Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Dancing Gringo

When I think of Carnival I think of a big, expensive production in a big city, like Rio De Janeiro or New Orleans.  I think of the blood, sweat, and tears that each entertainer puts into the performance.   I think of the hours of practice and choreography.  I think of beautiful Brazilian women wearing almost no clothes, moving their bodies in mysterious ways.   I’m actually thinking about that right now……still thinking about that…still thi…  *SMACK* - that sound you heard was Pauline’s open fist hitting the back of my head.

Well, the Carnival we saw was nothing like that.  Each neighborhood in Buenos Aires has a local show, no one huge show for the entire city.  It’s basically a family-oriented cookout with lots of great dancing and hypnotic music….seriously hypnotic music.  Even Pauline was dancing.  It was the second time I have seen Pauline dance (and the first time since the millennium), so by my calculations, Pauline gets “jiggy with it” approximately once a century.

A cool tradition they have at Carnival is that they sell canisters of this aerosol spray foam. It’s like silly string except it’s a very wet, soapy foam. Every little kid (approx 150 ) has multiple cans.  Teens and adults have cans as well, but this demographic only uses the wet foam as a means of self defense against 8 year old girls who are dressed up as princesses.  These princesses will spray anyone with reckless abandon, even people who are just visitors in their country and who don’t want to get wet right now.  Prominently displayed on the wet foam can is a warning, which says (in Spanish) don’t spray in people’s ojos (eyes),  boca (mouth), or rostro (????).   I mention this because those are the only places that little kids will spray people.  Every minute, a little kid will start to cry, his/her mom will run over and wipe the foam out of their eyes, then the kid will locate his can and spray a random person in the eyes, mouth, and rostro.

One of many princesses running around
YAY! for spray foam!

So the title of this post is the Dancing Gringo.  So what’s that all about?   Well, against my will and my better judgment, I was coaxed into joining the parade by one of the dancers. In college I was known as “The Dancing Machine”, but that was many fortnights ago, and I was worried I’d be a little rusty and possibly hurt my hip.  Well I wasn’t rusty.  I still got it!   I was doing flips and stuff, but Pauline didn’t record that, she only recorded me at the end here doing a dance that can best be described as an impression of an inebriated Brontosaurus.