Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Should drunk white girls dance in public?

Now that Sarah Palin has left the 2012 presidential campaign, hopefully for good, and Michaele Salahi has settled down, at least for the next few hours . . . or days, maybe, with Journey singer Neal Schon, I can now turn to other matters that have simmered in the back of my mind for quite some time.

Like whether drunk white girls should dance in public.

I know I should be embarrassed to admit this, but, for some strange reason, I'm not. This question has gnawed at me for years and years, and I am embarrassed to admit I was never able to resolve it until now. I think it started in college, when I noticed that white people only danced when they had crossed that invisible tipping point from a warm, social beer-powered buzz to that condition when the outward facade of seriousness or nerdiness gives way to giggliness and a near-complete loss of social inhibition. Not the squinty-eyed, hiccupy, close-range, "Who are you?" or "Like, you're cute, did you know that?" or "YOU'RE THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO LOOSEN UP!!!" or "Who did you come here with?" or "What the fuck did you say?" or "You know, just fuck you if that's how you're gonna be. . ." phase or when the intoxicant starts endlessly repeating phrases like, "Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!" over and over again. There's that fairly harmless middle-ground that's kinda-funny-as-long-as-you're-not-around-it-too-long. And when you can't escape there's often nothing more annoying.

So, the other night at the Washington Capitals home opener, the music starts to pump during a television time-out, since the idea of more than 3 seconds of idle time at any contemporary professional sporting event is simply out of the question. And the public address announcer bellows, "ALL RIGHT CAPS FANS! LET'S SEE YOU DANCE FOR THE CAMERAS!" Normally, I take those few moments to browse through the stat sheets or read a snippet of a game program I always bum from the people who sit next to me. This time I watched because I hoped the Jumbotron would show my son and three of his hockey teammates on the ice, since they were getting to serve as part of the crew that cleans the ice during breaks in play.

No luck. All I saw was one beer-buzzed white person after another attempting to dance. They all begin at with a certain set of base moves. And before I go on, let me dispel any accusation that this column is sexist. Notice that I don't even bother to suggest that drunk white boys should attempt to dance in public. They just shouldn't and if you have to ask then you should never ever dance anywhere within a 50 mile radius of one in any public space. Of course, no one other than a drunk white boy would even ask that question, so that this means they have a better chance of getting arrested for dancing in public than urinating in public on the side of a building because -- you guessed it -- they're really drunk and had to pee. Perish the thought.

First, white persons who dance in public only do so if they are holding a beer in one hand. Come to think of it, I don't recall ever seeing a single white person in college dance without holding a beer or drink in one hand. I think it must be in the Unofficial White Person's Manual that any public dancing must take place while drinking an alcoholic beverage. Perhaps this is a concession by white people that dancing is just not their thing, and they are, in a way, apologizing in advance for dancing so badly by admitting they are partially, if not entirely, drunk.

Second, white persons who dance in public know they must either hold their beer over their head, preferably to one side, so they can better rotate their arms. Or, if the beer isn't over their heads, it must be held up against your chest, so you can gesture with the other arm while talking to the person you are pretending to dance with.

Third, white persons cannot dance in public unless they have perfected off-beat snapping. Translated, white persons know they must snap the fingers on their one free hand slightly ahead or behind the beat, simply to confirm that they are, in fact, rhythmically-challenged and to confirm further that are making no serious effort to really dance, but merely shuffle along while attempting to pick-up or make conversation with their dance partner, or communicate their indifference to the art of dancing more generally. This is a valuable technique, one that says, "I don't dance, as you can tell, so I want you to know I'm doing this because I like you." On the other hand, holding a beer bottle while you dance, especially if you start to peel the label with the other hand, can also communicate the following: "I don't want to do this, and the full attention I am giving my beer bottle should tell you that I can't wait for this song to be over." Or it could be a sign of sexual frustration. That's a plausible theory, and might explain why I don't remember what kind of beer I drank in college -- the labels were never on them by the end of the night.

Fourth, white persons carry a beer bottle to the dance floor as protection during those songs that start "fast" and end "slow," thus saving the aggrieved party who didn't really want to dance in the first place from actually having to touch their dance partner. Bad drunk white dancers still retain enough of their faculties to know, as they were taught by the Bush administration, that touching during dancing can lead to sexual arousal and thus unwanted pregnancies.

Back to the Jumbotron . . .

The first drunk white girl on the Jumbotron hoisted her beer over the head as soon as she realized the cameras had captured her. She sort of grooved from side to side, while pointing at her beer with her free hand, which she also appeared to snap. Nothing special -- routine drunk college girl dancing. This one needs to work on her game, and she can start by NOT pointing at her beer bottle. Rookie mistake, since it says to everyone assembled, "Hi! Like, I'm either totally underage or just, like, totally turned 21 or whatever and I am, like, so psyched to be here, wherever here, like, totally is or whatever!!! Woo-hoo!!! OMG, I'm taking a picture of myself with my cell phone!!!!!!!"

The second drunk white girl had stripped down to a sports bra and had painted her body in a way that would have landed her in jail in certain parts of South Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. Nonetheless, there she was, hands above her head, beer bottles in both hands, swaying to the computerized beat blasting throughout the arena.

The third drunk white girl was actually two drunk girls dancing without the benefit of proper choreographic training. Not only did each one have a beer hoisted above her head, they started to grind, much to the pleasure of extraordinarily large number of fat, bearded and drunk white men who make up about 97% of hockey crowds. The cameraman, or maybe camerawoman, or even the person of camera or who or whatever, must have gotten lost in the moment, since it took about 5 seconds longer than normal to pull away from this brazen display of drunk white girl-girl sexuality unseen since Madonna kissed Britney Spears on television.

But the final contestant ruined everything. He was a drunk white boy, not a drunk white girl, so that made a mess of everything right off the bat. He was sitting in a seat that looked very far away, somewhere literally near the rafters and not quite too far from the emergency exit. And when he saw his big ole' face on the Jumbotron . . . well, did he put on some kind of show! . . . a real step forward in performance art. First, he clucked like a chicken while holding his beer bottle. Then he started pretending to bicycle, exaggerating each revolution to make it appear that this wasn't really straining the hell out of him. His crescendo? All of a sudden, he just stopped, like a child playing freeze tag, turned to the side and chugged the rest of his beer, just like John Belushi did in "Animal House," or, more recently, Will Farrell in "Old School."

Standing-O from the crowd, which made him the winner, and, in turn, rewarded him with a free pizza from Papa John's, something that this guy definitely didn't need.

This chance to reflect on a matter that has simply not gotten the attention it deserves confirms the hunch that I suspect I had long harbored but never wanted to admit: that drunk white girls, when they sober up, should be able to do anything and everything a drunk white man should do.

Never, ever . . . though, should they dance in public.

1 comment:

Bill DeBaun said...

"First, white persons who dance in public only do so if they are holding a beer in one hand. Come to think of it, I don't recall ever seeing a single white person in college dance without holding a beer or drink in one hand. I think it must be in the Unofficial White Person's Manual that any public dancing must take place while drinking an alcoholic beverage. Perhaps this is a concession by white people that dancing is just not their thing, and they are, in a way, apologizing in advance for dancing so badly by admitting they are partially, if not entirely, drunk."

Stop following me to the weddings I go to and get drunk at.