On the road again, I can’t wait to get back on the road again….
[Shakes] These prophetic words from Willie Nelson probably don’t apply in this case because SWAT and I seem to have navigational/directional/speed issues – or at least she thinks I have speed issues because I can put Helio and Danica to shame. The truth is, however, that the puddle jumper is a beast and can get us from point A to point B in the least amount of time – without a GPS.
[SWAT] Life is a highway, I wanna ride it....all night long!!! As that early 90's one hit wonder dude who sang this song croons, Shakes and I will really be on that highway all night long, and who knows how many more nights because between her driving and refusal to let me navigate, we could be at this for weeks. But dance lessons with Tristan would be worth putting up with her over-caffeinated self through fast food stops, bad costume decisions, and unfortunate transportation choices.
[Shakes] In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, “I get no respect.” But whatever. We left Florida behind us because we made a wrong turn, remember? Blame it not on a Tristan distraction this time, but a food distraction which is a regular occurrence when it comes to the Swatster and me. Since there was no Tristan distraction (she insisted that I couldn’t watch the Burn the Floor dvd while driving) we had to find something else to distract us when the puddle jumper wasn’t moving forward at warp speed. A diverse selection of delicious options were scattered along the highway (well not ON the highway itself but in little buildings alone the road), tempting us with their delicious treats. We could expose our very discerning palates to tacos, fried chicken, or Arby’s. And shamrock shakes of course. Once again, however, I digress. Since we missed the Florida classes because of SWAT’s inability to accept that tutus and/or inflatable coconuts weren’t suitable attire for a Tango, we’re off to Minnesota which I am fairly sure is next to Maine and Missouri and Montana and Mississippi. After all, they all start with an M so logic has it that they are geographic neighbors. Don’t you love how our minds work? It’s pretty incredible actually.
Ultimately, we had to downsize a little because we stopped to stock up on snacks for the trip, and therefore, the puddle jumper was on the verge of a catastrophic explosion: it was either toss the tutus out the window or toss SWAT out the window. I’m thinking the latter might be preferable, but alas, she dug in her heels and refused to leave her comfortable spot in the passenger seat. Actually, that was probably her best option because she got to hear my new repertoire of music – my new musical choices starting with the 1970s Disco Fever cd which began with a rousing rendition of I Will Survive followed by every song every recorded by K. C. and the Sunshine Band. There’s nothing like rolling the windows down and impressing everybody traveling along the interstate with “That’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it…..” followed by “Shake, shake, shake….shake, shake, shake….shake your booty.” I’m still not getting why she pulled a blanket over her head and refused to bellow along when it was a given that I was going to be asked to perform live on Season 14 of DWTS – with Tristan dancing in front of me, of course. By himself. I don't know which the audience would enjoy more - his dancing or my singing.
[SWAT] I had brought my 80's Dance Fever CD along for the ride and made Shakes put it on since I had to listen to her belt out her disco stuff for longer than anybody should ever have to tolerate in this lifetime There's nothing wrong with disco of course, but she can’t sing worth a darn. Besides, I really wanted to listen to some Girls Just Wanna Have Fun because let me tell you, this wasn’t exactly fun. At least not yet.
[Shakes] Anyway, SWAT went to sleep, or maybe she was ignoring me which, of course, was entirely possible, so I made an executive decision. I was driving, and I was the one in charge, and that’s how it should be, but it became time to lighten the jumper’s load. Somewhere in a cow pasture in southern Arkansas (which is somewhere close to Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona, we assume) are her skinny leather pants that didn’t zip anyway and haven’t for a while, a blinding purple sequined tube top that is illegal in at least 12 states, a pair of leopard print leggings that made my eyes bleed, and another tutu – this time in bright yellow because she got it into her head that she was going to be following the yellow brick road and dancing in The Wizard of Oz. Don’t ask. Her mind works in strange ways. I think it had something to do with a yellow PT Cruiser she dreamed about once. Dreams are her inspiration, but that’s another story for another time. Let me explain that I told her about a dream involving Tristan, a blue kimono, and backflips, and she actually tried to explain it to me. I will never understand how her mind works.
[SWAT] I wasn't ignoring Shakes at this point. I was completely passed out after I had put a little too much Bailey's into my Shamrock Shake. It sounds like an odd combination but really, there is nothing wrong with making things a bit more Irish. Besides, it might help dull the pain of traveling with Shakes. I knew I was in for it when after finishing off half of it, I started speaking more gibberish than usual and telling Shakes that I wanted to be one of the DWTS singers, and that my first song that I was going to sing was going to be to one of Tristan's dances and that it would be “If I can't have you, I don't want Nobody Babaaay”. It was all of that disco music from earlier that had sent some subliminal message to my brain and made me think I was Donna Summer or Yvonne Elliman or whoever. That stuff gets stuck in your head. Shakes tried to convince me that was a better plan for me, so that way I would be out of contention to be Tristan's partner and therefore, she would be his best bet. She knows I can sing, while she screeches, bellows, and howls. All that Bailey’s made me kind of agree with her. I babbled on and on about how I liked her “Strateedgery” (Drunk speak for “Strategy”) and that I can belt out love songs to Tristan and she could dance with him. All the while Shakes must have been driving at the speed of light because I vaguely remember purple sequins, leopard streaks, and fluffy yellow flashes of light flying past me and out the window. “Strateedgery” indeed my clever friend!
[Shakes] She woke up just as said yellow tutu took a flying leap out the window and landed in the cow pasture and then she insisted that I part with some of my clothing items. I am a team player, but it was heartbreaking to part with my vintage 1976 bellbottoms (we’re talking wiiiiide), my tie dyed t-shirt and my collection of head bands. She also refused to let me bring along my 933 scrunchies, my huarache sandals that I’ve had since 1982, and my well-worn Pointe shoes. Well, they are technically my daughter’s well-worn Pointe shoes, but I figured I could really impress Tristan if I did a little ballet en Pointe before we rumba or tango or jive or waltz. I also brought my dancer daughter’s hip hop sneakers just in case the Pointe thing doesn’t work out. Frankly I’ve never been in Pointe shoes in my life, so there might be a little problem with it. I’m fairly sure, however, that I could do justice to hip hop. Can’t y'all visualize me getting down and funky to Mama Said Knock You Out.? SWAT put a damper on things when she insisted that nobody has said “getting down and funky” during her lifetime. Bummer. I still say that pays to be prepared for any eventuality. I like to think I’m hip and cool. Like wow, man. I am so groovy.
SWAT then not so politely pointed out to me that neither ballet, Pointe, nor hip hop are considered to be Latin or ballroom styles and that I should quit thinking I’m the next Tristan MacManus or even Tristan MacManus’s partner. According to her, “He will laugh you right out of there.” Harumph. She is just getting too cocky. I thought I looked good and had so much potential.
[SWAT] Oh Gawd, I've just come to the realization that Shakes and I have officially become on this Road Trip....The Bickersons! We are like Kurt and Anna and Tristan and Nancy, but worse!
[Shakes] We are back on the road again, but we decided to do the nice thing and head over to Arizona to pick up our ace photographer and research assistant, Azline Dancer. Big mistake. Arizona is apparently near California – Who knew? – and if we wanted to get to Minnesota/Michigan/Maine, etc. we had to make tracks. Watch out for the cacti and rattlesnakes, AD. We'll get you on the way to LA. Our intrepid reporter, Scoop, somehow managed to track down SWAT – which is interesting because neither of us have SmartPhones. Both of us insist we don’t need internet on our phones and neither of us ever have our cell phones turned on anyway. Scoop probably has magical powers or something – just like Tristan’s magical suspenders. Then she not so politely informed us that Tristan wouldn’t be teaching in Minnesota, but he was just performing and that we were idiots, and that was what she was going to put on Daily News on MML. Scoop needs an attitude adjustment. Or maybe we do. Scoop said we both need brain transplants too. What’s up with all the insults?
We were not happy. I mean the performing thing is just fine, but our mission hasn’t changed; we want Tristan to be our dance teacher. Both of us obviously have plenty of natural ability; we just need things tweaked a little. Undaunted, we continued on. How would he be able to resist us? We already have our rehearsal/teaching/performing costumes picked out.
Surprisingly, I’ve decided to go for subtle with a hint of bold. I want to learn the jive. I’m fairly high energy. After all, Ripley is always telling me to take deep breaths, and, in the words of my favorite SNL skit, she insists that I “simma down now.” I think she means I’m hyperactive or something, and I’m not sure where she gets that idea. She also left us a text with these instructions: SWAT – Get the damn gallery finished. SHAKES – Shut up and drive! Too bad we didn’t see it for another 275 miles.
I’m a wee bit hyper, a whole lot over-caffeinated, and I’m pretty sure our resident geek, CP thinks I need somebody to make me sit in a corner for about 6 days. She also said if our next blog is as long as the last one, she would have to increase the bandwidth, and then she would kick our sorry backsides and take our favorite emoticons away. Man, life is tough on macmaniacs.org. We get no respect, which is surprising since SWAT and I could probably have appeared on Dance Fever in the 80s and won the darn thing. Oh wait, SWAT was a mere infant in the 80s. Come to think of it, so was Tristan. Forget that. I could have appeared on it and won it easily, but what’s the point without Tristan. Bummer again.
[SWAT] Okay now ya'll, let's get this straight. I was a mere infant in 1980, so I would have been around 8 years old or so when Shakes and I would've taken Dance Fever to the next level. Tristan would have been maybe 5, so he might have been able to shake his little Irish post-toddler tail feather along with us. We would have totally won that competition based on the cuteness factor alone. I'm sure that Tristan at age 5 probably could still kick our butts in dancing anyway, so I'll take him on our dance team at any age. He's still “the man!”
[Shakes] I think she left me out of this little scenario. I could be the experienced older woman who danced her way into the hearts of America – or someplace – but she just kicked me right out of this fantasy.
[SWAT] But talking about the 80's with Shakes and where I was fashion-wise when I was 8 years old totally made that little SWAT fashion light bulb go off in my head. Since I pretty much dressed like Punky Brewster in the 80's, I figure why not go in that direction when we show up to see Tristan in Minnesota? Only I will be a sexier, more colorful version of Punky Brewster - bascially how Punky would dress in her 20's, because fashion trends never change over the decades, now do they? I borrowed one of Shakes' scrunchies and put my magenta hair in a side pony tail. I also cut holes in the knees of my jeans and rolled one leg of my jeans higher up than the other. Iridescent high heels should go nicely with this ensemble, and now, where's my bright purple
sequined tube top? Damm! It disappeared along with my leopard print leggings. I guess I'll have to get creative, which I know Shakesy just loves. You should have seen the look on her face when I put on my Chiquita Banana costume when we were on our way to Florida. It was so rad that she was speechless! Ah, I found my yellow sequined tube top tucked deep down in my suitcase. (I've got costume stuff hidden everywhere). All I need to do now is add my blue gingham tutu that I was going to use for my Dorothy look, and suddenly I'm the perfect version of a Punky Brewster/Dorothy/Cyndi Lauper hybrid. Sexy! How will Tristan keep his hands off of me?
Darn it. We keep forgetting he isn’t teaching in Minnesota. Oh well, he will probably be so blinded by our striking attire that he will want to dance with us right up there on stage. Or show us to the exit. That’s currently up for debate.
[Shakes] Rad? Really? And she thought I was bad with the clichés and the colloquialisms and the trendy talk. Do you know anybody who says rad or ever did? Maybe Punky Brewster, but that’s it.
Anyway, back to my excessive energy. High energy is good for the jive! All those flicks and kicks and bricks and ticks (oh wait, those last two are things to build houses with and little bugs, never mind). So the jive it will be. Now for the perfect costume. I’ve decided the jive costume that is most me isn’t the Devil Went down to Georgia devil – although SWAT calls me a devil frequently (or a demon, I can’t remember), or the knock ‘em dead in the yellow jive costume that Nancy wore. No, what is more me is Carson’s Wake Me Up Before You Go Go jive in which I can wear my very own personalized cheerleader outfit and pompoms. Now Carson carried off his look beautifully, but I want more razzle dazzle and more pop without me popping a kneecap or popping out of my top. This is where I’m going to open up a can of whoop ass and bury the competition! I’m going to mix it up a bit on the costume and go with something different: I’m going bold but tasteful with none of those wimpy pastels. I’m thinking a bit of bullfighting red, blinding puce, chartreuse, bubble gum pink, tan, khaki, and olive green with pompoms in atomic tangerine. I am going to rock their socks off. Have you had enough yet? Add a touch of banana mania yellow, boysenberry, burnt orange, camouflage green, electric lime, fashion fuchsia, metallic gold, guppie green, hot magenta, lust (yes, it’s a color, I checked), mango tango, mauve taupe, psychedelic purple, and raspberry glace, and vivid cerise. I AM HERE TO MAKE A STATEMENT!!!!
[SWAT] Oh boy. So I'm not sure that everyone knows the real reason of why I call Shakes.....Shakes. Most people assume that it's just a shorter version of her full moniker, which is Shakespeare. Good guess. It seems like a natural nickname for my dear partner in crime, or you might assume that it has something to do with how she likes to show off her “special” dance moves and likes to shake her booty to disco music. Good guess again, but wrong.. I call Shakespeare, Shakes because she downs copious amounts of caffeine and therefore one would think that she always has the shakes. An even more real possibility is that she's going to be overly caffeinated when she has her dance lesson with Tristan and therefore the shakin’ booty disco dancing will unfortunately collide head-on with her caffeine shakes, and then you will really have to marvel at our Shakes. I can only imagine the look on Tristan's face now. As I always try to give ya'll teasers for our blogs and make them a mixture of “intrigue and confusion”...that is the expression that Tristan will have on his face as he watches the Disco Caffeine Queen bust a move to his instruction. Good stuff, and oh yeah...I will have the entire thing on video!
And then there’s another text from Scoop/Phantom. “BREAKING NEWS, YOU BONEHEADS! CAN’T YOU READ A MAP! AND DON’T YOU EVER LISTEN?”
I think she was trying to tell us for the 432nd time that Tristan was performing in Minnesota and not teaching and that we missed it anyway because we were just too obsessed with tutus and scrunchies and huarache sandals, and that Ripley was starting to bring out her inner b**ch because we can’t seem to do anything right. Rip said that we had better be writing a killer blog about it if we wanted to keep our high-paying jobs with benefits.
[SWAT] My eyes were glazing over, I was about to faint dead away from hunger because Shakes refused to let me have another bean burrito, and my gingham tutu was starting to wilt. A bloodcurdling scream which hopefully also took out her tonsils and vocal chords thankfully interrupted her singing. I looked over and she’s jumping up and down in her seat, her venti nonfat caramel macchiato with extra foam and an extra shot (believe me, I know the drill by now) sloshing all over the gingham. My gingham.
“What!” I snapped.
“Look!” she squealed.
My eyes widened as I took in the green sign just past the overpass. Welcome to Dublin.
I looked at Shakes and she looked at me. I caught that gleam in her eyes and knew we were in trouble. We don’t remember driving across the pond or rowing or whatever, but it looks like fate to me. I grinned and grabbed for the handle so I could hold on for dear life. “YEEHAW!” she squealed. “We’re gonna find Tristan in Dublin!”
Too bad it was Dublin, Ohio. Well, crap.
[Shakes] By the time we realized the Dublin we were cruising wasn’t in Ireland, we had missed the whole thing in Minnesota. We gassed up the puddle jumper, SWAT started crying and carrying on like a 2 year old while I took the grown-up approach and wailed, “I WANT MY MOMMY!” Blame all of this on Tristan. There are too many distractions when you plan on dancing with the King of Dance. Or taking lessons from the King of Dance. Or even being within 3,000 miles of the King of Dance. Maybe we’ll have better luck in LA.
See y'all on the flip side.