Idol feet are the devil’s plaything
(originally posted 7/7/2012)
Dale shifted uncomfortable on his stool. To his left sat his gorgeous girlfriend Lanna. On his right was a stunning blonde, almost coincidentally named Layna, who he had just met. He’d be going home with them both later in the evening. He leaned over and a casual wave of his hand brought another round of drinks. Although the bar was crowded and most people spent at least fifteen minutes trying to capture the attention of a bartender Dale had the color of American Express card that demanded attention and let the employees of the club know that a big tip was more than probable.
The music thumped endlessly and made conversation difficult but he leaned into Lanna and Layna with a smug confidence that he hoped hid his overpowering envy.
Dale was a Senior Vice President of something or other at a hideously large multinational and earned in one year more than a lot of people will make in a lifetime. He visited the gym at least four times a week and kept his body as good-looking as his chiseled facial features. His girlfriend was a bisexual with a voracious sexual appetite who loved nothing more than to spend her evenings at the various dance clubs scattered throughout the city.
Every night was a fresh new hell for him.
So what had Dale sitting there writhing in resentment this evening? What was the object of his boundless jealousy?
Ted Johnson who had only hours ago hung up his blue blazer that signified his status as a manager-in-training at the local super-mega-furniture-store off I-90.
For you see… Ted Johnson was a bad dancer.
He was at least 6 foot 2 and weighed no more than 160 pounds soaking wet. He was all elbows and knees and had no sense of rhythm. None. He was often the object of ridicule on the dancefloor and more than one observer had mistaken his dancing for him being in the middle of some seizure or medical emergency.
But there he was. Out in the middle of the brightly lit floor flailing away amidst the flashing lights and the occasional belching of the smoke machine.
Behind the cool eyes of Dale raged a green monster.
Dale never felt that way about the good dancers. He watched their graceful swaying without emotion. Perhaps he felt that they belonged out there, their timing appropriate, the carefree cadence in lockstep with the beat.
But not Ted.
Ted was an aberration.
And you see… Dale was afraid to dance.
Now the DJ was feeding the crowd what they longed for. Large lengthened dance-mixes of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and that song “You Spin Me Round Round Like A Record” (or something like that) by that band with the guy with the giant black hair who dressed like an escaped figure skater.
“Just look at him out there.” Dale thought to himself… his stomach turning with every out-of-time twirl or bad attempt to stir the pot. “Doesn’t he need a break? Doesn’t he need a drink?”
But no. Ted Johnson danced on.
Every night it was the same. Dale would watch the bad dancer, there was always one, and stew. How could the crowd not turn on him and throw him from their midst?!
Instead they seemed to embrace him.
He would never admit to himself but he would have handed Ted the keys to his Alfa-Romeo 8C-2900 in a heartbeat to trade places with him. He bit his lip almost imperceptibly and felt the dread that came about this time every night. His lip curled into a tiny sneer and his fist pumped gently as if adjusting the sleeve of his Eton shirt.
Layna or Lanna, what did it matter(?), began to tap his shoulder to get his attention. Layna wanted to know if those were really Barker Black shoes. He assured her he’d never wear a knock-off Ostrich Cap and returned his focus to Ted.
Of course he didn’t know his name was Ted but he looked like a Ted or a Mike or a John and Dale sat and awaited the agony that was sure to follow.
And he didn’t have to wait long.
Hey little sister what have you done?
And so it began. His darting eyes found Ted and he saw Teds face light up in recognition… like the bad dancers eyes always lit up.
Hey little sister who’s the only one?
“Make it stop” Dale thought to himself.
Hey little sister who’s your superman?
“Why won’t I dance?!” His stomach tightened and churned.
Hey little sister who’s the one you want?
“Oh merciful heavens! He’s doing it! That bastard is doing the Billy Idol fist pumping thing from the video!” Dale’s face became a picture of torment if only for a brief moment.
Hey little sister shot gun!
Dale braced himself and stood up. He looked towards the dance floor. To the mass of writhing limbs, their bodies pulsing in time to the music. He felt the hands of his women slip into his own, one on each side. Lanna of course wanting to dance but knowing that her boyfriend never would. It wasn’t even worth asking.
It was apparently time to go.
It’s a nice day to start again.
Ever so briefly their eyes met. Ted lost in a 1980’s fog. Dale knowing that the only thing that this evening had left for him was a short drive to his 15,000 square foot penthouse apartment uptown followed by a nasty little three-way with his girlfriend’s latest find.
He again would not be dancing. He paid his tab.
It’s a nice day for a white wedding.
Ted had two giant sweat stains that crept out from his underarms and almost met in the middle of his back… the final nail in his coffin of getting laid tonight.
With a final look back Dale exited the club. His envy of Ted oozing from every pore.
It’s a nice day to start again.