16-year-old school leaver Darren Morgan has insisted that being dropped off by his dad at his high school prom night in a 2003 Vauxhall Vectra was an ironic post-modern protest against today’s trend for conspicuous consumption, and not due to the fact that Mr. Morgan snr. had been laid off several months ago and couldn’t afford to hire a stretch limo.
‘Am I the only one here who has not fallen victim to American consumerism?’ Morgan asked his fellow pupils during the award ceremony at the Caniston St. Xerxes High School prom, where he was awarded the ‘Pupil Most Likely to End Up on Benefits’ award. ‘You and your elongated Ferraris, Rollers and Caddies are simply fuelling an unsustainable fashion for glitz and glamour – don’t you see how transient it all is? By having my dad drop me off proves that I’m the only genuine person here. The fact that we ran out of petrol and I had to push for the last hundred metres only makes my statement all the more real.’
He also lambasted his peers for their slavish adherence to fashion, claiming that his £15.99 Primark suit was, in moral terms, worth far more than the assembled collection of tuxedos and evening dresses. ‘Yes, you stuffed penguins and wedding cake princesses may well laugh, but in your mocking ignorance you’ve forgotten that I look down upon you from the moral high ground that this slightly itchy polyester gives me. Our forefathers never had proms you know, and all my brother got was a trip to the West Midlands Safari Park before he signed on.’
Morgan went on to answer claims that, by arriving without a date, he was, in the terms of one fellow pupil, a ‘saddo poofter’. ‘My sexuality is a private matter and no concern of yours,’ he said. ‘However, for the record let it be known that I’ve had loads of girls – though usually while I’ve been on holiday, so you won’t know any of them. I’d also like to point out that I did in fact have a date for this evening: Mandy Thomson from 5B – you know, her with the lazy eye, wears orthopaedic shoes. But sadly when I went to pick her up this evening her cat suddenly developed a case of peritonitis and had to be rushed to the vets. My thoughts are with her.’
The crowning of the prom king and queen gave Morgan’s contemporaries a chance to answer his charges, with rugby captain Lucas Jackson refuting the allegations as he donned his sash. ‘I must concur that, on one level, the prom night is indeed an excuse to show off a little; but doesn’t Darren realise that dressing up like this represents our first step into the wider world? It signifies that we’re not school children any more, but mature and responsible adults, and as such we must bear Darren’s insults with humility – no matter how often he tries to look down our girlfriends’ cleavages. That said, I am so going to flush his head down the bog next time I see him at sixth form.’