Disco Travolta.jpg

Night fever, night fever.
We know how to do it.
Gimme that night fever, night fever.
We know how to show it.

……………………

My breath froze to solid icicles in my moustache. Even my eyelashes were crusty white with January frost.

The Northern Lights were a luminous emerald on black velvet, swirling in bright pinwheels overhead – it was night feverishly cold outside Yellowknife’s Mildred Hall School. The hand-sewn and decorated parkas we wore were antibodies against the glacial air.

But once inside the school’s gymnasium doors, the fever was hot hot hot.

It was 1978 and disco fever and glitter balls were at their zenith.

Maybe you were there and boogied to the throbbing beat.

Or maybe you were a wallflower egg still waiting to get down with a jivin’ sperm.

The Bee Gees, Donna Summer and Hot Chocolate (I believe in miracles… where you from, you sexy thing, sexy thing you) ruled the radio dial.

In the near-total darkness-shrouded Arctic town hugging the icy shores of Great Slave Lake, I, along with my friends Jim (we were Uncle Larry and Uncle Jimmy in those days, don’t ask me why) and Laurie, signed on for disco dance lessons.

Every Monday night for 6 weeks, we fsh-fsh’ed our mukluks down streetlit Franklin Avenue to the elementary school gym, where, for an hour or two, we danced the Saturday Night Fever roles of John Travolta and his dream girlfriend-dance partner Karen Lynn Gorney.

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk.
Music loud and women warm, I’ve been kicked around
since I was born. 

bee gees.jpg

I don’t remember the name of our young dance instructor, or even the ethnicity of her soft accented-voice, but I can easily recollect that she was a young cutey in ballet flats and a pale pink dress that flowed like wispy feathers in the breeze when she twirled.

She dressed for the job.

She was a Dancing Queen.

More accurately, she was a disco dancing queen.

And when she took my hands to demonstrate the Butterfly dance move, I couldn’t help but notice that she had the softest hands I’d ever held. Playing John Travolta was a pretty fine gig.

Jim, Laurie and I had a blast those chilly Monday evenings, dancing, twisting our hips, firing our cool boogie finger high into the air… learning intricate disco moves that fuelled our drop-ins to northern alcohol-doused parties for months (maybe years) afterwards.

It was great fun and despite the vapid reputation and the musical Civil War that has battered disco music for years and years, I’ve always…. shhhhh… this is a secret…. clandestinely loved the driving bass beat, the unique funk and soul of disco music.

The Bee Gees’ falsettos and ABBA’s beautiful harmonies and chorus hooks simply infuse a divine song into my normally banal rhythmic blood flow.

abba disco.jpg

It’s a beautiful guilty pleasure like so many others.

And there’s simply no rationality to guilty pleasures. I have mine and you have yours. I know you do.

As a consummate goal-setting personality type, I feel the sly guilt associated with the temporary shedding of my in-bred Protestant work ethic, or the shameful sin of consuming something that goes against the “health” guidebook that sits propped open like a priest’s confessional door in my head.

Humanness means coming to a… grudging acceptance of our mortal frailties.

Guilty pleasures are no exception.

So, here’s my (partial!) guilty pleasure confessional.

Feel free to write me back a list of yours, maybe I’ve been missing out on some great stuff:

  1. Smooth delicious milk chocolate consumed (like, in moderation!) daily as if it is an essential part of the Food Guide
  2. Skipping a boot camp, long run, or spin class … just because…
  3. Afternoon naps
  4. The sweet, delicate lilt of a Scottish or Irish accent
  5. A McDonalds Big Mac with only half the “Mac” sauce
  6. Chick Flicks like When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail and Serendipity… always consumed with salty buttered popcorn
  7. One Cuban Cigar smoked each week during spring and summer
  8. Reading those old erotically-charged Penthouse Magazine Forum “letters”… especially the lesbian ones
  9. Luxuriantly reading a whole fiction book in less than a week
  10. Watching The Great British Baking Show and HGTV “Flipping” shows
  11. Picking the strings of my guitar late in the dark night, channelling Sting or Keith Urban… believing that I’m playing/singing better than them
  12. An inability to turn off the newest Reality TV… the ubiquitous, moment-to-moment CNN (what I now call the TRUMP channel) BREAKING NEWS stories of Trump/Conway/Spicer trainwrecks

doggy guilty pleasure

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