austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Put the shades on ... precious pearly white

I'm not an extrovert by any measure. But I do know that a wedding reception is a spot where it's appropriate to get on a dance floor and it doesn't matter what you do or how foolish you look; you'll look fine. So I was given a few things, like a plastic lei, and a pair of cheap sunglasses, and plastic maraca, and the helmet. And I kept them on, partly through dances, partly while sitting at a table. Eventually I was dancing with my mother, and she told me, ``You can take those off now.'' I knew that, but people wanted to see me with them on. ``Really, you can take them off.'' I granted this. ``You can take them off now.'' Perhaps, but there's undoubtedly someone who didn't get a picture of me with them on yet. ``Take them off now.'' Well, the thing is ... And she took them off.

By nature I don't have any actual dance moves, since pretty near the entire time I've spent dancing in my life has been at wedding receptions or was actually technically just me watching Singing In The Rain. However, at my sister's reception I certainly put on an outstanding show, far above and beyond what my brothers managed. Even when they were dragged out onto the floor by my mother or my sister-in-law the most they'd do is tilt modestly to alternate sides for a few minutes, then sit down. My normal dance-floor strategy is only a few steps advanced from tilting modestly, and actually owes what effect it has to Chevy Chase. Honest. I read an essay in which he explained one of the things that helps in doing a stage fall, if you're trying to funny, is to have stuff moving with your fall -- plates or papers or whatever if you can carry it, or at least flail your arms. And this struck me as good and applicable advice: if I clap exaggeratedly to something near the beat, I look like I know what I'm doing.

One brother insisted there was a curious transformation which overcame me acting exclusively at wedding receptions; another insisted that I really should go clubbing, because all I have to do is sit around looking impassive while wearing brightly-colored plastic trinkets and I'd look be one of the coolest guys in the room. Yes, finally, I could achieve cool without doing anything for it: barely twenty years too late for high school when it might have helped me any.

Trivia: Canned tuna in oil -- after draining -- is approximately 60 percent water. Canned tuna in water -- again after draining -- is about 70 percent water. Source: The New York Public Library Desk Reference, Editorial Directors Paul Fargis, Sheree Bykofsky.

Currently Reading: Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, As Told By Its Stars, Writers, and Guests, Tom Shales, James Miller.


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