August 2002
Home Up September 2002

2002 Newsletters

January February March April May June
July August September October November December

The SSQQ August 2002 Newsletter
Written and edited monthly by Rick Archer


















By the way, you do not need a printer. We have notice of your registration on our computer as you come to the door. Try to visit the ‘Pre-Registration Computer’ at the front door.


The SSQQ Newsletter has become much too big to email in its entirety. From now on I will email all the articles related to the business of running SSQQ plus snippets of the other columns contained in the larger SSQQ Newsletter. However the bulk of the Newsletter will appear on our web site. It is 3 times larger than the email version.

You are now reading the 'EXTENDED NEWSLETTER'.  Welcome!


Classes begin the week of Sunday, August 4th.


Swing Acrobatics II will be taught on Sundays in August at 4:30 pm. Taught by Paul Foltyn & Melanie Jones, this special class is offered ONCE a year. It covers amazing patterns that are tricky to learn and awesome to see!!  Partners ONLY.

Judy Archer brings Latin Carnival to Sundays at 4:30 pm. This is a chance to learn 4 famous Latin dances - ChaCha, Samba, Bossa Nova, and Rumba - in a 4-week period.

Balboa Swing comes to SSQQ on Sundays taught by Gloria Sanchez.  It is an 8-count shuffle danced very close together moving back and forth. Many Balboa dancers do Swing, switch to Balboa periodically, then move back to Swing.  Very cool dance.

Intermediate Western Waltz is back! We will offer this wonderful dance on Sunday evenings. Judy Archer will cover all the details for the legendary Western dance of romance. !

 Hip Hop Street Jazz has made it to SSQQ on Mondays at 6 pm. Michele Franzwa is on the dance team at Texas Tech and a performing Hip Hop team in Houston. This is your chance to learn the secrets of this fascinating dance style!  Teenagers welcome.

One of the toughest and rarest of Ghost Town levels, GT 10, will be taught in August by the soon-to-be-married Tracy King and Jeff Perry. Come learn some of the fanciest moves known to man on Sundays at 7 pm!

August brings the opportunity to join the ranks of the finest dancers in the city with Super-Advanced Western Waltz. And by special request, Sharon will offer the first-ever Waltz Level 5 in September. Don’t miss either class!!

Beginning Night Club Twostep begins anew on Fridays with Susie Merrill, the lady who got the entire studio dancing Night Club to begin with!  Night Club is a very graceful dance that works beautifully to the many romantic Western ballads that were once ‘undanceable’, but which are now a joy to dance to. The popularity of Night Club just grows and grows!



On Saturday, AUGUST 10, we will have a Swing and Latin party here at the studio known as “Latin Swing This, Baby!  The Swing dancing will be in Room 1 and the Salsa dancing will be in Room 4.

Our 7-9 pm Crash Courses include:

CUMBIA - Linda
and Lise (cpls)


Dress Mambo King or Jump, Jive, & Swing!!

On Saturday, AUGUST 24, we will have our annual BEACH BALL PARTY. We will have Western dancing in Room 1 with Whip/West Coast Swing in Room 4.

Our 7-9 pm Crash Courses include:


- Wil and Rachel  (cpls)

You West Coast Swing dancers will DEFINITELY want to take my HOT HOT HOT WCS PATTERNS CC because these moves are Sleazy Bar Whip caliber moves in August. Imagine the skimpy outfits these women will be wearing as we teach them how to gyrate their sweaty bodies to these delicious, provocative, heat-producing illusions.

Dress Hawaiian or You’ll Leave Cryin’!!  This means wear a shirt or dress so loud you can’t hear the music…

The Beach Ball Party features the historic Balloon Race. The SSQQ Staff Team is still undefeated after all these years. However this year it appears the infamous Margaux Mann intends to break the mysterious curse of the Balloon Race. She and her husband Carl have been busily training on a daily basis with their son Nicholas and their daughter Emily to take on the SSQQ juggernaut at this party. Three years ago the SSQQ Staff kept its incredible streak alive by pulling out an amazing come-from-behind victory. Two years ago it was pretty close too. Margaux sat out last year to nurse her wounded pride, but this year she promises to be back with a vengeance.

 If you are actually insane enough to desire more details on this crazy event, be my guest and click here:

The Balloon Race is a very entertaining event and the 2002 Beach Ball promises to be a Rockin’ party!  Circle it on your calendar and join us!


 The SSQQ Caribbean Cruise – DOWN TO 15 CABINS LEFT.

August 25 – September 1

As of Tuesday, July 30, there are only 15 cabins left of an original 1,000 - if you want to go, make your move today!!   You do not need a roommate - we will find you one.  Call Anne Adams at 713 957 1705. 

Note – Volleyball player extraordinaire (she hits the ball harder than I do and jumps higher too), Swing dancer, and Brown and Root engineer Wee-Sim Teoh, 29, would like to go but needs a roommate. Any ladies out there who want to go who also need a roommate?? Let me know and I will hook you up. 

 SPECIAL ONE-MONTH TO SAILING NOTE (posted July 16, Rick Archer):

Sometimes in life you do get a second chance. Many people from SSQQ passed on this year's trip when they looked at the original price. Well, things have changed dramatically.

You have been given a last-chance opportunity for the time of your life! If money has been your obstacle in signing on to the cruise list-poof-this problem has magically disappeared. The cruise prices have dropped from a dramatic $180 to $260 per cabin on this trip since it was first announced back in March.

Apparently the cruise line overestimated the demand for a traditionally slack time of the year - back to school - and badly overpriced their tickets. Now they have caved in and are desperate to fill their ship.

You now can cruise for a mere $75 a day!!!  Where else can you have luxury lodging, limitless meals, and nightly entertainment all included for this ridiculously low amount--- not to say the chance for Slow Dance and Romance on the High Seas!?!?!

On a day per day basis this year's cruise on The Rhapsody of the Seas now COSTS LESS than last year's cruise on Carnival. (A year ago you paid anywhere from $105-$125 per day.) No more whining about the expense associated with the luxury digs; you now have the chance to take advantage of all the benefits of a luxurious four-star ship and pay less than a moderate line!

 This is last call for you to be included in all the FUN!!!  We set sail on Aug. 25 for 8 days filled with sun, fun and adventure and 7 nights that we leave only to you to imagine and make a reality….

 And one more note – As I have told you men repeatedly, there are 20 more women on this trip than men. In my two previous Newsletters I have simply alluded to this effect, but now as the moment for sailing grows nigh I realize there is no further time for subtlety. I can hint no longer so let me simply spell it out:

Cruises drive women temporarily insane. No one can fully explain why, but folklore abounds with anecdotes to this effect.  Without Mother Earth to ground her, a woman’s resistance to the advances of men weakens and her heart finds a way to care that the mind is unable to dispel.  For some unfathomable reason the memory of all the rotten things men have done to her magically dissipates and she suddenly decides against all the odds to give love another chance.  All you have to do is be in the right place when the dreaded Love Boat Phenomenon strikes these women blind and renders them completely open to your charms. And let me add a couple Margaritas generally help to nudge this miracle forward as well…

If you got the money and you got the time, you guys need to get on this boat NOW.  Do not miss this chance!!!!   DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT MISS THIS CHANCE.  713 957 1705

PS – Quick reminder to the 63 people already signed up, we will have a pre-trip get-together at the studio on Sunday afternoon, August 11, at 2:30 pm with our travel agent Anne Adams. She says she has many cool prizes and surprises for all of us. I didn’t get any last year so I am definitely due!


Susie Merrill’s Heartbeat Western Swing dance team returned from their performance in New Orleans over the July 20th weekend. Rumor has it the team did very well but I will never know since no one ever bothers to tell me anything. 

You see, the Heartbeat Dance Team can dance up a storm, but not one of them has even the slightest ability at writing. Good feet, no hands.  As a result of their complete lack of even the simplest communication skills, no one who isn’t dating someone on the team has even the slightest clue how well the Heartbeat Team or anyone else did at the competition. It is tough to write a Newsletter without reporters.

I know for a fact that Coach Susie can write, but I also know that every time she comes back from a competition she has to work furiously to catch up at her job which she has neglected horribly for the month or so before the competition while she gets her team ready. My guess is Susie becomes too busy to concern herself with publicity which is a shame because the rest of us would really like to know more about the team. I can’t blame her since she doesn’t make any money as coach so she needs to work occasionally to keep her real job.

 Now I know at least one team member who apparently never actually works any more since he/she manages to find a way on a daily basis to waste my time with back and forth emailing without actually saying anything. You would think this particular person could stop wasting his/her time with useless email drivel and start doing something socially productive like working or at the very least writing about the Dance Team, but no, he/her would rather spend all day emailing Newsletter writers some total nonsense like famous song names.

 It’s too bad because a little gossip about how the team did would really boost attendance at their events and create more interest in what they do. Plus the team members would enjoy all the fuss they would get from Dance Team groupies and the what-not. Oh well.

Here is what I do know about Heartbeat:

  1. They get almost all their team members from SSQQ students.
  2. They train at SSQQ.
  3. They have a lot of fun.
  4. They get tired of practicing all the time, but apparently they need to.
  5. It takes a lot of commitment to be a part of a dance team.
  6. They become a family.
  7. They are preparing to go to the World Championships.
  8. They are looking for one new lady to join the team. It would help if she can dance.

Email to Susie Merrill if you are interested in joining the team.  She would love to start training her new lady immediately!   Men can email Susie too if they look good in a wig…  just kidding.  And if you have any writing skills, you better hide this fact or you probably won’t make the team.


It has become obvious that the Newsletter has become much too big to email in its entirety. From now on I will email all the articles related to the business of running SSQQ plus snippets of the other columns contained in the larger SSQQ Newsletter.

The Newsletter has been very helpful in many ways, but its usefulness was never more apparent than in June when we decided to offer two classes – Advanced Salsa Mambo Level 8 and Beginning Hip Hop – that were not on the printed schedule. Both classes were huge hits despite offering them at the last minute. Which reminds me - this month in August we are offering a previously unscheduled Balboa Swing class on Sundays at 4:30 with Gloria Sanchez!


(Editor’s Note: This article appeared in last year’s July Newsletter. It is an absolutely fascinating article devoted strictly the subject of human stupidity.  You will not regret reading this story, I promise. In fact, at some point you will become so incredulous you will suddenly discover drool dripping from your mouth because it is so wide open!)

As any long-time Newsletter reader knows, one of my favorite sayings is Experience is a comb that Life throws you after you have already lost your hair.

Everyone makes mistakes. The difference is some of us live to talk about it and manage to get a little wiser in the process. When I was nine years old, I had a Border collie pup named Terry. He had so much energy!!  But Terry had not learned to respond to my voice commands at all.

As we took a walk, I saw a truck coming.  I screamed at Terry to stop, but he ran right out in the street in front of an oncoming Sears delivery truck. The truck screeched to a halt, but machines that big don’t stop on a dime. The front wheel clipped Terry pretty good and knocked him spinning. The poor little dog rolled like a log down a hill a dozen times before he came to a stop.  I was screaming bloody murder the whole time.  Fortunately Terry wasn’t hurt, but rather bruised and scared out of his wits. He got up, realized he was alive, realized all his body parts still worked, then shot home like a bullet. I found him hiding under a bush by the front door. Terry and I had been very lucky.  And thank you Sears Man wherever you are for trying so hard to stop… you saved the life of my dog!

Terry was a very adventurous dog. He loved to get loose and go for explorations, a habit that drove me crazy because he was the love of my young life and I didn’t want him anywhere out of my sight. One day I came home from the sixth grade at school only to discover Mom had left the gate open and Terry had escaped again. I got on my bike and went out looking for him. 

About five blocks later I spotted Terry. He was pretty far away, but it was obvious he was heading home since he was coming towards me. On a lark I hid behind a tree to watch. When he got to the street, he stopped. Terry looked both ways – exactly as you train a child to do! – then carefully crossed the street.  It was then that I realized Terry had learned a very good lesson from his accident. If it doesn’t kill you, the opportunity is there to grow and become stronger.

As Terry and I grew up together, I never saw Terry fail to stop at any street crossing again. Smart dog. In this case Life threw Terry the Dog a comb before he lost his hair.

I did a web search to see what people have to say about mistakes. Here are a few gems:

1. Learn from the mistakes of others.  You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.
2. When you realize you have made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

3. A life spent making mistakes is not only most honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
4. A well-adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.
5. An error is not a mistake until you refuse to correct it. 

6. It is a mistake to allow any mechanical object to realize you are in a hurry.
7. Computers let you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila.
8. On why NY lost the 1960 baseball series to Pittsburgh: “We made too many wrong mistakes.” – Yogi Berra.

However not everyone learns from their mistakes. Some people do lose their hair or worse. This article is about Stupidity.

The quote that sums up everything you are about to read perfectly is: “Mistakes are often the stepping stones to utter failure.”

In a moment I will give you the link to one of the most amazing sections of the entire SSQQ Web Site, the MASSIVE STUPIDITY page.

1. For a warm-up exercise, you will have a chance to read about an airplane crash in Africa that you will find very amusing.

2. After the African airplane story you will be primed for a great story contributed by Lesa Myers. This incredible tale covers the antics of a couple of Continental airplane mechanics who make the guys in the movie "Dumb and Dumber" look like Mensa candidates.

3. But nothing in your experience can ever prepare you for the stunt labeled the stupidest thing anyone has ever done and lived to talk about it. In fact the amazing Larry Walters even managed to get interviewed on the Johnny Carson Show.

“Larry the Moron” is a story of inconceivable stupidity. It is about a stunt so ridiculous you will never believe it really happened. Then you will look at the pictures and start to think, "Yeah, maybe this really did happen. Nah, No Way!!"  Well, guess what, it really happened.

You MUST visit this site.  After visiting this page, even the most cynical among you will be startled to find you can still become even more cynical about the stupidity of the human race.  Just when you thought you have become as disgusted with other human beings as you possibly can be, this article will prove beyond a doubt that your opinion can still get lower. Isn’t that nice to know?

Contributed by Pat Roberts

This month’s picture deals with every mother’s worst nightmare – why fathers make lousy babysitters.  Unless you are a Mom, this is a very funny picture!

PS - SSQQ TRIVIA QUESTION (for a free Practice Night)

First person to identify an obvious trend on the Joke Picture Page listed above gets a free August Practice Night.  Email your guess to  



 Sunday, June 30, 2002 5:54 PM

 “Hey Rick.
You can add Tommy Lollar and I to the statistics of engagements.  We met at the studio in March and are now engaged to be married next March.”

 Cheryl Cato, perpetual ssqq student

(Editor’s Note: Congratulations to both of you!)


Thu 07/18/2002 2:41 PM

 “Hi Rick,

Yes that rumor about me getting married is very true...I met her in Salsa practice class about two years ago. Her name is Ulrike (Uli for short) Lange. She was working here in Houston as a 2nd grade teacher on an exchange program from Germany.  At the time she was taking Tango and decided to come to practice class. 

 I asked Uli to dance and later we became friends...but we never became a couple because we were each involved with someone else at the time and also she was scheduled to return to Germany in June of this year and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to live here in the United States.

I guess I managed to convince her otherwise and she consented to be my wife on my birthday April 26th.  We were married on July 6th in our garden at our home.

We are very happy and we continue to Salsa together...I’m teaching beginning and Intermediate salsa on Tuesday nights and she is one of my assistants. So I guess you can add us to your list of happy couples. In all honesty I started salsa about 4 years ago primarily to meet someone. Since then I have had a really good social life and now I have the ultimate...a beautiful wife who also enjoys dancing. So that’s our story and it really is as romantic as it sounds.”

Jim Coulter

(Editor’s Note: There are a seven SSQQ instructors who met their husband or wife here at SSQQ and 20 instructors who are seriously dating someone they met at the studio. These are the ones I know about.  My guess is approximately half our staff of 60+ people met their current significant other here at SSQQ. If you want to improve your love life, join the staff.)


Tue 07/23/2002 4:32 PM

 “Dear Rick,

I have some great news --  Jeff and I are running off to Colorado next month to get married!! 

It's almost like we are eloping except we have been planning it for quite a while, and our immediate family will be there.

On August 16th we will have a small outdoor ceremony at Lily Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, near the town of Estes Park.

We are a little worried about potential wildfires.  There is a fire burning now just south of Estes Park, but the area seems to have had recent and abundant rain.  We are sure that our day will be blessed no matter what happens.

As you know, Jeff and I met three years ago at SSQQ.  He was a student in the very first class I taught (we call it my rookie class) back in the Fall of 1999.  It took a few months of flirting before we actually went out on a date, but we have been together ever since.

We will email pictures when we get them--we are expecting the backdrop to be beautiful.

Oh yeah--we won't be teaching on Sunday, August 18th but we have arranged for our buddies Ann and Brian to substitute.”

 Love, Tracy

(Editor’s Note:  Tracy has been like my kid sister for many years now.  I am so happy for both her and Jeff. They have been acting like a married couple for some time now so this special moment in their lives comes as no surprise to me.)


On Saturday, August 17th, Daryl and Jo Anne Armstrong celebrate Jo Anne's birthday with their 6th Annual Tattoo, Leather, and Lace Party. 

I visited this party last year and found it to be quite fascinating. Although everyone is proud of their tattoos, most of them are so obviously fake that it is hard to feel too intimidated. Plus Daryl is so ridiculous in his Hawaiian leather outfit. I mean really, is there no end to it, Daryl?

All kidding aside, there is plenty of room for dancing and misbehavior at Rocky Kneten's pad on West 34th Street about a half mile west of North Shepherd. SSQQ DJ Mitch Istre will be there to spin his tunes and all of Daryl and Jo Anne's decadent friends as well. 

Everyone is invited. Rocky's place is in a pretty strange industrial area, but it is roomy and quite comfortable. Last year Daryl had a police officer overseeing the activities which was nice and there was a beer keg to keep the spirits high. However BYOB is not a bad idea.

Everyone who participates is expected to sport TWO visible tattoos, wear some leather, and show some skin. I saw one girl who had no tattoos, but she showed a lot of skin in the right places, so Rocky persuaded the policeman to let her in. These are reasonable people.

Red underwear is optional. I had a great time last year. This is a fun party!!
Directions and more information at:


(Editor's Note: Since we are on the subject of Daryl Armstrong and his infamous Leather and Lace Tattoo Party, I am reminded I wrote an interesting story about Daryl about a year ago. I think anyone who has ever met Daryl has noticed he has an amazing sense of humor. If you agree with me that Daryl is one of the world's unique personalities, you will thoroughly enjoy my story about him.) 

On a recent Saturday evening in July 2001, SSQQ instructor Daryl Armstrong and his fabulous wife Joanne escorted about 30 SSQQ Faithfuls on a trip to 5 different venues in search of the Perfect Margarita. Yes, I admit I was with them. There are too many pictures floating around to deny it. Sure enough, after the third stop it was pretty much '1 Tequila, 2 Tequila, 3 Tequila, Floor' for most of us as we made total fools of ourselves. 

In addition to the story about the Margarita Tour, there are some things I have wanted to tell the world about Daryl Armstrong for a long time and this article gave me my chance me to get some things off my chest. There are very few people at the studio I admire and respect more than Daryl. He is truly blessed with immense talent. 

In fact it is this incredible talent that irritates the heck out of me and after you read this story, you won't blame me one bit for my petty jealousies.

This is one article that is a "Must-Read".


We have 25 classic jokes ready for you to read on our August Joke Page.

Here is a great joke from the August Joke Page that has long been one of my favorites.

August CS 01 : A Marriage Maid in Heaven 
submitted by Hieronymous Anonymous 

A guy dials his home to speak to his wife and the maid answers. She says that the lady of the house is busy right now. 

The guy insists that she go get her anyway and reminds her he is the Boss.

The maid, embarrassed, says that the misses is very busy. 

The husband, sensing something in the maid's voice, presses on. Under strong questioning, the maid finally blurts out the misses is upstairs with her lover in the bedroom!!

At this revelation, the guy goes ballistic and tells the maid to listen very carefully. "Go to the basement, get my rifle and then go to the bedroom and shoot them both." 

The maid stutters that she can't do that, but finally agrees after the guy tells her she's fired and will be deported otherwise. 

Fearing the man will do exactly as he threatens, she puts the phone down. The guy listens and a few moments later he hears: BANG! BANG! 

The maid comes back on the phone and says that it's done.

Much calmer now, the guy says, "OK, now listen carefully once more. Drag the bodies downstairs and dump them in then pool." 

The maid stutters her disapproval. 

The guy says, "Listen, you're fired if you don't do what I say." 

The maid says, "But sir, we don't have a pool!!"

The guy says, "Is this 302-872-1286?"

Contributed by Jane Downs

threnody :  noun (THREN uh dee)  n. pl. thren•o•dies  (From the Greek) 

also threnodial or threnodic  adjective; and threnodist noun.    

A poem or song of mourning or lamentation.

Example:  The full church rang with nenias and threnodies for the wonderful lady we had been graced to know.

(Editor’s Note: As always, Jane contributes a word that I had no clue previously existed. How she does this month in and month out is beyond me.)


 (Editor’s Note: The Blue Side Jokes are one of the great undiscovered secrets of the SSQQ web site.  Anyone who is on the SSQQ Registration List is welcome to have access. All you need to do to subscribe is email me from the email address you use to register for classes and request it.  This month there are 18 Blue Side jokes. Below is one of my favorites!)

August BS 14 : The Bakery
submitted by Judy Walsh 

A general store owner hires a young female clerk with a penchant for wearing very short skirts and thong panties. One day a young man enters the store, glances at the clerk, and glances at the loaves of bread behind the counter. Noticing the length of her skirt (or general lack thereof) and the location of the raisin bread he has a brilliant idea. "I'd like some raisin bread, please," the man says politely. 

The clerk nods and climbs up a ladder to reach the raisin bread, which is located on the very top shelf. The young man, standing almost directly beneath her, is provided with an excellent view, just as he had surmised he would be. Once she descends the ladder he muses that he really should get 2 loaves as he is having company for dinner. 

As the clerk retrieves the 2nd loaf of bread, one of the other male customers notices what is going on. Thinking quickly, he requests his own loaf of raisin bread so that he can also enjoy the view. With each trip up the ladder the young lady seems to catch the eye of another male customer. Pretty soon each person is asking for raisin bread, just to see the clerk climb up and down. 

After a few trips the clerk is tired and irritated and thinking that she is really going to have to try this raisin bread for herself. Finally, once again atop the ladder, she stops and fumes, glaring at the men standing below. She notices a elderly man standing amongst the throng staring up at her.

Thinking to save herself a trip she yells, "Is yours raisin too?" 

"No," croaks the feeble old man...."But it's startin' to twitch.


The 6 super-intelligent people who solved last month's SSQQ logic puzzle are: 

  1. Barbara Benavides

  2. Mary Tu

  3. Tim Crist

  4. Verondia Nevil

  5. Carol Armand

  6. Vic Anwar

Congratulations to all!


Take me out to the Ball Game! SSQQ is sponsoring another logic contest this month called "Who's on First?" It is a clever Baseball Logic puzzle that all you smarty pants people out there will thoroughly enjoy. The first ten people to solve the puzzle get a free Practice Night in August. Anyone after that will have to settle for the glory of seeing your name in the Newsletter next month. 

You can try your luck at this puzzle at


Thu 07/25/2002 2:11 PM

It has been twenty years (July 1982) since I took my first dance lesson at SSQQ--beginner twostep, of course. Since that time I have learned a few more steps and met a lot of people who love to dance. 

Thanks for all the fun! 

Best regards, Roger Lee

p.s. I think I may have a few more years of dancin' in me. 

(Editor's Note: Roger is one of the few people who might remember I had brown hair once. Hmm. My studio has been around so long that students who met at SSQQ in the 80s and got married are starting to send their kids to me. Hmm. Now that I think of it, why is Roger's hair brown and mine isn't? Hmm. Thank you for the nice note, Roger!)


Has anyone noticed that since the advent of hand-held camcorders that can fit under the seat of your car that we have had a lot of Rodney King-type videos filmed, but not one video of UFOs? I wonder why not? 

The Venus Mars Quote of the Month
Poem contributed by Patty Jones

Girl Poem
A poem for us....
I shave my legs,
I sit down to pee.
And I can justify
any shopping spree.
Don't go to a barber,
but a beauty salon.
I can get a massage
without a hard-on.
I can balance the checkbook,
I can pump my own gas.
Can talk to my friends,
about the size of my ass.
My beauty's a masterpiece,
and yes, it takes long.
At least I can admit,
to others when I'm wrong.
I don't drive in circles,
at any cost.
And I don't have a problem,
admitting I'm lost.
I never forget,
an important date.
You just gotta deal with it,
I'm usually late.
I don't watch movies,
with lots of gore.
Don't need instant replay,
to remember the score.
I won't lose my hair,
I don't get jock itch.
And just cause I'm assertive,
Don't call me a bitch.
Don't say to your friends,
Oh yeah, I can get her.
In your dreams, my dear,
I can do better!
Flowers are okay,
But jewelry's best.
Look at me you idiot...
Not at my chest????
I don't have a problem,
With Expressing my feelings.
I know when you're lying,
You look at the ceiling.
DON'T call me a GIRL ,
a BABE or a CHICK .
I am a WOMAN.
Get it?, you DICK!?!


submitted by Judy Walsh

President Bush and Colin Powell are sitting in a bar. A guy walks in and asks the bartender, "Isn't that Bush and Powell sitting over there?" 

The bartender says, "Yep, that's them." 

So the guy walks over and says, "Wow, this is a real honor. What are you guys doing in here?"

Bush says, "We're planning WW III". 

The guy says, "Really? What's going to happen?"

Bush says, "Well, we're going to kill 140 million Iraqis this time, and one blonde with big boobs.

The guy exclaimed, "A blonde with big boobs? Why kill a blonde with big boobs?

Bush turns to Powell, punches him on the shoulder and says, "See, smart ass!?! I told you no one would care about the 140 million Iraqis!"


I would like to compliment the following three men - Mark Young, Jason Heise, and Kevin Lee - for winning the SSQQ Jim Bowie Award for being the last men standing at our annual Sadie Hawkins Manhunt. 

Our most predatory woman this year was the incomparable Lisa Perkins who managed to nail 5 ½ men. The half-man of course was left screaming, but Lisa didn't care. She laughed her way to the bank. 

You see, this year there was a dollar bounty on each man. Before the big chase, one day I asked my Newsletter assistant Jill Banta why she never chased any men at these events. Jill answered that men are basically less than worthless. I asked her what men would be worth if I paid a dollar for each man caught. Jill did some math and said most men would then be worth about 25 cents because they start out less than worthless, but at least they would finally be worth something. So I told the ladies each man they captured would bring them a buck. 

Once the men were worth something, the women came out of the woodwork to chase them! 

Leaving off the last names to protect the guilty, Heather caught David, Susie caught Tim, Wendy caught Dennis, Cassandra caught another Tim, Jan caught Michael and Carl, Pham caught Willie, Joe, and Gareld, Diane caught Darren, Don, and John, Ann caught Mike and Tony, and Lisa took out out Gary, Jim, Richard, Mark, Jason, and half of Kevin. 

Gee whiz, Lisa caught all three of the winners! Without Lisa, they still might be running!

Contributed by Donna Ruth

 (Editor’s Note: For those of you who do not know who Dennis Miller is, he is a former Saturday Night Live humorist who now has his own HBO show. He specializes in political humor. His humor tends to be so heavily acidic that I have trouble enjoying him at times, but he hit the nail on the head with this one about the Pledge of Allegiance controversy.)

Hoorah for Dennis Miller!!  He said recently on his show, regarding the judges who declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional: ”So, Your Honor, the Pledge is unconstitutional because it says ‘Under God’. Guess that means when you were sworn in with your hand on a Bible, and at the end of your oath repeated, ‘So Help Me God’ that makes your job unconstitutional, therefore you have no job, which means your ruling doesn’t mean s---.”


Wed 07/31/2002 12:59 PM

"I came by the studio to see what the place was like and to see how your classes are taught before deciding to register for a class at your facility. Instead of being greeted with courtesy as I expected, I was informed by some door Gestapo that I would not be permitted to see a class without your permission. 

Well, I don't need your permission because I am pretty sure I can find a better place to learn to dance than the hostile environment you have created. You need to learn to be nice to people, not to push them around.

Name Withheld"

Rick Archer's response: 

"Sir, I see your point of view clearly. Yes, it would be nice to sit and watch a class. I agree. However not everyone enjoys having people sit there and watch. 

For example, this past Monday some man sat down in Room 2 about 30 minutes before class started. He spread his laptop out so far over the couch that no one could sit next to him without asking him to move his computer. In order to sit and watch the TV, I had to get a chair. 

After class was ready to start, to my surprise the man was still there. I had assumed he had come early from work and would go to his class at 7 pm like everyone else. When he didn't move, I decided to ask him what he was doing there. He said he was waiting for his daughter to finish her class. 

I mistakenly assumed she was in the 6-7 pm Hip Hop class and was changing clothes in the lady's room. I decided to let him sit there and began my class. 

At 7:30 pm I was annoyed to notice him again because his legs stuck out so far that a student actually tripped trying to switch to another partner. I wondered what he was still doing there. 

This man eventually put his laptop away. Since he had nothing else to do, he sat and watched my class. We have a very firm 'no watching' policy, but I decided there was no reason to embarrass the man by confronting him in front of all the students. I made a conscious decision to let him stay. 

I wish I hadn't. He stared at the women. He smiled to himself at various times and I wondered what he found amusing. Personally speaking, I don't know if any of my students cared whether he was in the room or not because I minded his presence. He was a distraction to me. He was an alien presence. What was he doing there??

Class ended and he still sat there. I reminded myself to look for the alleged daughter. Unfortunately as always someone asked me a question and I got distracted. The next time I looked he was gone. 

Although there might be a logical explanation, I found it curious that a man showed up 30 minutes before class to wait 2 ½ hours for his daughter. Where was his daughter before class? Obviously they didn't come together. My point is this: I found myself wondering what he was up to the entire evening. His story didn't make any sense at all. I didn't appreciate being watched one bit. His presence bothered me. I doubt he would appreciate it if I came to his office and watched him work for 2 hours. 

We are a teaching institution. People pay to learn. They don't need to be observed by outsiders. The distractions need to be minimized in their room so they can concentrate. In my case, the instructor doesn't need to be distracted either. SSQQ is not the Houston Zoo. 

I respect your desire to watch, but in this situation your individual needs are superceded by the needs of the group. 

If I have not made myself clear enough on this sensitive topic, visit our Policy Page on Watching:

I am sorry you got upset. However the Hall Monitor was just doing their job. There is no reason for you to single them out for your wrath by insulting them. 

Rick Archer

submitted by Anita Williams

Two lawyers had been stranded on a deserted island for several months. The only other thing on the island was the tall coconut tree, which provided them their food. Each day, one of the lawyers climbed to the top of the tree to see if he could see a rescue boat coming.

One day, the lawyer yelled down from the tree, "Wow. I can't believe my eyes. There is a girl out there floating in our direction."

The lawyer on the ground was most skeptical and said, "I think you're hallucinating and you should come down right now."

So, the lawyer reluctantly climbed down the tree and told his friend that he had just actually seen a naked blonde woman floating face up headed toward their island. The other lawyer started to laugh, thinking his friend had surely lost his mind. But within a few minutes, a naked blonde woman floated up to their beach, face up, and totally unconscious.

The two lawyers went over to her and discovered, yes she was alive.

One said to the other, "You know, we've been on this island for months now without a woman. It's been a long time. Do you think we should, you know....screw her?"

The other lawyer glanced down at the totally naked woman and asked, "Out of what?"


Jill Banta is our lead Registrar. She asked me to remind everyone to register using our On-Line Registration system.

Although we are taking several aggressive steps to speed up Walk-In Registration for July, the truth is you can save yourself a lot of time if you register in advance using the Internet for your classes. 

One gentleman pointed out he was afraid of getting his credit card number stolen using the Internet. Frankly I am just as superstitious as the next guy and I understand this point of view. But you may be worrying needlessly about this problem.

Here are three facts:

  1. We are now entering our 12th month of On-Line Registration. In a year’s time, we have not had one report of credit card theft. This is the absolute truth. 
  2. When you bring your credit card to the studio, we send the same information over the Internet from our computers that you would be sending using your computer. In other words, it is no riskier using your Internet connection than it is using ours… and we have not had an incident yet. 
  3. I would estimate we have had about 5,000 successful credit card transactions without a report of theft so far. I am not saying it is impossible because I do not understand hacking enough to guarantee anything. I am simply saying so far things have gone without a hitch.

If you are going to take a dance class in August, please use the On-Line system. It will get you through the door much faster!!


One of the reasons SSQQ moved to a computerized Registration system is to keep a better tab on the size of classes. This helps us prevent overcrowding our rooms.

As a feature of our On-Line system, we now have a Bulletin Board called “Special Announcements” on the first screen of On-Line Registration.

In June, this Bulletin Board allowed us to announce that several classes had been closed including Judy’s popular new Salsa Level 8, Sharon’s Intermediate Western Waltz, and Beginning Salsa on Thursdays. In July we closed all Salsa classes on Tuesdays.

It also allowed us to explain which classes were closed to a particular sex. In other words, when a class had 8 more men than women or vice versa, we closed that class to whichever sex would make the imbalance worse. We still allowed couples to register, but a single man or a single woman without a partner was asked not to enter in the second week if this would make things worse. Using this trick we were able to improve the boy-girl ratio of several classes.

submitted by Chris Holmes

The salesman stopped at a farmhouse and went up to the porch where an old farmer was sitting. He started making small talk with the farmer.

He happened to notice that there was a pig with one leg missing laying down on the porch. The salesman asked "What happened to your pig?" 

The farmer smiled and said, "Let me tell you about this pig! I was plowing in the field one day and hit a rock and the tractor fell over on me. I was trapped! Well, this pig got out of his pen and ran to the house and squealed until my wife heard him, he then ran to where I was laying and led my wife there! This pig saved my life! Then one night the house caught fire and this pig pushed open the door and ran to the bedroom and woke us up and we got the fire out before it did any damage. And if that ain't enough, just last week, he stopped a burglar from getting in the house by lying down in front of him and tripping him. By the time the burglar recovered, I had my shotgun on him."

"Goodness" said the salesman, "Is that how he lost his leg?" 

"No, of course not. This pig is practically invulnerable", said the farmer. 

"Well, then, how did he lose his leg?"

"A pig like this, you don't just eat all at once!"


The following ad appeared in a recent Houston singles magazine:

"SBF" (single, black, female) seeks Male companionship.

Age and ethnicity unimportant.  I'm a young, svelte, good looking girl who LOVES to play.  I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting/camping/fishing trips.  I love cozy winter nights spent lying by the fire.  Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand.  Rub me the right way and watch me respond.  I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me.  Kiss me and I'm yours.  Call xxx-xxxx and ask for Daisy!"

The phone number was the Humane Society and Daisy was an eight week old black Labrador Retriever.

They received 643 calls in the two days the ad ran.

They say the Heart is a Lonely Hunter.  Be it personal ads in the paper, dating services, or Internet dating sites, the risk of meeting frauds, lunatics, or men looking for a little meat on the side seems to be incredibly high. Despite the obvious dangers, it is apparent many people persist in giving these venues a try.  In response to my request for some Internet dating stories, I received eight very interesting stories.

What Goes Around Comes Around

 Business has been very good for SSQQ this year.  Although everything could change again in the blink of another terrorist attack, for now the numbers at our studio have been very healthy.

This July we hit a huge upward growth spike. We had 200 more students in July than we did in June. And June was a pretty good month.

Was July 2002 a record attendance?  Maybe.  There were a couple months back in early 2000 where we had huge numbers of students. It was the intersection of two ‘eras’ - the “Zoot Suit Riot” Swing era was still going strong and the “Living La Vida Loca” Salsa era had just begun.  Unfortunately back then we did not have a way to keep track of attendance, but my gut tells me attendance was a bit larger in those Spring months of 2000. It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. Either way this past month was so crowded it seemed there were nights when we could not fit another human being in the studio.

So I suppose you all think I am deliriously happy?  No, not really.  There are a lot of problems that come with success. Obviously I would rather deal with the problems of success than those of failure, but a headache is still a headache.

Problem Number 1: Over-Crowding of Classes

Here are two recent emails:


We have been taking swing, salsa, and tango classes at SSQQ for about two and a half months now, and we have a couple of requests for you.

 Each of the levels that we advance to seem to have the same problem:  Too many people in each class!  Your instructors are great, but they are having difficulties both providing a high level of information, as well as being able to complete the curriculum in a timely fashion.  They give it their best, but they are very much out numbered.  This also causes several of the students, including both of us, to be stepped on and run over regularly due to the lack of room.

Are you considering a limit to the class size?  Or maybe opening the rooms up and reducing the number of simultaneous classes?  Please let us know.”


I'm taking beginning swing/jitterbug.  The Saturday class is too large.  We're bumping into out neighboring couples too often.  It is also difficult to see and hear the instructor.  I feel like it takes away from my learning and enjoyment experience both.

Actually the Monday class is also quite crowded.  The Sunday class is large, but we get by okay.

How about limiting the size of the classes or opening more sections?”

It may come as a surprise to many of you, but we actually do have room limits. The problem is they are difficult to enforce. It is pretty easy for students to make class transfers behind our back.

Incident 1:  On Tuesday, July 9, a woman came in with a Beginning Salsa receipt from Leisure Learning. I personally took her registration. Later when I went to find my daughter, I saw the same woman in Intermediate Salsa as I walked through the room. I asked her if she was in the wrong class and she said no, she had registered with LLU because she had a credit coming to her, but since ‘Intermediate Salsa’ wasn’t offered in their catalogue, she had been forced to sign up for Beginning Salsa instead. So she switched.  If you think this woman is the only one pulling this trick, guess again. 

Incident 2:  On July 16, our Registrar turned away 8 people trying to register for Salsa classes on Tuesday in the second week of class.

Our Internet Bulletin Board ( ) had already warned these classes were full, but not everyone knows to look there yet.  Of course this obstacle didn’t stop everyone; a woman signed up for a Salsa class on another night instead. Using her Thursday receipt she bypassed the Tuesday hall monitor. The registrar specifically asked her what she was doing; she replied, “I am going to tell my ride what I am doing tonight.”  The registrar made a point to notice that she indeed went ahead and participated in her class.

In other words, here were two specific moments when we tried to enforce the limits, but a student cheated to get their way. Sounds just like the contraflow scofflaws!  Maybe we need to set up an SSQQ ‘Hero’ program to turn them in!!  (just kidding).

Possible Solution: We can do away with Parallel classes. As an example this would prevent someone from Thursday from sliding over to Tuesday for extra practice. Is this what our students want?  If you note in the second letter above, the Swing student is coming all three nights a week and complaining about the crowding at the same time.

Apparently everyone wants it both ways – pay for one class, come all three nights a week, and not have it crowded.

Who ever said running a business was easy?

Problem 2: People walking through classes

I cannot tell all of you how unbelievably bad some of our students have become about walking through classes while they are in session. For starters, it has become very common to dance in Room One during Break, then use the restrooms after Break is over.  On some nights Room 2 isn’t clear of people till 10 minutes after Break ends.

In addition I see 3 to 6 people a night use the restrooms during class even though this often means walking through three different rooms one way, then walking through those same three rooms on the way back to class.  The disruptions are ridiculous.

Take Room 5. A person decides they can’t wait for Break or the end of class. This person disrupts Room 5 by opening the door and leaving the room. He or she disrupts Room 4. He or she disrupts Room 3. If it is a woman, then she continues on to to the restroom in Room 2. Then she returns to her class. Back through Room 2. Open the door to Room 3 – disrupt them. Back through Room 4. Open the door to Room 5 and disrupt them. Now multiply this behavior by 3 to 6 people a night.

An ‘emergency’ is one thing, but these people don’t appear to be in pain. Basically they decide their needs justify disrupting the attention of 150 other students as they stroll back and forth. My favorites are the ones who dry their hands on the way back to class and dump the towel in the trash can of one room before entering their own room.

And don’t get me started on cell phones. Ring ring ring. So out of embarrassment they don’t answer it. Two minutes later, same phone. Ring ring ring.  I told you not to get me started…

Problem 3: Not enough parking.

Parking is a bit of a mystery at SSQQ. Once upon a time we had plenty of parking. We still have enough parking down on First Street, but unfortunately on crowded nights it involves more of a walk than in the old days.

Here is a recent email question:

“Where does one park on Wednesday night if 100 people are in the waltz class?”

First Street used to be completely open for parking on both sides of the street. Now one half of the street has become restricted with ‘no parking at any time’ signs. I called the City of Bellaire. It seems there were some complaints from families in the neighborhood to the City of Bellaire. This is what caused the street to be restricted. The restricted side is the business side, not the residential side. This makes little or no sense since the residential people complained.  I also wonder why Southwestern Bell doesn’t protest since many of their employees used to park on the street.

It has to be infuriating to the SSQQ students who walk past a totally deserted street wondering why no one is allowed to park there. Well, now you have your answer.

I have considered talking the Bellaire City Council, but I admit to a little fear when it comes to ‘fighting City Hall’. If things get any worse, I may have no choice.

Here is an interesting email – which I appreciate since it gives me an insight into the problem.

“I too have received a parking ticket.  About a year and a half ago I found a spot on the street that was almost big enough for my car.  My front end was perhaps a foot onto someone’s driveway, and some kind officer at the Bellaire PD left me a present.  I paid the fine, mailing my check to the court clerk.  On the memo I wrote “for a good blowjob.”  A little juvenile perhaps, but I felt it was warranted.

Later, I received a message on my answering machine from the court clerk.  It turned out the judge wasn’t too happy with my comment and would not accept the check.  I decided it was best to call off the fight and send a new check with no comment on it.”

Actually I understand entirely the desire to fight City Hall. I have felt the same urges many times. But I think the roots of our parking problem stem from friction between a few of our students and the people who live in the neighborhood. Let me remind everyone that if it comes down to a fight between people who vote versus people who are just passing through, the voters are going to win every time.  Furthermore I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if someone like the judge mentioned above passed a complaint over to the Street Zoning committee after an incident like that.

Incident 3:  On Monday, July 8, I went to park in the dentist’s office parking lot across the street from the studio. There was an angry man blocking the driveway, so I found another place to park.

Curious, I looked again the following week on July 15. This time there was a truck blocking the driveway with the same angry man sitting on the sidewalk. After parking my car elsewhere, I crossed the street to talk with him.

He was angry with SSQQ for a number of reasons. He said our students leave empty beer cans all the time. He said once he came by late one night and found a man and a woman having a screaming argument in his parking lot. He said another time he came late to treat an emergency patient and neither of them could park there because the whole lot was taken up with cars from our studio. He added another time students cursed at him when he told them to go park somewhere else. He basically hates our studio.

My guess is the same problems this dentist complained of were the reasons the Door Warehouse decided to tow our cars. I will never forgive the Door Warehouse for their hypocritical behavior – they still park in our parking lot every day – but at least I can guess why they decided to act so callously.

So as a result of rudeness on the part of a few SSQQ students, half of First Street has been taken away, the Door Warehouse parking lot has been taken away, and now the dentist’s office across the street has been taken away too.

The fact of the matter is that there is still enough parking for SSQQ, but sometimes you are just going to have to walk. You walk a similar distance at crowded malls or movie theaters, so hopefully you won’t mind doing the same at SSQQ.

We have to walk because a few members of our group have acted poorly towards people in the neighborhood. We have firm rule against taking drinks out of the building, but I know many people do it anyway. Each night when I go home I see my own parking lot full of cans that our students have littered it with. Well, the consequence of rudeness and disrespect is that the people of the neighborhood now hate us. As a result we have less parking.

Imagine how this makes me feel.

I doubt that writing about this problem in the Newsletter is going to solve much. My guess is the majority of the people who cause the problems aren’t terribly interested in our Newsletter. But at least it helps the rest of us understand better what is going on around us.

Send your comments to Rick Archer,  I will keep your name confidential.


Tue 07/30/2002 9:29 AM

“Hi. I have read through your website and am very interested in taking classes. The thing is that because of the times that you are offering, I am concerned about safety. I am considering coming alone (I really want to learn how to dance) but I am worried about safety. Do you have security or someone who is able to escort me to my car?

Thanks, Martha”

Rick Archer’s response: 

We have been open for 25 years and have never had an incident involving safety. Our studio is located in a very nice neighborhood of Bellaire which is patrolled and protected by an excellent police force.

 Although there is danger everywhere and I admit I look over my shoulder just to be on the safe side when going to my car at night, I cannot think of a safer spot to be.  

Ask someone from class to escort you. There are many people at the studio who will be happy to help.”

Contributed by noted blonde SSQQ instructor Anita Williams who asked me to explain it to her…

It was snowing heavily and blowing to the point that visibility was almost zero when the blonde got off work.  She made her way to her car and wondered how she was going to make it home.  She sat in her car while it warmed up and thought about her situation.  

She finally remembered her daddy's advice, that if she got caught in a blizzard she should wait for a snow plow to come by and follow it.  That way she would not get stuck in a snow drift.  This made her feel much better and sure enough, in a little while a snow plow went by and she started to follow it.  As she followed the snow plow, she was feeling very smug as they continued and she was not having any problem with the blizzard conditions.  

After quite some time had passed, she was somewhat surprised when the snow plow stopped and the driver got out and came back to her car and signaled for her to roll down her window.  The snow plow driver wanted to know if she was alright, as she had been following him for a long time.  She said that she was fine, and told him of her daddy's advice to follow a snowplow when caught in a blizzard. 

The driver replied that it was OK with him, and she could continue if she wanted, but he was done with the Wal-Mart parking lot and was going over to K-Mart.



As you can see, the SSQQ Newsletter is mostly written by people just like you who send stuff in. If you have any comments, suggestions, requests, complaints, jokes, pictures or poetry to share, please send it to me, Rick Archer, at

And thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! …. I might add I do have reason to believe some of you simply scroll to the bottom to look for any little surprises I hide down here. ;-) Anyhow, thanks to all for making it this far!

And one last thing - don't park in front of the Door Warehouse.

Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio
4803 Bissonnet

Phone: 713-861-1906

"No trees were harmed in the sending of this message. However, a significant number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced."

The End


The SSQQ Newsletter started in January 2000 as a way to update our students on upcoming classes and parties.  Once it became obvious that most SSQQ students had email addresses, the idea was to replace written material and save on wasted paper. The idea quickly caught on in ways we didn't anticipate.

We soon discovered how easy it was to publish all sorts of information.  This allowed the SSQQ Newsletter to evolve into a "Do-It-Yourself" Newspaper. Members of the SSQQ Community began to contribute all sorts of articles, jokes, pictures, puzzles, vocabulary words,  and letters to the editor. 

As a result over half of each Newsletter is written by the readers themselves. Our readers are the reporters.  We just edit what you send us and give it back.

SSQQ Front Page Parties/Calendar of Events Jokes
SSQQ Information Schedule of Classes Writeups
SSQQ Archive Newsletter History of SSQQ