Another Friday night listening to Hudson in Lobby Lounge at the Ritz.
Outline of the evening: Geek convention; Fashionable Window Treatments; So You Think You Can Dance; Dancing Geeks; Dancing Chinese Doctors; African-American "Pat"; Cold Ditching on the Dance Floor; Don't Make Eye Contact; Local Celebrity Stood up by Local Minor Celebrity
It was quiet in the lounge when we arrived, and that meant we got a good table close to the action without being in the middle of it. A sudden profusion of nametags and laptops alerted us to a geek convention. Seriously, laptops in the lounge bar on a Friday night? I don't think so.
During the first hour, there was very little dancing; people were staking their territory; sofas, chairs and tables were arranged to suit the needs of individual groups.
One group made us think of a Mormon with his 4 wives and mother-in-law. He looked like a combination of Roger Ebert and a local prominent businessman who will remain nameless. Let us just say, it wasn't a good combination. A couple of the women were untastefully attired in various window treatments. Mom was wearing white crocheted kitchen curtains. A full slip would have been helpful. Wife No. 2 was wearing white cafe curtains. Wives No. 1 and 3 did not chose their wardrobe from the drapes; and maybe they should have rethought that decision. Wife No. 1 was dressed like a pudgy gym teacher; black tank top banded in white and a black jersey skirt. Wife No. 3 chose for her evening's costume a slinky red dress, complimented with a pair of loafers and topped by a beige cardigan. She did somewhat conform to the rest of the family by accessorizing with ceiling fan chains for earrings. We were sadly disappointed that no one dressed like Scarlet:
The dancing started in the second hour. A group of Hudson followers are swing dancers. They are an eclectic group mostly in their young 30's that chose a retro look; spats, baggy trousers, shirtwaist dresses, etc. One young man reminds me of Mark Wahlberg, very good looking, expressive dancer. He and his partner were giving a very sensual interpretation while dancing to "Theme from a Summer Place". To keep from bursting into flames on the dance floor, he deftly turned from sensuality to comedy and started striking poses.
A geek couple decided to give Marky Mark some competition in the hot dancing department. It was painful to watch. She was a female geek who tried to be a hawt geek. She would have pulled it off if not for the tummy pooch.
An enjoyable sight is a middle-aged Chinese couple; the Dancing Doctors. That's my name for them. I don't know how I knew it, but I knew he was a doctor. Hudson joined us during a break and informed us that they are both doctors. Their moves are flawless and they never take their eyes off each other. While Marky Mark was hamming it up, the geeks were grossing everyone out, men doing the "white man overbite" and women dancing together trying to look cool, the Dancing Doctors would smoothly glide past it all, totally owning the dance floor.
I had gone to the ladies' room during a break, and when I returned, Hudson was sitting at our table talking to Kathy. I forget how she knows him; I think he's a friend of a friend. When we were there last month, she went to buy one of his CD's telling him that she just broke up with her boyfriend and he has the CD. Hudson gave it to her, calling it the "Ex-Boyfriend Rule". His CD's are a fun listen; (hint hint).
A member of Marky Mark's group is someone I call the African-American "Pat". This person is a combination of James Brown and Whoopi Goldberg, only about 35 years of age. We guessed the individual was male as his partner was always female; but that's not necessarily a given.
Making an entrance around 10:30 was a local celebrity (fifth from left). He sat at the table in front of us and arranged a chair on either side of him. He obviously forgot our having lunch together back in the day when I worked in promotions at a local radio station, and I opted not to remind him. It was more fun anonymously observing him.
After awhile, various women in the room gravitated his way to try and strike up a conversation. One of them was a slender, tanned and toned honey blonde who was very touchie feelie. She was dressed in a black tank top and low-riding white jersey skirt. The effect was to show off her abs and ass. Dammnit, it worked. Her "wingman" for the evening was a less striking brunette decked out in a screaming orange tank top edged in gold spanglies.
A football lineman looking guy in a red blazer asked honey blonde for a dance and she complied. For ten seconds. Then she coldly walked away from him and over to Local Celebrity, sliding her arm across his shoulder and leaning in close to whisper in his ear. He popped up and quickly joined her on the floor for a dance. Then they went their separate ways. He sat back down with an empty chair on either side of him. People would try to steal a chair, but he wouldn't let them, insisting he had someone joining him. Periodically, he would make a call on his cell phone, sticking his right index finger into his ear to the first knuckle so he could hear better. WHEN does that ever work?!?
At one point, Kathy mentioned that for decades, Local Celebrity's hair color has not changed, never any sign of gray. (St. Louisans will catch the irony there) She said he must dye it. I said "Or buy it" and said "check out the line of demarcation in the back." That's something you don't see during a broadcast.
He was later joined by Local Minor Celebrity and his date. After a few minutes, they all left and their chairs were quickly claimed by various groups.
One of the Elderly Creepy Brothers Who Cruise the Lobby Lounge (regulars at the Ritz) came over to ask Kathy to dance. She had apparently broken the golden rule when it comes to the ECBWCTLL -- don't make eye contact. She declined. One of the brothers has a son who attends the dances; he looks like an aging Arthur Fonzarelli in Don Johnson's Miami Vice clothes. Just try to picture that. Hurts, doesn't it.
I tried to get photos with my camera phone, but it was too dark. One of these nights, I'm going to have to take my camera and get some shots to share with you all so you know I'm not making this up.
Seriously, these people really do exist. Kinda scary, isn't it.