A highschool in Texas requires feminine college students to have promenade attire pre-approved by a faculty coach.
The Wall Road Journal
As I regarded out the window of my tiny, bare-bones workplace onto the mesquite-speckled shrub land that rolled away to distant mountains, I needed to ask myself–why the hell did I ever resolve to grow to be a highschool promenade gown coach?
The pay was awful, and the hours had been lengthy–however sporadic. Eleven months out of the 12 months I sit round submitting inserts in my Texas Excessive College Promenade Costume Coaches Handbook of Rules, attempting to maintain myself busy. Then come Might, abruptly I’m hit onerous, like a high-plains tornado got here down the halls of Tommy Nobis Consolidated Regional Excessive College after I wasn’t wanting. Each lady has received to be checked out proper now! About the one comfort I get out of the job is the look of happiness I see on the face of the gals–particularly the juniors–after I look down their bodices and inform them their gown passes muster. “The place’s muster?” one in all them requested me the opposite day, and I needed to chuckle. “It’s between Corsicana and Terrell,” I mentioned. “When you move it, take 45 North to Ennis, then 175 to Waxahachie.” I don’t assume she received the joke.
After which all of it got here again to me. It was my Poppa-Daddy, Jim Earl Clayton, thought-about the best Texas highschool promenade gown coach of all time, who impressed me. He led John David Crow Voke-Tech to 32 consecutive years with no promenade gown code violation. Sooner or later after I instructed him I wished to grow to be a physician or a lawyer he mentioned “Son, there ain’t some huge cash in bein’ a highschool promenade gown coach, however the satisfaction you get in ensuring each lady’s nipples are invisible to the bare eye till the promenade is over and he or she is safely ensconced within the again seat of her boyfriend’s Oldsmobile Rocket 88–nicely, that’s priceless.”
Poppa-Daddy was the person who got here up with two of probably the most widely-used requirements for Texas Excessive College Promenade Costume measurement; the “navel-latitude check” for backless attire, and the “areola-must-be-in-controlla” for low-cut robes. He was robust however truthful; if a gal may preserve her nippers hid beneath material for thirty seconds whereas singing both “The Yellow Rose of Texas” or “The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You,” he didn’t care whether or not they flopped out later when she was dancing to Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration.”
Nonetheless, the quantity of abuse I take for the work I do makes it onerous generally. Simply the opposite day Vera Lynn Schwenger’s mom Nae Ann got here stormin’ down the corridor to enchantment my resolution on an orange taffeta gown that was as tight as a Creamsicle wrapper.
“Ms. Schwenger, I’m sorry, however Vera Lynn regarded like an raw sausage in that outfit,” I mentioned. “And what occurs once you prepare dinner sausage on the grill . . .” I mentioned, my voice trailing off in self-censorship.
“I don’t know what you’re speaking about,” Nae Ann mentioned as she got here nearer, batting her paste-on eyelashes.
“She’s gonna sizzle–after which she’s gonna pop,” I mentioned, hoping she would “get the message” with out me having to “draw her an image.”
“God DAMMIT!” Nae Ann screamed, and I didn’t know whether or not to close my workplace door or go away it open. “How the hell is Vera Lynn going to appeal to an auto seller’s son if she don’t set some bait?”
I lifted my ball cap (“Jim Earl Clayton Jr. Promenade Queen All-Star Camp”) and scratched my head in an effort to look like I used to be thoughtfully contemplating her place. “You already know, Nae Ann, our main mission right here at Tommy Nobis Excessive is educating our kids, not making them appear like pole dancers on Bourbon Road. I imagine the kids are our future, and . . .”
“Don’t give me that high-minded mental crap,” she snapped. “I breathe a sigh of aid if Vera Lynn doesn’t have something worse than a C on her report card. Her probabilities of making it via faculty are slim and none, and Slim has left city.”
When she put it that manner, I needed to really feel somewhat sorry for her. Her daughter’s solely extracurricular exercise in three years of highschool was her “Preserve the Beehive Alive!” marketing campaign when the Waxahachie Superintendent of Colleges threatened to ban the coiffure for well being causes after studying a lurid account of a “do” that grew to become infested with chinch bugs as a consequence of extreme use of White Rain Hairspray.
“Effectively Nae Ann, I suppose we may make an exception if . . .”
“If she would add a devil-may-care, barely off-the-shoulder stole, to . . . um . . . conceal her most treasured property, I would relent.”
“You didn’t lend me something within the first place.”
“No, I imply ease up, lower her some slack. Right here–check out this catalog from ‘Your Evening to Shine by Helga.’ She provides a wide-ranging assortment of equipment–and take a look at saying that 5 instances quick.”
Nae Ann took the image e book from my hand and was like somewhat child with a Sears Roebuck Christmas catalog. “These are good–however is there sufficient time to order one and have it git right here by subsequent Saturday evening?” she requested.
I hesitated a bit earlier than I spoke. It wasn’t my job to get a lady in beneath the wire if her no-count mom uncared for to get her robe cleared early. “I let you know what,” I mentioned lastly.
“If it don’t get right here in time, Vera Lynn can drape my Houston Oilers autographed game-worn George Blanda jersey round her–it’ll drive any boy wild!”