Some of you may have read this story already (it was post about 2 1/2 years ago on my old blog), but Mikey asked about it in my post on songs that everyone loves that I hate and I told him I would post it again. It’s about my hatred of Paradise By The Dashboard Light.
I know. It’s a classic. Everyone loves it. Great bar song! Great party song! My ass.
I reached my breaking point with this tune about 12 years ago at my sister’s wedding. Now it’s my kryptonite. Just the mere mention of it and I break out in hives. Right now, my arms are starting to itch. I’m going to need a bottle of calamine just write this out.
I’m sure you’ve all been to weddings or the like where people acted this song out. It can’t just be a Long Island thing. Please tell me that this happens in other places. Don’t leave me all alone here in loserville.
Ok, my sister’s wedding. I’ll tell you what happened. Let me just get some more calamine.
As soon as the DJ hit this song – I’m talking as soon as the firs note hit – , the dance floor was packed. Everyone who sat on their fat, drunk asses all night during the great dance songs of the night (Oh, like you don’t want to dance every time you hear Funkytown) were suddenly lined up on the floor. Guys on the left. Chicks on the right. Ready to….what? Rumble? Line dance? What the hell were they doing? Following the song? Acting it out? When did Paradise become the new Hokey Pokey? Was I that sheltered that I missed this memo?
Excuse me while I gulp this Benadryl down. The hives. They multiply.
At this point in the reception, I’d had about five thousand shots of tequila. Ok, maybe twenty. Twelve. Whatever. Point is, tequila will usually have me up on a table swinging my bra around dancing to some Donna Summer song. But not even a good Cuervo buzz could get me out there for this song. They tried. I told them to back the hell off. I’ll sit this one out. Call me when the DJ puts on Bad Girls.
I just stood back and watched. Grown men and women doing this dance thing. We’re talking town councilmen and judges and the president of the local chamber of commerce here. They all took turns singing the boy/girl parts., standing across from each other like some scene out of West Side Story and doing this back and forth singing. They acted the parts out, pretending to be lusty teenagers in a steamy car. During the Phil Rizzuto play by play part, one couple stood in the center of the two lines and pantomimed the whole thing. I kid you not. They acted the whole damn thing out. I was embarrassed. Why weren’t they? My jaw dropped as my cousin informed me that this went on at every wedding, in every bar, every night of the week and I needed to get out more. No. No. I need to never leave the sanctity of my house again. I’ve been emotionally scarred by witnessing this.
Oh, it got worse. The play by play part was over. Some lady did a sliding split into the middle of the dance floor, holding up her hand and singing “STOP RIGHT THERE!” Wait.. That’s no lady. That’s my daughter’s religious ed teacher! And that guy singing “let me sleep on it” in her face? Jesus, that’s my uncle. Then they all chimed in. All of them. Doing this back and forth thing, guys singing desperately “I gotta know right now” and the girls responding with some tit-shaking dance, singing “let me sleep on it,” and this went on until the very end, where they all did some bizarre shimmy down to the floor as they whispered “glowing like a metal on the edge of a knife.” I shook my head to clear it. I thought maybe the tequila had gotten to me. I was hallucinating. Dreaming. I had been transported to the ninth level of hell and Satan himself was going to rise out of the dance floor. But no. It was real. It was real and it was horrible and it formed some Pavlovian response in my brain so that I start itching and screaming and begging for mercy every time I hear this song.
That happened 12 years ago. And I remember every little thing…….nah, not going there.
Pass the calamine.