There Oughta Be A Law

This is a quirky, weird one. It was an entry for a 500 word contest that gave the opening line: All the warning signs were there.

There Oughta Be A Law

All the warning signs were there. The blonde chick in the front row had been enjoying the music, clapping along with the first couple songs. We kicked it up a bit though and now she had some elbow action in it.

I caught Frankie’s eye, trying to tell him to go easy on the drums. Jerk thought it was funny. If anything, he hit harder, pounding the beat into the floorboards. I tried to lighten my touch on the bass. I didn’t expect it to work.

Sure enough, she started the hip sway. I had to do something before it moved to her knees, ‘cause by then it was gonna be all over except for the Mendelssohn march.

I forced myself to remember what happened the last time. Sharon and a Vegas wedding chapel. She’d looked so damned silly, concentrating on her ponytail swing as the tempo caught her. We’d been opening for a disco holdover; the audience full of thirty-something women who thought they still had it. Too bad they’d never had it to begin with.

Before that: Tahoe. Caesars and a second-rate big band. Linda with dark hair hanging loose and full around her shoulders. She had me when she started rocking from one foot to the other on the up beat. She kept trying to correct herself and wound up clapping on about every third thump.

Ginger in Sparks was my first. Red hair, translucent skin, tried to sing along with a Motown wannabe. I was appointed to get her talking, buy her a drink or two to distract her. It worked. We were married in the Nugget chapel while the guys finished our set.

I’ve been a sucker for women who can’t dance since I played the tuba in the middle school marching band. All the gawky girls who gathered in the school gym corner during the mixer dances knew I’d come asking before the first intermission. Something about the look of concentration and clumsy motions sent me over the moon. I had to get closer, had to see the wreck up close and personal, like a highway gawker. Except no cop ever told me to move along.

Now we were in some Indian gaming casino in Podunkville. And the next Mrs. Me started dipping her shoulders, bobbing them forward, trying to catch the tempo. And missing.

How could I help myself?

I approached her during the break. Miranda giggled, pleased to think she’d caught the attention of one of the musicians. We chatted. She was single. She asked if I’d ever been married. I told the truth: three times.

When the band headed back to the stage, she bounced in her seat, warming up. I couldn’t take it anymore.

“How ‘bout we find a justice of the peace and I teach you the rhythm method?” Worked again.

Soon, I was looking at her wondering what the hell I’d done.

She’d asked if I’d been married before; unfortunately she didn’t ask how many times I’d been divorced.

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