Monday, March 24, 2014

Twist and Gout

It’s our first date-night at the Senior Center and I am perched at a table the size of a Frisbee with my husband, Babe. If we can squeeze onto the microscopic dance floor we plan to boogie till we need to call 911.

When the band starts playing, “Sixty Minute Man,” Babe yanks me onto the dance floor before I can say hula-hoop or poodle skirts.

Delirious with Saturday Night Fever, he swings me around and right into a senior couple fresh from a ballroom dance class. She’s clutching a patent-leather pocketbook the size of a Barcalounger and so help me, she’s wearing Bobbie Sox and Saddle Oxfords.

Wearing a goofy expression on his face, Babe dances like nobody’s watching and then crashes into an elderly man whose partner looks to be a walking cane. The fellow wheels around, bares his teeth and growls, but Mister Saturday Night Fever ignores him. I pull him away from Cujo before he has to get a rabies shot.

“Get out of his way,” I shout, hoping he can hear me over the earsplitting music.

Zigzagging through a blaze of white hair, we return to our table and two frosty mugs of beer. I sip mine but Babe knocks his back while gazing at me as if wondering who I am and whether he’s about to get lucky.

“Babe, you need to be more careful out there. That old guy you plowed into was ready to whack you upside the head with his cane.”

Babe shrugs. “No freakin’ way.”

“Way! If you had been clobbered by a nutty old dude jitterbugging with a wooden stick, you'd never be able to live it down.”

Babe looks at the snarler. “He doesn’t scare me. I can put his lights.”

I look at the pint-sized man and then at my 200-pound-plus husband. “Ya think?”

Babe drains his beer, gets up and heads toward the old dude.

I grab his elbow. “What are you going to do?”

He looks at me like I’ve got popcorn for brains. “Get another beer. Want one?”

At that moment, the band starts up with the best song ever, Ocean Boulevard, and before I can say Myrtle Beach, Babe pulls me onto the jam-packed dance floor. This time we both dance like nobody’s watching.

We pay no attention to our over-crowded shared space because something magical is happening. We Saturday Night Seniors are thrown back to the summer of 1958 when girls wore crinolines and ponytails and guys wore varsity letters and no ponytails. When Little Richard was little, Fats Domino was not and Lady Ga Ga was just a gleam in her daddy’s eye.

Songs by The Drifters’ drifted into our lives and before we could say AARP, we drifted into tomorrow.

Long live rock and roll!

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