Dancing at the Ritz

Ballroom, as opposed to rock-and-roll,
Is the dance where you're in full control.
You spin, you whirl, you slide, you gently glide,
Leaving your partner dazed and mystified,
But with no option but to blindly hope
Your rippling, muscled arms will somehow cope,
And wondering wildly what she'd have in store
Should they deposit her upon the floor.

So both of us don't end up on our backs,
I whisper to her, “Trust me, just relax!”
This bossiness would elsewhere cause a riot,
But now she is unusually quiet.
Her murmur as I step upon her shoe
Indicates the hell she's going through.

Some say the moves should be well-learned, exact;
To me, I'm on the stage. It is an act,
A chance to show my nimbleness close-up.
As for the steps, I make them up.

Those modern ladies dining at the Ritz,
Used to its glamour and its gilded glitz,
Observing our most energetic waltz,
Do they know the genuine from the false?
Provided you are smooth, your back is straight,
Your look is masculine, you dominate,
You confidently smile, and furthermore,
You don't hit others as you cross the floor,
Envying women give you one more glance
And sigh to partners, “Boy, can those two dance!”

Avoiding argument and great kerfuffle
Their men agree to some half-hearted shuffle
Around the dance floor, looking bored,
While tight-lipped ladies grind their teeth, ignored.
They'd hoped to dance to keep themselves in trim,
Alas! They must rely upon the gym!

We let our hair down, yes, and we enjoy it.
It's great to dress up yearly and Savoy-it.
To feel we're one up on, well, who can tell?
Guests who could purchase the hotel?
But who are the suckers, those there over-eating,
Or us on the dance floor, puffed and over-heating?
They with their paunches and cardiac diseases,
Or me with arthritis and aching ancient kneeses?
While they smoke cigars and sip their final tipple,
Yours truly's waltzing to end up a cripple.
And on the roadside, waiting for the bus
I reflect, “Who's the smartest, the fats guys or us?”

August 2004