Around The Rim Country

The high price of dancing

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Now that a representative sampling of the Rim country has anointed President Bush the winner of the presidential election, we turn to the other issue those 21 folks considered in that same poll whether to ban dancing in the Rim country outright.

When asked this question, the 21 poll participants voted as follows:

YES, BAN DANCING: 3

NO, KEEP IT LEGAL: 15

I COULD CARE LESS: 3

Among the side comments from those favoring a ban were these:

"If we had a ban, my mom wouldn't have broken her foot doing the polka."

"Everybody in the Rim country dances to country music, which I despise."

Those opting to leave dancing legal argued:

"They tried prohibition once before and look what happened."

"There's nothing wrong with dancing as long as it's clean."

"I dance to meet girls."

And those who thought I should get a life said:

"It's already banned because there is no decent place to dance in the Rim country anyway."

I have decided that since I brought it up in the first place, and because somebody finally has to decide whether to ban dancing in the Rim country, I will assume that terrible burden. But to make sure my decision is an enlightened one, I asked my poll participants why, in their opinion, most men hated to dance and most women loved to dance.

Here were some of their theories:

"Dancing makes men feel vulnerable."

"Men are too insecure about their masculinity to enjoy anything that has feminine qualities."

"Men would rather be at home watching TV."

"Because dancing is all about grace and closeness."

Speaking of time, it is now time to make the tough decision. Forthwith, dancing is officially forbidden in the Rim country.

However, being a benevolent despot, and in the spirit of political compromise, and because I do not wish to interfere with the romantic inclinations of the 89-year-old man who wrote a letter to the editor saying that dancing gave him such notions, I have decided to work closely with the Town Council to turn this most divisive issue into what politicians love to call a "win-win" situation.

Given the council's recent difficulty getting new taxes passed, I am willing to lift my outright ban on dancing in favor of a system of licensing, much as various types of hunting are licensed. I am further willing to share the revenue generated by licensed dancing with the town on a 50-50 basis.

Of course a system must be devised and a bureaucracy created, but I already have a framework I believe is workable. It is based on a drop-box honor system similar to those parking lots where you leave your money in an envelope after hours.

That just leaves the fee schedule. Because I believe we have to make dancing cheap enough that nobody will be tempted to cheat the system, here is the schedule I propose for the council's consideration:

DIRTY DANCING

This category would never have entered my mind had somebody not referenced "clean dancing" in our poll. But that person can relax because we are not talking here about the kind of dancing they do in those fleshpot topless joints in the Valley. What we mean by "dirty dancing" is the kind Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze did in the movie of the same name. Because such dancing might be placed in the category of dances that enhance one's romantic inclinations, I propose the fee for dirty dancing be kept relatively low, say 5 cents per dance.

NOVELTY DANCING

Dances like the Hokey Pokey, the Bunny Hop and the Limbo fall into this category. These are obnoxious dances that should have been stomped out years ago, and people who persist in doing them should pay accordingly to the tune of 25 cents per dance.

FAD DANCING

Remember the Twist, the Monster Mash, the Chicken and, of course, the Hustle? Give those of us who detest dancing a collective break, and expect to pay 50 cents every time you lapse into one of these tired old turkey trots.

SQUARE DANCING

I don't think we could stop these fanatical people even with an outright ban. They'd just end up square dancing in bathtubs like during prohibition. Instead, let's capitalize on their monomaniacal behavior by making square dancing affordable enough that they will continue wanting to dance their brains out. Each square dance will now cost 5 cents.

BALLROOM DANCING

Also referred to as "old school dancing," this is pretty harmless stuff, and it certainly has stood the test of time. Because most people who still do these dances are on fixed incomes, and because we want to keep the Citizens Awareness Committee off our backs, let's price it the way it would have been priced back in the 40s. Each ballroom dance will set you back 3 non-inflationary cents.

SLOW DANCING

The one guys most often fake their way through when they absolutely can't get out of dancing. For this reason alone, we must impose a heavy penalty on slow dancing. I'm thinking a buck a pop.

So that's the system folks, or at least it will be when the Town Council makes it official.

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