September 2002
Home Up October 2002

2002 Newsletters

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

The SSQQ September 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, September 1st.


Maureen Brunetti and Neal Pellis will teach their wonderful SWING CHARLESTON course on Sundays in September at 4:30 pm. Swing Charleston patterns are flashy, eye-catching patterns that are fun to learn and awesome to see!! This course has not been offered in over a year. I promise you Swing dancers it is a definite treat. 

Judy Archer brings ADVANCED SALSA MAMBO NUMBER 5 to Sundays at 4:30 pm. This is a chance to learn some great Salsa patterns and to avoid the big crowds. 

SHAG comes to SSQQ on Sundays at 7 pm. Taught by Judy Archer, Shag is similar to West Coast Swing. It is the beloved dance of South Carolina. Shag is a Very Kool dance where the man is the star of the show, not the lady. When we watch WCS tapes & we can't take our eyes off the men, it is often because the man is using the eye-catching Shag footwork. The footwork & syncopations make this a tough course. Recommended for advanced East Coast & West Coast dancers only. 

BACHATA comes to Tuesdays in September at 7 pm with Linda Cook. It isn't very easy to describe a dance in writing. It is sort of like explaining the color red to a blind man. That said, the Bachata is an emerging Salsa dance that is distinct from Merengue and Salsa Mambo. If Mambo is known as the Sexy Dance and Merengue is known as the Walking Dance, I call Bachata the "Accordion Dance". You know, Bachata is similar to Zydeco accordion to Jill Banta. Bachata is similar to Bossa Nova accordion to Judy Archer. If you can't dance to a salsa Song, then it must be a Bachata song accordion to Linda Cook. And if you want to take an interesting class, take Bachata accordion to me. 

INTERMEDIATE BALLROOM featuring FOXTROT AND WALTZ returns on Tuesdays in 
September. Learn more about the lost art of Formal Dance with advanced patterns! 

Here it comes! After many requests, Sharon Crawford and John Jones have put together SSQQ's first-ever ADVANCED WESTERN WALTZ LEVEL 5 for September. This course brings the opportunity to learn the patterns the professionals use in their competition dance routines. This course will not be offered again soon, so it's now or never!! Do not miss this class!!

GHOST TOWN 7 on Wednesdays will be the final course taught by Amanda Keiser. She is leaving to take a sabbatical. Amanda is considered by 'those who know' to be one of the finest instructors SSQQ has. Be sure to give her a hug!!

INTERMEDIATE NIGHT CLUB TWOSTEP will be the final course taught on Fridays by Susie Merrill, the lady who introduced Night Club to SSQQ (Susie moves to Wednesdays in October)! Beg Night Club drew a big crowd on Fridays in August, so expect another big class for Susie's finale in September as well! The popularity of Night Club continues to grow!


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:

DIRTY DANCING - 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 Hawaiian/Tropical 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 (although as we go to press there are signs they are chickening out.) 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 until recently she promised to be back with a vengeance. Will she show or is it blow? Find out Saturday!

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

In addition to the Balloon Race, we will learn a flashy line dance called 'The Beach Ball Cha Cha' which you will enjoy gyrating your hips to. The 2002 Beach Ball promises to be a Rockin' dance party! Circle it on your calendar and join us!



SLOW DANCING - Marty and Adele

9:15 - Midnight

Better dress Kool or Go Sit on the Stool!!

The idea behind the Kool Kat Klub party is to assume you are a Kool Kat, male or female variety, on your way to a night of hot Swing dancing at the Koolest dance club in Harlem. As most of you know, Harlem was the epicenter for the birth of Swing music in the 20s and for the Lindy Hop at the same time. Harlem later became the home of some of the most famous Jazz artists in history. 

It's your job to dress Kool. Anyone who doesn't have a clue how to dress Kool doesn't deserve to come to a party as Kool as this one. Swing Nerds stay away. Hot Kitties and Bad Cats only. 



9:15 - Midnight

Dress Dude or Be Treated Rude! 

Everyone has at least one hot Western outfit in their closet. Find it. Put it on. Wear it. Don't be afraid to take a fashion risk. Look your very sharpest. The Dude Ranch Party is about dressing sharp and looking good. Dancing is an afterthought. Image is everything.

August 25 - September 1

Bon Voyage Day is Sunday, August 25. At this point we are up to 85 people as our numbers have grown dramatically. Even Gary and Betty Richardson are going!! Gary told me to put this in the Newsletter so all his dance partners at the Longhorn wouldn't be so disappointed on Tuesday. 

Believe it or not, there are cabins still left. If you got the money and you got the time, you can still go on this trip. Guys need to get on this boat NOW. We have 17 more women than men. Do not miss this chance!!!! Anne Adams is the travel agent. 713 957 1705


For some unknown reason, Linda Cook felt like I didn't understand a thing she said to me about the well-known Latin dance Bachata. Here is her email:

Wed 08/21/2002 4:09 PM

Hey Rick,

lets go over this again.........there is a rhythm called "Ibo" that I teach in Beg Merengue. It is 123kick, 123kick. It has a basic 8 beat count. Now as I teach this I tell the group that this is the salsa you refer to in this class. When they dance Ibo's to salsa it's usually in a closed basic and to very slow salsa, this is their romantic dance and they don't do much. Then we take these same steps and put them to Merengue music and add exciting moves and speed. Now we can do the same thing to Cumbia, because this is what they call these Ibo's in Mexico. Zydeco has the same steps and now Bachata, but to make it more sexy they step, step, step, hip thrust and on again on the other foot. It looks sexy like Lambada but is totally different. I usually tell them with this one rhythm they can dance to all these different types of music and if we have time I demonstrate this fact. Does this help?

Kick or hip we are ready for this class, it's fun either way. Our crash course was lots of fun and laughing. 

Linda Cook

contributed by Judith Williams

3 salesmen check into a cheap motel. The man behind the desk said the room costs $30. Each man pays $10 and goes to the room. 
A while later the clerk behind the desk realizes the room was only $25, so he sends the bell boy to the three men's room with $5. 
The bell boy stops and wonders how he will split $5 evenly without having to exert more than the minimum necessary effort so he pockets the $5, pulls out 3 One Dollar bills. Then he goes to their room and hands each man a one dollar bill. 
This means each man paid $9 for the room which totals $27. Add the $2 that the bell boy kept which makes $29. 
Where is the other dollar? (Answer at bottom of the page)

Written by Rick Archer

(Editor's Note: Ted Weisgal along with his wife Kathy own Leisure Learning Unlimited. These two people have been instrumental in the success of my dance studio over the years. The story of LLU is literally a modern rags to riches tale full of hard knocks, exploitation, betrayal, and the most satisfying revenge imaginable. For anyone who has ever been in business for themselves or contemplated doing so, the story of Leisure Learning serves as a marvelous testimony to the power of hard work and perseverance. I hope you like it.)

Tuesday, August 20, 2002 9:00 PM
Letter from Ted Weisgal to Rick Archer

As much as I appreciate what you've written, I'm sorry I come across as so serious. You've opened my eyes to the way I come across to others. Hopefully some people see me in a different light. Thanks for the story. I hope what you've written will inspire me to do more of what you claim I do. 

Wed 08/21/2002 10:55 AM
My Response to Ted

You seem to be concerned about your seriousness. For what you accomplished, I think your intensity and focus has served you very well. You found the perfect job to match your nature. Your intensity is a gift. You have it; other people don't. Your force of will is something to behold.

I knew Alex and Donna pretty well. I meant it when I said I thought they were talented. Alex had immense personal charm. His political abilities were the best I have ever seen. Donna was very creative, very bright, very poised, and unlike Alex pretty committed herself. You were a huge underdog.

Yet you beat them both and put their programs out of business. Both Alex and Donna underestimated you. They didn't see what you had inside - your heart, your willingness to work 24/7. You left them both shaking their heads saying "how in the hell did he do it?"

Let me tell you something - Donna had lost weight and was starting to lose her hair from nerves by the time she packed it in. She was a nervous wreck. That move to Washington DC was a classic face-saving exit. She didn't want any part of you by time it was over. You humiliated her - and she deserved it.

So quit picking on yourself for being serious!! It is a strength, not a weakness. I doubt you would have succeeded without your amazing drive. You are the embodiment of the American ideal - that hard work pays off!!

Considering the head start both programs had on you, your come-from-behind victories are a testimony to your own considerable talent. My girlfriend Marla, no slouch at business herself, proof-read my article. When she finished, she smiled in acknowledgement and said your story impressed her a lot.

I have admired your drive for twenty years and I finally decided to tell the community you serve about it.

So embrace your seriousness!! Keep up the good work and quit worrying about your image. You are starting to sound like Alex... ;-) I will take your substance over his style any day.

Rick Archer"

Contributed Judith Walsh and Jill Banta

This month's picture is a dog that looks like a bath towel. Or maybe it is a bath towel that looks like a strange dog. You decide!!

Contributed by Maureen Brunetti

Boudreaux and Thibedoux are visiting their brother in the Texas State Prison in Huntsville. 
As they walk down Houston street they see a sign that says "Suits--$5. Trousers--$2.50/pair, Shirts $2."

Boudreaux's eyes light up and he gets and idea. He says, "See that Thib, these Texans don't know nothing. These clothes will sell for ten times this price back home!! We done gon buy a bunch of dese clothes, and when we get back to Lafayette, we make a fortune." 

Thibedoux concurs.

Boudreaux goes on, "Now when we done go in dere, you don say nuthin, and I gon put on my best Texas accent. If dey think we be Cajuns, dey gon try and swindle us." 

Thibedoux concurs.

So they enter the store. Boudreaux swaggers over to the counter. "Say there, podner, how 'bout stakin' me out with, say, 200 of those suits at $5, 100 of those trousers at $2.50, and 200 shirts at $2."

"You boys are Louisiana coonasses, aren't you?" the guy at the counter asks.

"Goddamn. How you done guess 'at, now?" Boudreaux asks with great surprise.

"Because this is a dry-cleaners."


The dynamic duo have not resurfaced yet at the studio. All I know is they got Ann Bush and Brian White to substitute for them last Sunday and they didn't report to work. I suppose they were off getting married and shirking their teaching duties. Here's all that I have so far: 

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.)

We have 18 classic jokes ready for you to read on our August Joke Page.

Here is a great joke from the September Joke Page. As an old man, you can easily understand why I am so attracted to this joke. 

September CS 14: Aesop's Fables
Submitted by Jill Banta

A farmer goes out one day and buys a brand new stud rooster for his chicken coop. The young rooster walks over to the old rooster and says, "Ok, old fellow, time to retire." 

The old rooster says, "You can't handle all these chickens .... Look at what it did to me!"

The young rooster replies, "Now, don't give me a hassle about this. Time for the old to step aside and the young to take over, so take a hike, you old geezer."

The old rooster says, "Aw, c'mon . . . just let me have the two old hens over in the corner. I won't bother you." 

The young rooster says, "Scram! Beat it! You're washed up! I'm taking over!"

The old rooster thinks for a minute and then says to the young rooster, "I'll tell you what, young fellow, I'll have a race around the farmhouse with you. Whoever wins the race gets domain of the chicken coop."

The young rooster says, "You know I'm going to beat you, old man."

"Well, okay, yes, you probably will beat me, so just to be fair, why don't you give me a little head start so it's more of a challenge. If I beat you, we can race again even steven."

The young chicken smiles at this. Now he has nothing to lose. They line up in back of the farm house, get a chicken to cluck "Go!" with the old rooster at the door and the young rooster at the back of the coop. 

They round the front of the farm house and the young rooster is only about 5 inches behind the old rooster. The young rooster starts to nip at the old rooster's tail feathers to irritate him even more. He is gaining fast!

The farmer, sitting on the porch, looks up, sees what's going on, grabs his shotgun and BOOM!, he blows the young rooster to bits.

He sadly shakes his head and says, "Damn, that's the third gay rooster in a row I've bought. Maybe I'll just stick with the old guy for a while longer." 

The moral?.... The Treachery that comes with old age can overcome youth, skill, and innocence.

Contributed by Jane Downs

ACUMEN (AK-yuh-muhn), nou. Quickness of perception or discernment; shrewdness shown by keen insight. 

Using her sharply developed sense of business acumen, Henrietta offered free hair cuts as a ploy to lure customers away from her competitors. 

(Editor's Note: Jane usually contributes a word that I had no clue previously existed. I am pleased to announce for the first time ever I have actually heard of one of her words.)

MINACITY (mih NAH sih TEE) noun. Disposition to threaten (From the Latin minae, meaning 'threats') also minacious adj.

The terribly aggressive man had a minacious personality. 

(Editor's note: OK. Ouch. You got me on this one, Jane.)


(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 16 August Blue Side jokes. Below is one of my favorites!

September BS 02: The Explanation
Submitted by Gillian Tilbury

A little girl asks her Mom, "Mom, may I take the dog for a walk around the block?" 

Mom says, "No, absolutely not. The dog is in heat." 

"What does that mean?" asks the child. 

Exasperated and saddled with a million chores, Mom says, "Go ask your Father to explain. I think he's in the garage." 

The little girl goes to the garage and says, "Dad, can I take Susie for a walk around the block? I asked Mom but she said the dog was in heat and that I should ask you." 

Dad says, "Don't worry about it. Just bring Susie over here." He takes a rag, soaks it with gasoline, and scrubs the dog's butt with it. Satisfied with his good work, he says, "Ok, you can go now but keep Susie on the leash and only go one time around the block." 

The little girl nods with understanding and leaves, but soon returns a few minutes later with no dog on the leash. 

Dad says, "Where's Susie?" 

The little girl says, "She should be here in a minute. Susie ran out of that gas you gave her halfway down the block and there's another dog pushing her home."


Take me out to the Ball Game! SSQQ sponsored another logic contest this month called "Who's on First?" It was a clever Baseball Logic puzzle that obviously was a stumper since only 4 people got it right as opposed to 6 the month before. And there were no repeaters from July to August. 

The August winners are: (drum roll please)
1. Linda Chechura
2. Danny Sohn
3. Sara Fielder
4. Jordan Kossack

Pretty smart group of people!


Here's a goofy Word Puzzle quiz for you. There are 48 pictures that depict phrases. They vary in difficulty. For example:

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii i

Answer: Private Eye. Tricky, right? Did you get it without my help? If so, this quiz might be right up your alley. Most of them are pretty easy, but there are definitely some chin-in-hand eyebrow furrowers. 

Email me your best answers for the 48 pictures by Friday morning 9 am, September 13. 

The top 3 finishers will each get a Crash Course for two people for free. The next 7 will get a free Practice Nights. I will list the winners in the next SSQQ Newsletter and tell the world how smart you are. PS - you must get over half-right to get a list of the answers.

Contributed by Red Draper

A woman gives birth to a baby, and afterwards, the doctor comes in and says, "I have to tell you something about your baby." 

The woman sits up in bed and says, "What's wrong with my baby, doctor? 

What's wrong?" The doctor says, "Well now, nothing's wrong exactly, but your baby is a little bit different. Your baby is a hermaphrodite." 

The woman says, "A hermaphrodite...what's that?" 

The doctor says, "Well, it means your baby has the...err...features...of both a male and a female." 

The woman turns pale. She says, "Oh My God!! You mean it has a Penis....AND a Brain?"

Contributed by Crista Reuss

Before I lay me down to sleep,
I pray for a man who's not a creep,
One who's handsome, smart and strong,
One who knows I'm never wrong.
One who thinks before he speaks,
When he says he'll call, he won't wait weeks.
I pray that he is gainfully employed,
And when I spend his cash, won't be annoyed.
Pulls out my chair and opens my door,
Massages my back and begs to do more.
Oh! Send me a man who will make love to my mind,
Knows how to reply to "How big's my behind?"
One who'll make love till my body's a twitchin',
In the hall, the bathroom, the garden and kitchen!
I pray that this man will love me no end,
And never attempt to shag my best friend.
And as I kneel and pray by my bed,
I look at the dickhead you sent me instead.

I pray for a girl with nice tits.


Monday, August 05, 2002 1:34 PM

Some students and I have been wondering whether SSQQ could hand out the syllabus at the BEGINNING of the Class instead of at the END of the class. We believe that we can follow the syllabus better after the 4 weeks of class if it was given at the BEGINNING of the Class. Thanks.

Rick Archer's response: 

"No, sorry, giving out syllabuses is a huge headache. We have 1500 students a week and satisfying the syllabus needs of this many people is a full-time job. We have tried your suggestion in the past only to be asked for another copy every week ("I lost mine." "I left mine at home" "I wasn't here last week. Can I get one?"). 
Ever since we switched to handing them out in the final week, the constant demand for syllabi has virtually disappeared. No other studio even gives them out.
Rick Archer"

(Editor's Note: I am willing to open this question up to the student body. I will let my staff hand out syllabuses one week a month PERIOD. Call it SYLLABUS WEEK. Week One is a lousy idea because we don't know how many copies we need. Week Two is a possibility. Week Three is a possibility. Week Four is a possibility. How fair do you think it is to charge $0.50 for a syllabus request in the wrong week?? 

Send your responses to



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.

Contributed by Chris Holmes

A couple of rednecks are out in the woods hunting when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head.

The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911. He gasps to the operator, "Bubba is dead! What should I do?"

The operator, in a calm soothing voice says, "Just take it easy. I can help. First, you need to make absolutely certain that he's dead."

There is a silence, then a shot is heard.

The guy's voice comes back on the line. He says, "OK, he's dead. What do I do next?"


This article was published in August, but we had two more excellent submissions since then which I added to the list. The 9 stories were submitted by SSQQ Newsletter readers. There is plenty of room for more if you have a good story to add. 

The original 9 stories detail their various adventures and misadventures with Internet Dating. They make for compelling reading. This entire article is also a practical guide for anyone who is recently single again and contemplating a plunge into the world of Cyberspace Romance. 

Marlane Kayfes was nice enough to submit an interesting article from the Houston Chronicle entitled "Rules to capture the Heart of Mr. Right in Cyberspace" which I added in. 



We have just completed our first full year of On-Line Registration. I am pleased to report there has not been one incident of credit card theft. It is reassuring to know there is little danger. 

It would save everyone a lot of time - you, us, and your fellow students - if everyone registered on line, but of course we will keep walk-in registration. 

If someone were to ask me the major drawback of the On-Line system, it is not easy for you to change your mind. As I have pointed out before, On Line Registration is a tar baby. Once you register for something, you can't change it yourself and we can't change it without your physical credit card in our hand. This is the truth. 

My online credit card company does not allow for online refunds. This may change someday, but right now that's the way it is. 

So for now we have to use the old-fashioned 'swipe machine' at the studio for returns, but 
here is the some good news - if you make a mistake or change your mind about something, email us ( ) and we will send you written permission to make whatever adjustment is fair to you and fair to us.

Unless you expect you might change your mind, I promise you On-Line Registration is the best to go. 

For the On-Line Anniversary, I asked David Schroeder, the designer of the system, to comment on his experience over the past year and any changes in the industry. Here is what he said:

Wed 08/21/2002 2:46 PM


Thanks for mentioning it. I found that my customers are moving away from in-house servers and towards the Internet as their database server.

Since I put up your site I have built or bid on other sites similar to yours. I found that people do not want to spend big bucks to buy an expensive server for their company's database applications. They see it is more practical and less expensive to use the Internet.

With your Online Registration you have access to a powerful server and its database that would normally cost $60,000 to buy, plus pay the salaries of three full-time employees to maintain it. Instead you paid a web designer to build the web site plus $50 per month to the Internet Service Provider to maintain it.

Besides costs, security is another important factor to consider. Since the Internet Service Provider has more at risk they work harder to make their sites secure. Their secure sites and databases make it almost impossible for a hacker or virus to invade them. If you were to do it in-house you would find yourself hiring a full-time Systems Administration just to keep up with all the latest security threats.

In summary, it does not make sense to buy an in-house server when you can pay a web designer $10,000 to $25,000 to build you a web application, and then pay the Internet Service Provider $50 per month to maintain it. 

Besides Online Registration a person could use the Internet for Human Resource Documentation for Employees and Managers, Online Specification Sheets for Field Workers, Product Specifications and Photos for Salespersons, Real Estate Listings, etc.

David Schroeder

(Editor's Note: if you are a businessman with a need for help with a database, I recommend David highly. His work for me has been amazing. Contact David at )


Is anyone else as disgusted as I am about the K-Mart parking lot raid at 12:30 am on Sunday morning, August 18?

278 children, ages ranging from 10 to 21, were herded up like sheep and thrown in jail for essentially having the terrible luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when some hot-head police captain decided to give them a taste of his misguided sense of justice. 

Many of these children had receipts!! They showed the police they had a reason to be there and they were still hauled off to jail. 

Another child, age 10, was somehow separated from his father in the frenzy of 50 cops chasing 300 teenagers around the parking lot. Did HPD try to locate the father? No, they arrested the kid and threw him in jail too. Nice police work. 

Many of the cars were towed to the tune of $100 a pop. And what was the legal justification for that? If a business is open, isn't it customary for its patrons to have a right to park in the parking lot? 

Some parents spent the entire night in a panic not knowing where their child was. They spent countless hours in tears because their child did not come home. I am sure they would have felt much better had they known their child was safely locked up in the Houston police jail with prostitutes, drug addicts, shoplifters, homeless psychos, and drunks at their sides.

You are supposed to have a reason to arrest people. Whatever happened to warnings and restraint? 

These kids were charged with trespassing. You gotta be kidding!! A K-Mart parking lot?!? Since when is it against the law to be in a K-Mart parking lot? Is this a new law that has been passed? Does it only apply to teenagers? This is so ridiculous I won't even begin to argue the stupidity of the reasoning used by the police.

Being arrested and booked had to be the most frightening, humiliating punishment imaginable. Most of these kids had never been in trouble their entire lives. 

Mark Aguirre was the captain in charge who had the inspiration to order 50 policemen to round up everyone who was standing outside the 24-hour Kmart Super Center or eating at the Sonic Drive-In next door. 

Apparently Aguirre had pulled this same stunt the night before at a James Coney Island as a warm-up exercise. Apparently this high-scale operation was accompanied by a police helicopter on the look-out for potential escaping hot dog eaters. From the Houston Chronicle, here is what one of the felons had to say about the experience:

Monica Coello, 36, had purchased hot dogs at James Coney Island. She was finishing a meal in the parking lot with her brother, sister, sister-in-law and 2-year-old niece when she was arrested. 

"We were almost ready to leave when all the patrol cars came in and started blocking the entrances and exits," Coello said. "I wanted to lock my car, and they would not let me. They told me to shut up and walk to the back." 

Coello's sister-in-law and niece were left behind, stranded. Police took Coello, her brother and sister to jail. Eventually, their mother shelled out $900 in bail, and the three siblings were freed. 

"I don't see how they can call it trespassing when we were eating at the restaurant," she said. "We kept trying to explain that to police but they would not let us." 

I feel safer knowing the streets of Houston are being cleared of felonious hot dog eaters and I know our Newsletter readers feel better too. Aguirre seems to be the mastermind behind this operation too. 

In regards to the infamous K-Mart Teen Scene Round-up, from what I read between the lines in the Houston Chronicle's account of the incident, many policemen were embarrassed beyond belief at being forced to be involved in this fiasco. Normally the police are reluctant to speak candidly, but in this case several of them could barely wait to give Aguirre's name to the media. 

Apparently this brilliant operation had been weeks in planning and involved dozens of officers. This is scary in itself. Surely there are some rational people who should have seen a disaster in the making. Apparently not. Then came the big night. Several of the officers involved said that when no drag racers were found, instead they were ordered to arrest the 278 people there.

One of the police officers who participated in the raid had this to say, "I couldn't believe we were being told to arrest all those kids. It was just utterly, utterly senseless." Apparently this policeman violated department policy by discussing the arrests and spoke on condition of anonymity. My guess is he took quite a chance to speak up. I hope he doesn't get busted for exercising his constitutional right to free speech. 

Most of you are parents. Can you imagine how furious you would be if this happened to your kid? 

The Houston Chronicle is not known for its hard-hitting exposes on our police force, but in this case the editors were so appalled that the only compliment they could give HPD was a thumbs up for not taking anyone out back and shooting them in cold blood. 

The K-Mart incident is simply a pathetic example of the damage an out-of-control cop can do when left unchecked. As the Chronicle alludes, it could have been much much worse. 

Did it ever occur you could be shot to death by the Houston police in your own home??

In case you have forgotten, in 1998 a man was shot to death by the Houston Police as he lay in his own bed sleeping at night. 

In a drug raid, the police got the wrong apartment. The man, Pedro Oregon, was sound asleep when narcotics officers burst into his home and into his bedroom with guns and rifles drawn.

Frightened out of his wits, Oregon thought he was being attacked by gang members. He pulled out his gun - Texas law allows you to defend yourself in your own home - and got shot to death in the process. 

A shot was heard - apparently it was a policeman's gun, not Oregon's - so the rest of the police opened fire. 

More than 30 shots were fired in the confined space, 12 hitting Oregon, mainly in his back and from above. The 22-year-old father of two died. No drugs were ever found in his apartment. 

The police said they were sorry for the mistake. 

Only one indictment was ever filed in this case and the charge was something ridiculous like unlawful entry. An innocent man was shot to death. Because he was poor and unimportant, nothing apparently has been done to right this appalling mistake.

The Oregon story is a worst-case scenario, but out-of-control Houston police are not as rare as you might think. There is a woman at the studio who told me a story that made me gasp in disbelief. 

One afternoon she was at her desk in the bedroom paying bills when she heard an odd beeping sound come from her back door. Her daughter was curious too and got there first. As the woman walked into her living room she was astonished to see a Houston policeman pointing his loaded revolver directly at her 17-year old daughter's face ordering her to freeze. 

To make a long story short, he was investigating a burglar alarm… but got the wrong address. 

Without any warning he had walked into the house silently through an unlocked back door. As mentioned, the simple beep from the door alarm alerted the daughter and the mother who then walked straight into the shock of their life. 

In front of them was a 6 foot uniformed policeman pointing a dangerous revolver straight at their faces. How were they to know who he was, why he was there, and if this wasn't a police imposter? 

From the cop's point of view, facing him were two 5 foot women dressed in gym shorts, hair curlers, teeshirts, no weapon, and obviously no place to hide a weapon. There they stood barefoot and defenseless in the living room scared out of their wits. It was broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon. Did the policeman relax his vigilance? No. 

Unable to grasp the absolute stupidity of the situation, he continued to point his weapon at the women while he barked at them to produce IDs on the spot. Like they carry IDs in the pocket-less gym shorts they always wear whenever they rob the various neighborhood homes. 

The fear turned to anger as the policeman interrogated them in a highly aggressive manner while continuing to hold a loaded weapon. They were treated as criminals in their own home. As I said, he had the wrong address. They told him this, but he would not believe them. He said that was a trick criminals commonly play when caught. Plus he had to hold them at gun point in case there was a third party with a weapon hidden behind a closed door. 

Finally the woman got the cop to agree to take the investigation outside the home. After twenty minutes of intimidation questions, the policeman finally drove off. 

Yes, she filed a report. But how much good do you suppose that did? 

I wonder why did this cop not have backup. Isn't it odd that a cop enters a home with a suspected burglary supposedly in progress without backup? This is a potential life and death situation - an officer was shot to death in this exact situation when a gang opened gunfire. This story sounds very suspicious. The woman may have been luckier than she previously realized. 

This could happen to you. 

I know this for a fact because something similar happened to me. In 1981, I was at the studio late one night watching dance videotapes. As I sat there fast-forwarding a tape, I looked up to see Bellaire Policeman standing in the doorway with his pistol pointed at me. Behind him were two other officers who also had their weapons drawn. 

Why were they there? There had been no alarm. Apparently one of them was driving through the studio parking lot on patrol and noticed my car. The door was unlocked and there were no obvious lights on from the entrance. It was the unlocked door that bothered them. The officer called for back-up and together they entered the dark building with guns drawn. 

I was in the office at the time. Where this story differs from the one above, in my case the policemen involved lowered their weapons quickly and gave me the chance to prove I was a law-abiding citizen before they treated me like a criminal. 

The Bellaire Police acted like total professionals. Most police officers are just as professional as these men were. Unfortunately those ones who are out of control do so much damage that we end up fearing all policemen. 

I have had the privilege to get to know on a personal basis 3 men who are Houston police officers. These men are intelligent, decent men. Unfortunately these three men are forced to work with a lot of incompetent people who are angry sociopathic bullies. 

I realize a policeman's life is tinged with danger. I am aware that a policeman faces tremendous stress that can affect his judgment at times. This is why I admire good police so much and try to cut them slack when I read stories of abuse in the paper. I also contribute regularly the "100 Club" that gives money to the families of slain policemen. Let me add that other than a couple of arrogant rude police who have enjoyed intimidating me as they wrote traffic tickets, I have never been the victim of any brutality. 

But I am still afraid of all police. They are given way too much power and some of them cross the line far too often when it comes to judgment. 

A bad cop is incredibly dangerous because they literally know they can get away with murder. How often do we hear of an example of where a lawman in Houston has been held accountable for his or her mistakes? Help me out - I will print whatever you send me. 

Why do we have to fear the people we have hired to protect us??

As I write, it has been 5 days since the K-Mart incident. It is under investigation. It doesn't need to take this long, does it?

If I am the Police Chief, I am out in front of City Hall with every reporter in the city watching. I look straight at the cameras and I tell the entire city of Houston that a grave mistake has been made. Then I add that steps will be taken to make sure the people responsible for this incident will be punished. Then I say that steps are being taken to assure this will not happen again. And finally I vow to reimburse every one of those kids for the towing costs, the legal costs, and the most sincere apology possible. 

But let's not hold our breath. I'm sure the lawsuit-fearing city lawyers told Police Chief to shut the youknowwhat up. It ain't gonna happen. 

(Editor's Note: let me know what you think. I will publish your response anonymously if you wish. )

Contributed by Rick Archer

(Editor's Note: The Einstein Puzzle is a logic riddle supposedly written by the great genius himself. It is said that only 2% of the world's population is smart enough to solve it. I have the Einstein Puzzle listed on my web site if you want to give it a try.

Over the years many people from around the world have written me asking if I would confirm their answer. I get an average of 8 requests a week since my Einstein listing is pretty high on various Internet search engines and people from everywhere stumble across it as they surf the Net. 

A few weeks ago I got the most curious letter. By chance an Irish lass contacted me about the correct solution. She was nervous because her answer was different from everyone else's. I saw she got it wrong while everyone else got it right. But she was so cute in her letter I didn't want to tell her she was the one who was wrong. I teased her that I would change the answer so she could win her office bet. 

That thought gave me the idea to help her play a trick on the people in her office. They were confident since only one person had gotten a different answer. Why not turn the tables on them?

So I sent Hegarty two different letters - one explaining my trap and the second one setting the trap. 

Now the girl who was the office pet was right and everyone else was wrong. So what do you think happened? Did the trick work? Could Hegarty bluff them successfully? Would she even give it a try? 

Here's the story. By the way I changed the nationalities in the story just in case some of you decide you want to work the Einstein puzzle yourself. RA)

1. Wed 08/14/2002 10:09 AM
Letter to Rick Archer

First thing this morning I decided to circulate Einstein's puzzle around the office..... LOL
Little did I know the impact it would have....not a scrap of work has been done all day (as if that makes a change).

Everybody has come up with the same Answer...everybody keeps getting the 'Italian'. But i do believe the correct answer is the 'Russian'...if so can u give ur reasoning.

Tanx Much, 
Hegarty Edel

Wed 08/14/2002 10:34 AM

Hegarty, what a great laugh you have given me this morning!! - 'as if that makes a change'
With my big grin in mind, I am strongly persuaded to reward you and let the Russian be the answer, but this would be far too mischievous. The arguing and the peer pressure upon you to change your mind would drive you nuts. Sadly, the Italian is the correct answer. 
However as I write to you, I fear I have been letting my imagination have a little too much freedom and now I want you to be my partner in crime. 
If you wish to have some major fun, I will send you another email that confirms your answer is the right one (even though you know and I know that it is the wrong answer). You need to pass my second email around your office and drive everyone crazy. 
Then you should irritate everyone with your smugness at being right while all them are wrong. If you really want to make them mad tell them they should definitely check their work!! When you are ready, you can share my second email and let everyone know you and I set them up.
I love being a conspirator. All I ask in return is an anecdote or two to see if my evil suspicions were right!!

Have fun!

Wed 08/14/2002 10:40 AM

Hegarty, your answer of the Russian is right on the money!! Good for you!
Just between you and me, you need to tell all your co-workers that if they are going to goof off and get paid for it, then they could at least exercise their brains a little harder. ;-)
Actually it is not uncommon for people to get the wrong answer. It is a very tricky puzzle. I would estimate only half the people who contact me asking for the correct answer get it correct. What you might do is offer to help them with their work.
Have a great day!!

THU 08/15/2002 1:17 AM

The answer to the Einstein is Italian, yes? There seems to be a bit of disagreement here we need to clear up. Please clarify.

Pedraig O'Connor
Shipment Supervisor,
Retail Systems
Tramore Road, Cork

Thu 08/15/2002 09:42 AM

Mr. O'Connell, the Italian is the most common 'incorrect' answer I receive. The Einstein puzzle contains many deceptions that invite obvious but false conclusions. If you decide to try again, pay very close attention to the clues that deal with the order of the houses. It is here the hidden information to solve the puzzle will be revealed. 

If you continue to be stuck with the wrong answer, the next time you email me I will tell you the answer. 

Rick Archer

THU 08/15/2002 4:27 AM

Rick u are such an evil lad! How did u know my entire office would hate me? everyone insists that the italian was the answer, but i claimed that Einstein's answer was the 'russian' and i could prove it. then i showed them ur letter. their mouths dropped open w shock. They read ur letter again and again in disbelief. now they are checking their work. They go nuts with worry that simple simon me could be right! 

i tell them i will help them work it out and they give me a look of pure mean!
i shud hope they won't hate me 4 little heart couldn't tkae it LOL i love to see them so miserable!
Can't procede with the liitle game much longer tho, as most of the office happened to catch on when i started to laff too hard. Don't worry I made them all doubt themselves 4 the longest time! 

But i just cant lie very good... they see thru me too easy. I make them wait till de end of a very unproductive snigger day.... when I showed them ur second letter it almost brought tears to thier eyes poor little be happy in the fact that ur little plot has worked!

and now that's 2 days wasted for Mr. Einstein. we never od much work here anyway. No matter. even my boss was doing einsten. its slow. we work when we have to. Do u have another puzzle? Terrible we might have 2 work otherwise.

PS rick don't come to visit. They let me off the hook but they all want to hurt u now. They talk about a collection to send u a ticket. This was 2 much fun my sides hurt from laffing thank u!!

Hegarty Edel
Retail Systems,
Tramore Road, Cork

Thu 08/15/2002 09:42 AM

Hegarty, I am so proud of you for pulling off my swindle! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to watch all the frowns and frustrations and hear the bad things they said about me. I imagine they may try to get you back so watch out!

Thanks for being my partner in crime!
Rick Archer

Contributed by Patty Jones 

1. It is important to find a woman that cooks and cleans

2. It is important to find a woman that makes good money

3. It is important to find a woman that likes to have sex

4. It is important that these three women never meet under any circumstance.


(Editor's Note: Now that you have had a good chuckle at 'The Secrets of a Successful Marriage' above, let's consider the possibility of having several wives. It is of course a dream of many men to have all the women he can handle right at his beck and call. The thought of a sheik's harem or perhaps famous athlete having all the women he wants any time he wants them makes many guys drool with envy. 

On the other hand, some of us think even having one wife is more than we can handle. The clever expression of this line of thought is attributed to Oscar Wilde.

"Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same." Hmm. 

Interestingly, few of us guys have ever sat down and really thought out the logical consequences of having several wives at once. Here in all its sobering glory is the life of a Mormon polygamist laid out for all to see. Enjoy. RA)

Written by Rick Reilly 
Sports Illustrated Magazine

Olympics? Polygamist Timothy Wadlow doesn't have time for any Olympics. He's got three wives, three houses and 28 kids to juggle. You sure they don't give a medal for this kind of thing?

Wadlow (all names have been changed) is one of 30,000 dirty little secrets that Utah would very much like to keep hidden during the Salt Lake City Games. That's how many polygamists are estimated to be living in the state. And their number is believed to be growing, despite that polygamy is condemned by the Mormon Church and illegal in Utah. 

So even though the Wadlows live not five miles from one of the busiest Olympic venues, they won't be going to the Games. "The state of Utah doesn't allow us to be open and public," says one of Wadlow's better fourths, Donna, who speaks for the family. "So we'll watch them on TV."

Besides, the Wadlows practically stage their own Olympics. At tone of their homes they have six snowmobiles, a quarter-mile long lighted sledding hill, basketball and volleyball courts, and snow cone and popcorn machines. Since they're 32 strong - more participants than 54 nations have in Salt Lake City - the Wadlows always have enough for a football game. "our children don't want to become pro athletes," says Donna. "they want to dedicate their lives to their children, just as their father has done."

Still, wouldn't it be cool if someday a polygamist NFL star looked into the camera and chirped, "Hi, Moms!"

If you want to try this at home, be warned: Polygamy is not a Penthouse letter brought to life. "everybody thinks it's about sex and orgies," says Donna, who came from a family with 35 children and three mothers, breaking the record set by Shawn Kemp. "it isn't. We're not in this for romance, sex, money or status. We're in it for spirituality. We know this is what the Lord wants."

As Fundamentalist Mormons, the Wadlows believe the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, had a revelation from God to reinstitute the Biblical practice of polygamy. Some believe Smith may have had as many as 84 wives before he died at the hands of a mob - not believed to be the 84 wives.

Nowadays, most plural marriages, as polygamists like to call them, work better if the wives live separately. The Wadlow so-called sister-wives all keep their own kids under their own roofs until Sunday, when the whole gang gets together for prayer, play and a supper large enough to buckle Mrs. Osmond. 

As to which roof the husband sleeps under each night, "two nights for each wife and then move on," says Jack Miller, a former polygamist who lives about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City. 

O.K., but what happens when one wife gets jealous of another? "That happens," says Jack. "I had a wife tell me she deserved more nights because she had more kids than the other wives." Who hasn't been in that argument, huh?

Oh, and adding wives isn't quite as simple as adding, say, Dolby Surround sound. "In my case," says Alice, the one wife Jack has now, "it was Jack's (first) wife who kept telling him about me, trying to get him interested in me. Finally, he invited me over to supper at their house. It was awkward at first, but then we all just clicked." 

Honey, great news! I slept with Alice!

To a lot of monogamist guys the truth about plural marriages is a little bit of a buzz-kill. "There's no sexual thing between the sister-wives," says Alice, "and a husband's intimate relationship with each of his wives is completely private. That never gets shared between the wives."

If you think polygamous husbands are luckier than Brad Pitt, you'd be wrong. "For a man in a plural marriage it's a greater commitment," says Donna. "Instead of taking time for sports or his golf game, my husband's total focus is his wives and children."

In other words you'll be lucky to get the remote. 

But in a plural marriage the husband is definitely king of his castles. "A man is chief of the household," says Jack. "He's not beholden to anyone. Hold on a second…"

Jack was gone from the phone for 30 seconds.

"Hey, can you take out that 'chief of the household' thing?" he said meekly. "My wife didn't like the way I said that." 

O.K., so maybe it's not that different. 

Contributed by Marlane Kayfes in August 2001

Associated Press, PANAMA CITY, Fla.

Oh, what a feeling. Toy Yoda! 

A former Hooters waitress has sued the restaurant where she worked, saying she was promised a new Toyota for winning a beer sales contest. Instead, she said, she won a new toy "Yoda" - the little green guy from the "Star Wars" movies. 
Jodee Berry, 26, won a contest to see who could sell the most beer in April at the Hooters in Panama City Beach. She said the top-selling waitresses from each Hooters restaurant in the area were entered into a drawing and her name was picked. 
She believed she'd won a new car. 
She was blindfolded and led to the restaurant parking lot, but when her blindfold was removed she found she was the winner not of a Toyota, but a toy Yoda doll. 
Inside the restaurant, the manager was laughing, Berry said. She wasn't. "A corporation can't lead their employees on like that," Berry said. "It's not good business ethics. They can't do that to people." 

Berry quit the restaurant a week later. She sued Gulf Coast Wings, Inc., owners of the restaurant, alleging breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. Her lawyer, Stephen West of Pensacola, said he was also looking at false advertising statutes. She's seeking as compensation the cost of a new Toyota. 

Stuart Houston, a spokesman for the company, said it hadn't been served with the lawsuit and he could not comment. 

Berry said restaurant manager Jared Blair told his waitresses he didn't know what kind of Toyota it would be-a car, truck or van-but told them the winner would be responsible for the tax on the vehicle. Blair, reached at the restaurant Saturday, said he had no comment.

May 9, 2002

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) -- A former waitress has settled her lawsuit against Hooters, the restaurant that gave her a toy Yoda doll instead of the Toyota she thought she'd won. 

Jodee Berry, 27, won a beer sales contest last May at the Panama City Beach Hooters. She believed she had won a new Toyota and happily was escorted to the restaurant's parking lot in a blindfold. 

But when the blindfold was removed, she found she had won a new toy Yoda -- the little green character from the "Star Wars" movies. 

David Noll, her attorney, said Wednesday that he could not disclose the settlement's details, although he said Berry can now go to a local car dealership and "pick out whatever type of Toyota she wants." 

After the stunt, Berry quit the restaurant and filed a lawsuit against Gulf Coast Wings, Inc., the restaurant's corporate owner, alleging breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. 

The restaurant's manager, Jared Blair, has said the whole contest was an April Fools' joke.

Contributed by Lynn Bevis

Now as I lay upon my bed thinking about you, I cannot forget last night. 

You came to me as I slept during the summer night. What happened in my bed still leaves a tingling sensation in me. 

You appeared from nowhere and saw how vulnerable I was to your attack. Without conscience you shamelessly laid upon my naked body... you sensed my drowsiness and without any guilt or hesitation you started to nip at the most sensitive, most intimate places on my body. I awoke slowly as I felt my body stir at your every nibble. Then I felt your stinging bite that made my blood rush. Now my senses came alive! 

Now fully alert and aroused, I went crazy - every part of my body began to explode with burning! I wanted you so bad!! In my frenzy I frantically clutched for you with an uncontrollable desire to squeeze you and hold you tight… but once you had your way with me you vanished into thin air. I searched the house for you to no avail. You took me and you left me showing no trace of how you entered or departed. 

Finally I gave up and returned to bed. I wanted you to return… thinking of what you did to me I feverishly tossed and turned until the wee hours of the morning when I drifted off to a tormented sleep. 

This morning when I awoke, I wondered if it was only my imagination. Could it have been a dream? Then my eyes set upon the bed - the sheets and pillows strewn everywhere bore witness to the nocturnal events of my darkened room. 

Then I looked at my body. I was certain now as I studied the marks you left upon me. I remembered the bite that made it impossible to forget you.

I want you to come for me again tonight. I pray for you to come to me again tonight.

This time I will remain awake waiting for the sounds of your approach.... 

And then I will slap the shit out of you, you goddamn mosquito.


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!

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."

PS: Answer to the ONE DOLLAR Brain Teaser:

The price of the room was switched from $30 to $25 so you can't use the $30 any more in the math. Use the $25 figure instead. The bell boy kept $2 for himself. The men paid $27. $27 - $2 = $25 which is the new price of the room. The men overpaid by $2 due to the bellboy's shady handling of the refund. 

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