Posts Tagged ‘dance’

The Dancer

We went out a lot in college. It seems like we went to the Pub on Wednesdays, and then the Cabaret on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We loved to dance. Disco was where it was at. Sometimes we drove a pretty far distance to go to another club, just to change it up every once in a while. But,sometimes it is good to stay with what you know. My roommate, Pat, found that out one night, in a bar, in another town …..in the Twilight Zone.

There were about 10 of us who went to a disco about an hour away from us. I believe it was mostly girls in my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma. I do remember we were dressed up. We were dressed to impress. I can not remember the name of the club at all, but I can still picture the table where we were sitting.

I thought I looked pretty good. I had my blonde hair flipped back on the sides, ala Farrah Fawcett, skinny jeans with high heels and I was ready to dance. My roommate, Pat, sat beside me. Pat couldn’t care less if a guy asked her to dance or not. She just went with the flow. She had these gorgeous blue eyes and short dark hair. She was tall and thin and smoked like a fiend. She had this way of inhaling a cigarette that made me want to mock her. The more she quietly drank, the more her hair fell into her eyes. She was a lot of fun to be with. Years later she was a bridesmaid in my wedding.

So, here we are at this new disco, and we were listening to the band, having a few drinks and laughing, and looking around for some nice looking guys to dance with. I spotted this guy standing across the room and smiled at him. I guess I wasn’t the only one at the table who threw him a smile. So, we started talking about this guy. “I hope he comes over and asks me to dance.”  a sorority sister said. So, we started teasing each other about who was going to get to dance with him first, basically fighting over someone who seemed content standing against the wall, across the room. Meanwhile, Pat was sitting, oblivious and not caring about the tug of war going on around her.

We were there for only about 15 minutes, when the guy made his move. He spotted most of us swooning over his good looks, so he made his way over to us. I was secretly hoping that he would ask me to dance. I really thought our children would be beautiful. We started whispering, “Oh, my God, he is going to ask one of us to dance, I can tell,” and “He’s looking right at me..sorry guys..” Well he was coming our way. He was walking right towards me. Yay! It was me.

But it wasn’t. He stopped right in front of me, his butt almost in my face, and he leaned over and asked Pat if she wanted to dance. Shit. She didn’t care to dance with anyone, and he asked her to dance. Just my luck. So, Pat accepted, smooshed her cigarette out in the ashtray, stood up, and walked to the dance floor with him. The rest of us sighed. I was really hoping he would have asked me.

So, we all turned our attention to Pat and the  gorgeous guy, walking to the dance floor. All of a sudden, three other guys appeared at our table. Well, all hope is not lost. We may get to dance, afterall. And these guys weren’t so bad either. The tall, tanned one spoke for his little group.

“We are soooo sorry we weren’t able to get to you girls in time…… to warn you.”        Whaaaaat ? Warn us about what?

Well, they didn’t need to explain anymore. They just looked out at the dance floor.  All I saw when I turned my head back to look at Pat,  was Dancing Guy in the middle of a Toe-Touch…..Oh, look, now he is doing the Robot…Oh and another ToeTouch down into a split….Our mouths dropped open…..Silence…..and then we cracked up. I was laughing so hard I was crying in record time.

The thing that made this so funny, is that my sarcastic, “I could care less about a guy”  roommate turned away from the dancing fool to face the band and was just moving slowly to the left and to the right, clicking her fingers. She was so close to the band, that we could hear the lead singer look down and say to her, softly over the microphone, ” What’s wrong, honey?” and the whole place died laughing.  She couldn’t look at Gymnastic Boy. She turned away from him and he didn’t even notice it. He was totally involved in his routine. And boy was a routine…Whoa..there goes a spin…

They might as well have had a spotlight on these made-in-dance-heaven- lovebirds.  The other dancers, who paled in comparison to the height this guy was getting with his jumps and toe-touches, cleared the dance floor, as to not obscure our view. Now they were the only hoofers on the floor. And he was using the whole floor now. Saturday Night Fever had just come out in the movies, I believe, and so dancing like John Travolta was a must for some guys. Come to think of it, I think this guy had on a vest.

The guys who came over to warn us, too late for Pat, of course, told us that they go to that club all of the time and he was one of their friends. They didn’t have the heart to tell him that he danced like a fruitcake (That’s what we called him all the way home.) After the song was over, Pat rushed back over to our table, which made the place laugh even harder. Ok, rushed was probably not the right word to use. I believe she was like Chuck Yeager, breakin the sound barrier fast. I am not exaggerating when I say that all eyes were on Pat. The clapping was insane.

Pat usually never let anything bother her. She was pretty quiet the rest of the night. She smoked a bit more, and drank a bit more. I think I would be chugging a pitcher of beer if it had been me. Of course, we took every opportunity to re-play the evening. It was a spectacular night.

Fruitcake Gymnast only got one time to do his routine most nights, ya know.  No one would dance with him I am sure. But, I never saw him ask anyone else that particular night.

I think that is because he only had the one routine.

Swallowing Goldfish

Ok, I have done a lot of stupid things in my lifetime, but nothing as stupid as swallowing goldfish. Yeah, I did. Three of them.  Why?   Who the hell knows why I do things.

Goldfish swallowing was a fad that first started in 1939 when a Harvard freshman did it on a bet. It received some local coverage, and in the next few weeks, students from all across the country were trying to top the previous feat. It was nothing for a student (mostly males) to swallow ten, twenty, and even 30 in one sitting. Many towns then passed ordinances making it illegal. The fad only lasted about two years. So, how the hell did it appear on the campus of Fairmont State in West Virginia in 1976?

I had a sorority sister who worked part time for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and some one (maybe the Greek association) sponsored a dance marathon titled, “Dance for Those Who Can’t.”  Proceeds were given to the Jerry Lewis people.  The dance was going to last through the night, with games and activities going on alongside the marathon. Plus, beer was sold in the Nickel, which was our student union, so that was also a plus.  So, we danced, we drank, and I apparently swallowed some goldfish.

There was a guy who swallowed one and the crowd went nuts. He was the first one to do it.  And it was pretty early, so I don’t think this guy was drunk. Just really stupid. And I think he had people placing bets and the proceeds were handed over to the MD.  So, we went back and danced alongside the marathoners and drank some more.  You could buy plastic glasses of beer for a nickel, so we had cafeteria trays full of beer for our group of friends. I usually started laughing after 1/2 a glass of beer, so I was laughing at anything that night. I had a sorority sister walk out of the bathroom with a long line of toilet paper walking behind her from one of her shoes. I don’t know why that made me laugh so hard, but she walked like she was all that, and here was that toilet paper following her around. Everyone knew she just peed, so I guess I found that amusing.

We came back after we heard that some guy in our brother fraternity (TKE) was going to swallow two goldfish to beat a rival fraternity’s goldfish record of 1. Everyone gathered around.  The person with the microphone stopped the music during a mandatory break for the dancer marathoners, and announced that they had a person that would swallow two goldfish if they could make $200 in the next 15 minutes. Well,  college kids usualy don’t have much money, but there were people from the community also there, so  the drunk donors  opened their wallet a lot that night, I can tell you that. They had $200 pretty quick. And the guy swallowed 2 goldfish. Wow..I was drunk impressed. So much better than watching a toilet paper walker.

Well, a little later, I saw a little boy being pushed into the dance room in a wheelchair. I thought it was pretty late for the kid to be up. It had to be 1:00a.m. He was about 12 and appeared bummed out that he just missed a college student swallow 2 goldfish. It was a Fairmont State college record. Well, maybe because it had never ever been done there before.  He sat quietly while his parents talked to the people in charge of the dance and in a few minutes another announcement came over the loud speaker. “Does anyone want to volunteer to swallow a  goldfish for our important guest here?” Come on up and lets’ see if we can make another quick $200.”

Well, I saw like 3 guys raise their hands and were coming up from three different directions at a pretty fast clip. I was right beside the little guy in the wheelchair ( I was drunk staring at him) and it was my sorority sister, who was employed by MD  who had the microphone this time.  Out of the blue, I raised my hand and said, “I will swallow 3 goldfish!”  Whaatttt did I just do?  No…didn’t even think that I must be demented. I saw the wheelchair kid and wanted to show him that anyone could do anything if they put their mind to it.  I was determined to show this kid that a drunk college girl could swallow some fish.

I don’t have any idea how much money was raised for Muscular Dystrophy for my swallowing 3 goldfish, but I had a crowd. I beat the record of 2 goldfish and no one else tried to swallow anymore. Why? Well, there were only 2 goldfish left in the bowl. No one else was going to swallow a goldfish unless a record could be beat. So, as far as I know, I hold the record for goldfish swallowing in Fairmont, West Virginia. If only the story ended right there. It didn’t.

When we got back from the dance, the phone rang. It was a sorority sister, Diane, who lived upstairs from me in our apartment complex, Garden Lane. She had some disturbing news for this drunk goldfish killer.

“Vickie, I don’t want to get you upset, but I think you need to hear this.” I can’t remember her exact words, but she informed me that she knew someone who had swallowed goldfish at Penn State (I’m not sure what college she used), and  got very sick when the goldfish didn’t die in the guys stomach. She went on to tell me that somehow the fish lived in the mucous membranes in the stomach lining and then mated. The guy had to get his stomach pumped because his stomach had expanded because the goldfish hatched and there were hundreds of tiny goldfish swimming around in this guys stomach and they kept getting bigger and it was just awful. And I drunkingly (if that is indeed a word) believed her.

I went into the bathroom and shoved my finger down my throat I have no idea how many times, to no avail. No goldfish babies. I was sick with worry. Drunk people obsess about things, and I was no different. But, of course, no one else had fornicating goldfish in their stomach.  I cried myself to sleep. I felt horrible for killing poor innocent goldfish. They didn’t do anything to anybody to deserve such a horrible death.  I was a crying drunk…I am sure I had raccoon eyes, because I really liked mascara.

When I woke up, we all put “scarves on head” (girls wore those big blue hankerchiefs on their head when they didn’t feel like washing their hair in the 70’s), hopped in my car and headed to McDonald’s. McDonald’s was our cure for a hangover. The greasy food did wonders. When we got back to the apartment complex, Diane and her roommates were coming out. She was smiling. “Almost had you last night, didn’t I?” She laughed.   Oh my God, she was messing with me!!  I was soo relieved. Now, I wouldn’t have to go to the hospital and ask them to stomach pump baby goldfish…”Oh, you sure did. I almost believed you. That was a good one.”  I was one gullible guppy.

I felt so much better.We walked into the apartment and I plopped myself down on the couch. I felt great….. Until on of my roommates spoke.

“I once swallowed a penny and it came out a day or two later……you know……(she pointed to her butt like I was too dumb to understand  the digestive system),so….

I wonder if all three goldfish skeletons will come out at the same time?”  That could really, really hurt.”

Skeletons?  Oh, that is just great….

Well, it will make for a good story when I get older, I thought.

And….I did it for Jerry’s kids…..

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