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What do nerds know about prom?

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By Ned Cantwell

Let me say this about Gary King. He is your basic good human being and is serving us well as New Mexico attorney general.No surprise. He is the son of a storied and legendary governor, Bruce King. Bruce and Alice are quite a team. Solid stock there.Here’s the thing, though. One guesses Gary is a top-level nerd. Look at the record. Grew up on the family ranch in Stanley. Attended New Mexico State University. Became an organic chemist. Boy Scout leader.That’s why I was surprised when Attorney General King issued “Prom Night Tips for Parents.” The suspicion here is that Gary spent prom night playing chess. I bet he doesn’t have a clue about what goes on at this so-called rite of passage. I, on the other hand, ended up in the school fountain fully clothed and therefore, I humbly suggest, am probably more qualified to issue prom night advice.Here are the actual prom night tips from Gary King followed (in parenthesis) by my personal advice to the hunk wannabe who plans to invite my beautiful 16-year-old granddaughter to the prom.• Make sure your teen has a plan for the evening and that you know it.(Oh, I know your plan, son. I was 16 once myself. Forget it.)• Work with the school to have food served during the prom.(Listen, young man, this isn’t Taco Bell night. This is a special girl. Take her to dinner at a place that uses tablecloths and has at least two forks at the place setting. While you’re at it, try to walk without that cocky slouch and get your hair combed properly. Oh, this, too. There’s only one person going to be wearing earrings on this date.)• Know all of the “hot spot” destinations, including online ones.(That’s not going to be necessary. You will be accompanied by a private detective. Make a note: Nana and I read all of our granddaughter’s e-mails, so don’t think you can get creatively frisky.)• Know who is driving. If it’s a limousine, check the company’s policy on allowing liquor in the vehicle.(First of all, goof ball, all you need is your spiffed up jalopy and enough class to open the car door for her. Forget the limo stuff. You’re not a rock star and this isn’t Carnegie Hall. Oh, by the way, if there are any limo drivers out there who are allowing the kids to drink, policy-schmolitzy. We’ll be calling on the attorney general to hang the driver’s limo license from a jail cell.)• Discuss school prom rules with your teen and the consequences for violating them.(Yeah, well, here are the rules: First, pick her up on time. Give the flower to Nana and let her pin it on the girl’s bodice, clumsy fingers. Treat this young lady with total respect throughout the evening, and get her home on time. You don’t even want to know the consequences for violation.)• Encourage seat belt use – the best accessory.(Here’s another accessory we have in mind for you. Hand cuffs. The only physical contact you’ll have with this young lady is on the dance floor, and if I can’t drive a Hummer between the two of you, you’re dancing too close.)• Do not rent hotel rooms for prom-goers.(Hotel rooms? HOTEL rooms? Granny get your gun.)• Stay up for the prom-goer’s return home.(Think you can outlast old grandpa, do you? Look in your rearview mirror, son. See those headlights that been tailing you all night? That’s Papa.)Ned Cantwell – ncantwell@beyondbb.com – is getting rested up for the big night.