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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Polka Party!; or Holy Moley, Is That the Dreamy Fish Waltz?

I am home, mid-day, victim of a spring-time cold that has settled just behind my eyes, just over there, tucked in between my appetite and my wit.

It’s a congested, simple world I occupy today.

The kitties, of course, are firmly in favor of my being home sick; and I have spent the last two hours close to motionless, draped in flannel, sprinkled liberally with cats.

Dolly Gee Squeakers, formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers, tucked behind my knees and snoring softly, grumbles under her breath, her fuzzy paws twitching.

I’ve been holding the remote, a plastic extension of my desires, for almost the full time.  Clicking dissolutely, bored with one show after another, I stop on Channel 6. 

Even if I hadn’t already been breathing through it, my mouth would’ve dropped open.

Polka Party.

I am mesmerized.

The sounds of the accordion, drums, and saxes roll over me.  The floor in front of the stage is crowded with couples – some of whom are dressed in matching fedoras, matching shirts, one couple even dressed, inexplicably, in coordinated black-and-blue parachute pants, tee-shirts, and suspenders.  The average age of the crowd is upper-70s; and I watch, sniffling, transfixed, as these smiling people move gracefully across the floor.

“That was the Lindenau Polka,” announces the woman with the microphone. 

“The first time I heard that,” says a man with another microphone, “it was the Whoopee John version.”

The woman nods appreciatively.  “The Chmielewskis have a version that brings me back.”

I nod along.  Having grown up surrounded by accordions, The Chmielewskis take me back, too.

I set down the remote, pick up my phone.

“HELL-o!” my mother shouts.


“What’re you doing?” she says. 

“What,” I laugh.  “A daughter can’t call a mother whilst watching old broads with fabulous legs dancing in circles?”

My mother chuckles. 

“Mom, there’s a show on called “Polka Party”?  And there’s a couple on here celebrating 65 years of marriage.  Best part?  They don’t want to be on camera.  Oh, no, no; they don’t want to be filmed.  Isn’t that sweet?”

“Well, you know us old folks aren’t like those girls on the beach, taking their tops off.”

“Well I’ll drink to that,” I say. 

We both laugh. 

“All right, old lady,” my mother says.  “I gotta let you go.  I can’t just spend all day on the phone, you know.  I got work to do.”

“All right, all right,” I say.   “Keep your shirt on.”

She laughs.  “I will if you will,” she says. 


Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

What a sweet story, and it reminds me of watching my Aunt Dee about 15 years ago, in her 70s, grinning feverishly as she polka-ed at the Octoberfest.

Aunt Dee is gone now. But polka lives on!

vanilla said...

What better antidote to a cold than a polka party? Nothin'.

raydenzel1 said...

admit it, you are home sick in protest of losing your cubicle work partner!

Frankie Yankovic!!

Anonymous said...

I kept my swimsuit top ON in France, and the whole country rejoiced...

jenny_o said...

While the cold might be next to your wit, it has not damaged it one little bit :)

Nice to have something good associated with a cold, for a change, eh? Now every time you mention, talk about, or remember a head cold, you will be transported immediately to thoughts of polka dance and polka music. And that's not a bad thing.

Steve said...

My parents loved Lawerence Welk. It drove me nuts.

The Cranky said...

That's a new hit just waiting to happen: Parachute Pants Polka!

Feel better soon Pearl.

Pearl said...

Thanks, everyone. I am quite distracted by how sick I feel. What will I write about today? Sitting here on the couch, I have my dirty coffee table, daytime TV, and the hopeful way the cats look at me every time I go into the kitchen…

What a rich and varied life I lead!

jenny_o said...

Pearl, is there not a little man in your head for this occasion? With a man-cold, maybe?

Hope you feel better soon.

Geo. said...

Strife flees a jolly polka. I learned that from opera-logic studies.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
1,2,3 hop! 1,2,3 hop! Soon that bunny will be gone. YAM xx

wellfedfred said...

Well, you called it a "spring cold," which gives me hope that things are defrosting. We just got very cold and windy again. yeuk.

every time we change tv & net providers we are blessed with a package of a month of free specialized channels, sports, farming, films, assorted local stuff -- which is how i learned that up to a month's worth of our local polka party is taped at one time, then broken into segments for broadcast on different days. Is nothing sacred!

Mandy_Fish said...

I wish I could dance.

Mandy_Fish said...

Also Noteworthy:

Polka music freaks my husband out. His parents used to blast it loudly in their bedrooms on the nights they … well …. uh … you know.


Watson said...

My mother and my aunts loved Lawrence Welk!

Hope you are better soon Pearl.

HermanTurnip said...

I don't know what's more depressing: lying on the couch sick, or being forced to watch daytime television. Hope you feel better!

Badger said...

My cats are looking at me reproachfully because it is warming up and I am not using the fires much. I remember when I was growing up we had a Polka 78 record.

Rose L said...

Polka?? Not my thing. You must have been ill to be so mesmerized!

River said...

"...a spring time cold that has settled just behind my eyes."
That sounds exactly how my hayfever sinus headaches begin. Are you sure it is a cold? Is anything blooming near you? Mould spores?

I haven't heard a good polka since I was little and my dad would get out the accordion on summer nights. I'll see if you tube has any...

Anonymous said...

A little cold does a wit good, it would seem. Hope you feel better soon, Pearl