Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Friday, February 03, 2006


It has just dawned on me that one of the benefits of my upcoming knee surgery is that I will be able to dance again. Not that I was ever Fred Astaire on the dance floor ( I'm much taller than he is ) but I was enthusiastic in my attempts at terpsichorian performance. My partners would probably complain that the effort was on their part to keep their tootsies from being mashed, but this never dampened my conspicuously over-zealous flailing and stomping, especially if I heard a song like "Shout" boom out over the floor.

All this has an involved history. I couldn't have arrived at this pinnacle of smoothness and grace without arduous training. This started at age 7 when my mother began her relentless attacks on my masculinity by enrolling me in a tap-dance class.

An effeminate guy named Donnie and I were the only males among the 20 or so hoofers in the class. I was issued shiny patent-leather shoes with clickety metal taps on them and learned dances called the Waltz Clog and the Buck and Swing while little girls constantly giggled at me. Excruciating.

Recital time. I was forced to go on stage with seven simpering young females, dressed in tails, a top hat and a cane. I was so nervous that I peed my fortunately black pants. Apparently our performance was, however, spectacular enough to send the crowd of 200 relatives into a minor delirium. This reaction did not prevent me from being scarred for life by the experience. I did, though, manage to control my overwhelming urge to bash the unguous Donnie in the head with my cane. It was the first experience in my 7 years at attaining a measure of self-control.

My mother's next attempt at emasculation through the medium of dance was to enroll me in Mr. Allingham's Ballroom Dance class. This lasted through 6th and 7th grade. Mr. Allingham had a male child he called Muffin (need I say more). Aside: Muffin maintained that moniker all the way into adulthood, and became an accountant.

Ballroom dancing included the Waltz, the Foxtrot, the Lindy-hop, the Cha-Cha, the Mambo, and the Rhumba, none of which did I perfect to Mr. Alligham's satisfaction. Picture pairs of sweaty,pimply-faced adolescents pressed up against each other and told to act graceful. The only thing I remember accomplishing was the art of concealing a hard-on from my partners. Tricky, especially when dancing with Sherry, a mammalially over-extended young miss who had discovered sex years before the rest of us. I had no chance, of course, but she provided many sweet lubicatory dreams.

My dancing in college (this had nothing to do with my mother) was like a precursor to Patrick Swayze, without the rhythm or urbane smoothness. I met my later-to-be-two-year-sweetheart Taffy at a Mixer (remember those?). I attempted a "seductive" move by inserting my leg between hers and twisting her into a Dip. She responded predictably, breaking into hysterical laughter at my fumbling effort (you know, it's not coincidental that "hyster" is derived from the feminine). I've always wondered why my greatest successes with women occur when I've mortifyingly embarrassed myself.

My last dancing disaster occurred when my wife was on a business trip and I let myself be dragged off by a too-young lady to what she called an "underground" Rave. In a moment of non-lucidity I was persuaded to experiment with a tablet she later identified as "ecstacy". I remember feeling really good, but I don't recall anything at all about dancing. Since I was by a considerable margin the oldest person there, my efforts did not go unnoticed by the other folks on hand. I was told later that I was possessed of amazing energy and, of course, enthusiasm. Peculiarly, no-one mentioned skill or talent. It seems that Ecstacy is a lousy stimulant for short term memory, which may be fortunate for my embarrassment quotient, assuming I have one.

So after I get bionicized, knee-wise, look out world. Fred, Ginger, Gene, Cyd, even Mikhail, be prepared to be eclipsed. As you can see, I'm a finished product.



Blogger coturnix said...

Now, what happened to Sherry?

8:15 PM  
Blogger Brett said...

There isn't much you haven't done, is there?

4:23 PM  
Blogger Papa Bill said...

No, but then I've had a heck of a long time to do it.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

Yet another example of blog synchronicity. I just wrote about dancing on my I have a pretty girl posted...(rsisting the urge to say "pin-up).

6:28 AM  

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