So I was telling y’all about my high school prom. The dancing and the ‘gambling’ went on until 2 AM, and we smoked the second joint before that. Now weed (as the stoners in school used to call it) does have one further effect on me: I get hit by the munchies pretty hard. I don’t know how I managed not to get them after the first joint, but, when it was time to go upstairs for our ‘after prom’, I was fuckin starving. And I wasn’t the only one of our group who was. It was Sunny who said she absolutely had to have a Moon Pie before we did anything else, so we sent for the limo and headed to the nearest 7 Eleven.
The drive wasn’t too far, and that’s when the big adventure of the night started.
When we got to the 7 Eleven, it was being held up.
Ok, so you gotta imagine this: 7 Eleven in Knoxville at 2:30 in the morning with one dude holding up the place that was otherwise empty. Enter three 18 year old boys with a little bit of THC in their systems, all dressed up to look like 007 on their way back from a prom which had a James Bond theme. Did that lead me, Gardner and Turner into thinking that we were James Bond?
So we stopped the holdup.
We could see the holdup dude through the window, and he was holding a gun on the guy behind the register, who was the only person in the store. We probably should have gotten into the limo and headed to the next nearest 7 Eleven, but instead we decided to be three teenage 007s. We snuck into the store as quietly as we could (we totally forgot that 7 Elevens usually have buzzers or chimes that go off when someone comes in the door; lucky for us the one at this store was broken that night) and then got up behind the hold up dude, who obviously wasn’t too smart or he’d have noticed what was going on. Once we were close enough, me and Turner got one of his arms each and Gardner got him in a headlock.
I was the one who got the gun arm (I still remember the guy was left handed), and I was sensible enough to have had that scare the shit outta me. It’s not that I wasn’t used to guns, but it’s one thing to have a gun and another thing to have a dude by the arm while he’s got one. I was able to get the gun away from him, however…which is when I found out that the safety was still on. Later on, I found out that it wasn’t loaded, either. But still…
The three of us managed to hold onto the guy until the cops came, which wasn’t too long. As it turned out, the dude behind the counter was more surprised at us than he was at the holdup. Once the cops came, he told them that he’d been held up a couple of times already and he knew exactly what to do: let the holdup man have the money in the register. Nobody expected a 7 Eleven clerk to risk his life in the line of duty. The last thing he thought would happen was for a bunch of teenagers in tuxedos to come and ‘rescue’ him.
The cops couldn’t decide if we were heroes or idiots. I reckon we were some combination of both. They took our statements and told us never to get involved with someone who had a gun again, but it was a little too late to go back and change history at that point. We didn’t get medals or anything, but we did get all the food we could eat since – this is weird – we went back to being starving as soon as all the excitement had died down. At the time we all thought it was the munchies…but, looking back on it, the last real food we had to eat was at dinner and that was at 7 PM and by this point it was past 3 AM. The guy behind the counter gave us hot dogs (we boys – or men, as we felt ourselves to be after our heroic 007 x 3 adventure – had three each) and all the Moon Pies and RC we could carry back to the limo with us.
We did get written up in the newspapers though, both in Knoxville and in Maryville. The Star Sentinel only gave us a quick item in their ‘police blotter’ section, but the Daily Times gave us a whole article: ‘Prom King Stops Holdup Man at Convenience Store’ was the headline…and there was a picture of the three musketeers, with me looking like a total dorkasaurus with my prom king crown on. (The photographer had insisted on it.)
Like I said: it was hard to tell if we were heroes or idiots.
So then we headed back to the hotel where a junior suite was waiting for us. I didn’t know that it was called a junior suite, that’s something I’ve learned since I went into the hotel business. But it was a room with a couch and enough chairs for us to have our RCs and Moon Pies in comfort…and, yeah, do some of what teenage boys and girls do. None of us did too much…there were 6 of us there, remember…but, yeah, well…y’all can figure that part of the evening out. There was another joint (the one disappointment of my prom night was that I didn’t get a single beer to drink), and that really did make us all sleepy after all the excitement. So we finally all passed out for a while and then headed downstairs to the limo, which took us first to the Waffle House in Maryville (our bow ties were undone and the girls had changed out of their high heels by that point lol) and then dropped each of us at home.
Long night for a prom king.
Mom and Dad and Melanie Kate were all up and waiting for me by the time I got in the door, and all wanted to hear about prom. I’d texted Melanie Kate that I made prom king, so they knew about that, but they didn’t know about the 007 Eleven part of the evening. Dad told me that we had the right impulse but the wrong execution. In other words, yeah, we were heroes kinda…but we were bigger idiots. Ok, so maybe y’all can tell by how I’m writing this that I think we were at least as much heroes as idiots and that I’m still kinda proud of myself and my fellow musketeers.
It certainly was a night to remember, that’s for sure.