Title credit goes to the song by the Bay City Rollers.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date in an hour..." Kevin announced matter-of-factly to his friends upon checking his watch. He stood up with a proud smile and awaited their reactions.
"You're a liar, Kevin. You just want to bail on this study session."
"Yeah, Eric's right. You're so ugly, not even Janice would agree to go out with you."
"Guys..." Kevin found himself having to counter in response to their unsupportive words. "...it's not my fault you're all too chicken to even take a chance. Maybe those girls aren't as uptight as you think..."
"Oh yeah? Who is she then?"
Mitch, Eric and Jeffrey abruptly went quiet before turning to stare amongst each other in disbelief. Kevin took advantage of their straying attention to depart from the library and his absence wasn't noticed until after the other three boys had shared a hushed conversation.
"Gloria? No way, she's too much of a queen..."
"Not to mention, she's black. That can't possibly end well..."
"Well, I have an idea..." Mitch reassured while he shifted away to present a special request. "Hey Kevin, take a picture as-"
Awkward silence greeted the trio as they realized it was already too late to intervene.
Gloria and Kevin were only barely able to ignore the occasional puzzled stare on the bus into the city, though the sight of other teenagers outside the arcade an hour later was enough to weaken their doubts.
They got off the bus and were soon inside the building queuing up to pay the admission fee.
"I guess we have plenty of time to talk, right?"
"Well, there's this great game called Pong. You and your opponent hit a ball to each other across the screen. It's like tennis without the running."
"I don't get it."
"You will when I show you."
They reached the front of the line and Kevin paid the exact amount required before they were allowed further.
He wasted no time in locating the nearest Pong machine and rushing up to it, so that he could begin demonstrating how to move the paddles.
"See, like this..."
"It's okay. I understand."
They positioned themselves on either side of the machine and began their match. Kevin was able to catch and hit the ball with ease, which led to a beginner like Gloria losing consistently the first few times.
They left the arcade an hour later and Gloria sighed in relief upon feeling fresh air once again.
It was on to the nearby bowling alley as soon they'd had some refreshments, where they took two adjacent lanes and exchanged competitive glares before each picking up a ball.
Kevin lobbed his one along with some difficulty much to Gloria's amusement after she'd knocked nine out of ten pins down without much trouble.
He tossed the ball and it bounced down the aisle, momentum decreasing rapidly until only a single pin fell.
"You're doing it wrong. Here, let me show you."
Gloria handed Kevin a second ball before stepping back to correct his stance and wrist position.
"Alright, that's better. Try it now."
Kevin tried again and found that the ball's path was much smoother this time around, with five pins soon being knocked over.
He finally succeeded in gaining a perfect score after attempting to do so for over an hour. Excitement overwhelmed him and he jumped up in the air while shouting about the accomplishment.
"I did it, Gloria! I did it!"
"I know. Now calm down before you slip-"
"Will you come to the dance with me?!" He blurted out without so much as a second's thought, only to immediately regret it as Gloria opened her mouth in shock.
"That's not the real reason you asked me out, right? Because I've already found somebody..."
"No, course not. My tongue just slipped."
They avoided eye contact on the trip back and Kevin didn't feel any more comfortable when Gloria departed at her stop.
Now that she was unavailable, it was clear that his options were severely limited.
Only two girls were still looking for partners from what he'd last heard and it was clear that Barbara had a thing for Steve, even if she were reluctant to admit it.
That left frumpy Joanne Krupowski, whose known moodiness and icy demeanor was enough to make him shudder.