Brigham Young University’s annual homecoming festivities were held a few weeks ago, and I am happy to report that I attended one of the numerous dances with a lovely young woman named Michelle, and, furthermore, that we had a swell time, and, furthermore, that I no longer have any money with which to pay for such incidental college-related costs as tuition.
I didn’t have any money to begin with, and I wasn’t planning on going to homecoming at all, let alone with a date, so naturally, I got one and went anyway. This is the same type of self-destructive tendency that made me take 19 credits my first semester and live on-campus.
Michelle and I doubled with my friend Braden and his date Cheryl. Braden and I told our dates that we would pick them up promptly at 6:00, but Braden and I were ready long before that. This makes sense, since girls have to do things with their hair other than washing it, and put on make-up, and do all kinds of mysterious things with “cotton balls” and “curling irons” and other instruments that are completely foreign to guys, whereas guys just have to take a shower, put on their clothes, and dump a bottle of cologne over their heads like it was champagne and they’d just won the World Series.
So Braden and I decided we should saunter over to our dates’ dorm fifteen minutes early, not expecting them to be ready. But guess what. They were ready. Fifteen minutes early. I thought surely this meant that they had forgotten some key element in their preparation, e.g. putting on their dresses, but sure enough, they were completely ready and completely beautiful.
We ate at an Irish-style restaurant called Mullboon’s, in Salt Lake City. There are several Mullboon’ses in Salt Lake City, and if they all charge the same prices for their food, Mr. Mullboon by now must be wealthy enough to buy Ireland. Braden and I had been recommended to the restaurant by someone who told us very nice things about it, but that person had failed to mention certain other not-so-nice things about it, such as that eating there was going to cost the same as a semester’s tuition at Oxford. The “chicken cordon bleu” (French, meaning “chicken with blue corduroys”), for example, cost $18. That’s what we all had, and that was about the cheapest thing on the menu. It came with a salad and a baked potato, but I thought that at that price, it ought to have come with a pair of pants.
The bill for all four of us came to a figure I won’t mention, except to say that between us, Braden and I had a dollar more than it. This meant that we couldn’t leave much of a tip, and we also had to live with the horrible notion that if one of the girls had ordered a drink instead of just water, which of course was free, we would probably still be there, washing dishes.
And there you have it. My last Lake Elsinore News "On the Light Side" column. This was published in what wound up being the paper's last issue. The reason for its demise was never made entirely clear to me; I assume it was a financial issue. Despite all efforts, the paper was never able to compete with the long-established Lake Elsinore Sun-Tribune, which was the other locally produced weekly paper.
As far as I can determine, I had not yet written any further columns for the News, so there were no "lost" columns that didn't get published.
Unfortunately, this, my final column, was merely a recycling of one I'd written for the Daily Herald (column #4, by the way). Too bad I didn't write a nice brand-new one for my swan song. Oh well. It's too late now, isn't it?