You all know I hate to brag about my seemingly endless list of skills and talents, but I must truthfully confess that I am one of the greatest dancers in the history of the universe.When I feel the music pulse through my bones and lower bowels, my feet are like water; flowing across the dance floor and getting the ladies and a few of the men soaked with excitement. I am the master of all styles; the Mamba, the Hula, the African Watusi; disco dancing, breakdancing, tap dancing, and the Hokey Pokey. I have also won numerous awards during a multitude of competions including the "YMCA Daddy's Little Dancer Marathon", age bracket 25-30, for three years running. Dapper Dancer Magazine has called me the "Bruce Lee of dancing" because of my penchant for creating my own styles of dance that I blow the crowds away with when they're performed for the first time on the dance floor. When I go to a club and step onto the floor, the noise becomes a hushed whisper and a square is cleared from me to work my magic. After I'm done, the place explodes with joy and they beg for more, except for a few weeks ago when I unveiled my "Iraqi Prison Torture" dance moves that seemed to upset a lot of folks. I think it may have been too soon.
Many ask me how I first got started weaving dances of magic with my nimble feet of fancy. It all goes back to when I was a young ruddy lad in the 80's and saw the move Footloose for the first time. For those of you who live under a rock or were raised by Jehovah's Witnesses, Footloose is a story of a complex young man from the city played wonderfully by Kevin Bacon, who moves to a small town in the Bible Belt where dancing is forbidden by the local preacher played by John Lithgow. Kevin Bacon is a free spirit that likes to express his raw emotions through music and dancing, fighting an uphill battle against the old religious authority. In a very pivotal part in the movie, and probably one of the most emotional and moving scenes ever put on film, Kevin Bacon goes to an abandoned warehouse to vent his frustration.This is a battle, but instead of using knives or guns against the archaic southern society, he is using his dance moves as his weapons. I must honestly say that Footloose is probably one of the best movies ever made and is a triumph of the human spirit. Especially when they played chicken with the tractors that were going 5MPH. After watching this movie countless times as a child, I started dancing constantly. My father was unnerved by this development and tried to put a stop to it by breaking my ankles, but after they healed I went right back to dancing. Ever since, I haven't stopped growing my litany of skills and fine tuning my craft, until now. It has come time for me to retire.
Now that I am officially off the market, I'm hanging up my dancing shoes and leaving the dance club circuit permanently. I think it would be unfair for me to continue my reign of unequaled supremacy, depriving the up and comers of their chance to shine in the spotlight. My place now is on the Laz-E-Boy watching Curling and growing large and pudgy by eating snack chips and fried dough. Since I consider all of you my close Internet friends, I am going to do something I have never done before: unveil top secret step-by-step directions on some of my most famous dances to you so that you can try them out at the clubs yourself! I must warn you that the skill level on these dance moves are extremely high so I don't recommend trying them if you are a novice. One of my rivals that tried to steal my moves ended up in the hospital with a pair of broken legs and a punctured kidney after I hit him with my car and poked his kidney with a sharp stick I found in my backyard. Although the world of dance may look like fun and games, it is a very serious deal to the folks who live the lifestyle to its fullest. If you do decide to take these dances, practice them at length at home, and then unleash them at your local dance clubs, please be ready for the fame and jealousy of your peers that is soon to follow. It is wise to travel with an entourage that will protect you from any foes who would steal your glory, and always bring a lot of condoms with you. After you bust these crazy moves out, the girls will be hanging off you like monkeys on a banana tree. They also may try to peel your skin off and eat you, so watch out.
The Old Fisherman
I created this dance in the summer of '96 when I was visiting some relatives in Maine. I was sitting at a seaside restaurant feasting on fresh cod and watching the fishermen pulling in their nets when inspiration struck. The movements of the burly fishermen flowed in a beautiful pattern, like smelly, cursing, unshaven ballerinas. The deck of their boat was the stage and the various forms of sea life that they gutted and beheaded were their unwilling dance partners. I stopped eating my meal, grabbed my boom box from my car, and busted out some jams as I created some moves on the spot. The fishermen did not like it one bit and preceded to throw crab legs at me until I was heavily injured, but the dance was completed and ready to take back to the city for a test run. It quickly became a fan favorite and soon kids from New York to Tokyo were getting down to the old fisherman dance. Let's break it down so you can use it too.
#1. Place your feet shoulder width apart. Pull both arms back, your hands open behind your head, and then toss them forward like you are flinging a net into the ocean. Repeat 5 times and rotate.
#2. Now act like you are pulling in the net, hand over hand alternating from the left and right sides. It is important that you rotate your head in the opposite direction of the net pulling. This simulates that you are wary of rogue sharks that might leap from the sea and take a limb.
#3. It's time to reap the rewards and take those fish out of the net and drop them into the buckets. Get as crazy as you want to get here, and feel free to customize it to your own speed. Repeat until the song is over and then hold up two fish in victory "v" at the end.
An example on how to perform The Old Fisherman. And yes I used Quicktime just to annoy you terrible nerds!
As most of you know, I worked on a farm for most of my life and it's ingrained in my psyche. The screams of the piglets being slaughtered, and of old uncle Cecil falling in the wheat thresher still haunt me during the night, so much so that I need a mix of heavy pharmaceuticals and alcohol to sleep. Besides the deep scars that will never fully heal, my experience on the farm has also helped me craft one of my most successful dances to date called Farm Lyfe. It earned me many accolades and praise in the dance community, such as winning the "Best Farm Related Dance Performance" at the Dancies (the biggest awards show of the year!). For further effect when performing this dance, you can also dress the part and wear some overalls and a straw hat. I don't recommend letting pigs loose in the dance club though since that got me in some hot water.
#1. Milking the cow. Pretend you are pulling on those udders for some of that sweet, sweet milk. Get as funky as you want to on this one.
#2. Next, put one hand on your hip and with the other toss the seed out for those hungry chickens. Do it two times on each side and then alternate.
#3. This is where it gets a little tricky. You are chasing a hog that has escaped the pen so you need a little room to work. Throw in a few milking moves and seed throwing in the middle of the chase to mix it up. Be creative.
An example on how to perform Farm Lyfe.
White Ghetto Boogie
I know it's a little tough to be respected in the highly competitive dance scene if you are a white boy. That's why I feel that instead of trying to emulate the highly skilled black dancers and being labeled as a poser, the white folks should embrace their lameness and work with what they have. With this piece I took all the common traits of the bad white dancer and made it a hip and fun club dance that generates laughs and friendship with both races. Except Mexicans, they are not allowed on our dance floor at any time!
#1. We start it off with the "Hitchhiker". Stick your thumbs out and move your hands up and down. You need to have a sense that your car ran out of gas and you desperately need to be picked up, but you are a tad worried that it will be some psycho that will carve you up with a chainsaw and eat your genitals. Don't forget to move your head to the music!
#2. Now place one hand on the hip and snap away to the beat! Switch sides and continue until crispy brown or the song changes gears.
#3. The last move is called "Friends", named after the super white popular sitcom. It really has nothing to do with the show though, and you just kind of hop around until the song is over. Be aware that while you are doing this you might be laughed at by other dancers, but don't let this break your concentration. If you forget these moves while you are out there, just do the Hustle instead.
An example on how to perform White Ghetto Boogie.
That's What Bilbo Baggins Hates
Bend the spoons, crack the plates, that's what Bilbo Baggins hates! This dance is inspired by the J.R.R.Tolkien's "The Hobbit". Since my attempts to turn the entire book into a dance number failed miserably, I decided to just focus on one part; when the Dwarves and Gandalf come to visit Bilbo and give the poor little Hobbit a hard time with their ill mannerisms. I first used this dance at the height of the Lord of the Rings mania that was generated by the movies, so this was a huge success at the time. Since it has died down a little, I recommend waiting to use this for when the Return of the King special edition DVD comes out. I also recommend watching the 1977 cartoon version of the Hobbit before going out to the club to get a full sense of the scene and to practice your moves to the song. Hire some midgets to come over and break all of your silverware and dishes to really get a feel for the torment poor Bilbo was going through.
#1. First you are acting as the Dwarves, bending the spoons and cracking the plates while moving to the beat of the jungle rhythm.
#2. Next you are doing Bilbo, running about all worried while trying to keep up with the troublesome Dwarves.
#3. Now you are Smaug the great red dragon, who has made an alliance with Bilbo to destroy the Dwarves and save the silverware in peril. I know I took some artistic liberties with the story here, but I felt the dance needed a little more action. I hope the Tolkien estate isn't too sore at me.
An example on how to perform That's What Bilbo Baggins Hates.
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
My love of history is second only to my love of dance. That's why by combing these two passions, I am able to make something entertaining and fun, but at the same time a teaching tool to all those watching. Crafting this dance took countless hours of research on my part, pouring over the 6 volume texts of Gibbon's masterpiece on the fall of the Roman Empire. For many years I worked on condensing the thousands of pages into a three minute dance number. Countless drafts of the dance were sketched out but none reached the quality I was looking for. I almost gave up, but then I reached a turning point after I locked myself in the basement with the books and did not leave until I was finished or had to go potty. I must warn you that this is a very advanced dance and you really should practice this for at least 6 months before using it in public. Also please do not bring any swords or bows to the club, because the bouncers will not let you and will call you hurtful names.
#1. The barbarian horde of Goths, Vadels, Huns, Visgoths, and Saxons swarm acoss the empire! Shoot your bow, hack with your swords, boogy down like it's the fifth century AD!
#2. Rome responds with her dwindling legions. Internal corruption and dissension makes it a lost cause. March in fixed order with a large frowny face.
#3. The sack of Rome. Pillage, rape, loot, and set fire to everying. Make sure you just do this in the dance and not to the club. People may be confused by this dance if they are ignorant of history so it might be wise to give a brief lecture on the fall of Rome before performing. Bring a projector with you and some slides to help with this presentation.
An example on how to perform The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Not unlike Kevin Bacon from Footloose, once you unleash these moves at the school sock hop or junior prom, you will be sure to be the talk of your town and will probably have to do battle the local preacher, eventually winning him over with the irresistible charm of these dances. On a side note, there will be a five dollar royalty charge whenever you use one of these dances. I accept checks, money orders or any edible goods. You got served!
Given our society's obsession with stalking and ridiculing celebrities, it's tempting to seek a life of anonymity. But beware: not being famous has its own hidden costs.
Mass Effect: Andromeda turns its nose up at the original trilogy's rigid morality. It boasts a more nuanced and intellectually compelling shades-of-grey approach in which a heart icon pops up when it's time to tell an alien to take their clothes off.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.