s seen this look on TV award shows and in magazines but he is sure none of his contemporaries have the guts he has to actually just do it!
Because of the special colour of the tux, he will finally get a chance to wear the white belt he bought in New York on spring break last year. The buckle itself was worth ten times what he paid for the belt. It’s freaking huge!
The Shoes? Forget it. The ones at the rental place were like cardboard boxes, and not only that—they didn’t even have a size fourteen for him! Anyway, his new basketball shoes are comfortable and shiny and make him a good one and a half inches taller. What can he say? Things are looking too good.
Screw the tie. Don’t need it with the t-shirt. He decided to keep it in his pocket to give to his girl. She will love him even more! How unique and romantic can you get? It’s a bow tie with an elastic, just like those flower things all the girls wear on their wrists, only difference is it won’t fall apart – she can keep it forever! LOL. He can hardly wait to see her expression when he puts it on her wrist. Chicks love that stuff and not only that, man! The color is turquoise, which is way nicer than blue. It’s in the bag baby— in the bag.
There’s more. Get this: His baseball cap is practically made to measure to go with the tux. It’s covered with turquoise and diamond rhinestones. Seriously, chill. He’s a genius. Math? Huh. Who needs it? BTW, what the hell is a cumbersome? Wat? Do they think he’s going to rob a bank or something?
He was positive that he and Pink were going to blow-out everyone in their path when they made their entry anywhere. With his great style and her amazing looks, they would def rule the night.
This guy can charm his own parents. They are more than happy to fork over the money for the tux. They are more proud than even he knows or realizes, as he is the very first one in the family to have the opportunity to graduate from high school and go to college. The math? Who needs advanced math anyway? He is a computer genius. A genius in the family! Who would have seen that coming? Baller is going to do so well in math at CEGEP. They have cleared a special pathway for kids just like him, kids that the teachers were biased against. Baller said it himself. It happens all the time to immigrant kids. Send that teacher to the old country and see how much he picks on the kids there! He calls himself Baller! Even though he told them, they forget what the word means now. What they do know is it means something very flattering to them as parents. What a kid. What a great kid!
explained? OMG! All he heard after all her explaining was ‘‘blue”? And even then, the colour he got so wrong, wrong, wrong. Oh, so very wrong! Grrrr. Sheesh!
He did look amazing, though, once he removed the jacket and sat that tight-panted ass down on the chair. Once he got tired of the hideous cap (ruined his vision to his buds’ table), things were getting a lot better. His tattoo was still fresh. Every eye was on him, and Pink had him (almost) to herself. Reminder (note to self): Always go with him when he buys clothes from now until the altar. Lol? Altar? Whatever possessed her to utter that word (even if it was in her own mind)?
Reality quickly took over as she glanced at her wrist with that tacky “surprise!” corsage. Baller had made such a fuss about it! She had no idea at this point how she could possibly lose the thing! All she knew is that she would, and that ridiculous cap would join it. She was giving the whole idea some very serious thought when she was brought back to the table with the distinct sound of ruckus coming from the back of the reception hall. It was none other than those hopeless friends of Baller.
Before she could figure out what was up, Baller bolted out of his chair. He gave her a sort of weird look. It was definitely directed at her because he stopped dead and turned to her for a moment, managing to catch her eye.
Baller couldn’t take his stuffy, boring table even one moment more! Not with his friends laughing and messing around and stuff. This was ridiculous! He wasn’t going to sit at this dead table that smelled like an Axe commercial and had enough gel to fill a cereal bowl. He made up his mind to leap to his feet, as dramatically as possible, and show these other guys how to wake up. Next thing he knew he was heading for the action, where his friends had already started to hoot and holler, anticipating his arrival. He remembered, as he was heading across the floor, to turn to Pink and throw out his extra-stupendous, sexy, smoldering look. Practicing in the mirror was totally key here. He saw her look of sheer acknowledgement and felt the wave of confidence wash over him as he slowed his stride and cooled his gait and greeted his audience.
Once Baller settled down, feeling completely satisfied that he and the guys had managed to pull off the prank on their math teacher. He’d taken care of the payola with the DJ—a nice joint—to play the two songs he secretly planned to dedicate to Pink. Then he would be prepared to devote the rest of his time and attention to her for the remainder of the night.
The kids were all taken by storm and fits of hilarity when the DJ, true to his “bribe,” announced the first dedication of the night: A special dedication from Baller (dude) to his lady (Pink). The DJ was having a blast.
In the same cosmic joke kind of way that seems to stick to Baller like glue, his request gathered a backlash and a stir simultaneously. The DJ, who was totally buzzing at this point, made sure that for his newest best friend, Baller, he caught the attention of the room in a grandiose announcement kind of broadcast. All ears in the place were his as he built up the dedication with expert ease. He then played what he truly believed to be the right dedication song…Lil Wayne’s Lollipop Remix, continuing the dedication from Baller to Pink on this very special night.
Teachers were not surprised at all at what they considered was typical Baller antics. The parents in the room were way less than impressed as a decided hush fell over half the room. Baller’s popularity, however, sky rocketed. Luckily, Pink understood and believed him right away that there was some sort of mix up. She had been teasing him at school, serenading him with the original Lollipop song, “My Boy Lollipop,” and they had even downloaded and sung it together.
Thankfully, Pink (blushing) was laughing just as hard as her classmates. For once Baller was enjoying her directly, rather than basking in the attention that surrounded him in one of his many “fifteen minutes of fame” life was to offer him. She had never looked more beautiful to him.
With rarely a dull moment, Baller served up the proof of his existence over and over again. Circumstances and events surfaced as if by his own design, but no one knew the truth and no one ever would.
This is a partial excerpt from my book – Prom Girls a North American Rite of Passage.
In the book I explore four distinct paths. One of the paths is the story of Baller and Pink and their escapades of the evening. It will be continued tomorrow IF I manage to get into the document again. My layout and copy editor along with myself cursed the document up – down – and sideways. It locked up three computers at a time with the sheer weight of the images. We thought it had a mind of its own! As I read back on what I wrote… I know it did.
Short Review:“Prom girls is not as light and fluffy as you might expect. I like the funny stories and the sad stories equally. One of the stories is written in the language of ‘texting’ as a young man describes his anxieties of asking out a girl.”
*IF you are interested in purchasing this book, please contact me directly as I have stock at home. $20.00 including postage. Thanks so much.