June 07, 2006
BUMPING AND GRINDING MY WAY THROUGH ADOLESCENCE
So after my ranting and raving about the Della Femina curse against anyone who scheduled any event outside of the Hamptons between Memorial Day and Labor Day, guess who missed spending last (albeit a rotten, rainy) weekend in the Hamptons? Me.
It was my wife The Beautiful Judy Licht's reunion at Connecticut College for Women.
Now I won't tell you which year reunion this was for Judy because I've reached that stage of my life where I no longer write or say anything about Judy that would ultimately cause trauma to my testicles. Now I know there are a lot of red-blooded guys reading this who would suggest my weak stand indicates a lack of testicles. To them I say if you value your testicles, as I do mine, never challenge a small, volatile woman who wears pointy shoes.
The trip was fun. We drove up to the beautiful Connecticut College campus with another couple, Ed and Julie, who are funny and smart and the four of us laughed coming and going from New London.
In the car on the way home I plugged in my I-Pod and played the rock and roll music I grew up with in high school. (Judy, as we all know, was in nursery school at the time.) The songs I played were "Earth Angel" by The Penguins, "Sincerely" by The Moonglows, and "Pledging My Love" by Johnny Ace.
Then the song "Dedicated To The One I Love" by The Shirelles came on and both Judy and Julie agreed it was one of those songs. "What does that mean, those songs?" I asked.
"You know, like Mindy Carson singing the dance that was called The Fish. God, wasn't that awful the way boys used those songs to grind themselves into you. They would bump and grind into you as hard as they could."
Now I can't dance to save my life. I am the worst dancer in the world. When Judy and I married I was looking for a stand-in to have the first dance with her.
I came from a long line of awkward clumsy dancers. My mother and father attempting to dance at my wedding were the worst. Their dancing looked like an event at the handicapped Olympics.
But I must say I was like Fred Astaire when it came to doing The Fish. I would bump, I would grind, I would work myself into a red-faced perspiring frenzy doing The Fish.
Suddenly I went back a million years and I was 15 years old dancing in Sandy's basement. (Last name withheld in case there is not a statute of limitations for things you did when you were 15 years old in the basement with Sandy and her friends) "The Fish" was put on the turntable. The lights were turned down low and "The Fish" would play over and over. The words are forever locked in my brain.
Is it a salmon that comes in a can?
(Chorus ) No no no no no.
Is it a flounder that you fry in a pan?
No no no no no.
What is this new dance I'm asking you man?
They call it The Fish.
Roll a little left foot 1 2 3
Rock little right foot bend your knee
Use the ocean motion
Calm and cool
Rock and Roll your baby that's the only rule
My favorite part was "ocean motion" part. I don't mean to boast, but when I did the "ocean motion " part, the tide was always going out, if you know what I mean. Never once, in those days, did a girl I danced with, bump or grind back. Good thing, too. I would have passed out from excitement.
Now you have to understand that what boys were bumping and grinding against was something every girl wore in those days — a panty girdle. This was sort of like a hard elastic body armor. A boy bumping against a panty girdle could damage himself for life if he caught the hard edge of the panty girdle the wrong way during a bump or a grind.
Also if one got lucky and found himself in a position where one could work his hand under a panty girdle then one had to deal with the dangers of the elastic cutting off circulation in the fingers. Gangrene caused by a hand's lengthy stay under a panty girdle was a real fear in those days. Bras weren't the wispy, dainty things they are today. They had these hard plastic bones in them for shape. I always worried about losing an eye from a snapping bone if I got too close to a bra with my head.
Tell you, kids don't know how great they have it these days.
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