I Wasn't Even Wasted


I've never been the kind of person to sit around a hotel room. I'm perfectly happy to sit around private homes, even in really amazing cities--it's not like I have to see all the sights when I go someplace, and of course one thing I want to see when I visit friends is the friends themselves. But even in the least remarkable of cities, if I'm staying at a hotel, I want to spend as little time there as possible. I'm not sure why.... Perhaps it's because hotel rooms somehow strike me as boring, impersonal, and a tad claustrophobic. Go figure.... The same goes for a cruise ship stateroom.

My unwillingness to sit in my room watching television meant I had to find stuff to do on the cruise. It helped that meals lasted a very long time: it took two full hours for all eleven people at our table to finish all five courses at dinner. It helped that I am fond of walking and enjoyed strolling around and around the promenade deck. (Though I admit I realized just how solitary my tendencies truly are when I found it a bit irritating to encounter anyone else who was also strolling around and around the same promenade.) It helped that my sister Lisa twice competed in a trivia contest and won both times, so we all turned out to support her. It helped that my siblings wanted to attend disco night.

Yeah, disco night. Lisa and I were persuaded to don feather boas and lip sync to "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor as part of a skit, while my brother and brother-in-law ended up dancing to "Saturday Night Fever." It was fun and we were all worked up and wanted to keep dancing, so we all headed to the night club, for "dance though the decades," which the DJ (who was really lame but thought otherwise) explained meant he'd start with disco (which no one in my family likes), then work his way through all subsequent decades of dance music. He swore he'd move on to 80s music (which we all love) within an hour, then promptly headed off somewhere, turning his duties over to a replacement, who was even lamer.

My sibs went to bed before long, but I stuck around because I'm used to doing things I want to do by myself and I still felt like dancing, which I love. But the replacement DJ was both inept and cursed with dreadful taste. He played "Beat It" by Michael Jackson and the floor entirely emptied, and although he apologized for starting up a song no one was willing to dance to, he let the song run through to its end. He then committed the unforgivable sin of cutting short "Vogue" by Madonna when people were actually dancing in order to play "Celebration" by Cool and the Gang, even though we'd already heard it earlier in the evening.

And let me just state, for the record, that I HATE "Celebration" by Cool and the Gang.

Then the guy played, back to back, "Born on the Bayou" and "Proud Mary" by Credence Clearwater Revival. I have nothing again CCR but I don't exactly consider them part of either the disco movement or any decade since disco.

And it got weirder: he played "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel. No one danced, in case you wondered. And then, for some reason, he played "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. And in case you wondered, one person danced to that song: me.

I was both frustrated and about ready to head to bed, and one option would have been to do it then. But I love that song, and OK, you can't easily dance to it, but it was the first decent song he'd played in a long time, so I stood up and did an interpretive dance to it: all slow and thoughtful at the beginning and then when it rocked out I pretended I was in my own private mosh pit--the long hair helps with that--or channeling my inner Wayne and Garth or something. It was kind of great, but the next morning when I woke up, I sort of couldn't believe I'd done it. I didn't even have the excuse of being completely wasted at the time: no, I was thoroughly sober--I generally prefer to drink only water when I go dancing. I just for some reason decided to perform an impromptu, solitary and excessively theatrical dance to an audience of strangers.

It was even weirder and more revealing than blogging, but elicited fewer comments. I guess no one knew what to say.


Bohemian Rhapsody is one of those songs that demands motion, begs to be danced to, although it defies you to assign it to a particular style. I know I can't hold still when it's on.

You were probably challenging somebody, not sure who. Maybe that lame DJ.

Good for you. I wish I had that kind of courage. I would have expected the comments to be delivered with a lovely breakfast the next morning and then I would have hightailed it out of the room.

Kool will kick your bohemian ass if he finds out that a) someone mentioned him in the last 5 years and b) that you dissed him like that!

Unlike Simon and Garfunkel, Bohemian Rhapsody deserves to be played at any function, I don't care what it is. I am glad you danced to it. You must have been captivating, as you didn't mention anyone joining in. BR should be the national anthem... What a cool country that would be...

Oh, say can you see... a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch!

God Bless International Waters!

True confession: before I became a punk, I was totally into Queen and "A Night at the Opera" was my favorite LP. Juti's right: Bohemian Rhapsody demands dance. It doesn't exactly lend itself to formal stylized dance moves a la "Saturday Night Fever"; indeed, I think I can safely say that everytime I've danced to it, I was in a car a la "Wayne's World." Bismillah, no! We will not let you go!

The only time a karaoke performance made me laugh with glee was once in Toronto when I saw some of my grad students sing Bohemian Rhapsody. It's harder than it looks!

But Queen, well, they don't make 'em like they used to. Kids these days, with their hair and their music...

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone. I wish all of YOU had been at disco night.

"BR should be the national anthem... What a cool country that would be...

Oh, say can you see... a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch!

God Bless International Waters!"

A brilliant idea indeed!

Holly, I think had We of Your Comments been there, we not only would have danced with you to Bohemian Rhapsody, we would have stormed the equipment, usurped the DJ, taken the dance over, and made it our own. Then, everybody would have been shakin' it.

Holly, this is totally cool! What a swinging spinster you are, hehe!

And I love Juti's comment about us storming and usurping. Yep.

I can just imagine you doing early Kate Bush moves across the dance floor - and I know you're not a bad dancer, Holly... Still I think I will have a smile on my face for quite some time imagining your improvisation to Queen on a cruise ship. I have a photo of you in front of me as I listen to Bohemian Rhapsody, wishing I'd been there with a camera. And you're right, interpretive dance is far more revealing than blogging...

I know you're not a bad dancer, Holly...

considering that you are a very good dancer, Matt, I will take that as high praise.

Bohemian Rhapsody is one of my favorite songs. It would be hard to dance to but it sounds like it was a lot of fun.

SO said "BR should be the national anthem... What a cool country that would be..."

I'm in.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on June 28, 2006 12:08 PM.

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