I’m A Dancin’ Machine

Posted: November 27, 2011 in 1960's Music, deejay, fiction, humor, Life, Radio, storytelling
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A Holiday Tale

They huddle together in the darkness, flush with anticipation, muscles taut and ready to spring. The weak among them eye the strong nervously; they know they don’t have the speed or agility to lead the pack but they’ll try nevertheless (gotta love ’em for that). The air is filled with the scent of sweat, perfume, Bengay, and cappuccino. Something moves up ahead and they jostle for position, eager for the hunt.

The gatekeepers, a middle-aged woman with a too-bright smile, and a teenage boy who until this moment has never known true fear, release the lock and pull back the metal accordion gates. It’s Black Friday.

The crowd surges forward and Bright Smile yells to the boy: “For the love of God, get out of the way!” But it’s too late. A grandmother with a handbag the size of a 1978 Buick is shaking him by the front of his red vest, screaming, “Where are the $9.99 comforters? Tell me!” He points a shaky finger and manages to gasp “Aisle 7” before she tosses him aside and disappears. He crawls behind the “Check Your Blood Pressure” machine; he’ll be found there hours later, curled in the fetal position, shivering.

They fan out across the store, those burdened by shopping carts and dollies with 42” flatscreen T.V.’s sticking to the main aisles while the nimble wheel-less zig and zag through the side rows. Suddenly, in the toy department, just to the right of the Lego buckets (only $2.99, limit of 5), they see him. He’s about 5 or 6, with a blond buzz cut, wearing cargo pants and a Spiderman pajama top. And he’s dancing.

His moves are nothing of the usual kid variety, not the “I Have to Pee” polka, “Mommy, I Want This” mambo, or “Can We Go Now” galopede (author’s note: that’s a real dance, trust me). He’s dancing for the sheer joy of moving to the music, a Ray Conniff Singers’ holiday medley blaring from the store speakers overhead. And he’s doing something that no one else around him seems to be…he’s smiling.

Many of the shoppers stop to watch and soon they’re grinning at this child so filled with the spirit of the season. Gone are thoughts of beating the crowd to the $9.99 blu-ray discs, wresting a $5.00 sweater from the grip of the woman who’s grabbed the last red one, or tripping the guy on the right just as he reaches for the only $49.99 bicycle left on the rack. Because this, this is what the holidays are all about…sharing joy with others.

Behind him, his mother smiles…as she scoops the last Transformers toys on special into her cart. She hugs him gently, and a tear sparkles in her eye as she whispers, “Let’s go, Dancin’ Machine! Momma needs some things in electronics.”

The one on the right will tell you she's a lollipop (I still say SUCKER) and the one on the left is just one cute chick

Each year, there’s one thing that puts me in the holiday spirit and it’s not Black Friday or Christmas decorations or eggnog (I prefer spiked cider, actually)…it’s Darlene Love’s “Christmas, Baby, Please Come Home”. In the 20+ years I’ve been on the air in radio, it’s the first holiday song I play every year. And I’m sharing it with you, because when it comes to Christmas, I’m all about the giving…


So, tell me, what puts YOU in the holiday mood?!?

  1. Ha ha ha! Great story.

  2. The smell of pine, the decorations with years of mileage, my kick-ass CD entitled An Eclectic Christmas (why, look at that, Darlene Love is on there!) and happy secrets.

  3. Renee Weatherbee says:

    My husband demanding that I “get with it” worked for me this year, as he frantically scrambled to put all the decorations up against my protest, as I didn’t want to this year, as we are not back home, but he insisted and I’m glad he did, because now I’m in the mood. Even thousands of miles away from home, you have reason to celebrate Christmas. I learned that last Friday.

    The story is hilarious, Kelly!

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