My Brief History of Dance

I was watching a video today and in the background I heard the song “867-5309 / Jenny” (you don’t have to play it, it’s already in your head) and that has me thinking about cocaine.

My only experience with cocaine happened back when I lived in Hayden, Colorado. For some reason I don’t remember there was a dance in the old elementary school gym and for some other reason I don’t remember I went, which is not something I was wont to do. (To this day it requires copious amounts of alcohol and/or viable threats to get me on a dance floor.)

I vaguely remember a dance when I was in sixth grade that involved sixth grade boys standing on one side of the room and all the sixth grade girls standing on the other side. All were waiting for either 1) the dance to end or 2) a sacrificial lamb to be the first to the slaughter.

I, of course, was that lamb. Our teacher, Miss Trimble, went around trying to get people to dance. She then suddenly grabbed me and ordered me to dance. Of course, for a few minutes, we were the only ones dancing which remains a horribly surreal moment in my life, especially when one group of students applauded my sacrifice. (Something like that.) Eventually everyone danced, but I don’t remember if I danced after that.

The incident involving cocaine happened after that (I think). All I remember about that dance is that there was a mix of ages and there was a dance contest that somehow I got roped into.

Although I’m sure my goal was to get thrown out of the contest as soon as possible, what complicated that plan was my partner and I kept passing through to the next phase of the competition. At some point the song of choice was “Cocaine” (I don’t remember if it was the J. J. Cale original or the Eric Clapton cover). Thinking back, although Clapton has always claimed the song was anti-cocaine, I’m still amazed it was possible to play a song with that title at a school function.

I the end my partner and I didn’t win. I think it was cocaine that ruined it for us. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

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