[Shakes] We are riding off into the sunset (minus the horses), and this time we really are going to find Tristan and rustle up some really great Cha Cha lessons or Tango lessons or whatever because we are bound and determined to wrangle some dance instruction with Tristan. I’m at the point where he can teach me the YMCA sort-of dance or the Dance Of How to Walk Across the Floor Without Falling. I’m no longer particular and prissy like SWAT who has her very specific dance requirements. Now really, does somebody who wears a blue and white gingham tutu and sports magenta pigtails have any room to be particular?
[SWAT] So we really aren't playin' around this time. Our once promising road trip has become a comedy of navigational errors and poor costume choices. Not mine of course...my tutus are still in the picture. Shakes has been trying to find ways to secretively dispose of them but little does she know, I've got them stashed all over the place. And although she assumes that I have very specific dance requirements, the only requirement that I have when it comes to dancing is that I have Tristan as my partner. That man has swivel hips of sin, and therefore as long as those swivel hips are teaching these....er....spastic hips of insanity how to dance, then I'm happy. I really don't want much do I?
[Shakes] There she goes again with the tutus. My car is only so big, and unless she has inflatable tutus (similar to the inflatable coconut bra, and we know how well that worked out), she’s going to be dancing in her Daisy Dukes and tube top, which practically screams trailer trash. Is that really how she wants to present herself to His Highness? I mean really. Couldn’t she have something understated and tasteful? Why must everything be adorned with bling, feathers, and inflatable parts? But back to my dancing lessons.
I, on the other hand, no longer have discerning taste in my dance preferences. I am desperate, and desperate women take desperate measures. I want to learn to dance, and I want Tristan to be my teacher. Nobody is more determined than I am, and you should know that I’m a woman on a mission. Since my epic fail at the Cha Cha (see Part 1 of Road Trip), I am willing to tackle anything, and I will move mountains, give up Arby’s, and stick a pin in SWAT’s inflatable costumes in order to get my way. I am determined. I am strong. I am invincible. I am Woman. (yeah, I took that right from Helen Reddy’s song).
[SWAT] Shakes needs to stop frontin'. We all know she's not going to come out of her Cha Cha lesson with Tristan singing I am Woman. The real scenario here is that Shakes stumbles out of her private Tristan lesson looking a little love wonky before sprawling herself across the hood of the Puddle Jumper and soul singing (well doing her best impression of a soul singer) at the top of her lungs. “Youuuuu make me feel....youuuuu make me feel....YOU-MAKE-ME-FEEL-LIKE-A-NATURAL WOMMMMANNNNNN.” I won't, however, ever hold against our Shakesypoo. In fact, I can't promise that I'd never do that exact thing myself after my dance lesson with Tristan, only it would be me rolling around in a meadow singing At Last. It's the Tristan Effect. He has that ability to make women want to spontaneously break out in song and proclaim to the world their inner Carole King or Etta James.
[Shakes] All good points, my dear SWAT, but really now. I don’t see myself channeling my inner Carole King, nor do I see At Last as the song of choice here, as beautiful as both songs are. It is more likely that I will be doing a little hip hop to MC Hammer and You Can’t Touch This. I’m not the slow soulful type, unless of course Tristan insists on dancing slowly and soulfully in which case I’d be more than happy to oblige. SWAT, on the other hand, is more likely to exit her dance lesson in the back of a police car.
[SWAT] Um....the police car situation would never happen Miss Shakes, and contrary to popular belief I think that I would actually conduct myself very appropriately for my sexy dance teacher. Who knows if I'd actually go through with the actual dance lesson if we ever freaking get to California in the first place? I just may have to stand there in the dance studio in front of Tristan, adorned in my tutu, and I'd probably be rendered mute. I know, a shocking thought, but also a complete possibility.
[Shakes] Back to our story. This road trip will end – thankfully – when we find Tristan and he teaches me to dance so well that I’ll probably be first in line to be his celebrity partner. We will Tango and Foxtrot, Salsa and Samba, Quickstep and Jive. And that’s just the beginning. I’m going to have my own entourage – just wait and see. Not that fame will go to my head or anything. I’m fairly sure that I’m mature and can handle fame much better than the young, impressionable, and vulnerable SWAT.
[SWAT] I can handle fame. It's not like I’m going to immediately spray tan myself, put my hair in a half beehive, and try to be Snooki. It's not like I'm going to change my name to JSWAT or try to be the next Kardashian sister . What I'll be famous for, if anything, will be for bringing the tutu back into the fashion fold - and for winning Season 15 of DWTS - with Tristan of course.
[Shakes] I think SWAT has memory issues. Ms. Zumba has already forgotten that unfortunate experience, and she has forgotten that for the duration of this road trip, her hair has been in a combination beehive/bouffant/bird’s nest of the devil ‘do’ secured by up to 54,000 gallons of the best hairspray you can pick up at the vegetable and fruit stand in whatever country we are in. And yes, perhaps she will bring the tutus back into style just as I will be bringing big old 80s hair back along with my huarache sandals. Which reminds of the song by the Beach Boys, Surfin’ USA. “You see them wearing their baggies, huarache sandals toooooo……a bushy bushy blonde hair do. Surfin USA………. And you can’t touch this. Once again, we somehow managed to get off topic.
[SWAT] We do tend to get off topic, don't we, Shakes? Let's all answer one question here. What do ya'll think the reason is why we've been driving around in circles all over continental North America (and now possibly Central America) for the past week and always getting lost? Was it because we were A) Distracted by Tristan Go-Go/Disco Daydreams B) Distracted by food signs C) Distracted by costume choices D) Distracted by epic Bickerson arguments E) All of the Above?
The sad answer is E) All of the Above. And the scarier reality here just happens to be this - how in the heck are Shakes and I going to make it through one dance lesson with Tristan if we are too distracted to actually drive in the right direction toward the actual lesson venue? Even more thought provoking is that Tristan is always our #1 distraction of choice. So, if that distraction is right in front of us, in the flesh so to speak, how are we going to be able to listen to his sexy Irish Brogue, get past the fact that he's holding us close, and breathing in our faces, and manage to remember the steps? I'm a multi-tasker my friends, but this is actually starting to weigh on my mind more and more as we get closer to California. Yikes!
[Shakes] We somehow get out of the maze that is Dublin, Ohio, and I still think we were somewhere close to Bray, Ireland. The Dublins are all the same right? Just like the Paris-es. There’s the one in France, but there’s also one in Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, and Maine. But that’s off topic. Let’s go back to Dublin. There must be another one close by - - maybe we should call Tingly Wink while we’re in Paris or Dublin and ask directions. She lives somewhere close by, I think. Or maybe that was the whole Europe thing. I can’t remember.
[SWAT] Sure thing, let's go driving around to find Tingly Wink and maybe we'll actually end up in the ocean trying to get the Puddle Jumper across the pond. I could actually blow up all of my inflatable tutus and duct tape them to the sides of the Puddle Jumper....yeah, now that would be impressive. Then we could bring Tingly back with us, and her Eurpoean-ness could deflect from our “Lost and Aloof American-ness” Yeah that's it!
[Shakes] I would like to point out that our loss of direction in and around Dublin (the one in Ohio) is because the sign says “Welcome to Dublin. Home of Wendy’s.” And it had shamrocks on the sign. Then the food thing was confusing. You can’t really blame us, can you? So we hang a left and head west. Yep, we’re going to go to California and find Tristan.
[SWAT] I actually think it was the shamrocks that really threw us off course here. It's like they had special powers and we just gravitated toward them. As far as I'm concerned, if there had been a giant sign that said “Dublin Land Fill” right in front of us and had there been shamrocks adorning it, then I do believe Shakes and SWAT would be accidentally flying the puddle jumper into a pit full of garbage - Thelma and Louise style. That's how powerful the mighty shamrock is for us.
[Shakes] I’m confused. There is a Dublin in California, but also in Georgia. Uh oh. Another one in Texas. So as we headed down (or up?) to Arizona to pick up Azline Dancer who has been hanging out on the curb surrounded by the cacti and in the company of a few rattlesnakes since we left on our little journey. I stopped and stared at SWAT. It dawned on me that this whole trip has been a setup. She can’t dance with Tristan. Why, you ask? Because she has tutus. Lots and lots of tutus. Gingham tutus, sexy tutus, even inflatable tutus. Anybody with tutus is a dancer, and anybody who is already a dancer is a RINGER! I’m tired of ringers, and it is my mission to keep all ringers out of DWTS, so clearly this has to stop.
[SWAT] Me...a RINGER?!?! ~snort~ ~hiccup~ ~snort~
[Shakes] But first, “Whoa,” I said to SWAT. “What’s that thing in the road?”
She leaned forward and muttered, “Jackass.”
“What did you call me,” I snapped.
She rolled her eyes. You know, I’m getting sick of her rolling her eyes every time I say something. I’m smart. I’m mature. I am woman. Okay, so I’m sick of hearing that crap too, so I’ll change the subject.
“It’s a jackass,” she repeated.
I nodded as the light bulb finally switched on in my head. “Ah, as in “un burro.”
Her head snapped to attention. “Why do you have to go and get all intercontinental all the time? You’re always spouting off crap in Spanish or Portuguese or Italian. You got a problem with English?”
Before I could respond appropriately, she said, “Uh oh.” Her eyes widened as she pointed to the sign. “Bienvenidos a México.”
I grimaced and scratched my head. “Tenemos un problema.”
[SWAT] I don’t speak Spanish (well), but I know we’re in deep you know what…..Ka-ka maybe?
[Shakes] I always wanted to hang out with a burro, but I wish SWAT could speak Spanish without pulling out the Spanglish, but whatever. As long as we’re in Mexico, we might as well sample some of the sights. I haven’t been to Mexico in years, and I wouldn’t mind a little beach time to work on my tan. Like Tristan, I’m not feeling the whole spray tan thing, and besides, I have pasty white skin too so a little natural bronzing would be fun.
The next thing I know SWAT is hanging out with some hot surfer type swearing she was going to become a beach babe. Picture the huge, hairspray infused hair on top of her head with her on top of a surfboard. That’s bad enough but then we had another problem. SWAT lost her top while surfing in 2 feet of water, and I was ordered off the beach as soon as I appeared in a bathing suit. Life just isn’t fair.
[SWAT] Yeah, this really did happen folks, and I'm sorry that Shakes had to give you this visual. The surfer dude seemed amused but didn't offer to go swim after my top floating out into the ocean. Shakes was nowhere to be seen because apparently wearing her Sports Illustrated Dental Floss and Fabric Triangles bathing suit isn't legal for a public beach, and therefore she was escorted by a couple of beach cops in really short shorts off of the beach. And she was worried about me having a run in with the law. Sheesh. Luckily, I had another trusty tutu handy. My next invention into the new tutu fashion foray...Tutu Tube Tops. Is it a Tutu....is it a Tube Top? Right now at this very moment, it's both because I need a shirt something fierce. So there you have it. My tutu saved the day....again!
So after all of this drama and I return to Shakes, who is pouting in the puddle jumper, we decided that we better burn some serious rubber because these little detours into different countries were now becoming ridiculous. Shakes insisted that even though we had to get the hell out of Mexico that it would be fitting to listen to some Marc Anthony while we took in the scenery on our way back to the border. Shakes is my girl, and did get dissed big time by the beach po-po so I decided to be nice and oblige her. I even let her sing at the top of her lungs, while I silently obsessed more about how I was going to be able to conduct myself like a SWAT Lady when having my dance lesson with Tristan. Dare I say this....I'm getting nervous and not about not making it on time. I'm getting nervous about when we actually get there. What if I trip on the way into my lesson and fall flat on my face right there at Tristan's glorious feet? What if Tristan dips me during our lesson and I jerk myself back up and accidentally head butt him? Crap...where's the sparkly green barf bucket when you need it?
[Shakes] We decided we had better hit the road but not without rolling the windows down and belting out a few classics in Spanish – my personal favorite, Dímelo by Marc Anthony. You haven’t heard anything until you hear me sing “I Need to Know” at the top of my lungs in Spanish. Better yet, we stop at a cantina, I slip into my green sparkly MC Hammer pants (combined with the appropriate top as well, of course), and bust a move to Dímelo. I even got SWAT into the act – hey, her Spanish wasn’t so hot but she could at least carry a tune and that alone kept us from being thrown into prison. She went bold on her Hammer pants though – while mine were green and sequin-saturated, hers were fire engine red and frighteningly frightening. I think she thought she was getting ready to fight a bull and tried to transform herself into the female version of Tristan’s matador. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Between the 2 of us we looked like a scary Christmas tree on steroids. Particularly scary was her tube top that had blinking multi-colored holiday lights. I’m not sure where she found it, but, whatever…..the battery pack that she had stuck down the pack of her fire engine red Hammer pants added a nice touch too.
Back on the road.
[SWAT] The things that I do for Shakesypoo! I'm not going to go into (much) snarky detail about the fact that she likes to hate on my tutus, my giant hair with tons of hairspray, or my leopard print pants that she so lovingly threw out of the Puddle Jumper window. But SWAT and Shakes sporting some crazy Hammer pants is apparently screaming class? Who knew? I go along for the ride on this one because I love Shakes and don't want her to feel ridiculous wearing these bad boys on her own. Funny thing is, she's got the sequins all over hers but now she's making fun of my Christmas lighted tube top, and the fact that the battery pack powering it is conveniently hidden in my Hammer pants. I'm not gonna lie, the Hammer pants are quite comfortable, and they hide everything. They aren't exactly flattering but they do make everyone who wears them look like they have arses the size of Dublin (the Ohio one, of course. I wouldn't think of disrespecting Tristan's Dublin with a Hammer Pants reference.). And it's always nice to have a social equalizer. Not only that, but I can hide my wallet, keys, hairbrush, can of hairspray, and my cell phone in my Hammer pants no problem. So they work for me in their functionality.
[Shakes} I’m rethinking my costume. Does anybody remember the ancient tv show Hullabaloo? On this show from the 60s, the dancers sometimes danced in cages and wore really short dresses and white vinyl boots that hit the kneecap. Then the boots downsized to these cute little white go-go boots that went to just above the ankle and zipped up the back. (I should know. I had a pair). But they were always white vinyl and they made you look like a used car salesman in a mini skirt. That is what I am pulling out of my hat as my costume. Tristan will never have seen anything like it. Ever. We’re going to pull off a freestyle like you’ve never before seen – forget all those Tango, Foxtrot, and Samba lessons. We’re going to bring the house down with our Dancing in a Cage Freestyle suspended off the floor (but not too high – nobody needs to peek up my short dress – that would be tacky). We’re dancing to a medley of these beauties: A little jive to Devil with the Blue Dress (not to be confused with the Devil Went Down to Georgia jive) by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, a little Paso/Tango combination to Honky Tonk Woman, a few bars of the Cha Cha to Dancing in the Street by Martha and the Vandellas, followed by Hanky Panky by Tommy James and the Shondells and finishing it off with a little freestyle acrobatics (yes, in my dress), to Born to be Wild Steppenwolf and break out the really good stuff with Wipe Out by the Surfaris. Hot. Tristan in his Nehru jacket and love beads – yes, we will be children of the 60s. Of course, it doesn’t matter that this was about a hundred years before Tristan was even born….we will ignore that.
[SWAT] I will admit this. The thought of Tristan dancing with Shakes in a cage would be kind of hot. I can imagine him doing some really sexy swivel hip moves. I think it'd be hard to perform the jive in there, especially if Shakes and Tristan were trapped in that cage together, but what do I know. Tristan could probably do the jive in a port-a-potty and make it look hot. He might need a shower after that one though....ooooooooo....okay WAY off topic there. Back to our adventures before I get sent to the dungeon.
[Shakes] I think we’ve got it! We’re heading left, I mean west, which means we are going to have a Tristan sighting soon, and I’m thinking my Tristan radar is working just fine. I can smell him (not that way, people), I can sense his presence, I can just tell. My palms are sweaty, my heart is racing, and my legs are trembling. Of course, it could be because of that third venti-nonfat-vanilla-latte with 2 extra shots of espresso that did the trick.
[SWAT] As we high five our way through Nevada and somehow manage to avoid stopping to play blackjack or try out our newly-acquired skills as showgirls, we are women on a mission. We put super shocks on the Puddle jumper (it was a sight to behold), and booked it SWAT and Shakes style as we reach our final destination and roll into the parking lot whooping it up to Stronger by Kanye. Now I’m no Kanye West fan, but I like this song because it reminds me of a movie montage song where the antagonist works out and gradually transforms himself/herself into a super assassin or something similar – Shakes and SWAT style. The songs make me feel all badass when it’s blaring and Shakes I are infused with a healthy dose of confidence as we prepare to announce our presence.
[Shakes] All is well in California. We look hot in our matching hot pants and boots. We are confident in our skin – even the way too much of it that is showing. At least we left the tutus and swimsuits in the Puddle Jumper. My eyes widen as the door of the studio opens and out saunters His Hotness. Then I frown. “Houston, we have a problem. I mean SWAT.”
She looks over at me and back at the studio door, astonishment etched on her face. The door of the studio opened and His Hotness saunters out, and we realize…..we’ve been replaced!!!! What is Gladys Knight doing here?