Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Human Sausage Grinder

After another exceedingly long silence, it seems I am back -- only to talk about the same thing. How dull. And yet it is undeniably true that my life at the moment somehow revolves around food and musical genres which do not help the digestive process. So there you have cookouts and Hall and Oates (sorry to those of you who couldn't view it... well, I'm not really sorry.... it was probably for the best) and here you have congealed chicken and prom (and later "Morning Massacre" and Disco Brunch). Tell me you're not curious.

While my few American readers will have an excellent (if not first-hand and pang-inducing) knowledge of what "prom" is, my even fewer international readers may not. Let me enlighten you. Based on one's geographic location within the US, prom has small variances, but overall, it's a very formal dinner and dance party for teenagers, usually those in 11th and 12th grades. Here on the East Coast, students tend to eat together in one big banquet and go right into dancing at whatever location they have chosen (harbor cruise ships, museums, colonial mansions, etc...). The price is steep, up to $80.00 per student (depending on how diligent their class was about raising money). The boys rent tuxedos, the girls buy dresses and typically spend a fortune on having manicures, pedicures, and their hair styled in complicated, painful "up-dos."

I chaperoned prom last Friday night. Oh my (fanning herself violently). It wasn't the students, really. They were well behaved, they looked and smelled nice (for once). It wasn't the food (a typical prom meal is usually some type of "prom chicken" -- most often Kiev (stuffed with ham and cheese)) -- it was, indeed, slightly cold Chicken Marsala with lots of roasted veggies sitting in a puddle of hardening goo (butter? oil?). It was the dancing. I'm going to sound very middle-aged here, but I have never seen, nor do I hope to ever again see, 100 teenagers gyrating and grinding each other to bastardized, heavy-techno versions of DOA's "You Spin Me Round" and Soft Cell's "Tainted Love." So, like my teenager years... but so not...

The above photo is what it looks like (these are not my students, by the way... just random teens I found on google). A few things I would like to point out: they huddle together like nursing bunnies -- what this photo does not show is the 20 square feet of empty dance floor they are not using. We had a tiny dance floor -- and there was plenty of room for the ostracized and slightly creepy/embarrassing faculty dancing (which I'm proud to say I took part in). Secondly, can you imagine how great it is to be a teenage boy these days?! One of the faculty noted that as a teenager he couldn't even imagine walking into a dance at a gym and not getting an erection, much less having the opportunity to rub and grind up against every half-clad girl in the class. Note especially the couple on the right (yeah, the tubby guy giving the Heimlich to the girl in front of him). This was what amused and confused me the most. At one point, I was doing a rockin' version of "The Microwave" with a female student when a boy came and asked her to dance. And do you know what she did? She turned her back to him, he sidled up behind her, put his hands on her waist and started grinding her! Instead of punching him, she was grinding him back!

The one thing I will say for this kind of dancing is that it encourages more of the boys to dance, and if you really hate your date, you can still get some pleasure without having to face him/her. Also great for kids with bad breath.

Kids today -- they're just so lucky.