Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.


CP: If anyone wants to understand the cut of our jibs, they need only look at how we approached prom.


RN: For starters, the theme of my 1978 senior prom was “Precious and Few.” Jealous, much?


CP: Envy only makes me look older.


RN: Not as old as I feel when I’m seated next to a table of contemporary prom couples, all dolled up for their big evening.


CP: Now as then, the young are prone to fashion blunders. Girls, prom is not the night to unleash your inner streetwalker. Guys, just say no to the colors white and powder blue. And the tux-with-sneakers thing? We are not amused.


RN: As for the top hats and canes, well, no.


CP: Enough about others, what about us? You and your high-caliber prom date made the cover of the Burnsville Explainer, right?


RN: It was the Envoy, thank you very much. Lord knows why she chose to attend prom with the nerdacious likes of me, but I was fortunate enough to escort one of BHS’ loveliest girls. She held the title of Minnesota’s Junior Miss, so it was the equivalent of having Jennifer Lawrence, post-Oscars, on my arm. When we were announced on the promenade, an ocean of Instamatic flashbulbs nearly blinded me, that’s how famous she was. I heard one of the parents in the bleachers say, “Oh, she’s beautiful … but who is he?”


CP: And where is Miss Miss now, as you have gone on to wide acclaim and more than 2,500 Twitter followers?


RN: It’s 3,800, dear.


CP: No one likes a bragger.


RN: As for my brilliant and talented date, she’s probably a fantastic spouse and mother to some fortunate hubby and kids. Here’s hoping she has turned her prom night into a hilarious cocktail-party story. You know, “I was Rick Nelson’s prom beard.”


CP: By prom time, I was enrolled in New Trier East’s Center for Self-Directed Learning.


RN: Of course you were. It sounds like a school district-sanctioned excuse to skip class and smoke pot. God love the 1970s.


CP: We critiqued prom as symptomatic of a wider sociopolitical malaise.


RN: Oh, you rabble-rousing beatnik, you.


CP: Or were we simply unable, or too blasé, to scare up dates?


RN: Translation, you manned the punch bowl. So like James Woods as Frankie McVeigh in “The Way We Were.”


CP: Just be glad your prom didn’t echo the end of “Carrie.” Since it was something of a charade and, from the sound of it, mildly scarring.


RN: Well, only for her.


CP: Do you continue to endorse Prom and All It Stands For?


RN: Far be it for me to stand in the way of young love and crass commercialism.


E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib