‘Footloose’ becomes reality

I always thought that the biggest threat America’s youth faced was violence in the media. After all, our society has been able to rationalize that the Columbine High School shootings were a result of Doom and Marilyn Manson.

It was just starting to make sense, too. Kids ingest violent images on television and commit violent crimes. After all, until they turn 18-years-old, human beings are incapable of thinking for themselves. However, it turns out that violence in media has been a scapegoat for the real threat.

That threat? You guessed it – slow dancing. After a group of parents asked for a ban on the activity during school dances, North Brookfield Elementary School, North Brookfield, Mass., went ahead and put the ban in place for fifth and sixth grade dances.

According to principal Janice Baronoski’s comments to the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, “They originally brought up concerns that slow dancing could lead to intimate, adult relationships, but most parents were more concerned with self-esteem issues if a student is not asked to dance.”

My God, they’re right! Until now, I was never able to pinpoint what led to my sexually delinquent youth, but slow dancing was obviously the culprit (assuming by “intimate, adult relationships” she meant sex).

Before my first dance in sixth grade, I had no idea what sex was, and I was pretty sure that girls had cooties. My friends and I would beat girls up and laugh at them for not sharing similar genitalia with us. It was your classic, immature boy-girl relationship.

After that dance, however, it was a different story. I remember dancing to “Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til it’s Gone” by Cinderella with a girl named Mary. Immediately afterward, she and I felt emotions we had never felt before.

We skipped out of the dance early and spent the night talking over a bottle of wine. One thing led to another and we ended up in bed.

Until now, it never occurred to me that it was the slow dance that led to this chain of events. We just couldn’t fight the intimacy a boy and a girl feel when dancing at arm’s length from each other.

Then there is the issue of self-esteem from kids not getting asked to dance. And we always wondered why our classmate killed himself.

Now that North Brookfield Elementary has discovered the ill-effects of slow dancing, however, it all makes sense.

Out of respect, we’ll call my classmate “Billy.” He always smelled like he had dropped a deuce in his pants, and his peach fuzz mustache made him look like some sort of a man-beast. Needless to say, he wasn’t the most popular cut in the meat market – that is, a sixth grade dance.

After suffering through an entire dance without getting asked to slow dance, Billy’s life went awry. He wasn’t the same in the following days, and a week later he jumped to his death off a bridge. He was wearing the suit he wore to the dance.

If these stories seem unlikely to any particularly astute readers, it is because they are entirely fabricated. Only a fool would believe that slow dancing could have such an effect on children.

In reality, I hardly recall talking to girls after I danced with them. It is a school dance, after all. Dancing is what you do. I certainly don’t recall forming intimate, adult relationships with my partners. Although, I was slightly less convinced that girls were infested with body lice.

Slow dancing actually made me realize that males and females could be in relatively close contact without running to the bedroom – something television never bothered to point out.

As a matter of fact, I was even able to refrain from establishing an intimate relationship with my sister-in-law after her dancing with her at my brother’s wedding.

As for self-esteem issues, these parents have got to be crazy. Any kid who has gone through the public school system and doesn’t get asked to dance has likely been picked on so many times that being stiffed by the ladies at the Fall Ball won’t have too harsh of an effect.

Parents might not like their kids touching the opposite sex or feeling bad, but it’s called reality. Get them a helmet.

If we are going to treat slow dancing as being bad for children, we might as well go all the way.

We could have them spayed or neutered at birth, and reattach their reproductive organs upon marriage. Or we could keep them attached to the umbilical cord until their 18th birthday.

That ought to do the trick.