Speaking of which, I almost failed my breathalyzer test. Not because I'd been drinking, but because I kept blowing incorrectly. The kind breathalyzer lady told me to blow into the funnel on the end of the air-horn shaped device just like I would if I was blowing out birthday candles. I blew. She was silent.
Oh my God, am I going to test positive for alcohol? Did the breath mint I just had somehow set off the trigger? I wasn't drinking, I swear it!
She peered at the air horn. "Blow harder," she said. I did.
She sighed. "Go on in."
After talking with several other breathalyzer virgins (who made up approximately 92% of my completely unbiased sample), I found comfort in the fact that I was not the only one who was seemingly incapable of blowing out birthday candles. One sophomore said that when she tried for the third time to get the device to register her breath, the administrator operating the breathalyzer snapped, "Moving your head around won't help anything. Look, blow on my hand."
But despite the indignities suffered, the procedure did seem to work the way it was intended to.
Two of Paly's assistant principals confirmed independently that there were no positive breathalyzer tests (although there was a rumor floating around the dance floor of at least one) and Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson maintained that the dance policy was much easier to enforce this year. "I've found that alcohol is a major contributor to raunchy dancing," he said, "and breathalyzers have really helped this year."
Assistant Principal Kim Diorio estimated over $3500 in ticket sales for a ticket count of 700, a figure substantiated by Principal Jacqueline McEvoy. According to Ms. Diorio, that number is about the same as last year.
Of course, this means that demand for tickets has actually fallen among, to quote a certain vice-presidential candidate, "real" Paly students, and it is only the extra 100 freshmen who have made up the difference.
But I don't begrudge the freshmen. They've provided us with a number of really
amusing amazing dancers. I caught up with one of them - actually, I yelled questions at him over the music and he tried to yell back but I missed most of what he said (like his name). His style of dancing is quite unique and really fun to watch; it's a combination of octopus arm movements and moonwalking. Apparently, this new genre was developed quite recently; the man with moves like an extraterrestrial mollusk didn't go to any dances at Jordan, although he did go to the first Paly dance.
And so ended the 2008-09 Paly Homecoming Dance. Congratulations to Homecoming Queen and Senior Spirit Commissioner Lucy McComas, and to her male counterpart, whose name I did not catch.
Has the administration hit on the right balance between control and freedom, inconvenience and safety? Only you can say, but what I can say is, live from Palo Alto, that was Saturday night.