Needing a Gay Chaperone

Who needs a gay chaperone?

That’s the question pick-up line I heard from the salivating youngster, approaching my companions at an extremely popular Chicago nightclub, The Crimson Lounge—full of poseurs and provacateurs and a team of forty-something women with matching dyed blond hair and black outfits and a real-life Planet of the Apes characters and mafia wanna-bees and MTV-looking nothings and a few people like us just out for fun.  Very cool decor.

Do you use the same shampoo? was the real question he asked the two sisters,  his excuse to be approach them.  Supposedly, his goal was to see where they looked when they answered—each other or us or him.  Whatever.

Is khaki a color or a fabric? The sisters perused this question from another buttoned-down boy, his entourage watching in the distance, waiting to pounce.   The two sisters debated this as a serious question until I informed them he really didn’t care.  He just needed a line–and I bet it was used often. Oh, yeah, right.

We left the technotronic sounds of Crimson Lounge, where the crowds felt like they were waiting…watching…in anticipation of….some B list or A list actor or musicians to sit behind the cheesy red ropes one step up from the main floor as an exhibit for all to watch.  Cliche, so the masses could wonder How did they eat?  What did they drink?  Who would they allow to cross the ropes?

The next club it was  I’m from NY; this is my first visit to Chicago. I was told.  That was later replaced by “Where are you from? No one says where they are really from.  I was really raised in Spain, and now I live in Chicago” this said after conferring with his friend, who readily agreed to this truth.  Ahhh—where is the accent, my Spanish dreamer but decent partner, old-school dancer?  I told him before he disappeared into the night that he should start with that line, not end with it.

And his friend, the purported overweight Yoga instructor.  Yeah, right.

You’re sisters?  We’re brothers ! We were told much, much later by two very similar looking, chiseled cheek lads still alone shortly before three am.  Maybe the only truth in the night, since they clearly resembled each other.

I forgot there are no night truths as the night fades to black, the speakers silence, the hunters and the hunted united in arms and beds, a few like us still with our evening posses, bodies exhausted from non-stop dancing, ears ringing, totally fun from start to finish.

What is the best or worst pick up line in YOUR past?  Mine has to be  on a college set dance set-up  date “Do you like to fish?” I certainly wish I had my gay chaperone that evening, spent trying to ditch a drunk fool who followed me into the bathroom.  But that’s another story. C


Musical Changes

“Regret” by New Order was first.  The next time it was “Love My Way” by The Psychedelic Furs, followed by “Another Nail in my Heart” by Squeeze.  These were all songs we danced to in the 80’s at “new wave” and punk clubs in Chicago with names like Neo, Club 950, Avalon, Clubland (greatest new year’s bashes!) Exit and of course–the Lizard Lounge– that most of our friends did not know or understand, and most radio stations did not dare play for fear of reaching outside the top 40 or big-haired rock realms.

All had great dance rhythm, and we could–err, would–dance all night.  On the dance floor, on the bar, on our couches at late night parties, a Christmas tree swaying in the background of one video.

And in the past two weeks I have heard ALL these songs at the grocery store!!, Trader Joe’s at least, but still.  Our once-new, different music playing while shopping for Wasabi mayo and samosas and orange juice and hummus.  How cliche, how old I felt, how everyday….but they all still made me want to dance. Some things don’t go out of style, for me. C

Stomp in the Theatre

It was a Lovefest at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL earlier this week, and my family relished being part of it.  We went to see the show Stomp, in town for two days, and if the audience could have kissed each performer, they would have.  The actors must have felt the rapture from the crowd, as they hammed it up, smiling from opening through encore.

My husband and kids had not seen the show before, and they all truly enjoyed it.  Kids between 5 and 85 around us clapped and laughed and were mesmerized by how you can make music out of anything.  Brooms, chairs, oil drums, bags, newspapers, garbage cans, basketballs, lighters, even the kitchen sink.  The energy was palpable for the entire almost 2-hour show as the actors got the audience involved with clapping, snapping, and yes-stomping.  Even I joined in, which I usually don’t do.  (humbug)

The rhythms were usually on beat, and everyone was impressed when they beat on their “instruments” of old signs and tins high above the stage, and the clomping of the ski boots on oil drums was sufficiently impressive, but perhaps the end with the true dancing and music with the garbage cans was the highlight.  The kids argued about their favorite number for over 20 minutes on the ride home.

I don’t remember the show being so funny the first time I watched it; I certainly laughed hard this week.  Whenever it seemed that one number was getting too long, they switched the tempo or added humor.  My only complaint involved the dragged-out newspaper act, which could have been cut in half.

If we could all perform in a show like that daily, there would be no obesity in this country!  High energy, aerobic, and humorous, it kept us laughing.  And free parking to boot–a successful night was had by all. C