Author: Abbott, Kyle

...and then I said, “You’re sitting on it!” Heyyooo!!!!! That’s enough. Oh hey everybody! You just missed Bluegrass ‘n Stuff! Boy, that’s a shame. It was a good one too. Hmm... well, I can’t leave the rest of this page blank, so I’ll just have to make one another article right now. Boy, this is special! It’s like getting pancakes right off the griddle!

What’s the most unique thing you'll see at the festival stage area? No, it’s not ol’ Porky breaking a string on stage. No, it’s not Lloyd yelling, “Hey! You can tune that thing later! Just pick the #@$% thing! You’re gettin’ paid!” No, it’s not even one of the audience members vomiting after one too many chocolate-dipped ice cream bars. The most unique thing you'll see at the stage area is somebody dancing.

This is especially unique for me and people like me. More specifically, people who don’t know how to dance and aren't keen on learning. Although I’ve been known to throw out an amusing Moonwalk, in general I think looking at someone dancing is like looking at a Martian. You don’t really know what to make of it. He/she/it looks cute but you don’t want to get close in case a flailing arm strikes out. Now, being of that mindset, I believe I am the best person to give you the most unbiased opinions facts about dancing by telling you my personal history with dancing.

It all started one day when Papa offered Luke and I the spontaneous idea of taking a dance class. This may have been because the week before that we had been unknowingly pushed into a dance and ended up looking like swaying hardwood boards (though in my defense, I wasn’t drunk and thus, wasn’t loosened up). So, after looking through the Parks and Rec catalog, we saw ballroom dancing, Polynesian/Hawaiian dancing, salsa, disco (this must have been an old catalog) and African dancing. Papa suggested we do Polynesian dance because he danced with the Polynesians in his travels. However, I have an allergic reaction to grass skirts so that was out of the question. We (meaning 'not I') settled on African dancing because our Bluegrass bass buddy (Billy Pitrone’s compadre Sarah Eblen) was taking it. Well, Luke rolled with it pretty well but let me tell you, it wasn’t a good start for me. For one, 90% of the participants were women (nothing wrong with that, but how would you feel being the only man at a Mary Kay party?). The rest of the men were a little... (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Besides that, I wasn’t the most light on my feet. Even more, it seemed the rump needed to move more than the feet. My captain’s quarters felt like it was about to have a mutiny. So, that was my first dancing experience upon which I swore never to dance again. (Well, I didn’t swear, I just figured that since I did it once there’s no need to do it again.)

Well, as you all know, when you swear you won’t do something again, you’ll do it whether you want to or not. This time, it was a contradance. Luke heard about one in Santa Cruz and asked me if I wanted to join him. Well, after lots of struggling, I found myself forking over 10 bucks to join myself with a bunch spur-shodden swingers (in the sense of “swing yer partner doesy doe”).

Let me tell you one whopper thing that's wrong with contra dancing. (Or at least this particular contra dance.) You can only dance with women. I mean I like the ladies as much as the next gal but what's wrong with dancing with men?!? This dance there were fewer women than men so I only got to dance one out of three dances. Luke managed to get in the first dance, I jumped in the second, and neither of us got in the third. So, after too much waiting, I left when The Caller went to the can.

Now, you are probably saying, “Wow! You're right Kyle! I had that problem last week! What would you do you fix this problem?” Simple! Booze! The fixer-upper of all problems! All the dancers should be so drunk that you don’t know whether you are dancing with a man, woman or a cow. Problem solved!

The main thing that I came away with from that contra dance is an experience... oh, and my 10 bucks which I repossessed when the money-lady went to get a Dr. Pepper. That experience brings me to my next bit of advice which may save you some embarrassment at a dance. This advice is attire. If you are gonna dance, don’t have anything dangling. Let me go back to my contra experience. During the dance, we started swinging, which is a movement where you hold onto each other and twirl around till you lose your cookies. During this whirl, while struggling to find something to hold onto so I wouldn’t be thrown to the side, I accidentally untied my partners dress with one stroke of my thumb (where are you supposed to grab to hold on anyway?). If she had been wearing normal clothes, that would not have happened. Just because it’s a contra dance doesn’t mean you have to dress up in period-clothing. It’s the 21st century, the ‘western look’ went out with the crazy straw. For those of you who like to tie up your dress with a bow-knot, use velcro or a zip-up thing for your main dress. Then, make a stand-alone knot and stick it on with tape or something, just like a clip-on necktie.

Recently, Papa has been wanting to incorporate dancing into our Abbott Family Band set. However, the main form of dancing he’s done is hippie dancing. (The dance where you have the spirit but no cool moves to back it up.) He wanted to learn an actual bluegrass/old time dance so he assigned, of all people, me to go online and find a dance. It was really tough to come up with any results because he wanted a non-partner dance which he could do while the rest of us play a fiddlin’ dance song. We found one called “The Cotton-Eyed Joe.” We first did it slowly but as we sped it up, we realized that it was the Can-Can. Are we doomed to foot-loose failure? You may be able to help. If you know of any good old time non-partner dances, please, let me know at

Well, that about fills the trough for this month. Now for the Joke of the Month: A little girl is sitting on her grandpa's lap and studying the wrinkles on his old face. She gets up the nerve to rub her fingers over the wrinkles. Then she touches her own face and looks more puzzled. Finally the little girl asks, "Grandpa, did God make you?" "He sure did honey, a long time ago," replies her grandpa. "Well, did God make me?" asks the little girl. "Yes, He did, and that wasn't too long ago," answers her grandpa. "Boy," says the little girl, "He's sure doing a lot better job these days, isn't He?" Heyyooo!!!!! That’s enough.

Posted:  9/11/2007

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