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Prom Queen speaks

Andy Stone

Thank God this hellish election is finally over.

Sure, I hated the way it turned out ” on a national level, anyway. And, sure, I think the future for this nation ” and the world ” looks mighty grim.

So, OK, fine, we’re all doomed.

But, the election’s over … and I learned something!

I learned what a Prom Queen feels like.

Now, obviously I have never been a Prom Queen. And, by the way, that’s not just a gender issue. I have never been a Prom King, either.

Nonetheless, this week, because of this damned election, I learned how a Prom Queen feels when she is deluged by phone calls from nerds like me, begging her for a date.

It happened Monday night. I was at home, doing a few glamorous Aspen-type chores ” you know, washing dishes, taking out the trash, filling the dog’s water dish, scraping up the cat’s hairballs ” and the phone kept ringing.

Every time I turned around, the phone rang. And every time, it was someone I didn’t want to talk to, asking me out on a “date.”

Sure, they weren’t really asking me out on a date. But, just like the calls a real Prom Queen handles, my callers were all after just one thing, no matter what they said.

They wanted my vote.

I got calls from the Right To Lifers, from the Republicans, from the Democrats, from people named Bush, from Robert Redford … OK, that’s where my Prom Queen analogy runs off the tracks.

Redford is ” for my generation, anyway ” pretty much the ultimate Prom King. His call is the one that any true Prom Queen would have been waiting for.

But that didn’t matter to me. Actually, if I can stretch this scenario a little further, I’d have to say Prom King Bobby Redford had already had his way with me. I’d already cast my vote for the issue he was backing.

So I hung up on him, just the way I did with all the others. And I confess it gave me a certain little tickle of pleasure ” and a little bit of extra insight into why Prom Queens act the way they do.

Why do they say “No”? Why do they break hearts? Why do they do it with a smile?

Because it’s fun … that’s why!

I hung up on Robert Redford!

Cool!

Plus, I got another insight. It was the opposite of a Prom Queen insight. I guess it was more of a Bar Girl insight.

I was insulted that all these people thought I would fall for their cheap, insincere line. I mean, they were trying to get into my electoral pants with a recorded message!

How easy do they think I am?

I was reminded of a friend of mine (really, this is about a friend … not me) who was notorious in Aspen a couple of decades ago.

He was famous for working his way down a bar, some time between midnight and last call, asking every unaccompanied woman whom he knew even slightly, “Hey, you wanna go home with me?”

He’d deliver the line pretty much just like that. No pretense. No sweet talk. He sidle over, lower his voice and pop the question.

One night, I was standing at a local bar with a woman (just friends … really), watching this guy go through his act.

My lady friend laughed and said he’d tried it on her several times. She said she’d felt like telling him, “You know, I might have considered it … if I hadn’t just heard you ask the woman sitting next to me. And the woman sitting next to her.”

And now I know how she felt, as I picked up the phone and heard a recorded voice, “This is Laura Bush and …”

Just how cheap does she think I am?

Thank God this election is over.

Andy Stone is former editor of The Aspen Times. His e-mail address is andy@aspentimes.com


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