First Blood: The dance-off

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You and your geeky friends are at a nightclub chatting away about Sylvester Stallone movies and then suddenly you can see ‘her’ looking at you from across the room. In fact, she’s been watching you all night. She’s all by herself in that … Continue reading

Junior High – 3rd year

I was doing pretty well in school and after I made my transition from JSS2 to JSS3 I said goodbye to those dreaded grey hot pants I sported for 2years – I went all out on baggy ‘Bermuda’ shorts (roomy for the crotch and 2 inches below the knee, yeah baby!). I wasn’t part of the Stingray generation and I ‘misplaced’ my US army bag, although with hindsight I wish I had auctioned it today on eBAY… shame. I was carrying leather (and sometimes plastic) folders which seemed cooler (Cool guys didn’t walk around, like hunchbacks, carrying tons of textbooks). The only problem was that I risked getting punished for not bringing some of those humongous textbooks to class (so on those fateful days I’d wear my baggy shorts with some newspaper padding inside my boxers to reduce the ‘koboko’/cane impact) – the sacrifice of trying to be cool, eh?

Prices of snacks and drinks went up steadily but fortunately, so did my pocket money. I recall those trips to ‘Uncle Tony’s’ kiosk where he sold these dodgy-looking (but surprisingly tasty) hamburgers (mmmm…) and next door to him was the meatpie lady whose pies seemed to be getting smaller but more expensive each year. On days when I wanted to flex/pose/show off/act up/broadcast, I would mosey on down to ‘Mama Nike’ and get some deliciously marinated peppered chicken. The truth was you ended up enjoying the bone more because there was hardly any flesh on it in the first place, yet the cost of 1 piece of her chicken was equivalent to buying about 4 meatpies. So when you asked a girl to join you for lunch you always secretly hoped that she would not opt for the rip-off chicken – otherwise, no lunch for you that week (or you risked being known as a ‘Percher’: Someone who walks around during breaktime trying to get a cut out of people’s meatpies going, ‘Abeg, make I cut?’)

Physically I had changed tremendously. It was not just the bounce in my step (It took months to perfect this without making my butt stick out) but my voice was deeper, I was taller (for an average 13yr old of course), and I was growing unwanted hair in the strangest places…Anyway, that was the least of my problems. I was more concerned about the sour relationship that I had trapped myself in – not with any girl in my school…with my pimples.

Anytime I had started making some progress whilst ‘toasting’/chatting up a fine girl, days later a bloody ripe pimple would spring up on my face and steal the spot-light (no pun intended). If that wasn’t bad enough my pimples, unlike other boys’ pimples, would appear on ridiculously annoying areas – I’ve had one on the centre of my chin, the centre of my forehead (no offence to Indians), by either side of my lips (I said ‘side’ not ‘on’!), etc. The worst-placed pimple was the stubborn one I had bang-in-the-middle of my already broad flat nose – It was like looking at a ripe cherry on a dark chocolate ice-cream sundae…without being the least bit appetizing.

One of my many battles in school was therefore to find an immediate cure for these grotesque skin protrusions. I tried everything: toothpaste, squeezing, pricking, but what worked best for me was Mentholatum/any medicated balm the night before. You’ll know it has worked when the girl you’re chatting with tells you (after staring at your nose throughout your conversation) that you need to wipe ‘something’ off your nose – see! My pimple was working against me as usual.

Other battles I encountered were the Popularity contests. It seemed a big deal to get your name into the school magazine or the yearbook with some cool accolade; ‘Cutest junior boy’ (I wish), Best dressed junior boy (not being sore but I was robbed), etc. I was just known amongst my JSS3 set as the one who talked to the most girls, including girls in the set above me (SS1), thanks to my cousin in that set. I had ‘Haters’ in my set who couldn’t understand how I would sometimes be invited to parties hosted by SS1. Those Haters must have hated me even more when my cousin and I partook in one of the school’s variety shows and danced our way to fame as The Hype Boys (my ‘school fathers’/choreographers/mentors were the Too Hype Boys for obvious reasons). I became a (little) celebrity overnight and it boosted my rep just a little bit 😀

Only one thing stood between me and Senior status – my JSCE exam. To me that meant either repeat wearing Shorts another year or proudly walk in Trousers. .The pressure was now on!

 

..xTx..

Blood on the dancefloor II

continued…

As you get back on your feet, nose bleeding and totally humiliated, you loathe the DJ’s well-timed sense of irony as he switches the music to…wait for it… Michael Jackson’s ‘Blood on the dancefloor’. But you suddenly realize that this is the big break you’ve been waiting for! Thats the kind of music you can step to, not ‘Say My Name’. They’ll be ‘saying YOUR name’ by the time you’re done. You’re going to redeem your image, silence the hecklers, and give your dancing partner a wacko-jacko experience she will never forget.

First you grab your crotch and pop it up and down a few times in succession while your legs are ‘at ease’. The crowd is already beginning to cheer. You stop crotch-popping and start to gyrate on the spot, your eyes firmly fixed on your dancing adversary. The ‘Wooo!’s and whistles from the ladies around are overwhelming. You snap-wiggle your leg in the air then you strut your way over to her and push your waist up against hers. Her lips part. You take her right hand up and whisper to her, ‘It’s going down, babe’.

You spin her around and then you both put on an electrifying, neomodern salsa performance.The uproar from the crowd is unprecedented. You catch a glimpse of some beautiful ladies biting their bottom lips. Some are winking at you and pouting seductively. You know you look bad and dangerous with your sweaty silk shirt and bloody nose. The alluring scent of your dance partner’s perfume brings you back into focus though.

You  ‘crip-walk’ around her like a deranged Red-Indian around a bonfire, snapping your head aback along the way. After one complete revolution you do a lightning spin and execute the Billie-Jean Toe stand – applause aplenty! You grab her upclose one more time. This time you can feel her heart beating fast. It will all be over soon but not after you give the audience what you know they’ve been craving for. Tonight you will leave your mark as the undisputed dance maestro, the dancefloor will worship your feet, and your $39.99 loafers will be put to the ultimate test!

You take a step back, arms stretched out in front and pulling her gently towards you. You start to backslide slowly and she instinctively comes towards you. You pick up the pace and her salsa-strut is perfectly in synch. Never before have you performed the Moonwalk while still holding your leading lady. It’s absolute pandemonium now and you can see the club’s bouncers on red alert. Your friends are chanting your name and then the whole club joins in – even the DJ. In a Tango Neuvo approach, you lean her forward so that her back is arched and she has an inverted view of the audience. She’s breathless. You’re exhausted. The crowd loved it. You pull her back up and she asks you, ‘Where did THAT come from?’ You say nothing but smile. She then whispers in your ear, ‘I wanna rock your world…’

…1 long kiss and 3 Trojans later, you wake up. You’re in her apartment. It wasn’t all a dream. You can still see your silk shirt hanging across the bedroom. You’re both so cosy under the sheets and she’s got her head on your chest. You notice a picture frame by your side of the bed and its faced down. You’re thinking you probably bumped it during the hanky-panky. She also wakes up shortly after and she asks you for the time. You look at your watch – Its almost 2am. She suddenly panicks and tells you that you have to leave.

You put 2 and 2 together and you pick up the picture frame to notice she’s in the picture with a huge, built-up bloke. ‘Who’s he?’ She tells you its her husband and that he’ll be back any minute. You suddenly hear a knock on the door. You’ve had your fun with dirty Diana but you don’t want to see blood in the bedroom. You haven’t got time to throw your clothes on. There’s a window to your left and you’re only 1 storey off the ground. It’s time to beat it!

Blood on the dancefloor

You can see her looking at you from across the room. In fact, she’s been watching you all night. She’s all by herself in that sexy, ‘Daddy-would-kill-me-if- he-saw-me-in-this’ dress. Your friends taunt you to go over and talk to her. You rub off your sweaty palms against your Armani Jeans and summon up enough courage to make your move. As you get your swagger on you notice your bounce coincides with the intro to Neyo’s ‘Sexy love’ which the DJ’s playing – that’s a good sign. She’s even smiling as you get closer – that’s even better. You both start to talk, flirt, laugh…and you didn’t even have to buy her a drink! When she’s not looking, you turn to your friends across and signal with a ‘thumbs-up’ (yay!). Everything is going swell…until she asks you to dance.

You know you don’t want to but in the words of Chris Tucker ‘She FAAAINE, men!’ You can’t afford to let some other chump acquire those ass-ets. You’ve earned it! It’s her favorite song too so before you try to talk your way out of it she drags you to the dance floor anyway. Now, you tell yourself ‘I aint so bad, I was the hotstepper back in the day, I’ve still got a few tricks up my socks…but how the f*** am I supposed to dance to Say My Name, Say My Name?’ Is that even scientifically possible? You don’t remember seeing Destiny’s Child do much more than strike poses for 90% of the music video. But this is real life. She’s looking at your ‘leg/feet’ area like she’s saying ‘Show me what you got, you stud-muffin’. Your friends are watching…HER friends are watching…There’s no turning back…This is it! It’s time to bust a move!

You’re under pressure so you look to see what other people are doing but they’re just moving side to side. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em, right? But you’re in for a surprise! Your dance partner is doing the moves in the Destiny’s Child video and you’re starting to wonder if she was behind the choreography. Next up the DJ switches to ‘Dutty Wine’ and she gets into position to flip it on you – but you don’t quite expect it. It’s not your kinda song and you’d rather go sit down with her. You move closer to her to tell her this but from nowhere your face gets whooped by a pound of organic arm-length ‘shanikwa’ braids. You’re dazed but she’s too busy dutty wining to even notice the whole left-side of your face is swollen.

The DJ has put her on spotlight. She’s the main attraction and you’re just standing there getting upstaged. Everyone’s jeering and hyping her up and you’re still spitting out hair extensions from the previous head-butt (well, technically it was a ‘hair-butt’ but that’s just nasty). You try to back out to avoid any further embarrassment but your friends push you right back in. You know they wouldn’t let you get outclassed by a girl. You still haven’t proven to the crowd that you are the lord of the (dancing) ring. You’re seriously considering to do the Moonwalk then suddenly the DJ switches to Crunk – but you don’t know what the hell that is. Now you’re REALLY screwed.

As she starts to body-pop, your involuntary reflex is to shield yourself from attack. But all she’s doing is throwing arms in your direction like she’s going to beat you up. It’s so aggressive and so up close and personal that you fail to realize that tears are trickling down your cheeks. Everyone else notices though. They start to point and laugh at you. You can see your friends shaking their heads in disappointment. You’re too ashamed to ask for her phone number now. All you wanted was to have a quiet drink with the lads.You turn round to make a run for it but you trip over your own foot – What a clutz. You fall flat on the floor and fracture your nose. You’re bleeding all over the place. You’re definitely not having fun anymore. You want to go home. You want your mummy…

‘Hee-hee!’