Sunday, April 26, 2015

The non-BBC Proms

Non-collegiate Numbah One Son news:

We are in that phase of his last year at school where all the...stuff...related to the activities of the "Graduating Students" is going on. Banquets, presentations, etc., etc.

With each, there is usually a letter sent home. This letter explains the details of that specific event. Attire, dates for sending in deposits (if any), contact persons and, where applicable, the rules and regulations governing the event.

One such event is his Sr. Prom, and the letter arrived a few days ago. Given the nature of the event, the letter was (not unexpectedly) somewhat longer than usual, owing to the rules-and-regulations portion which was of an ample and generous size.
In the process of getting all of the details of this event squared away, I sat down with Joey to make sure that all deadlines were met, that he was not out of compliance with any unforeseen rule. That sort of thing.

It was then I ran into what our boy described as "the Falcon rule."

One of the things I have always noted is that EVERY rule that at first blush makes no sense is there because someone with an exceptional mind took advantage of the maxim: "Nulla pœna sine lege." (Literally, "No penalty without a law (against it)." but more succinctly "It didn't say you couldn't.")

For example, when I was at school, in my second year, the student handbook stated that one had to wear "lace-up leather shoes" and then listed all of the UNacceptable forms of footwear: sneakers, deck shoes, etc. But then, in my THIRD year, that Forbidden Footwear list was amended to include -- and I am SO not kidding -- "bowling shoes."

Why?

Because some free-spirited bright lad had decided to wear such shoes the previous year and, when hauled before the Authorities to be arraigned on charges of Forbidden Footwearness, took the stand on his own behalf and noted that, wholly independent of the spirit of the law (a subjective thing, he surely argued), in the LETTER of the law, there was no expressly worded injunction against wearing bowling shoes and, as the Jesuits were fond of saying "That which is not expressly prohibited, is implicitly allowed."

Thus was born the Bowling Shoe Rule, which has been enshrined in the school's Student Handbook, even to the present day.

Anyway.

It turns out that last year, a certain young Mr. Falcon (then a teammate of our lad) saw fit to take for the evening, as his date to the Prom, a young lady some six (!) years his senior*. While her (and their) conduct before, during and after the event was entirely acceptable -- unimpeachable, even -- and her background was also unblemished -- save for her being in her first year of some master's program -- the matter drew the sharp and frank disapproval of several of the mothers chaperoning the event.

(Historians have not recorded what, if anything, chaperoning fathers, if any, may had had to say. Possibly an instance of suppression of dissent, although that would be mere conjecture.)

The objectors made their grievances with the obvious gap in regulatory coverage known to the Authorities and having prevailed upon them, we have now, enshrined in the letter to the parents of graduating students, The Falcon Rule.

Not that we were in the remotest danger of landing afoul** of it.

* That she was considered to be, and I quote verbatim, "rocket hot" is not, I explained to him whom I had offsprung, a relevant consideration for the Authorities in the formulation of policy and, possibly, may have added momentum for the decision.

** If a certain young man doesn't, er, "show some initiative, and SOON" we won't have to worry about landing afoul of even the most minuscule of rules.

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