Funny Story About Dancing: The Cowboy Meets The City Slicker
Let me preface this whole Dancing Fool story with one very important fact. I now live in a redneck town of about 10-11,000 people. I have decided I’m not overjoyed about it. It sounded good in the beginning, until I figured out that I actually am a West Coast girl – born and raised in Southern California (yeah, yeah – that has its definite drawbacks too) but I’ve been around the block so to speak. I’ve lived in Detroit, I’ve lived in Chicago and I lived for 23+ years in the Seattle area. So moving to a literally 1-horse town hasn’t been the most exciting thing I’ve ever done – but I’m trying. I like the quiet and I love the weather – it’s all the other add-ons that I’m afraid I could live without but alas it is a bit too late. As they always say, hindsight is 20/20.
Photo Credit: WikiCommons Gold Trader
Needless to say, living in a town this small, there isn’t a whole lot of action going on in our town on a Friday night. I would guess that we have about 20+ churches, probably about at least half that many taverns, and probably 20 beauty salons on any given day. However, I have to add here that we cannot get a Safeway or a Fred Meyer....oh no! Our biggest stores are a couple of run-down supermarkets and a Rite-Aid. (Turns out though as an aside that Rite-Aid is great for beer and wine prices! If you live here, you almost need to stock up regularly.) All this said, one Friday night, we had to go to a birthday party. I was not looking forward to it as you might be able to tell by the words ‘had to go ’. In my own defense, I am a medical transcriptionist. I sit and listen to doctors spewing vocabulary in my ears all week long. The thought of going to a noise-friendly yee-ha bar at the end of a long, long week just doesn’t really turn me on. Especially knowing that they have none other than my least favorite thing – karaoke! Oh color me tickled pink! I can’t wait to go…saddle me up and let’s ride.
The party was for a friend of a friend and I pretty much knew the drill – who was going to be there and how drunken the evening would go for some, how entertaining or not for others! Bob having decided that we were NOT doing a Sonny and Cher duet, I knew that this was going to leave me to my own devices, which by Friday night are slim to none! This was a new bar in town (as opposed of course to a nude bar) and I was thrilled that just a few weeks earlier, they had FINALLY outlawed smoking! At least I could go home and stay in my clothes when I hit the garage. After a few experiences going to our local taverns and coming home smelling like an ashtray and then stripping in the garage, it was getting old. Besides, I always had this very bad feeling that my husband was going to hit the garage door opener ‘accidentally on purpose’ while I stood there stripping!
Anyhow – back to the bar. It was a nice LARGE bar so that was better – clean, too – not seasoned yet from years of spilled drinks, barf and stale cigarette smoke. The burgers were pretty good and although it was already cranked up to the loud spectrum in terms of decibels, I thought maybe, just maybe it was going to go okay. I tried to make myself as invisible as possible, just blending in. It wasn’t like I dressed for the outing. While everyone else had on cowboy boots and all kinds of country paraphernalia, I sat there sipping my Bud Light and eating my hamburger (which could have fed 2 people in retrospect). I was dressed in my Ralph Lauren jogging pants and tennis shoes. After chowing down, I could actually have snuck out to the car, grabbed a blanket, tucked myself in and gone to sleep and waited for Bob. Too bad I had not thought of this sooner! And where might you ask was Bob? Well, after sitting beside me during the eating portion of our little fun night out, he proceeded to head off to the pool tables that just so happened to be free for the night. Who knew that all of a sudden, I was married to Fats Domino as I called him. (Okay – so it was Minnesota Fats – I knew there was some FAT in there somewhere).
He wasn’t fooling me in the slightest though – he headed out because he did not want to get tangled up with everyone as the decibels continued to rise and folks got more and more drunk. That might involve someone actually trying to get him up on the dance floor – or worse yet – to sing! He wasn’t born yesterday. I should have shown a sudden interest in pool – what was I thinking?
Well, as bar crowds will do, folks started getting into their libations and true to form, the dancing started getting ‘down’ as did the karaoke classics. Within an hour, we had gone from some nice mild country like Toby Keith to cranking it up – the joint was blasting – rocking out to "Beat It ". This did not bode well at all! I had a bad feeling that we were going to ear-splitting decibels in the very near future. What is a mild-mannered, even tempered old lady doing in a place like this you ask?. Hell if I know! At any rate, I was trying to be content to just sit there and drink my light beer and try to have conversations above the din~! I think I said ‘yes’ to more things than I want to think about in retrospect. I found myself just nodding my head and acting like I actually knew what folks were saying…. Probably a family of 12 will show up at my door one day and say I agreed to let them live with us! Or a dozen guys will show up and say that I agreed to crazy monkey sex (an old lady can dream, eh?).
At any rate, Bob is firmly entrenched in his new found sport and he’s having a blast – just hanging out, drinking beer with the boys. He doesn’t have to talk – he doesn’t have to listen – hell, he doesn’t have to DO anything except make a shot every now and again. About this time, a gal I knew who had recently had surgery on her foot hobbled over to where I was sitting on the stool nursing my beer and feeling like a stuffed pig. The food and the beer were working their magic and I was getting definitely closer to falling asleep any minute. My friend was not happy – she’s pissed that she is in this boot and she can’t dance (I’m secretly thinking I wish I had a fake boot). She is ticked at her husband and she is just going to go from zero to drunk in 60 seconds. At least that’s what I THINK she said! I seem to really attract people when they are in a bad mood – it’s a gift.
I sat there nodding my head sagely at her not really knowing what in the name of God she was going on about. I finally just gave it up and decided to ‘stool dance’ . At least I could enjoy the music a little without making a fool out of myself out on the floor. I was just listening to the tunes, nodding my head at her, and moving to the beat. The more she drank though, the more her mood swung towards the rude and crude. Pretty soon she is calling me a pansy because I won’t go up and karaoke – do I think I’m better than everyone else up there making a fool out of themselves? Not really so much – it’s that making a fool out of myself part that I’m actually trying to avoid - but hey - thanks for asking!
I probably should have put the proverbial 2 and 2 together and known that I was probably going to be getting a bit of a backlash there because I wasn’t conceding to publicly humiliate myself in a town of folks that have known each other from the cradle. I don’t know what was so hard to comprehend about the fact that I just wanted to sit there and mind my own business. I wasn’t trying to be anything but me and just sit in peace. I didn’t need to be the life of the party and I certainly didn’t want to do something that I would regret for months afterward – like make a spectacle of myself!
About this time, there is a momentary quiet few seconds and a guy walks up to where we are sitting on the bar stools. Now if I said this guy was the Marlboro man, things would probably have turned out differently. Unfortunately, just my luck – I don’t get the Marlboro man but I get Yosemite Sam instead! I actually wasn’t worried at first because he was making a beeline for my friend. Whew – the old lady glasses and the workout clothes did the trick! Unfortunately, as I took a sip from my beer, I heard the fateful words come out of my friend’s BIG FAT MOUTH….’Oh, that’s so sweet of you, but I can’t dance, see? I have my foot in a cast boot but my friend Audrey here would LOVE to dance – she was just saying how much she wanted to dance !’ Oh holy crap on toast – funny thing I never heard those words come out of my mouth!!!
I mumbled a bunch of stuff about not being dressed for it. I had tennis shoes on for crying out loud – I would stick to the floor – I wasn’t very good – I didn’t know the steps – I had just eaten and wasn’t there some kind of rule about having to stay out for 45 minutes after you ate? (I couldn't care less if it was the pool – I was desperate). This guy had on the 10-gallon Stetson – he had the string tie, he had the western shirt on, the size 15 cowboy boots and the faded blue jeans. Unfortunately, he also had a gigantic handlebar moustache, he was missing a few teeth, and had the most bowed legs I have ever seen in my entire life I kid you not. Couple that with the 18 pound belt buckle he was sporting that was about blinding me (I know – what was I doing looking THERE?) and he is just Mr. Dream Boat. Oh please God – let him just go away and dance with someone else! It didn’t help that he looked like he’d seen better days – or too much chew – or something – he was probably 28 and just wasn’t wearing it well!
How could this be happening to me? Mrs. ‘I Keep A Low Profile at All Costs’. I have 2 hard and fast rules – I do not dance (anymore) with strangers and I do not, absolutely do NOT dance where there are steps involved that I need to get right! It never works! Put me in a ‘freestyle’ kind of dance and maybe I can gyrate things a little bit and look pretty goofy but not get into trouble – but any time there is hand-holding and someone has to go this way and the other person has to go the other way and not crash –oh God – it just gets so ugly so fast!
I was still talking to him and telling him that I simply could not do it – I wore trifocals and it was just not going to work – how lame a person does one have to be to bring up their glasses? I really should carry a card that says I am certifiable. Hey – maybe that would have gotten me out of the dance! Too bad he wasn’t listening as now the decibels were going back up to ear-splitting again and much to my delight, he was leading me onto the dance floor – all the while Audrey is pulling back and shaking her head. Now if this wasn’t enough humiliation, everyone that I happened to know in this godforsaken town (except my husband who could have actually saved me) started to speak up – ‘Oh come on, Audrey – be a sport – get out there and dance’ …. Then they started clapping their hands together as if that was going to magically just make me able to dance! Oh good GOD what did I do to deserve this? I knew this was not going to go well but now that we had crossed into the ‘dance zone’ I knew it was too late to save myself. It was do or die and I guess it was my time to ride it out so to speak. I think at this moment I would rather have ridden a mechanical bull but none was in sight.
My gnarled and wizened dance partner proceeds to take this little lady’s hand and lead me onto the middle of the floor. Oh wouldn’t you just know it - the dance floor is now EMPTY~!!! Humiliation of humiliations….. Here I am stuck on a dance floor with Buck Bow-Legged all decked out on a Friday night thinking he is going to have a ‘good time’ (and a dance) and he’s stuck with ‘Poultry in Motion !’ Then the music started – could it get any worse? I still am not sure how the heck I followed this guy. He had more moves than a chicken on acid and watching his bow-legged feet zip back and forth, forward and back, seriously was starting to make me dizzy. I could barely keep my head upright. The fact that I had had that huge hamburger for dinner and a couple of beers did not help my cause. I felt like I was dancing with a 1000 pound tire around my stomach.
Okay – it’s not bad enough but now he starts going backwards and forwards and sideways - it felt like all at the same time! Then to my abject horror, he starts with the spinning~!!!! Seriously pal – I am not an agile dancer on any given day – even with Bob. When we tried to polka once, I jumped on his feet by accident and almost broke his ankle. But at least with Bob I can semi-relax. When I dance with other people, I am so tense because of my fear of failure that I seriously turn into a curtain rod out there! Have you ever danced with a curtain rod? I’ve got great rhythm and can certainly follow the beat – but beats and spinning are two entirely different things~!
All I could do was hang on for dear life and hope to God he would eventually get tired of spinning me around. But no, as my luck would have it, he was just getting going. Later, my friends told me that it was the funniest thing they had ever seen because of my facial expressions. I was concentrating so hard on his feet that I had a permanent frown on my forehead and my head was bobbing up and down like a bobble head while I twirled and whirled. Little did they know I was thinking I was gonna hurl as in any second! Add to that the ‘look of doom’ on my face the entire time, I’m surprised no one thought to get a video! I was watching his feet so intently that I was afraid I was going to have a brain hemorrhage. I also think I bit a hole in my lower lip trying to concentrate!
The song must have lasted a half hour. When the heck was it going to end? We have moved on from spinning and twirling though unbeknownst to me and now I’m under his arm, back out the other side, twirling behind him, twirling in front of him. It just keeps going and going. I think he did like triple LUTZES with me and I being the triple KLUTZ, it was not pretty. I went around so many times that I know I started to see stars. And all the while I was thinking, how the hell am I EVER going to live this one down? Now everyone is stomping their feet! So much for being invisible! Meanwhile in one of the turns, he hauled me back in and he went one way and I went another. I banged my forehead into his cowboy hat and almost knocked it off (the hat, not his head). Lucky for me we did not bang foreheads because then I would have lost my dinner for sure!
As things always do, at last the blasted song came to an end. Thank goodness! The song must have been the marathon version. Maybe the DJ took pity on my glazed eyes and my probably visibly reeling head. Yosemite Sam thanked me profusely after the dance and I of course, true to form did nothing but apologize for being such a klutz. He was in the process of moving back towards the dance floor as if we were going there and I quickly made a beeline for the ladies’ room.
Later on in the evening, I did notice another gal out there dancing with him and she looked at least a hundred times worse than I must have. (That sounded so good in my head at the time). They actually did collide and she almost fell on the floor – so I guess I should be grateful for that! He had at least a couple of spins with almost everyone in the joint and since my turn was over, they were hilarious to watch. In retrospect, I had to admit that I was not the only entertainment of the evening~! I know it took me at least an hour though to get my stomach back – not to mention my spinning head~! Thank goodness he did not come ask me for a rematch!
My friend’s husband talked me into dancing 1 more time as Bob had still not left the pool tables. I tried so hard to beg off but no one was listening~! We were out there shaking it up to a replay of 'Beat It'. At least there was no SPINNING involved – but then he leans in and yells above the music ‘Do you swing?’ I said ‘sorry – only from trees’. In retrospect though, I sure hope he was talking about dancing!!! Sure he was…. had the man actually not SEEN me dancing out there? I could just imagine me adding flipping and sliding to my performance – definitely a clean up on the barroom floor!
I guess I had to say it was good exercise – on so many levels. By the time I left, I was dragging my left hip and my back and arms were killing me – for someone who is supposed to be in shape that do-si-do was a work-out! And where was Bob all this time, of course – still playing pool!!! As I dragged myself to the car and we were heading home he had the nerve to say ‘Geez – I had no idea you were going to go there and dance like that all the time.’ Yeah – that was what I was waiting for, Bob – a night out on the town dancing with Yosemite Sam! Boy – now that I know what’s available here in town I’m SO there.
Weeks later, I happened to be at my hairdresser’s and I was recounting this whole story and hoping to heaven no one in town had been making fun of the City Slicker up there with the Cowboy. My friend just starts to laugh and laugh. Then she takes me by the arm into the back of the salon and here on the bulletin board is a picture of my dance partner with the caption ‘Your Boyfriend Called and He’s Waiting for you down at the Saloon! Wanna Dance?’ At least all I can say in retrospective relief was that there was not a picture of the two of us… Now that would have been mortifying. He obviously made the rounds and had ‘quite the following’.
That little escapade was enough to rock my little keep-a-low-profile world but lucky for me, I did not end up on the front page. I have a contract with Bob now, in writing – if he ever sees me out on a dance floor with another man, he is to act immediately and cut in. Of course I will have to get his attention first! Or wait for him to stop laughing. Or wear a disguise when I go into the local taverns - like a surgical boot.
Dancing Fool Becomes Dancing Queen
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Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 12, 2010:
Kaltopsyd - I live to laugh I think so that is a good thing! I'm so glad you found my goofy story entertaining...I have never been back to that bar and I am afraid to show my face there to be honest. I never want to be up there waltzing around again! Holy cow - what a way to make an impression. I have never been so mortified in my life - well probably several times but not in that exact circumstance! Thanks for waltzing along with me!!
kaltopsyd from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA on August 11, 2010:
It's 1:39 in the morning and you made me laugh... aloud. I was laughing when you clarified that you almost knocked the man's hat off, not his HEAD. Call me easily amused but, to me, that was hilarious. You have quite humourous stories to tell, Ms. Audrey! I love it!
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on February 06, 2010:
Didn't the dancing come through on youtube?
Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on February 05, 2010:
Lmao, I'm from Southern Califorina too, Orange County and I stayed with my Dad in Lubbock Tx while he was sick. It is another universe then the one I know, I must say. And hey way can't I watch Micheal dance????
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on February 04, 2010:
Thanks ladies - yes - I am a magnet for troubles and it had to be him! Ah well - I'm thinking of going on Dancing With The Stars - you betcha....gotta just laugh and go with the flow, eh?
Nell Rose from England on February 04, 2010:
Ha ha, and I thought it only happened to me! I remember once when I was at the local pub, a man, well if that's what you call him, made a bee line for me, right across the dance floor. Anybody else? oh no, course not. He could dance, the only trouble was it was to another tune!! I bumped, he grind!! Nell
sunflowerbucky from Small Town, USA on February 04, 2010:
Audrey, your crazy monkey sex comment cracked me up! Thanks so much for the much needed laugh!