Weller and Langstaff Present: The Pompous Proposal for a Plausible Perfect Prom Party for Poverty Prone Poor People Preventing the Profound Payment of 947 Pesos

947 Pesos is roughly 53 dollars.


2:12 AM: Ethan and Darren are in the midst of a great journey, to conquer sleep, to search the ends of Arroyo Grande, and to have an absolute blast creating quite the story to tell. Buckle up, there’s a helluva ride ahead.

Darren Langstaff and Ethan Weller embarked on a journey Saturday, April 22, 2023, the night of Arroyo Grande High School’s Prom to find an answer to their burning question, is there a better alternative to Prom? The two decided 53 dollars, the price of a Prom ticket (plus credit card tax), was a hefty price to pay for a social event with little to provide for them in particular. So, with 53 dollars in their pockets and a goal of staying up for a total of 24 hours, the two friends explored numerous different activities seeking to find one that could be considered a proper alternative to Prom. From the local parks surrounding the Arroyo Grande area to Grover and Pismo Beach, Langstaff and Weller discovered the limits of Prom substitutes.

12:53 AM: Ethan is so much faster than Darren on a bike, in case anyone was wondering. This is the first image Darren took at the beginning of the prom-venture. This is his vehicle, supposedly a Schwinn black phantom, with a basket that was vital to the prom-venture’s success, with the two able to bring many things from place to place while also traveling at a bike’s pace. Though, this bike is old, heavy, and clunky which led to the speed of travel being quite reduced.


12:57 AM: Ethan totally saw a gigantic possum on his way to meet Darren and he 100% thought it was a cat for like, 5 seconds. This is the first image Ethan took at the beginning of the prom-venture. This is West Grande Avenue, a street that almost always has at least one car driving across it. However, at 12:57 in the morning, the streets were laid bare leaving Ethan quite amazed. Ethan travels this road daily, and seeing it in such a state was a bizarre way to start a day.


1:08 AM: Darren also claims to have seen the possum. This is the first image the fateful duo took together on their journey. As time marches forward, these tired faces grow further into exhaustion.


1:09 AM: It is unclear whose idea it was to look like cryptids haunting a children’s playground but either way, success. The duo spent the beginning of their second hour at Kingo Park in Arroyo Grande. Although fun, the trip would not be concluded here. Clearly, some other park would have to be the victor of the challenge to find an activity greater than that of prom…


1:09 AM: Darren had an unfair advantage in looking like a horror creature because he was taken under the lens of Ethan’s ancient android phone which is notorious for fuzzy photos. Ethan has claimed the noble title of King of Kingo Park, establishing his dominance upon the heights of his playground throne.


1:19 AM: Ethan is a professional (probably), do not attempt. Ethan climbs a giant pole. Again, fun, but not quite what the two were looking for. Although Ethan could see a lot from all the way up there, the two would need to continue looking elsewhere.


1:24 AM: Darren stood no chance against Ethan’s speed. In fact, Darren almost vomited merely from trying to keep up with Ethan’s incredible pace. Ethan and Darren played the well-beloved game of tag at the Ikeda Field. This image features Darren’s POV of discovering the stalking Ethan with his flashlight, which is Ethan’s flashlight, that he was borrowing.


1:46 AM: Ain’t no team-bonding exercise greater than the double swing thing. The duo swing on duo-swingsets is solidifying their duo-ness. This particular duo swingset is at the Arroyo Grande Dog Park.


1:46 AM: Why does Ethan have to be in the baby one? Disclaimer: No swingsets were hurt in the making of this newspaper article. The duo must conquer all duo swingsets, including the baby seat ones.


1:50 AM: Seriously, what is this thing for? The Arroyo Grande Dog Park has a lot to offer, including whatever this is. It is essentially a fact that Ethan has no idea what he is doing on this particular attraction but he is having fun.


1:56 AM: Can’t get tire-d of this tire swing. Hehe. Haha. Funny. It is not every day that one can experience being fully vertically upside down. Ethan is one of the lucky few… for about 2 seconds.


1:57 AM: Ethan is no longer vertical.


2:08 AM: Ethan is not the most photogenic individual to walk the earth. The dream team spends the beginning of the third hour continuing their journey to find the greatest park in Arroyo Grande. Although the Arroyo Grande Dog Park had a lot to offer, it did not quite suffice, not yet.


2:16 AM: Nevermind, Ethan is the most photogenic person on the earth. 16th Street Park is a newly remodeled large park with tall tube slides, perfect for creating hard images like this one.


2:20 AM: “That is a great picture” – Darren Langstaff. Ethan thoroughly enjoys this spinning attraction at 16th Street Park. Even a rudimentary version such as this creates a force that digs the rider back in their seat. Extremely fun, definitely recommend it.


2:23 AM: “This is an even better picture” – Ethan Weller. This action shot beautifully portrays the zooming capabilities of this ride. It is worth noting Darren also was spun on this ride, but none can zoom like Ethan. Looking closely, it can be seen that Ethan is attempting to escape the force of this wild ride, failing to do so and continuing the infinite spin.


2:56 AM: There was a frog hangin’ out with us, we could not capture him. Illusive fellow. Approaching the beginning of 3 AM, Darren and Ethan come to the Ramona Garden Park where Ethan is left stranded upon a rock, unsure of what to do next.


3:03 AM: This is the face of a man with no regrets. The decision for the next activity was to run through the sprinklers, resulting in the image here. Turns out, sprinklers are quite powerful and will in fact get you wet.


3:07 AM: This is the hardest image known to mankind. This image features Darren at 3 AM listening to the iconic song, LONG SEASON. Furthermore, he is soaked by the sprinkler system that he too, ventured into. Throughout the journey, the duo listened to LONG SEASON precisely 10 times, totaling 382 minutes or 6.37 hours. (Well, technically LONG SEASON was played on another device later in the journey, adding extra LONG SEASON playtime to the total, but that LONG SEASON time is untrackable and will therefore be lost the flow of time.)


5:45 AM: Contentment. For the next task, our adventures biked to Paulding Middle School for a spectacular view of the sunrise to come.


5:50 AM: Monkey beanie. The two planned to camp out until the eventual sunrise, bringing snacks such as Doritos, Meat stick things, trail mix (an iconic Darren and Ethan snack), and more. To pass the time, Darren took several silly panoramic pictures of Ethan.


6:32 AM: Nothing is more beautiful than a bunch of buses. The sunrise is cool too, or whatever. As the sun rose, Darren and Ethan played a back-and-forth game of Would You Rather, focused on different superpowers. The last set of superpowers came from Darren and the question was whether to have the ability to throw the sun at someone or the moon. This was the dumbest question of them all. However, the sun is clearly the correct answer.


8:43 AM: That cat was a brat. Ethan was not successful in catching a cat, which was one of the theorized ideas that could be a better alternative to prom because after all, it is free… monetarily. Psychologically though, is a different question.


9:37 AM: Sorry the kitchen is a mess, it is usually exactly like this. One of the bonus activities the dream team completed was learning a new skill. More accurately, Darren learned a new skill: cooking. Ethan, throughout the journey, would teach Darren to cook pancakes, eggs, and lasagna.


9:59 AM: Gamer meal. Darren made Ethan breakfast, and Ethan made Darren breakfast. This image features Darren presenting Ethan’s meal to him. This simple meal of a fried egg and several mini-pancakes is a humble meal, to be sure.


10:00 AM: Swag meal. Ethan prepared a fanciful meal for Darren including chopped apple slices, two French toast slices with caramel bananas on top, and a side of scrambled eggs. Ethan’s ravenous nature led him to steal back the meal he had prepared halfway through Darren’s consumption but otherwise, everything went swimmingly. Turns out, one cannot outcook the orange chef in his home turf.


12:22 PM: The last line of defense against the monster held within Darren’s walls, Cloe the Destroyer. Fort Simon is the construction of a fort that was on the to-do list. It consisted of what Ethan would eventually use as his bed once the 24-hour prom window finally came to a close.


12:22 PM: Simon is a freak man, never meet your heroes. Simon, Darren’s cat, much appreciated his fort. In fact, after the 24-hour period, Simon returned to the reconstructed Fort Simon of his own accord.


12:50 PM: Hippies. Tie-dye was a must on the agenda. Darren constructed a spacelike theme tie-dye shirt using blacks, purples, and reds, while the king of orange opted to use only the finest colors the kit had to offer (purely orange). The two also dyed a quilt for Ethan’s mother which received high praise once it was delivered after the events of the prom-venture.


1:36 PM: Fun fact: Ethan is so good at board games that Monopoly is banned in his household. After much physical undertaking biking across Arroyo Grande Ethan sat Darren down to play a quick game of Catan. The board game is a popular civilization builder with the main mechanic involving rolling dice to gain resources. Ethan won in a 10-2 victory.


2:06 PM: There is also a meatstick, because who doesn’t love a meatstick? Adventure requires new experiences such as tie-dying shirts, playing board games for the first time, and especially trying new foods. The two both had never tried the new chewy Jolly Rancher candy nor Warhead Otter Pops. The verdict was quite positive for both the junk foods, however, the Otter Pops could have afforded to be a little sourer.


2:12 PM: Living it up. In a brief moment of defeat, the two thought that perhaps nothing would be superior to prom. However, that sparked an idea in Ethan’s mind: What about doing nothing? The two spent 10 minutes in complete silence and inactivity to put it to the test. Quite relaxing.


2:39 PM: Ethan is now officially one of “those” people. During the shopping trip, an infamous white monster was purchased. Darren had refused to desecrate himself with such an energy drink, however, Ethan was ready to subject himself to the might of his first-ever energy drink. Ethan was a fan, to say the least.


3:22 PM: Bro thinks he’s Napoleon. A beach day was vital to the journey’s completion and Darren and Ethan started their beach episode by climbing a tree… technically. Who said the tree had to be alive? Climbing a tree is climbing a tree, plain and simple.


4:43 PM: The Neanderthal desire to climb big rock. Ethan and Darren embarked on a quest to climb a giant rock. Darren did not quite make it to the top, Ethan was more successful. When it came to being photogenic, however, Ethan failed miserably. For some reason, this picture appears to present Ethan as an isolated caveman with an incredible case of misanthropy… also wearing bright pink swim shorts.


4:49 PM: Pink swim shorts are technically speaking, a whole outfit. This is the perk of living in a beach town. After a shopping escapade at Goodwill consisting of buying two outfits the two gave each other their purchases. Darren was kind enough to buy Ethan bright pink swim shorts. Very kind.


4:50 PM: What the heck, Darren? Darren was bestowed an awesome shark-themed outfit, fitted with everyone one could need, including the color orange. Darren was cold at the beach, meaning the rest of the beach was safe from shark-infested waters.


5:04 PM: Darren exhibits an exotic dance move on the volleyball court, how eccentric! The two played volleyball, which is near impossible when there are only two players and normal volleyball is already a challenge but the will of these mighty heroes is inconquerable.


5:05 PM: Almost, not quite, but almost. The photoshoot for a volleyball action shot took longer than the two would like to admit and the success of the process was… questionable.


5:35 PM: It was clear going into this that it was a bad idea and would cause the next month to be spent cleaning sand out of ear canals and whatnot yet this picture still exists somehow. A staple of every beach visit involves burying close friends in a tomb of sand full of rogue twigs, charcoal, plastic litter, and cigarette butts. Of course, Ethan was the one to be encased in the sand prison.


8:27 PMIt is unfair that Ethan teaches Darren to cook on Darren’s extraordinarily high-tech stove while Ethan at home used to cook on a half-dead stove from the 20th century. (Ethan did get a new stove recently though, which is neat, but it still pales in comparison to this behemoth featured in the image). The training of skill continues as Ethan teaches Darren all the steps to making a poor man’s version of his mother’s famous turkey lasagna. It is famous for Ethan and only Ethan, but he holds it in very, very high regard.


10:04 PM: Minecraft was played while the oven preheated and while the lasagna was cooking. It was a competition that the two had planned, where they would prepare for half an hour and then find and kill each other in the game. Ethan secured his victory, or as he called it “the fat W.” All the effort pays off as the two lay witnesses to their creation which was exceptionally aesthetically pleasing to them. The process was enjoyable and chaotic, needing to make compromises along the way. Ethan was not prepared for the different varieties of tools in Darren’s kitchen leading to too many noodles being stuffed into a pot too small and a few more small errors along the way. However, the amount of sauce and cheese in the lasagna poetically perfectly fit into the pan.


11:13 PM: Ethan most likely was not entirely present in this image, mentally. The long 24-hour journey began to come to a grinding halt. In the 24th hour, the two were utterly exhausted. Walking became a feat of athleticism, staying awake was a fearsome battle. This was where the grit of the two came to the truest test. Was this last hour more fun than prom? If you enjoy pushing your mortal limits… maybe.

This brings an end to a long and exhilarating Journey. As it turns out, there are numerous things to be done if Prom isn’t an option, all of which cost less than $53. The consensus of the two is that perhaps one single thing might not be quite as enjoyable as prom but finding numerous exciting and engaging activities may lead to a more rewarding experience. Prom is undoubtedly an event that Arroyo Grande High School students and staff poured a lot of effort into and it shows and creates quite a difficult opponent in the entertainment competition. In the end, regardless of what you end up doing for your Prom night, no matter how thrifty or extravagant, the main objective is to create a memorable night you can look back on without regret. Plus, what we did was totally way cooler than whatever you did.