Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Smoking Pit(s)

I doubt they exist anymore, but my high school used to boast two smoking pits, one outside the theatre and one outside the cafeteria. Despite their official name, the pits were not pits at all, just two large rectangles outlined in yellow paint where you were free to smoke (though I did not), pose, curse, gossip, flirt, and—depending on which pit you frequented (see below)—show off either your perfectly creased baggies or your AC/DC t-shirt to maximum advantage.

Of course, all the white kids kept to one pit, a pit we commonly referred to as "The Stoner Pit." The other kids—Filipino, Black, Latino—owned the other pit, a pit commonly referred to as...hmmm, I'm not sure. But I'm sure The Stoner Pit dwellers had a choice name for our pit. I mention all this because yesterday, following ten minutes of suspicious quiet in the den, the house suddenly shook with the sound of a vaguely familiar baseline and then...

Come on and dance
Come on and dance
Let's make some romance
You know the
night is falling
and the
music's calling
we got to get down to...

I ran to the room and found my daughters in a Steve Miller Band trance, dancing with huge smiles on their faces. My first thought was wha? why do we have a Steve Miller Band cd? My second thought was a visual fast-forward: the three of them in The Stoner Pit (naku!) sporting feather roach clip earrings and raccoon eyeliner while mooning over some guy with a mullet.

I panicked. "It's too loud!" I said, shutting it off. I quickly dislodged the CD and scrambled for an alternative. If we have a Steve Miller Band cd, I silently reasoned, we must have ConFunkShun or The Gap Band or (grasping at straws at this point) even just some Shalamar or Kool & The Gang.

"But we love that!" they yelled. "It's so fantastic!" I looked at them, uselessly pleading with my eyes. "Come on, Mom. We're dancing."

Of course I had to put it back in. And I would be remiss if I didn't report that they liked "Jungle Love," and "Take the Money And Run," even better than "Swingtown." They blithely moved on to another activity (Polly Dolls, if you must know) after those three tracks.

Once they were gone, I sat down on the floor.

I listened to "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Jet Airliner."

I made my peace. And then I laughed and laughed and laughed at how ridiculous I am.

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