Monday, January 10, 2011

293. The Wig-Out Dance

Oakley is in town. You know what that means: every night we drink some wine, and after things have loosened up a bit, someone feels compelled to demonstrate the Wig-Out Dance. It happened again last night, and I wasn’t really prepared for it.

My lovely sister Oakley and her husband Robert are in town for her work and they are staying with us for four days. We sat around the dinner table last night telling funny stories and then my sister has to go and introduce The Rat Story. She launches into excruciating detail about this homeless shelter she was volunteering at and how the guy in charge asked if she could help him move some boxes from the storage closet and when they unlocked the door a rat ran out and zipped across her foot. I felt my foot tense up just listening to the story.

But then, on account of the wine (and let’s be honest here, probably on account of me egging her on), Oak got up from the dining room table and proceeded to reenact her great dismay at having a rat run over her toes. She threw her arms up in the air and then her entire body seemed to spontaneously burst up (not so much “jump” as “burst”). If there was an Olympic category for Best Wig-Out Dance, she would surely be a contender.

Not to be outdone, Robert decided to demonstrate his I Just Saw A Cobra moment (really—he saw a cobra, he was traveling outside of Hong Kong). Well, I had thought that Oakley had good height, but now I realized my mistake. Robert had her beat.

The kids wanted in on the act. Even though they barely knew what a “Wig-Out” is (surprising, as they have lived with me for seven and four years, respectively), they were out of their chairs and hopping around the living room like popcorn in oil.

I was laughing so hard my cheeks hurt.

Until it was my turn. The Husband has to go and pipe up, “Hon, what about the time with the, you know, slugs? on your leg?” I could practically recreate the Wig-Out Dance just thinking about it.

As the hostess, I don’t think it should be required that I perform the Wig-Out Dance. Here I would be wrong. The chanting began: “Wig-Out, Wig-Out, Wig-Out, Wig-Out.” It brought me right back to that ten minutes before I said my wedding vows.

Instead, I chose to recreate the Unfortunate Slug Incident as requested. I got up, pretended to be windexing the outside of my apartment windows (in a vain effort to get our deposit back), and then reenacted me noticing a slug on my thigh. I vividly remember my reaction: I windexed the slug. On my leg. Of course this did not make him fall off of me, as I had hoped. If anything, it made him clean and shiny. I was finally forced to touch the offending slugs (if memory serves, now there were more than one slug). My personal Wig-Out Dance, complete with spastic hand motions, was by far superior to the previous sorry imitations (in the form of The Rat Story and the I Just Saw A Cobra).

The Husband, possibly prescribing to the host-does-not-have-to-do-it theory, refused to participate, even though he repeatedly said his Wig-Out was the champion of all Wig-Out’s. Oh, yeah, buddy? Prove it.

Alas, something lame about a bee or maybe a wasp. All words.  That’s all you got?

A few more glasses of wine produced slow-motion versions of all the Wig-Out incarnations. Complete with the slo-mo look of horror on our faces as we call out the multi-syllable: “N-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!”

Ah, the blessed Wig-Out Dance. Family traditions get me all choked up.

(“Mice Or Venom”)


  1. I must say that black widows, rattlesnakes, spiders....blah, blah, blah don't upset me too much....but a slug on my thigh?????? O M G O S H ! ! ! ! That is really horrific!!!!

  2. Heavens to Betsy that was funny! I have quite the little movie playing in my head now. The Wig Out Dance Forever!


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