Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the Amazon Jungle Tango


Now before you ask, no there is no tango in the Amazon Jungle (seriously).

But to tell this story correctly, we must start at the very beginning... when tangueras give tangueros nicknames. Now, these names can be good, bad, ugly and sometimes downright ridiculous. One guy I know was dubbed "Mr. Sex Face" because of this orgasmic expression he makes once or twice during a tanda as if he was about to... err, ahem. I have never been able to look him in the eye and keep a straight face ever since. Another fellow I've danced with was dubbed "Mr. Darcy" for being stuck up and full of himself. Actually, I've met 3 Mr. Darcy's in 3 different regions of the States, and one of those Mr. Darcy's used to be Mr. Sex Face.

[Madre de dios, if my friends read this, they're going to kill me!]

However, one of the most momentous and most memorable tango I've ever had begins like this...

I was in Denver for the tango festival. Can't recall if it was Memorial Day or Labor Day fest, it all blends together after a while. Anyhow, I was in a class with Robin Thomas and Jennifer Olson (back in the day when they were still teaching together) and we were doing something in close embrace. The leads rotated and I got paired with an interesting European guy who left 3 buttons unbuttoned, or was it 4? I noticed it right away because the Amazon Jungle sprouting from his chest wiggled its way from the open shirt and shagged my face.

At first all I could do was stare with a sort of shell shocked and completely flabbergasted daze. Guess he never heard of manscaping. After the shock wore off and I found myself in a close embrace with Fuzzy Wuzzy's second cousin, not removed enough. The chest hair - technically it's chest hair, to me it was the Amazon Jungle come alive to bugger my nose - I couldn't escape from it! He was leading and I was following to the best of my abilities, though I became severely handicapped with all that fern in my face. So I tried turning my head - oh no, it's now tickling my ear!

And dear god my ears are sensitive, so I turned my face back - to have the Amazon Jungle once again shagging my nose! I was in such a quandary - what in hell was I to do? So I did the only thing I could. I sneezed. Right into the Amazon Jungle.

Needless to say, he was definitely not appreciative of my snot and germs all over his manliness. He looked down at me with the most disgusted look on his face and I looked back up at him - not apologetically, not shyly... I was about to die of laughter! I was thinking inside my head, "how do I always find myself in these ridiculous situations?" The disgusted look on his face was worth it though - he let go of me and I ran to the lady's withdrawing room and collapsed in massive hysteria.

4 comments:

Mark Andersen said...

Too funny, Sappho! And here I was regretting not having a tango nickname because it seems like you haven't arrived unless you have one (El Flaco, El Pulpo etc.). But now that I know what some of the secret nicknames are out there, I hope I don't have any!

Alex said...

Hilarious, Sappho! I think I was in that class! But it wasn't me, I promise.

We did nicknames (in a prior community) like "Skinny Dave", "Sexy Natasha", "Medium Natasha", "Big Natasha", "Rico Suave", "Mr. Wonderful", "Marquisetta", and "Valusha" (a real nickname). We had the advantage of having a large Russian contingent - the Potrancas Rusas assign lots of nicknames. Many were in Russian and I can't remember them. I remember them, and can say them, but I can't spell them.

msHedgehog said...

I have a Mr. Pope (because I'm just the audience), a Mr. WardrobeError (one-off bad smell, but I've never forgotten it), a Mr. Fluffy (short, and his very springy hair could easily catch in my teeth if I smiled), a Mr. Eww, and a Mr. ClassicalEducation (a source of particularly baroque Italian compliments).

Mark Andersen said...

Wow, Alex and Ms Hedgehog, I had no idea there were so many nicknames out there!

I have a tango friend whose nickname is El Termo.

Ms Hedgehog--where did your name come from?