Posts Tagged ‘buying Penthouse for the articles’

The Brits call them barn dances. The Americans call them square dances. Then why oh why do the Australians call them bush dances and thus expose me to a torrent of “bush” jokes made by my husband, which quite honestly don’t bear repeating here on this distinctly high-brow blog.

The school’s major fundraiser this year was a Bush Dance in the quadrangle and I duly went and bought a family ticket. Every time the Bush Dance was mentioned and Mr Justice was within earshot, my husband would punch the air and shout “I CAN’T WAIT!!”. Of course, when Mr Justice wasn’t in earshot, my husband had a whole lot of other things to say about the dance, most of which involved those bush jokes again. Sigh. 

And as if that wasn’t stressful enough, I also discovered that my usual school posse weren’t going and, in fact, all looked at me as if I was slightly unhinged to have bought tickets in advance, rather than at the door 5 minutes before it starts only because my first-grader Just. Won’t. Let. It. Go. 

I tried to do work a little on Master of Mother L to change her mind. “I don’t know what you’re doing tonight…” I remarked to her, oh-so-casually. “But I, personally, am planning on supporting the school community…”

“Oh, I’m planning to kick back with a G & T,” was Mother of Master L’s breezy reply. It’s always a bit disappointing when you can’t shame people into doing what you want them to do. And that Mother of Master L is made of stern stuff. 

However, I was lucky enough, on the morning of the bush dance, to run into another school mum (and local Glamour Girl), Lady L, as she left the school. 

“Oh! [NDM]! Are you…” she began and there was something about the desperation in her eyes that told me straight away what she was about to ask. 

“…going to the bush dance?” I finished off. 

And we grabbed each other and jumped up and down like we had won the lottery, until we remembered that we still had to go the Bush Dance. 

And go we did. As we arrived,  my husband and I surveyed  the atmospheric quadrangle, where the band was yet to arrive let alone set up and someone had set fire to something on the sausage sizzle barbeque (I saw Principal Brett rush for the fire extinguisher and secretly hoped that someone had just thrown their Late Passes on the fire to Make A Point). My children immediately decided to divide and conquer and my husband and I found ourselves separated. But minutes later, he came running over to me, almost shouting “[The Restauranteur] got out of the bush dance by making his son sick!”. I could tell he was impressed.

My Bush Dance Buddy Lady L, who happened to be The Restauranteur’s wife, was less than impressed. Apparently The Restauranteur hadn’t exactly made his son sick, but he had “selflessly” offered to stay at home to mop his son’s ailing brow. It didn’t help that Lady L was on Day 10 of an alcohol-free month and couldn’t partake in the bottle of wine my husband and I had snuck in. Or that her daughter refused to dance with anyone except her. Or that, after her tenth attempt at the “Heel and Toe” in high-heeled boots, she received a text message from The Restauranteur that said “Raw Hide!”.

“That’s it!” Lady L announced. “I’m going home to open a bottle of wine.”

I’d like to say that I, too, had left the bush dance, my head held high, determined to drink. But here’s the hardest thing of all to admit: I came over all Kiki Dee and got the music in me. Yes, folks, I got that Urge to Dance. And, sadder still, my own children decided they’d rather fill their underpants up with sand in the playground than dance with their mother. Which, I think you’ll find, is an activity that most people I’ve ever asked to dance probably would have preferred to do, given the choice. 

And so I ended up dancing with Other People’s Children instead, which, considering every other adult on the dance asphalt was probably only there under extreme duress, was a little like actually buying Penthouse to read the articles. Or getting legitimately excited when the Wiggles came out on stage, even swooning a little at that Cheeky Blue Wiggle, whose name I’m not even going to admit that I know.

And as I left the Bush Dance that evening, I felt just a little unclean and uncool. I vaguely wondered if I would have looked better in the eyes of my peers if I’d drunk a cask of wine with a straw, tried to chat up the Italian teacher and then vomited on the Treasurer of the PTA. It was just a thought.

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