It’s amazing, isn’t it? It boggles the mind that even today, in this so-called age of enlightenment, we still expect our teenaged offspring to participate in that Medieval custom known as the prom.     
     At my small-town high school, it was preordained – from birth or quite possibly even before then – that Mr. Super-jock/Homecoming King would take Miss Head Cheerleader/Homecoming Queen to the prom. The rest of the student body fell into a hierarchy that descended from Nobility to Squires to Serfs. My social standing could have best been described as a Serf’s serf.     
     A raging torrent of Machiavellian maneuvering gushed through the school’s hallways as assorted courtiers jockeyed for prom partners. A typical conversation between a set of my female classmates might go as such:     
     “Forsooth. It hath reached mine ears that Lord Bradley of Pitt hath expressed his earnest desire to Lady Angelina of Jolie that she accompany his Lordship to the Grand Promenade. Yet Lady Angelina hath delayed her answer lest Matthew, Duke of Damon shall petition her likewise.”     
     “Aye, but yestermorn, mine own eyes witnessed the Duke palavering with the Lady Jennifer of Aniston,” came the reply. “Doth this be an omen that Lady Jennifer be of a mind to abandon the affections of George, Earl of Clooney?”     
     “‘Tis difficult to divine the portent of Lady Jennifer’s dalliances. But recollect thou how the Earl once upon a time was possessed of a particular endearment for the Lady Sandra of Bullock? Perchance that bygone flame hath been rekindled.”    
     “What thou speakest might be true. We shouldst go forthwith and inform dear Lady Angelina of these augural developments.”     
     “Indubitably. Performing such a deed shall be nothing less than our duty and the most compassionate of courtesies.”     
     None of this intrigue involved me, personally, since I dwelt among the sub-serfs. But that didn’t keep me from stirring things a bit as those above me jostled for position.
     For instance, I might casually say, “Salutations and good morn, Lord Pitt. ‘Tis my sorrowful duty to recount to your Lordship that I hath espied Lady Jolie holding forth in an intimate manner with Jonathan, Viscount of Depp by the bleachers yester eve following the track meet.”     
     “Alas. Doth thou convey this intelligence to me in truthfulness? Methinks it shall behoove me to advance posthaste and make inquiries of Lady Jolie’s intentions. Bless thou, lowly yeoman. Your actions bespeak of a noble character despite your humble station.”
       The day of the prom grew near and I still had no date. I swiftly narrowed my limited options down to one: Inga Fieldstone, the daughter of a neighboring dairy farmer.     
     Inga was a tomboy in every respect. She wore loose-fitting farm clothes, walked like a guy, talked like a guy and could even spit farther than most guys. She could pitchfork more calf manure than a skidloader, and it was rumored that she had broken a burly trucker’s wrist during an arm wrestling match.    
     Imagine my surprise, then, when I went to Inga’s farmhouse on the evening of the prom and was met at the door by a handsome young lady.     
     Inga was wearing a stunning blue evening gown that flowed out behind her like the wake of a sailboat. Her dishwater blond hair, which normally hung in shapeless clumps, was swirled about her head in elegant fashion. And there was something different about her face. Ohmigosh. Inga was wearing makeup.
     I was speechless.     
     “My dear Lady Fieldstone,” I said once I found my tongue. “I have borne unto thee these flowers which I would be fain to pin upon thy bodice. But thou art become such a vision. I am afear’d that these pitiful blossoms are but weeds compared to thy loveliness.”     
     “Thou rapscallion,” Inga said, blushing. “Tease me not. Wouldst that such flattery be reserved for those worthy of it.”     
     “Nay, fair maiden; I mock only those whom have mocked thee. Verily, even the stars up in the heavens shall be jealous of thy radiant countenance.”     
     Inga’s father, who had been standing nearby and listening to us, shook his head.
    “I don’t understand kids these days,” he said. “What’s your prom’s theme? ‘Return to Camelot?’”     
     “Baron Fieldstone, thy clairvoyance simply astounds,” I said. “What sorcery didst thou employ to divine the thesis of this evening’s Grand Promenade?”     
     “I dunno. Just a lucky guess.”
    Jerry is a recovering dairy farmer from Volga, S.D. He and his wife, Julie, have two grown sons and live on the farm where Jerry’s great-grandfather homesteaded over 110 years ago. Jerry currently works full time for the Dairy Star as a staff writer/ad salesman. Feel free to E-mail him at: jerry.n@dairystar.com.