So Brian and I were invited to chaperone the Class of 2008's prom, which was being held at Universal Studios. The theme "Such Great Heights" was taken from the song written by The Postal Service/Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard. The Class of '08's cabinet, led by advisor Mike Sandoval, even created a website called "Ben Gibbard Please Play Our Prom" to try to get the singer's attention and, ultimately, his presence. Sadly, he either never caught wind of the plea or simply ignored the kids. In any event, it was a great prom at a really cool venue.

When Brian and I went to Friar Tux a few days before prom to choose our attire we noticed that James Espinoza and Bill Crockwell had already put in their orders. Brian talked to Bobby, the manager, and asked him to make James' left pant leg six inches too short and make Bill's right pant leg match. We figured it would be funny that when they encountered each other at the prom they would see a mirror image. A couple of days later Brian, not wanting to ruin the prom for the guys, called and cancelled the prank. He did not, as it turned out, hang up the phone with Bobby prankless.

Brian did me a favor (or so I thought) and picked up my tux for me on Thursday, which I received from him on Friday. As I was getting dressed on Saturday, 15 minutes before leaving for the prom, I was utterly confused: In place of the shirt and tie I found a piece of a shirt (which, I later learned, was what they put on the mannequins in the store) and an oversized velvet bow tie. Yes, velvet. I stared at this for a full two minutes trying to understand how the ensemble was supposed to work. It wasn't until Brian called me laughing that I understood what had happened. Yes, I am an idiot.

Once I was dressed Brian not only decided that I looked like an ice cream man, but he even provided me with props straight from his freezer.

Then it was time to unleash the beasts on an unsuspecting public.

As chaperones we had prime parking in the Frankenstein lot. Pardon the digression but as an English teacher I am compelled to point out (yes, this is one of my literary pet peeves) that it was the doctor/scientist who was named Frankenstein (Victor was his first name), not the poor creation that he abandoned. Thus, it would more apt to call it the Frankenstein Monster lot. Class dismissed.

We rolled up to Universal Studios a little before 6:30, just as the joint was closing and the crowds were streaming out. As the guy working gate security was talking to someone, Brian and I, conspicuous as all hell in tuxedoes, snuck behind him into the park.

Last one there has to be Wilma.

"Excuse me, is that a Dodger Dog in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

We cut in front of some Asian tourists and a German lady took a picture of us getting devoured.

The foreign tourists enjoyed our picture so much, we took another.

So Brian knew a way to get to the studio back lot. As we headed down the multitude of escalators that takes you down to Jurassic Park: The Ride, we were right behind this trio going in the opposite direction of the public exit. Since I was looking so official I called to them in my most official-like voice, "Hey, you guys can't go that way; the park is closed." The one with the mohawk turned around and replied, "We work here. We're just going out the back." Then, clearly due to our official-looking tuxedoes, he followed with, "Is there a special event going on down there?"

This is only part of what the escalators look like (I yoinked this pic from Google Images).

We finally get to the end of the escalators and follow those guys down a short alley to an exit clearly marked for employees only. Should we continue on? Does the Pope shit in the woods?

Are bears Catholic?

Not a soul to be seen.

After we had been walking a while Brian's feet were getting rubbed raw from the rented shoes, so he went down to his socks.

During the day Universal Studios runs tram tours through the back lot. But at 7:00 p.m. there was no one around.

It was like a Twilight Zone episode.

Brian got a shot of me on the collapsing bridge.


I called Mike Sandoval (who was in charge of the prom) and he requested that we check in within 20 minutes. There was no way this was going to happen because first, we had already been walking for at least a half hour; second, the trip back (in tuxes and Brian's raw feet) was up a steep hill; and third, we were actually kind of lost.... Yeah, so we were quite fortunate to see a couple of guys driving a golf cart in the distance. Brian flagged them down and it turned out to be the head engineer in charge of Universal Studios' animatronics, and his 13-year old son. After giving us a very suspicious going-over he offered to drive us back to the top... one at a time. He told his kid to wait for him and off he went with Brian. After walking around a very creepy back lot I wondered if the next time I saw Brian he would be hacked to pieces by this lunatic robot-builder. A couple minutes later the guy returned and whisked me up to my waiting friend. Rather than an hour walk, we were at the prom in less than 10 minutes.

Brian gamely allowed me to take this picture knowing I would talk about the similarity in appearance. But I won't do that.

Once we checked in with Mike we toured the courtyard, during which Brian became booty buddies with the T-800.

Then I grabbed what was mine from the Terminator and got the hell outta Dodge.

Had to make sure everything was intact.

Brian then rode bitch while Diana Bell showed who was in control.

Brian recreates the opening scene of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

A Westside sunset.

Awww yeah booyyy, it was time to hit the dessert table. Check the double fisting of cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies.

Then we shot some serious hoops. We each won a stuffed animal that we gave to Crockwell and Espinoza's dates. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

As you watch the following videos, let the record show that in the above picture the lone ball in the basket was mine.

I missed my first three shots.

Then Brian missed his first three shots.

Brian was keepin' his game tight like Kobe on game night.

A shot in front of the Globe Theatre.

Bill Crockwell and his snow bunny representin'.

We spent a good portion of the night jumping in the background of pictures. There are probably 100 pictures on various students' cameras with us doing this. Crockwell sent this one to Brian who forwarded it to me.

Every time I find another... will be posted here.

We love us some J-Dub (though Brian seems to love him just a bit more).

Stanford-bound Amy Harris, my co-editor-in-chief of Panther's Tale.

Mike Sandoval, the man of the hour, basking in the glow of a successful prom.

UC Irvine-bound Monica Luhar, my other co-editor-in-chief of Panther's Tale.

Marissa took time out of her rave schedule to grace us with her presence.

Panther's Tale in the house.

Rosemead High School in full effect.

After prom we headed to City Walk... catch a 12:30 a.m. showing of the psychological thriller Fracture, starring Anthony Hopkins.

3 a.m. and it's time to call it a night.