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Strictly Done Dancing

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I had an epiphany at the weekend.

It was on a dance floor surrounded by loved ones and friends who scrubbed up for an evening do. As is customary, when the formal proceedings of the evening were over, guests hit the dance floor which was where my problems began.

They go back some years and are quite common for someone of my sex. There is a famous Gershwin song which declares "I've got rhythm, I've got music, I've got my man, who could ask for anything more". Ignoring the fact that I have no use for a man preferring the female alternative as they have more styling, better body work, better compatibility and are generally less likely to fart in bed, I do want more.

Hips.

I have a complete inability to gyrate my booty in any manner without inducing hoots of laughter from those around me. I have seized up. My hips are purely cosmetic, only acting to suspend clothes from rather than enabling me to bump and grind in a suggestive manner.

This diagnosis was given to me by my children, my inability to perform the dancing game on the Xbox Kinnect being so extreme that they felt honesty was the best policy. While I had been performing partly for comic potential, I was not wholly doing so, the competitive side of me wanting to strutt my stuff like the other Homies on the game.

By the end of the children's judgement, I felt like a steeplechasing horse lying at the foot of Beechers Brook in the Grand National with a broken leg waiting to be shot.

They have not let me on the dancing game since, fearful of the car crash that may ensue, aware that the sight of my stiff gyrations could upset the young and feeble minded.

My dancing house of cards has collapsed.

I did not realise how bad things were until my wife insisted I join her on the dance floor at the weekend do. This I did with the eagerness of a terrier waiting to be castrated. She ignored my yelping, placed the pliers around my testicles and I began.

Two to the left, two to the right, while I attempted to fend off imaginary pigeons with my hands being thrown at me at regular intervals from both sides.

I had no awareness of what music was playing knowing that if I continued with my foot shuffling and pigeon rebuttal movements, my testicles would remain my own and I would have fulfilled my husbandly duties.

There were similar car crash incidents occurring around me, including one poor soul who appeared to have been possessed by the Devil or was suffering from St Vitus dance.

Although I was terrified, I managed to gain a brief moment of lucidity during Don't Stop Me Now by Queen realising that there was no practical benefit to me of picking up one of the many imaginary guitars that had multiplied around me. When I realised Mr Mercury was telling me that "I was having such a good time", I was spurred into slipping my leash and running away to the bar where I panted with relief like an exhausted bunny having eluded a hungry fox. I was not having a good time.

Whooping with relief, I began talking to an older member of the party who told me he was unable to dance having torn ligaments in both shoulders when he rescued an eight stone Labrador from drowning. From that moment, I swore that if there is an obese dog needing to be rescued from the jaws of death, I would be first in the queue.

I knew I was in trouble. Mrs Pickwick appeared shortly after, hot and bothered after getting into the groove and demanded a drink. She insisted I return to the dance floor to perform my husbandly duties. To make matters worse, she had brought reinforcements who were enjoying my discomfort.

Returning to the dance floor, the mood had changed to the slow dance. This was a relief as I no longer needed to employ pigeon rebuttal movements.

I assumed the position and Mrs Pickwick and I rocked pendulum-like across the dance floor, she with grace and beauty, and me employing the marketing slogan of the 1970s toy which went 'Weebles wobble but they don't fall down'.

Mrs Pickwick was no longer berating me with her eyes, recognising that I had begun to look like a beaten puppy, which is never an appealing prospect if you have to dance with one.

Slowly but surely, the dark clouds which had rested over my head as I danced with Mrs Pickwick began to lift. There were times that the outlook appeared sunny, but always with patchy cloud and the threat of showers.

This was until the music changed to R Kelly, an American R&B singer whose name is best pronounced in a West Country accent. The song was I Believe I Can Fly which in my view deserves the same treatment.

It is fair to say that the mood had made me melt somewhat as I rocked gently from side to side with Mrs Pickwick, she looking at me with sympathetic encouragement. The flight instinct had gone and I now remembered the reason we were married.

As Farmer Kelly sang "Oi bee-leave oi con floy, Oi bee-leave oi con tarch the skoi" and then moved onto something about spreading his wings and flying away, I held Mrs Pickwick tight, spreading my wings, thinking about night and day and pushing through an open door.

I was a swan. I was a swan. I wasn't an ugly duckling anymore.

Or something like that.

Happy memories. It's nice to look back before the nurse gives me those little pink pills to make me better.

Night, Night...