Last week, Rancho Bernardo High School vice principal Rita Wilson went to a school dance. Her mission: to hunt down girls wearing thong underwear and stop 'em at the door. Apparently, Wilson believed that some girls at the suburban San Diego school had conspired to lift their skirts as they danced and show their behinds. According to published reports, Rancho Bernardo girls had pulled such stunts in the past. Well, Wilson wasn't going to have any more of it. She set up an inspection station and did some preemptive skirt-lifting. "They just lifted the skirt over my head," said 11th-grader Stephanie Olson. "I didn't know what was going on."
Onlookers caught on to the thong checkpoint quickly enough. Wilson was set up just outside the school gym, in full view of male and female students, teachers and police officers. "It was a big peep show," said Kim Teal, mother of a 15-year-old girl who wasn't checked. "Everyone saw everything."
It gets weirder. Some girls had to semi-strip right there at the checkpoint to prove they were wearing bras. Some boys, dressed in togas, had to lift their drapes to prove that they had on underpants. Parents complained that Wilson showed more butts and breasts in one sitting than had ever been shown in the history of the high school.
So, don't you know, Wilson's on leave now, and the Rancho Bernardo parents are talking about bringing a lawsuit.
When I heard about this, my first thought was that my daddy, Jabo Jowers, would not have brought a lawsuit. He would've brought a Buford Pusser-style stick to the school, and he would've persuaded the teachers to stop lifting girls' skirts. Sure, he would've gotten arrested, but the dance would've gone on without incident. Problem is Jabo was a throwback even in his day, and his day ended in the summer of 1971.
Left over from those days are some teachers and school administrators who are half control freak, half sadist, and all petty tyrant. When I was in high school, teachers roamed the halls measuring girls' skirts. If a girl had more than six inches between her hem and her kneecap, she had to go home and change. A few years back, a Williamson County teacher pulled a boy out of his graduation ceremony because he was wearing brown shoes instead of black. Now, here comes Rita Wilson -- a thin-lipped, severe-faced woman with Kevlar hair -- stripping girls at the gym door to make sure they're not wearing revealing underwear. What we need is an inspection station to stop nutty educators before they get out of teacher school.
Understand, I'm not saying nobody should be checking underwear. I'm just saying it's not a job for schoolteachers, and the door of the high school gym isn't the place to do it. Parents ought to be checking kids' clothing. Nothing intrusive, you understand -- just a spot-check now and then to make sure your kid's not going out the door dressed like a strip-club pole dancer.
Here's what I want to know: Why would a high school girl want to flash her bottom at a dance anyway? To attract boys? To be sexy? If that's it, I guess I need to explain something. You high school girls, listen to me: The teenage boys are already attracted to you. They think about you in inappropriate ways, day and night. They're thinking naughty things about you right now. They're spinning up elaborate fantasies. You don't really want to know the details, but they involve situations, methods, and manipulations that would make porn stars blush. I don't care if you're short or tall, big or small, sweet or mean, dirty or clean. It doesn't matter what you wear. No teenage boy will reject you, at least not right away. Men and boys alike lusted for Kelly McGillis in the movie Witness, and she was a chubby girl wearing Amish clothes.
If I try really hard, I can remember the days before pantyhose, when girls wore girdles to hold up their stockings. If girdles couldn't stop teenage lust, nothing will. When it comes to teenage boys -- and, hell, men up to about age 80 -- you don't really need to do anything to stir 'em up. In fact, I advise against it.
Now, if you're going around flashing your behind to impress other girls, to show some girl that your behind is finer than her behind, that's just weird. Unless you happen to dig chicks yourself, you shouldn't care what another girl's behind looks like. It's not a competition. As far as the boys are concerned, all the behinds are winners.
Finally, there's this: Not all of you girls need to assume the role of hot babe. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that a whole lot of us men don't like hot women nearly as much as we like nice, warm ones. We prefer Mary Ann over Ginger, the Walton girls over the Baywatch babes. When it comes to looking at women in their underwear, we prefer Hanes over Victoria's Secret. And when it comes time to choose a woman, we don't even consider the ones who show us their butt cheeks in the first five minutes.