TThe destination for "Date of the Week" VIII was a nightclub in Tampa for the yearly Erotica Exotica Ball. It was Nicole's idea, and who could turn her down? - with her soothing dark hair, inquisitive brown eyes, and wise smile.
But I wasn't at ease going into the night. The Ball was going to include high quantities of booty dancing, which is when a girl sticks her "booty" into a strange guy's pelvis and shakes it around for an hour. A pelvis-to-pelvis booty dance is called freaking. On my greatest-fears list, such dancing ranks second only to needles. For the Erotica Exotica, club-goers dance in their smallest, tightest clothes, which leads to heavy freaking - sometimes even to sex in the middle of the club! I didn't know what I'd gotten myself in for, and I was scared.
Nicole wore high heels and an orange nightgown. I had on a snug white tanktop. MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 8 - Show some skin. Also, Nicole helped to pin a black collar around my neck. "Just don't stab me with that pin, Nicole," I yelled. "Whatever you do, DON'T stab me...cause I'll freak out!"
Man, I hate sharp things. But I was even more frightened of the nightclub awaiting me. We drove to Tampa and found the club - which, as it turns out, was closed for night.
What was going on!? The Erotica Exotica Ball wasn't going to be held on this night? Oh, sweet relief! Woohoo, I'm saved from having to booty... ur, I mean - Darn the luck! I really, really wanted to shake pelvises with a sketchy woman wearing a thong that I'd never met before. Too bad it's closed, I would've shown everyone in that club a thing or two. ...yeah.
So, Nicole and I couldn't go to the Ball, and we had to settle for a late dinner at Bennigan's.
I travelled this past weekend to Miami with some college friends from the Caribbean island, Trinidad.
On Friday night, as they say in Trinidad, we limed. We were staying at Shawn from Canada's house, which was great except for his huge dog that tried to rape everyone who came through the door. Shawn and I joined Aide and the Trinidadians: Dexter, Barry, Johnny, Johnny Boos, Sasha, and Stasha.
We immediately got started on our way to drinking three and a half bottles of Trinidadian rum. Shawn opened up first, and he fully supported my "Canadians are crazy" theory. He'd won the Canadian tae kwan do championship, he hoped to join the U.S. Navy Seals, and he thinks foreign disputes should be decided by having each country's biggest guy wrestle each other.
After some rum, the Trinis' accent and slang became indecipherable to Shawn and I, as they said things like, "Man, dred, ah met dis dou dou an' ah wen' bazoodee, but, muhda-ass, da' bird blanked me an' ah wuz tablanca!" Cuss-words become worse when mother ("muhda") is added before them, and they're quite prevalent when liming.
Shawn said, "But, I couldn't just say to a girl in Trinidad, 'hey, 'dere, muhda-c*nt?"
Sasha (who's cute, in a sassy way), said, "Oh-ho-ho, you'd get slapped!"
"I'd block it," said Shawn. And we all laughed because 1. Canadians are crazy, and 2. we'd drank a lot of rum.
But who could drink the most rum? Dexter (a big, bald, experienced drinker) and Johnny Boos argued. Johnny Boos said, "My last name IS Boos! B-O-O-S!"
Shawn said, "That's not how you spell booze."
"Let me tell you something," said Boos. "My great-grandfather died of alcoholism, my grandfather was an alcoholic, my grandfather on my muhda's side died of alochol, and my step-father is an alcoholic!"
The Canadian gave in. "Spell it any way you want, you're a drunk."
To change things up a bit, we played a drinking game. Called Rincon, the players drew from a deck of cards and assigned to other people the card's value of drinks. Rules varied for face cards - for example, if a queen was drawn, then the last player to put his thumb on a body part had to drink.
As the game progressed, Shawn was getting pretty tumbly, and he couldn't stop from hitting on Sasha. He leaned over sloppily onto her, prompting Aide to joke: "He's worse than the dog."
Shawn had no idea what was going on by the end. He'd just drawn a card one time, oblivious to the fact that a queen had been taken a little earlier. Sasha flashed him hints, in the hopes that he would catch on and not have to take another drink. She pointed to her thumb, motioned with her head, even whispered, "Put'cher thumb on yer shoulder." But Shawn stared at her as cluelessly as a hillbilly might look at an aircraft carrier. Finally, he said, "Oh, so YOU want the drinks from my card. Well, drink up!"
With the Soca music blaring, the Trinis tried to teach Shawn and I their dance, called winding. Basically, winding is just like booty-dancing except that a booty-wind is inserted where a booty-shake would occur. It's all very complicated, and it just goes to show that booty-dancing is a terrifying dance with a mind of its own and it will hunt you down and find you anywhere, even in Trinidad, and I'll have a tough time sleeping at night knowing that booty-dancing is out there and after me.
Ofcourse, it wasn't tough sleeping on Friday night. After all the rum I'd drunk, I engaged in the Trinidadian tradition of puking in the toilet and falling asleep in the sink. (although, to be honest, I've been doing that since long before I met the Trinidadians)
The next morning, Shawn's dog jumped on Barry and tried to take advantage of him while he slept. Barry sucked himself into his sleeping bag, but we were already awake so we fixed ourselves some rum and Cokes.
At night, we went to Barry's aunt's house for a Trinidadian party, called a fet. It had lots of food (made with rice and spices introduced to Trinidad by India), drinks (mostly rum - with Coke or in a punch), and dancing.
About eighty people, young and old, danced to Caribbean beats inside the house. The songs included lyrics like, "I love you in every way...I don't know why," and included up to a six-man-wind.
But the highlight of the weekend was when I danced merengue with Anja, from Guyana. She had dark skin and eyes, and, though fifteen, she moved her hips like fire. Our song went on for twenty-five minutes. I was exhausted, dizzy, and out of moves, but Anja and I had a great chemistry. It was the best dance I've ever had (much more fulfilling than booty-dancing).
Later in the night, Dexter administered a sobriety test to a Cuban girl who wanted to drive home drunk.
"Okay, walk a straight line for me."
Surprisingly, she walked a very straight line.
"No, no, no." Dexter pointed to the ground. "I want you to walk THIS line."
The Cuban started over, this time walking in a different spot.
"Wrong line! You were supposed to walk this line here. Here!"
Once again, she walked, with Dexter yelling, "No, no!" and "Wrong line, wrong line!"
Dexter said, "Here's a new test. Stand with one foot on the other, put your elbow on your knee, and then put your nose to your thumb."
In an amazing effort of balance, she pulled off the feat - looking like a tall Indian Buddha smoking a pipe.
Dexter laughed. "Ha, ha. I know your drunk now. No sober person would ever do that!"
After the Cuban driver sobered up, Barry decided he, Dexter, and I would sleep at his aunt's house. Thus, he could avoid being attacked by Shawn's dog in the morning, although I heard he actually fell off the bed that night.
One thing I noticed about Trinis from the weekend is that everything is positive and full of good feelings. There are no angry songs, when arguments or swear-words occur it's only in fun, and everybody's a friend of everybody's.
I would summarize the Trinidadian culture with the following sentence. Few cares, few worries, lots of rum, having fun, limin', fets, more rum, winding, rum, Soca, rum, cuss-words, good food, and rum, and some more rum. See, that sentence wasn't even a sentence, but no Trini would care or worry. After a bunch of rum, that's as close as you'll get anyway.
We arrived home from Miami late on Sunday night, just in time for "Date of the Week" IX with Vanessa. Vanessa's got short hair, hazy brown skin, and a deep-dimpled smile. We rolled to the beach in her convertible. MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 9 - Roll to the beach in a convertible. At the beach, Vanessa told me about her country, Brazil, where I hope to study next semester. It sounded almost as great as Trinidad. No booty-dancing, no winding, just samba! Brazil, here I come!!!
later, Modern Oddyseus