Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Do The Time Warp Again!

It's December 9th, 1990, and the place is Apartment 1 in Blacksburg, Virginia. What's that? You've never heard of Apartment 1? It's only the spot where all the truly great geeks hang out - the members of VTSFC (VA Tech Science Fiction Club), VTAS (VA Tech Animation Society), Ron's Women, the Patowski Twins, Whoman and Rueben the Boy Blunder, Fred, Derf (the anti-Fred), and a whole slew of guys named 'Michael.' I spent a lot of time with that gang, in that apartment. Back in those days I was their official Goddess of War (can you guess how I earned that title?), and I knew how to shake 'em down.

But back to Decemenber 9th, 1990, in Apartment 1. The hot chica in the football jersey and spandex leggings was yours truly, and the spry young stud dancing with her might have had a girl friend, but he was going to be mine before the night was out. Yeah, I was a home wrecker, a devastator, a woman with her sights set on a very specific prey. He was a hot Latin lover, one of the few boys who could actually dance, and you couldn't get a crow bar between us that night if you tried. And believe me, no one was trying. They didn't dare.

It was the last party of the year for Apartment 1. Winter finals were coming up, followed by Christmas break, and we were determined to dance until we fell through the floor into the apartment below up. Even the local stray cat, Mushroom, was doing his jive thing out on the porch, all hopped up on catnip and L'il Friskies. We played all our favorite songs that night - Paradise By The Dashboard Lights; Rocky Horror's Time Warp; a heavy metal dance mix of Carmina Burana's O Fortuna (I'd give my eye teeth to hear that song again); and a very naughty, outright nasty mash up of the Speed Racer theme song. Some genius had taken a bunch of sound clips of Trixie and Speed and mixed them with an electronica version of the theme. In the midst of the song was a high charged interlude of 'uhs' and 'ahs' that built until the song suddenly exploded into "Here he comes! Here comes Speed Racer!" and ended with Trixie giggling, "Oh Speed, you were WONDERFUL!" Another song I'd give my eye teeth to have.

Through it all, I danced with a boy I would one day marry. Kim called dancing a vertical expression of horizontal intent. I have never heard truer words. My future husband and I were as vertical and close as we could get when someone spun up "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by the Police. When we kissed, the room exploded in applause. Like the Speed Racer mash up, we'd been going through our own little interlude, weeks of public flirting and promises of what might happen at the dance. People had been waiting for that moment for some time.

That was 1990. Now it's 2009, going on 19 years together. I wish I could say we still dance, but we left Blacksburg a few years later, after we got married, and moved to the suburbs where wild parties are few and far between. There are no good clubs that I know of, and even if there were, the cost of a babysitter these days and my bad knees kind of prohibits dancing. Even Apartment 1, that bastion of youth, will soon be gone. Developers are bulldozing it over to make way for new condos. It's the end of an era.

But I still feel that longing to dance, and I've done what I can to satisfy it. No longer a svelte twenty-something, I've turned to work out DVDs and Wii Dance Dance Revolution, trying to prove I can still get my groove on. We've got two mats for the DDR. Maybe tonight I'll put the kids to bed early and invite my husband to come join me in a dance.


  1. Aw, Helen, that was a sentimental post that really got me. I love Paradise by the Dashboard light and the music from Rocky Horror. I remember parties like that one. Good times, good memories.

    Thanks for sharing. Good luck with that DDR.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Do you remember the Rodeo song? I'd like to hear that one again...

  3. That was a cool photo. (I haven't learned how to post photos yet). You look latina!

    I never knew Wii had a dance game out there. I'm going to look into it. Does it teach you how to dance?


  4. Hey everyone! Molly, I don't recall the Rodeo song. I'll have to look that one up. I do remember Space Cowboy though! Anything like that?

    Garceus, no Wii doesn't actually teach you to dance. The DDR game has a floor mat with arrows to the sides and front and back. On the screen, a series of arrows lights up, indicating which spot you should step on, and the point of the game is to hit those spots at the right time while the music is playing. I can sort of do it. It's fun, it works up a sweat, and it does take coordination and attention to play, but it's not like actual dancing!

  5. Hey Helen,

    I've been absent for a couple of days, but finally dragged myself in for a look see, and here you is. I'm feeling very old now. Sigh. 1990, cripes I'd been married for years already. LOL I do remember the songs though. Phew!

    Wonderful post, as usual. I enjoyed the giggle and the picture is priceless.


  6. Helen!

    We loved the same songs, clearly!

    And I still work out to Rocky Horror.

    Great post!


  7. Lovely story, Helen. I can just imagine the applause that came with that kiss, lol!

    Kim Dare.


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