At Some Point You Gotta Dance

It’s fairly common knowledge that the typical, high school hierarchy affords jocks and cheerleaders Mt. Olympus magnitude godhood. To be sure, this is a nerd-free zone. And I should know. During my junior high days, I had actually worn a plastic pocket protector to house my pens and pencils. YIKES!

Later on, as a somewhat “cooler” high schooler, one Friday evening, I attended both a varsity football game and the postgame dance. No big surprise, I went to that latter event, STAG. Throughout the next two hours, as the Student Council designated disc jockey kept on spinning the vinyl records (only one turntable) I found myself wondering why I had even bothered showing up.

However, as the 11th hour drew near, I suddenly found myself teeming with this overwhelming, what-do-you-have-to-lose determination.

Between records, while the kids “argued” over which song would be next, I abandoned the shadowy sidelines and approached the still sporting her cheerleader uniform, Nancy. It’s not like we had never met, seeing how we were enrolled in some of the same classes. Our conversing came quite easily / naturally. And then… I asked her…

“Would you like to dance?”

Sans any hesitation, she smiled and said, “Sure.” For all I knew, her accompanying shrug might’ve even been equivalent to her unspoken, “What the hell took you so long?” I could only hope that my stunned feeling had not become a facial expression.

At that very moment, from the overhead speakers, we heard the opening notes of the Youngbloods’ cover version of Get Together. I hadn’t expected to be slow dancing up close but…

Well, it was about mid-tune, that I realized the DJ had cued up the longer album version, which afforded me one extra minute to not only enjoy our dance, but also realize how wrong it was… still is… to prejudge people… to buy into the dehumanizing stereotypes and hierarchies… the type which can only fracture society. Even Jesse Colin Young’s delivery of Get Together’s lyrics was amplifying the unifying sentiments.

Ever since my dance with Nancy, I’d certainly disagree with anyone who’d dare to suggest that proper education only involves teachers and formal classroom settings. I believe I learned far more during that four minute song than I learned during all four years of my high school experience.

Now, at the risk of spoiling the moment, let’s explore another, closely related aspect to my narrative… namely… the practical application of such truths.

There’s a certain… let’s leave him nameless… “world leader” who fancies himself my homeland’s Cheerleader-In-Chief. While I would never dance to any of the ugly ideologies spinning around within his noxious noggin… to a certain extent… I’d still have to agree with him that it’s important to calm citizens who might panic easily.

Of course, unbeknownst to him, being an effective leader involves far more than that.

What a shame he’ll never dance with the metaphorical Prudence. There’s so much her style of cheerleading could teach him. For starters, how it’s wrong to prejudge and buy into dehumanizing hierarchies and stereotypes. Beyond that, he could learn that a cheerleader can only motivate Team America, so much… especially when formidable opponents (such as the pandemic and economic / societal upheaval), are threatening to shellac us / shut out the U.S. on our own, home playing field.

To extend this sports metaphor, further, Prudence would point out that, ultimately, it’s the coach… not the cheerleader… who leads the team to victory.

 

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ill-Mannered Man ~ A Parable

 

Once upon a time… in the Land of Reality… there lived an ill-mannered man who was oblivious to the obvious… namely… that his overbearing, obnoxious, mean demeanor… the very boorish characteristics, which had impressed his equally boorish boss… were impressing nobody else!

Indeed… such dubious qualities were not even qualities at all. As such, his (so-called) profession’s service to society could only prove to be a disservice. Worse yet, he could not even begin to fathom how he had become his own worst enemy. Beyond a shadow of a doubt… his deplorable behavior was precisely the reason why few, if any, respectable folks ever wanted to do biz with him… why virtually nobody ever wanted to even welcome him into their lives.

He was the classic, textbook example of the peddling shoddy wares, door-to-door, high-pressure salesman. And… whenever he came a knockin’… that’s when the “fit” really hit the “shan”!

Anyone who had made the fatal error of ever opening their doors… even slightly… soon learned… the hard way… that he’d jam in his foot. Even when folks applied sufficient pressure to make him take one step backwards… long enough to moan out his, “OUCH!”… his role as a bad actor was far from over. He’d come back again and Again and AGAIN to camp out on their doorsteps for days, weeks… even months.

While the victimized folks could’ve… indeed should’ve… summoned the constable… well… since it was too easy to simply close their doors’ curtains… well… that’s as far as everything usually went. They figured this pest would eventually go away… after all… nobody could possibly be so dense… so insensitive… as to not realize that NO means NO!

Right?
Wrong!

One day… as a parade just happened to be marching down the street… with the flash of a thick wad of cash… the ill-mannered man managed to spirit away the living-on-a-shoestring, big bass drum player. At that point, both proceeded to shout inward to the tenants… in unison, repetitiously and at the top of their lungs… WE WON’T LEAVE! LET US INSIDE! He even pounded his clenched fist on the door to keep time with the banging away drummer… all of this attaining a decibel level that could’ve raised the dead.

Human nature being what it is… the ill-mannered man’s ill-conceived plot… his orchestrated, socially unacceptable taunts could only make this duo’s presence all the more unwelcome.

Soon the constant, cumulative vibrations began to severely rattle both the tenants’ nerves and their entire domicile… to the point where their heads exploded and their no longer happy home came crashing down. They could not possibly survive. And… not being able to step back in time… even the ill-mannered man met a similar fate.

However… the news wasn’t all bad. The big bass drum player wound up the sole survivor. And in a flash… he did feel remorse over his having ever become a party to such an ugly scene. In the days to come… having learned his lesson well… he even managed to track down and rejoin his marching band… to re-enter the parade of life… to once again… play joyous sounding music to the masses.

And with the ill-mannered man having been hoisted by his own petard… everybody within the Land of Reality lived happily ever after.

 

The morals to our story…

If you’re strapped for cash, don’t be tempted by the fast buck’s lure.

If you’re ill-mannered, don’t ever expect principled, civilized persons to cozy up to you.