Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Grease is the word
Back in the day I was a greaser. Or at least I wanted to be a greaser. My hero was "John Milner" from American Graffiti, and if I smoked I would have kept a pack twisted into the arm of my t-shirt just like John did. Come on you gotta remember John, he was the guy with the 32 deuce coup and had the big race at the end of the show. But I digress, I wanted to be like John but since I was a delicate child all I could do was dream about being cool like him.
Whenever we had a 50's dance theme - I was there. I had practiced my jive moves till I was almost as cool as John, but with all that pseudo coolness comes great risk. A risk which I shall now illustrate.
It was in grade ten and as part of the lead up to our big 50's sock hop, a group of us were putting on a jive dance demonstration on the stage in front of some 400 of our peers. My partner was a cute and bouncy cheerleader who was definitely well typecast for the part (and I hasten to add it was not the girl in the above photo as this photo is some 2 years past the event I am about to describe - and that is not to say that Cindy was not a cute and bubbly cheerleader but if you are patient you will understand shortly why certain names must be kept secret)
Anyways, we were halfway through "Rock around the clock" and the cheerleader and I had centre stage. The series of moves we were about to execute were ones that we had down cold. She had her hands planted on my shoulders and I had a tight grip on her hips - and in a display of athleticism usually reserved for Cirque du-soleil performances - she bounced off that hardwood floor and swung up on my left hip - lifting her in perfect time with Bill Haley's driving beat I swung her over to my right side - pleated skirt billowing. Our movements were as one and I was now swinging her upwards, her legs arched high above and her face almost touching mine. Timing was critical here: hold the pose too long and her skirt would tumble down, but I had to hold the pose long enough for dramatic effect, and then for the grande finale she was to swing back down towards the floor, continue between my legs, her hands would slide from my shoulders, along my arms, we would clasp hands, I would do a quick crossover and pull her back between my legs and up to the thunderous applause of the audience.
The overhead stance was excellent, but I could feel my grip coming loose as she started the arc back towards the floor, I managed to hold on as she, smooth as silk, slid between my legs - my quick crossover went alright but as I tried to pull her back between my legs I realized things were going wrong. My hands were sliding up her arms and I had snagged the baggy letter-man sweater she was wearing. Instead of bringing the bouncy cheerleader back up I just had her sweater - she, quite topless had continued to slide across the stage and, fortunately for her, off to the stage left. I just stood there, holding the lifeless sweater like one would hold a dead cat. The laughter was deafening.
It would be a few more years before I would attempt cool again.
Posted by Frank Ritcey at 8:40 PM