"How much did that one cost?" I mutter to her mother.
Thanks, Quinn. It's a wonderful dress, to be sure. Beautiful. Sleek. Flattering. Why not just hang a pork chop around her neck, why don't you?
"OK, everybody over there against those trees," one of the moms is saying.
Oh good, we're going to tie them up. Perfect. Then we can load the kids on that bus of theirs and be sure they keep their hands to themselves. At least, let's tie up the boys. The girls I trust -- sort of. A few of them anyway.
"OK, everybody smile!" a mom orders.
Turns out we're not tying them up after all. Instead, this is the group photo of all the girls and their dates together. The big pre-prom photo that they'll post immediately on Facebook.
I look at the rest of the dads. The ones with daughters watch this whole event as if witnessing a mob hit. This year, the boys are finally taller than the girls, who are glamorous beyond glam. Too glamorous to be getting on a party bus with a bunch of twitchy boys from good families. What were we thinking? Shouldn't prom have a minimum age limit? Shouldn't it be, say, 25?
Hello, sheriff? I'd like to report a prom.
Chris Erskine can be reached at chris.erskine@latimes. com. For more columns, see latimes.com/erskine.