NO STANDING IN LINE REGISTER FOR CLASSES ON-LINE
SO FAR THIS YEAR AT LEAST 3 CARS OF SSQQ STUDENTS HAVE
BEEN TOWED FROM THE DOOR WAREHOUSE EVEN THOUGH IT IS OUT OF
this issue of the Newsletter, you can read the amazing story
of Kathy Heller, an SSQQ student whose car was towed from the
Door Warehouse. Kathy
decided to fight back. You will be fascinated by her
Do not park in any yellow areas. You can
park legally on the west side of First Street, but not up
above the street.
Do not park on the east side of First
Street. It is designated 'no parking'. No one knows why. You
won't be towed, but you could easily get a ticket.
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APRIL SCHEDULE OF SSQQ DANCE CLASSES.
Classes begin the week of Sunday, March 30.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE APRIL 2003 SCHEDULE
Maureen Brunetti's SWING CHARLESTON is a huge favorite at SSQQ. Swing Charleston.
Taught on Sundays at 4:30 pm in April, Swing Charleston patterns are flashy, eye-catching patterns that are fun to learn and awesome to see!!
INTERMEDIATE LATIN HUSTLE will be offered on Sundays at 4:30 with Jack Benard.
Latin Hustle was once the favorite dance in America during the Disco era. With footwork and timing very similar to West Coast Swing and patterns similar to East Coast Swing, Latin Hustle is a distinctly wonderful dance in its own right. It is used to the same music as West Coast Swing and can be practiced any night there is Whip/WCS Practice Night at the studio.
INTERMEDIATE WESTERN CHA CHA makes its return on Sundays at 7 pm with Judy Archer. Used to Polka-rhythm C&W music, WCC is fun to learn and sexy to dance.
SWING ACROBATICS will be offered for the first time on MONDAYS in April. You MUST have a partner since the patterns involved trust and timing. Taught by Paul Foltyn, this special class is only offered twice a year. It covers well-known acrobatic patterns that are sure to draw every eye in the room straight to you!!
BEGINNING TANGO returns to SSQQ after a three month break. Tango is a timeless symbol for the dark side of romance. The music is haunting and mysterious. With songs like "Jalousie" (Jealousy) and "Ecstasie" (Ecstasy), Tango takes it place in legend as the dance of pride, anger, and most of all, passion. Stylish and very dramatic, Tango combines sleek, hip-locked, gliding steps with abrupt stops into fans, flicks, flares, dips, and lunges. The eerie music, sultry motion, and the haunting sense of dark moods barely under control make Tango a truly fascinating dance! If you have ever wanted a chance to see why some people wrap a life-style around this infamous dance, come enter our spell...
The most-talked about Western class of 2000, 2001, and 2002 was the annual five month Western Waltz cycle taught by Sharon Crawford. Starting with BEGINNING WESTERN WALTZ in April, Sharon will take her class thru Int, Adv, Super-Adv, and Level
5 each following month. If you stay for the entire 5 month program, you can expect to join the ranks of the finest Western Waltz dancers in the entire city.
As this Newsletter is written, the class is already 30% full.
Register soon. Don't miss it!!
CLOGGING returns to SSQQ on Fridays at 6 pm for a second month. The first class was so popular, we received many requests for another try. Clogging is a foot-stomping, high-stepping dance which originated in the Appalachians. Heavily influenced by Irish dancing, some people compare it to "River Dance"). Clogging music is rooted in bluegrass but over the years it has grown to include energetic country-western music with a fairly fast beat.
DEATH VALLEY will be taught for one more month in April on Fridays and then will take a break for a while.
Did you know we have an ADVANCED SALSA class now on Saturdays at 4:30 pm? Yes, we do!
SSQQ DANCE PARTIES IN APRIL - the month of the DUELING SLEAZY BAR WHIP WORKSHOPS!! (read on)
THE SSQQ BROKE AND PENNILESS SWING PARTY - IT'S TAX TIME AGAIN!
Saturday, April 12, 9:15-Midnight Cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES 7-9 pm
SALSA DIPS AND LUNGES I - Martin
ARGENTINE TANGO - Don Fox
BACHATA - Linda
ADV JITTERBUG FTWK & PTNS - Judy
BEG LINDY HOP - Patty O
BRYAN'S DISGUSTING SLEAZY BAR PTNS- B.Spivey (couples only)
As most of you know, April marks the Annual SSQQ Sleazy Bar Whip
Party. This year Bryan Spivey asked me if he could teach a Sleazy Bar class featuring his own thoroughly horrid moves. I explained that Ben was already down for the course, but there was no reason we couldn't have one taught by Bryan two weeks earlier at the Broke and Penniless Party.
Over the years, Ben Liles has danced to the mantra 'Damn the morals, full sleaze ahead'!! For all these years Ben has been the unquestioned legendary SSQQ King of Sleaze, but he may be softening a little. It is tough for a happily married man with a great wife, a terrific son, and another child on the way to be out there keeping his tools of sleaze sharp. And look at the advantage Bryan has - Bryan is young, virile, powerful, SINGLE, and unimpeded with the conscience and guilt that traditionally goes with the institution of marriage.
But don't count Ben out just yet. Ben is just so naturally SLEAZY!! And his beautiful wife Diana understands just how harmless his shameless behavior really is. I know Bryan will give Ben a run for the throne, but I don't think Ben intends to give up the title so easily. I fully expect Ben to not only touch upon the line of indecency, but perhaps even completely cross that line into the realm of totally disgusting, immoral dance floor debauchery.
I think any person planning to dance lewdly and lasciviously at this year's party has much to learn from both men. I suggest you take both classes, then give me your opinion.
As always, Ladies, I suggest you wear several layers of clothes to both classes. You are clearly in the danger zone and subject to horrible collateral damage in the struggle btw these Titans of Sleaze. Whatever happens, definitely do not come to me whining about what occurs behind the closed doors of the infamous Sleazy Bar Whip Workshops. No one will feel sorry for you. The only thing I want to hear from you is the facts. Just stick to the facts and check the tears.
In the May Newsletter we will report back to see which man won the 2003 SSQQ Sleaze Championship, a true honor. We shall find out whether experience and guile can defeat energy and enthusiasm
IF YOU LOOK POOR, DON'T WORRY, WE WON'T SHOW YOU THE DOOR!!
Music Swing in Room 1 plus requests, Salsa in Room 4 plus requests.
THE INFAMOUS SSQQ SLEAZY BAR WHIP PARTY
Saturday, April 26, 9:15-Midnight Cover charge $7
Wear Red and Black and Watch Your Back.
Check your Guns and Knives at the Door; Leave your Morals at Home...
CRASH COURSES 7-9 pm
BEG C&W : TEXAS TWOSTEP - Melissa
INT TWOSTEP: CIRCLE TURNS - Ann
BEG WESTERN WALTZ - Brian
SHAGGIE JITTERBUG - Rachel
EAZY SLEAZY WHIP - Rick
BEG WEST COAST SWING - Charlene
DISGUSTING SLEAZY BAR MOVES- Ben cpls only
Music: Western, Waltz in Room 1, Whip, WCS in Room 4, and whatever is asked for in Room 6.
FOOTNOTE: TALES OF THE SLEAZY BAR PARTY!!
Have you ever heard the story about the origin of the Sleazy Bar Whip Party? You would be fascinated to discover in the second year of our party we were nearly busted by the Bellaire Police who entered the building under the impression gunshots had been fired at our party.
Suddenly they thought they had stumbled on the biggest Biker Gang in Bellaire history.
One policeman even had his hand on his holster as he grimly surveyed the scene. Do you think I am kidding? I am not kidding. It is a bizarre and very interesting true story!!
Read the History of the SSQQ Sleazy Bar Whip Party.
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THE SSQQ 4TH OF JULY CRUISE TO COZUMEL (JULY 3 - JULY 7)
(Warning: The deadline to put down a $200 deposit: NOW. The ship is
running out of cabins.)
(More information and registration form:
Travel Agent: Marla Gorzynski
SSQQ Travel has scheduled an exciting 4-day Cruise on Carnival's 'Jubilee'. This is your Perfect July 4th Getaway!
When I wrote about this trip a month ago, we had 17 people on board. One month later today (March 26) we now have 118 people going!! Not a misprint: ONEHUNDREDEIGHTEEN.
And there are many more 'thinking about it'. This will be a HUGE trip.
(Who is Going: http://ssqq.com/information/traveljubilee02.htm
This trip is a sprint. Hold nothing back! Party hard for four solid nights with your friends from the studio. Celebrate the 4th of July in grand style. What better way to take advantage of the long July 4th holiday weekend??? And we will be back early enough Monday that you can even work that day... (oh sure, ha ha).
Why is this trip so popular?
Well, for one thing, this trip includes the biggest party weekend of the year. Can you imagine the party the Jubilee will hold on board the ship that night???
Because our group is so large, Carnival has committed to a huge open bar/snacks party the first night. We will bring our own music and party very hard the first night.
The second night will include the Captain's Reception Big Band Swing Dance!
Then we will have the fantastic July 4th Party.
The next day when we hit Cozumel we will have our special Snorkel Adventure.
Snorkeling is one of the easiest sports imaginable. If you can swim, you should be able to snorkel. Since Cozumel is an island, they are able to protect their waters from any mainland pollution. The water right below our ship is so clear you can almost see the bottom. Just 100 yards from where our ship docks there is water we can actually snorkel in for free if we wish.
More likely as a group we will taxi to one of Cozumel's many crystal-clear water spots and snorkel the afternoon away. One spot is so close we could probably simply snorkel our way back to the ship. All you need to do to participate is purchase your gear in advance at a Houston sporting goods store. This alone will save you a $70 guide fee.
And that night if you are still standing, maybe we can hook up the SSQQ Jukebox and have our own dance party.
Now let's review why this trip will be great:
1. The SSQQ Welcome Back Party
2. The Captain's Reception Dance
3. The huge July 4th Bash
4. Snorkeling at Cozumel
5. Dancing and poolside fun on the trip back
The timing is right and the ship is right. We should have the time of our lives, so hop on board and join us before the ship sells out!!!
Now for the Bad News: the ship is starting to run out of room. When the cabins are gone, the trip is closed.
If you want to go, you can sign up today. There is no risk to sign up now because you have the right to receive a full refund all the way to MAY 2. Carnival's refund policy allows anyone to reserve a cabin by credit card for $200.
REPEAT: This money is completely refundable as late as May 2.
Marla Gorzynski is be our travel coordinator ( email questions to email@example.com
). She has a direct phone (713 862 4428) and fax line to cut down on the phone tag that has plagued the trips from the previous two years. You can fax your Registration Form directly to her at 713 862 2550. If you don't like Fax, so far several people have EMAILED in the pertinent information and several people have even handed Marla the form at the studio.
Email or Call Marla today. Maybe we will take 200. Who knows?
TRIPLE SWING NIGHT COMES TO SSQQ STARTING FRIDAY, APRIL 4TH!
3 Swing Dances, 3 Dance Floors, 3 Dollars.
Starting Friday, April 4th, every Friday night at SSQQ will be TRIPLE SWING NIGHT. East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, and Gulf Coast Swing (Western Swing!) will each have its own floor for you to Swing Dance the Night Away!!
Many of our Sunday and Monday Night Swing dancers may not be aware that Room 6 is now available for East Coast Swing dancing all night long. Attendance has been good, but there is room for more.
Nowhere in Houston will you find more room to dance the Western Swing than at SSQQ every Friday night with Mitch Istre available to take your music requests in Room 1.
And Room 4 is perfect for a night of dancing to the current West Coast Swing dance music of the Backstreet Boys, In Sync, as well as classic Rhythm and Blues Whip music from the past.
Tired of Western dancing? Try East Coast Swing. Tired of East Coast Swing? Try West Coast Swing? Want to Waltz? Back down to Room 1. Want to sit and relax? Watch some dance videos on the TV in Room 2 and eat some popcorn.
Ready to dance again? You have 3 floors and 3 Swing dances to choose from.
All for 3 dollars.
See you Friday, April 4th. Let's have a huge party!!
(Fine Print- the $3 charge is only available if you are taking an ssqq dance class and have your receipt with you. Otherwise the charge is $5.)
IMPORTANT CHANGES IN APRIL FOR SSQQ PRACTICE NIGHT
Starting the second week of classes in April (Sunday April 2), SSQQ will make several significant changes in how we handle Practice Night.
1) Practice Night will begin the moment Room 1 is emptied - this may be 9:05, 9:10.
2) All Practice Nights including Friday will cost $3 accompanied by a current month's receipt of class.
3) Otherwise the Practice Night will cost $5.
4) All Practice Nights except for Friday will end at 10:30 pm (Friday at Midnight)
5) Anyone who does not have a receipt will pay $5. Each time you argue the price will go up a dollar. Bring your receipt or don't ask for the discount.
6) There will be someone to collect your money until it is time to clean up.
7) The front door will be locked to outsiders once clean up begins. Once you leave, you can't come back in.
8) If there is no Music playing in Room 4, you are welcome to request the type of music you wish.
Why these changes? Let's face it - we give away our popcorn and drinks. We have begun to lose money on Practice Night. We have the choice of either raising prices for everyone or moving to a split price.
Anyone taking a current ssqq class will benefit from practice - the reduced charge of $3 is our way of encouraging everyone to stay. On the other hand, even at $5, our Practice Night is comparable to what you might pay in a club.
One more thing - if you are taking a class at ssqq in April, you wish to stay for Practice Night, and you don't have a receipt, then hand us $5 and don't say another word. We do not have the time to look your name up on a computer. Class is one thing, Practice Night is another.
With Current Month Receipt, $3.
Without Current Month Receipt, $5
Argue Once, $6
Argue Twice, $7
Argue Three times, go home.
Please save everyone a headache and do not argue. You either have the appropriate piece of paper or you don't. We won't look the other way.
THE RETURN OF THE SHIM SHAM!!
Starts Monday, April 7th, 6:30 pm, and each Monday after that.
At the request of Douglas Peabody, the SSQQ Swing Kids have decided to begin to offer free lessons every Monday Night for the legendary Shim Sham Line Dance.
Back in the Roaring 20s at the legendary Savoy Ballroom, the Shim Sham was a popular Line Dance the dancers would perform regularly each night. When interest in the Lindy Hop brought the dance back to life in the 90s, a man named Frankie Manning helped introduce the Shim Sham to about FIVE new generations of dancers!!
The Shim Sham is a pretty cool dance, but it is much too tricky to learn just be watching. Therefore the SSQQ Swing Kids will take turns each week giving lessons every Monday at 6:30 pm. Then each night during Swing Practice, we will turn on the music and dance the Shim Sham as part of Practice Night.
One thing to remember - These lessons are free as long as you have a current SSQQ receipt to take the class. Otherwise the big bad Hall Monitor will charge you $5. You don't need to register in advance - Just show up!!
POLITICALLY INCORRECT SONG ABOUT THE WAR IN IRAQ
Contributed by Gary Richardson
By the way, this is a very funny song.
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SSQQ MARCH LOGIC PUZZLE RESULTS - THE ART FESTIVAL
This was a pretty tough Logic Puzzle. We only had 5 winners, all women.
1. Sara Padilla
2. Rebecca Whitaker
3. Mara Rivas
4. Irma Metherd
5. Mariana Witgert
Who says women aren't logical? They sure topped the men this month.
In case you don't remember, I dared Mara Rivas to win again this month because she a serious streak going - she has aced every SSQQ puzzle for the past four months. Now make it five straight!! Mara is the SSQQ Puzzle Queen. Seriously, what makes me respect Mara more is that I don't think this stuff comes easily to her. She does it strictly through perseverance and determination. Very impressive lady.
Let's see how she does on the April puzzle. My bet is this one will be too tough for her.
AND NOW FOR THE APRIL SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE - LAKE WACKAWAKKA
Difficulty Level: Easier than last month.
At the Lake WackaWakka Boy Scout camp, there are five tiny islands in the middle of the lake. They are connected to the Boy Scout camp and to each other by a system of simple wood ramps. On each island there is a tree house built and maintained by the scouts.
Whenever a Scout attains a merit badge, he is rewarded by getting to spend the weekend with one or two friends from his Boy Scout Troop in one of the tree houses without a chaperone. Needless to say, the Scouts work extra hard to attain this special privilege.
Given the map and the clues, can you identify each of the 5 islands by name, which scout is camping on each island, and which scout has earned which Merit Badge??
First three correct answers get a free crash course for two people. Next seven get a free practice night.
Will Mara Rivas be able to get this one? Tune in next month and find out!!
SPEAKING OF PUZZLES - THE INFAMOUS EINSTEIN PUZZLE
I'm sending in my solution to this puzzle.
I hope this is right, because I'd hate to think of all the time I spent on it if all I did was generate a wrong answer.
My wife Sharon and I are on our third class at SSQQ (with Daryl this time, what a trip that has been!) and have enjoyed the experience more that I can tell you. I only wish we had heard about SSQQ years ago.
We went out to a club last week and the band started playing and -nothing-nobody was dancing. I told Sharon that people just didn't want to be the first ones so at the start of the next song we would jump up and 'lead the pack'. Well we jumped up but nobody else did, and guess what? It didn't matter. All it meant was that we had the floor all to ourselves. I can tell you without any doubt that before I had come to SSQQ that would have never happened. I would never have had to guts to be the first one to dance, let alone be the only one dancing. Now, I just about can't get enough of it.
You may have created a dancing fool.
thanks a lot, Manny Hernandez
(Editor's Note: I am pleased to report that Manny indeed got the right answer. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Einstein Logic Puzzle, this puzzle has made SSQQ an international WWW destination point for puzzle solvers around the globe.
In the past month alone, 14 people from the four corners of the earth emailed me to check to see if their solution was right including Manny above, Simon Eden-Walker, Gary Atkinson, Liz Dhillon, Shawn Patel, Julia Chang, Patrick Griffith, Sum Sum, Chris Provan, Vichi Jagannathan, Martha Gillespie, Kim Rosser, Rah Haz, and Tomi Osho.
If you would like to try your hand at this famous puzzle, go for it!! It's fun!
BEST NEW JOKES OF THE MONTH
The SSQQ Web Site rotates jokes on a monthly basis. At this point we have a Hall of Fame collection of over 600 jokes, many of them real gems. Nevertheless we get some wonderful new jokes each month which we eventually add to the immortal collection.
These jokes may not be new to you, but they are new to me. Here are
three that made me smile:
THE BLONDE AND THE REDHEAD MAKE A BET
contributed by Loni Lewellyn
A redhead walks into a sports bar around 9:58 PM. She sits down next to this blonde at the bar and stares up at the TV. The 10:00 news was on.
The news crew was covering a story of a man on a ledge of a large building preparing to jump. The redhead turns to the blonde and says, "You know, I bet he'll jump."
The blonde replied, "Well, I bet he won't." The redhead placed $20 dollars on the bar and said, "You're on!"
Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy did a swan dive off of the building, falling to his death.
The blonde was very upset and handed the $20 dollars to the redhead and said, "All is fair. Here is your money."
The redhead replies, "Honey, I can't take your money, I saw this earlier on the 5 o'clock news and knew he would jump."
The blonde replies, "I did too, but I didn't think he'd do it again!!"
NEW JOKE NUMBER TWO - THE PREACHER'S ASS
Contributed by Donna Mullen
A preacher needed to raise money for his church. On being told that there was a fortune in horse-racing, he decided maybe this was a hint from Heaven so he decided to purchase one. However, at the local auction, the going price for a horse was so high that he simply did not have enough money. He ended up buying a donkey instead. The preacher figured that since he bought it he might as well go ahead and enter it in the races. Maybe with some divine intervention he had a chance. To his astonishment, the donkey came in third!! He said some silent prayers to the Almighty and was grateful for the earnings which not only paid for the donkey, but the light bill as well.
The next day the local paper carried this headline: "PREACHER'S ASS SHOWS". The preacher was so pleased with the donkey that he entered in the race again, and this time it won FIRST PLACE! This victory brought in the much-needed cash the preacher had hoped for, but he wondered what his superior would think about the headline. He knew the newspaper owner and the Bishop did not get along.
The paper read: "PREACHER'S ASS OUT IN FRONT"!!! The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the preacher not to enter the donkey in another race. Crestfallen, the preacher complied.
The next paper headline read: "BISHOP SCRATCHES PREACHER'S ASS". This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the preacher to get rid of the donkey. The preacher decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent.
The paper headline the next day read... "NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN."
The bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she too would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for ten dollars. The next day the paper read.... "NUN SELLS HER ASS FOR $10.00"!!
This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild. The next day the headlines read.... "NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS RUNS WILD AND FREE"!!!!
NEW JOKE NUMBER THREE - ROLE REVERSAL
Contributed by Leroy Ginzel
Jenny's husband, Charley, was a male chauvinist.
Even though they both worked full-time, he never helped around the house.
Housework was woman's work!
But one evening Jenny arrived home from work to find the children bathed, one load of clothes in the washer and another in the dryer, dinner on the stove, and the table set.
She was astonished; something's up.
It turns out that Charley had read an article that said wives who worked full-time and had to do their own housework were too tired to have sex. He feeling pretty frisky and
hadn't gotten any lately so he decided he had an idea how to improve his chances that evening.
The night went well and the next day Jenny told her office girlfriends all about it. "We had a great dinner. Charley even cleaned
up for the first time in ages! He helped the kids do their homework, folded all the laundry and put everything away. I really enjoyed the evening."
"But what about afterward?" asked her friends.
"Oh, that was perfect too. Charley was too tired!"
HALL MONITORS NEEDED
The Hall Monitor position at SSQQ, affectionately known to the Staff
as the "Just Say No" job, is important because it helps the studio enforce policies that all popular with everyone but those who want exceptions.
Every time we ask, the vast majority of our students agree the place is easier to relax in without children and without strangers watching. We are able to keep some semblance of control over the size of our classes as well due to the Hall Monitors.
However, as you will read further down, the Hall Monitor position isn't always the easiest one because many of our students fail to bring their receipts. At this point despite a lot of impatience on the part of students who have forgotten their ID, the Hall Monitor has to use the computer to look up registration information. This is probably the most difficult part of what is otherwise an easy job.
Most members of the SSQQ community probably do not remember why we developed our computer system in the first place. Here is a flashback from December, 2001:
SSQQ HALL OF FAME COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH
FROM DECEMBER 2001
This is the complaint that cost me $20,000. There are three letters to read: a complaint, a letter from a witness to the event, and my own response.
Thu 12/06/2001 1:02 AM
I would like to share with you the humiliation I went through at SSQQ. It was about 8:30 PM in class when I was rudely disturbed while attending a class by a person claiming to be an employee of SSQQ.
Most of all, I have no idea what provoked him to pick on me from all the people in the classroom. During the second half, while I was making a name tag, we struck a conversation and he started asking me if I am registered for this class or not, apparently he did not see me before or whatever his rationale was. I thought he was joking asking such a question. Anyway, I told him I signed up for this class and two step and then left to join the class.
About ten minutes later, while I was in the middle of dance and in front of everybody this gentleman marches towards me and told me that my name is not on the roster and I had to leave. Although was holding the registration in one hand and he did not bother to look over. He stood next to me and said, "you are not on the roster and you need to leave." He implied that I am like a thief in the grocery store for coming without paying for it.
I don't know if you ever had been accused of cheating or kicked out of an institution or called a cheat or a thief in front of an audience in a restaurant, studio, grocery store or anywhere. It is humiliating to go through such a process in front of many of your colleagues. As a banker and a very conscientious person, I hold myself in a very high ethical standard. It was a nightmare and none of your clients should go through this. I had a problem sleeping wondering if I would ever run into the people again and wondering what would they think of me if they see my face again.
I am baffled, disturbed and hurt by this episode. You are the boss and so you should know what
(Email Letter to Rick Archer from a student who witnessed the event.)
Wednesday, December 05, 2001 10:37 AM
I dropped in early last night for dance practice, and I was the unfortunate witness to a confrontation outside the studio with a disgruntled person.
Since I was early, I could not enter the studio and was within earshot of the event. There was an individual arguing vehemently with the Hall Monitor (I assumed the discussion was regarding his removal from the class). He was obnoxious and abrasive, and the Hall Monitor tried patiently to explain to him the policies regarding proof that he had signed up for the class. He kept demanding that the Hall Monitor accompany him to his car to show him the receipt. The Hall Monitor wisely told him he could not leave the studio, but he would await his return. This individual later returned, went in to the intermediate class and started a ruckus that the Hall Monitor had unfairly removed him. I considered this to be totally inappropriate behavior.
Personally I thought the Hall Monitor handled the situation with great composure and respect.
Email Response Letter from Rick Archer to the Complainant
Mon 12/10/2001 3:12 PM
I have now reviewed carefully four documents: Your report, the Hall Monitor's report, an instructor's report, and that of a student who witnessed the incident.
I am sorry you were embarrassed.
However you need to see things from my studio's point of view. Our Hall Monitor program was established 18 months ago to reduce a huge number of people from wandering around the studio who were showing up and claiming they were a volunteer. The situation had become a real headache. Since this policy was established, things have become much more organized.
Now the Hall Monitor is paid to do a job - ask people for their receipt. You didn't have one.
Then he or she is supposed to look your name up on a roster. Your name did not appear on one of the rosters.
Furthermore, the Hall Monitor said you made the comment that you are being given free classes. Whether you were jesting or not, this made you seem even more suspicious.
Finally, you naively think someone who has never met you in his life should take your word for it that you paid when it is
the HM's job to do the exact thing he/she did - prevent you from participating without simple documentation.
I do not enjoy the report of this confrontation at all, but please help me understand why I should criticize the Hall Monitor when on the surface it appears he/she was simply trying to do
Look, I am not happy that you were embarrassed. Our studio is about having fun, not pushing people around.
However we have to have rules. You did not produce a receipt as requested and your name wasn't on the roster. Whether
the HM's style was to your liking or not isn't the question - I am sorry the Hall Monitor rubbed you the wrong way, but the fact remains that this person did
EXACTLY what they were hired to do - Just Say No.
Please forgive the incident and forget about it. You are a nice guy. You are always welcome here.
(Editor's Note: This incident was so aggravating to me that I decided to invest
$10,000 in a new computer system designed to upgrade the SSQQ Registration process.
Including hardware and additions to the system, the cost eventually
grew to $20,000.
Starting in March 2002 we began to use computers for walk-in registration. Combined with our already successful On-Line Registration system, this system has given us to a computerized recording of all class rosters.
At the time, we instituted this system to prevent incidents such as the one above from happening again. Now in April 2003 I can honestly say a year and a half later we have never had anything even close to a repeat of the incident described above. And for that I am grateful).
If after reading this harrowing story, you are still interested in becoming an SSQQ Hall Monitor, the pay is $20 a night and all the free dance classes you wish to take each month you work as a Monitor.
Contact Rick Archer at
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SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE -
RANDY BEST AND KIM GRAY GET ENGAGED ON VALENTINES DAY!!
Last month I bitched and moaned in the Newsletter that SSQQ did not have one single engagement on Valentine's Day, the smoochiest, most engaging day of the year!! Well, guess what? I was wrong!! You will enjoy reading this sweet letter to me from Kim Gray.
Sorry it has taken me a couple of weeks to get the news to you first hand of my engagement to Randy Best on February 15th. We have not been to dance classes this month--you could say we've been otherwise occupied...
The words "special" and "romantic" don't quite do justice to the Valentine's weekend we had. It was magical--like waking up inside of my very own fairy tale or romance novel. It was overwhelming.
Friday, Valentine's Day began with love poems in my office e-mail, arriving every 30 minutes. At 9 am a large bouquet of jumbo balloons arrived at the office and they were attached to a gift bag filled with every heart shaped candy Randy could find. Also inside the bag was a beautiful crystal bowl, a teddy bear and a book of love poems. He had also included the Pedometer I had been wanting from Brookstones. The card inside of the bag was the most beautifully worded Valentine I have ever received. The joy filled and overflowed my heart and I began to cry. 10 minutes later, 2 dozen roses showed up, one yellow and one red. My heart was racing and I could hardly catch my breath.
I met him at my house at noon and he gave me 2 more gift bags filled with Valentine's Day goodies. A heart shaped pillow with "Today, Tomorrow and Always" on it, a red fleece blanket with hearts, lotions and bath oils, a 2 lb box of Godiva chocolates, a box of Godiva biscuits, chocolate roses and a crystal jewelry dish. I didn't think I could possible be any more overwhelmed.....but just wait...
We headed west out of town--I had not been told where we were headed and had no clue WHERE we were going. We ended up in Wellborn, Texas at a place called 7F Lodge, Land and Cattle Company. It was a short 1 1/4 hour drive from my house, but it was like being in another world. We stayed in the Hill Country Lodge cottage. The cottage is described in the brochure as "Martha Stewart meets Ralph Lauren on Fantasy Island". And this is a perfect description. Secluded in the woods we did not see other guests during our stay. The cottage was beautifully decorated and all of the "little" extra touches made it very special; love songs on the CD player, a beautiful combination of rustic wood cabin and opulent decor. A fruit basket and pastry box were included for our breakfast the following morning. The large hot tub on the screened in back porch was wonderful. Randy had brought about 20 candles and it made for a very romantic adventure.
On Saturday, he had arranged for me to have a massage at the spa, a short walk from our cottage. After my massage, which was divine, we walked over to their wedding chapel. This is an old turn of the century chapel. Inside this quaint house of worship is where he proposed. It was the most romantic moment of my life. My ring was inside a Cinderella carriage made from an egg. My ring is stunning!!!!!!
As if I was not already speechless and totally overwhelmed by this time, when we returned to our cottage, there were another 3 dozen roses, one red, one pink, and of course one orange, that he had picked up while I was getting my massage. I'm telling you this wonderful man thought of everything. We went out for a very special dinner that night in Bryan. It was a very romantic place and the food was wonderful. (maybe one day I'll remember what I ate---hahaha)
We have talked with the minister at our church and set the wedding date for August 9th.
We will be married at Christ Church United Methodist Church in The Woodlands. Randy had already booked a honeymoon cruise and reserved the sanctuary.
We feel very blessed to have found one another and have SSQQ to thank.
We are going to get back into the "swing" of things (no pun intended) in March.
(Editor's Note: This happy news makes Kim and Randy our 5th couple to get engaged this
MORE ROMANCE - JASON HEISER AND REBEKAH MORALES GET ENGAGED!
Hey Rick! You say in the newsletter that there were no February engagements, only a rumor from "deep quad" about one possibility on the 14th.
Don't be so heartbroken: I am here and now telling you that I proposed to Rebekah Joy Morales on February 21st and she accepted! No, we didn't meet at your studio (we actually met in the
hospital where we were both patients), but we plan to spend a lot of time at SSQQ in the future!
Never mind that humbug business.
(Editor's Note: Congratulations, Jason!!)
KATHY HELLER, THE AMAZING WOMAN WHO DECIDED TO FIGHT BACK AFTER HER CAR WAS
TOWED BY JOEL LOSHAK AND THE DOOR WAREHOUSE!!!!
There are some people who are mean and vicious beyond belief. One person I nominate for the hall of fame is
towing man Joel Loshak. First he appears to have bilked dozens of
innocent customers out of a lot of money (one man said he put down
$2,000 as half-price deposit for a door he never
Now despite the fact that his business is in bankruptcy and his store closed, he continues
to have the cars of innocent SSQQ students towed from his place of business late at night. To my knowledge at least 3 cars have been towed
recently including Kathy, Don Babb, and Robin Pascal. (please
let me know of any others).
And what purpose does it serve to tow cars from a business that is
bankrupt? If there is an injury, what are we going to do, sue?
One SSQQ student, Kathy Heller, had her car towed and - bless her heart - decided to FIGHT BACK. I am so proud of her! Kathy believes the towing was illegal and, you know something, she may just have a point. Unfortunately she is experiencing a horrible NIGHTMARE runaround of bureaucracy that protects people like Loshak. Most people - me for example - would throw in the towel and give the guy his filthy money, but Kathy has a lot more determination than most people and continues to struggle. I think she deserves some help so perhaps we can put this predator in his place.
I think all of the Newsletter readers will be interested in her story.
Kathy is a dance student here at ssqq taking Jitterbug lessons. One night she was running late - I believe it may have been Monday March 3 - and saw an empty parking spot in front of an abandoned building, the Door Warehouse. She saw no reason not to park there and did so. Later to her dismay she found she had been towed. It cost her over a $100 to get her car plus the usual two hour misery of having to locate her car and go get it. Since the DW has been out of business, I know at least three ssqq students have been towed (we now have a special sign warning everyone on our front door.)
Kathy didn't think this was fair because she had seen no warning. I said there was a sign to the side of the building as you face it and that I had been told by a Bellaire policeman the towings were legal.
Kathy didn't agree with me. She pointed out that:
1) the sign in front is not attached to the building
2) the sign is low to the ground
3) the sign is not even in front of the building
4) at night the sign cannot even be SEEN!!
I had never thought of this before. The time I looked was during the day and it didn't occur to me that at night it is invisible. Surely the law states the sign must be plainly visible. At night the sign in front is hidden in some bushes where you could only see if you got out of your car and looked for it. I now believe Kathy has every right to get her money back.
So Kathy pursued legal means to regain her money.
During her investigations, Kathy has made two very interesting discoveries.
First, someone from DW gave a false address to the Bellaire utilities. Kathy was unable to locate his address in this manner. Loshak possibly owes the City of Bellaire some money for free water, etc.
Second, she tracked down some ownership documents on the building and GUESS WHAT - she discovered that Loshak owns a towing company.
Isn't that interesting?? Maybe Joel has himself a little cash cow. Maybe a nephew who drives by once a night. Would anyone be surprised if he got a kickback??
Kathy Heller wrote a story of her adventures for the SSQQ Newsletter. Before we get to it, I have three more things to say:
1) We should ask ourselves how over a 3 year span can 30 educated people manage to get their cars towed? Are these people stupid?
No, of course not.
I will answer the question myself. The reason they get towed is that
the sign is low to the ground, it is set away from the building beside some cacti, and at night you cannot even see the sign!!
Every one of these people told me they had no idea they were at risk. It
is very difficult to obey the rules when you can't even see them
2) Did you know while Loshak was towing ssqq students away at night he had the nerve to allow his Door Warehouse trucks to park in my parking lot day and night?? If you don't believe me, visit
this page on the ssqq web site for a picture:
http://www.ssqq.com/ssqq/newsletter200203.htm (use your 'find' key and look for the word 'Revisited')
Not only is Loshak an insensitive man, apparently he is also a hypocrite.
Needlessly towing innocent people with an invisible sign for justification is the same sort of cruelty towards his fellow man he displayed when he short-changed his well-meaning door customers.
3) Finally to me the most unbelievable thing of all is despite all the doors his customers were short-changed, all the bills he has not paid to his creditors, and all the innocent people who have had their cars towed (illegally
towed my opinion), I know of not one incident of vandalism at this man's store. No broken windows, no flat tires, no visible damage.
If this man were capable of the same civilized, decent behavior displayed by the countless people he has wronged, this world would be a much better place indeed.
GETTING MY CAR TOWED AND FIGHTING BACK
written by Door Warehouse towing victim and ssqq student Kathy Heller
Do you want to know why you should not park in front of the Door Warehouse building?
Maybe my cautionary tale will convince you.
Not having heard anyone else's story, I was not aware that there was a problem parking in front of the Door Store. That Monday, I was running late, so the parking lot was full. I thought I was in luck to find a spot so close. I scanned the front of the building and there were no signs restricting parking. I did not know to get out my flashlight and look in the bushes on the other side of a car parked to the right, next to the only sign, completely blocking my view of that sign.
Dance class was great! My first thought when I saw the empty parking space was my car had been stolen (and I should not have put my purse in the trunk)! I walked back to SSQQ, not really sure what to do. My mind is in conflict -it's just a car (I like my car) it's just a car (how dare they) it's my car (and my purse) it's just a car (identity theft) I don't know what to do.
Luckily, one of my fellow students, Mike Blaha, saw my deer-in-the-headlights look and decided it was his night to be generous and chivalrous. He led me inside, where I learned that my car was probably towed. Steve Gabino walked me to the sign (WHAT sign?) and showed me the number to call. Mike waited while I became fused to the phone.
The man who answered the phone said he was just the "answering service" and I needed to call the storage lot. The storage lot lady said she did not have my car, I needed to call HPD towline. HPD towline is very busy. Expect to be on hold. She said she had no record of a car being towed from my location. Tow trucks have two hours to report towed vehicles. She would need my VIN number (we all memorize that number, right?) to report it stolen. Meanwhile, Rick Archer is giving Mike directions to the storage lot "where the cars are always towed" and I'm feeling stupid for being so ignorant of the towing problem. I call the "nice" lady at the storage lot back again, and she now has my car at her facility. She will need to see a valid driver's license (which is in my pocket with my car keys) and $110 CASH, EXACT CHANGE, before midnight or the cost will go up. I did mention that my purse was safely locked in the trunk? How many of you would do this: Mike drove us to his ATM, withdrew $110 of HIS money, and we were on our way to find the storage lot across town (they are usually in the "classier" parts of town) And, yes, I did pay him back. (Mike asks why they can't make change if they take cash only).
The nice lady takes my money, has me sign, and shows me there are directions (TINY print) on the form on how to protest the tow (she's not interested in how unfair it is to tow from an address where THERE ARE NO CUSTOMERS since the company is out of business but does show me on the form that the tow was authorized by a private contract). She does not leave her cubicle. She presses a button and the security gate opens -I get to hunt for my car in the lot. It has been parked between two other cars such that I cannot open the door wide enough to get in on either side. About now I'm getting angry. They will probably charge an extra day if I don't solve this problem! One of the rear doors is able to open just wide enough for me to squeeze in. I climb over the seat and drive my car home!
One has 14 days to request a tow hearing. Anyone who does not make a request in that time loses their right to do so (sorry, all you other fellow tow victims). I don't want to add aggravation or time and effort to protest if "they" were in their legal right to tow my car. How do I find out? I email a lawyer friend. I phone the court. I am told "that is what the tow hearing is for". I am advised that those laws are available on-line. I search. I don't find what I need. I still feel like an injustice was done and decide to pursue it. I drive to the downtown address listed on the storage lot form. I wait in line. I fill out their form requesting a hearing. I wait to pay my $10 fee. The woman eventually returns, after making inquiries "upstairs" and informs me I am at the wrong location. I need the Harris County courthouse. I ask if I should bother-what are the laws on towing?-am I wasting my time? She suggests I look on the Internet.
It's a pretty day for a drive back through town. At the Harris County courthouse, I am informed I am at the wrong location. I need the City of Bellaire courthouse ("but it's not far from here"). At that courthouse, I ask for their tow hearing form. They don't have a form. I show the woman my Houston form (they let me take since they didn't need it). "They have a form!" I still need to follow the OTHER fine print on my storage lot paper, stating I need to make a written request and turn it in with my PHOTOS of any signage at the location in question. I've already taken my photos, but need to get them developed. I leave. While I wait for the one hour developing, I type my written request and I try to find statutes online (without any luck). I tape my photos on a sheet and take all the papers back to the City of Bellaire. Good news! They don't require a filing fee.
The next day I get a phone call. The court has to have the name, address, and phone number of the owner of the building or they cannot set a tow hearing. Now, I have already phoned the tow company and the leasing agent for the property, hoping to settle this misunderstanding amicably, and they both took messages and did not call me back.
When I phone the leasing agent again, the person I speak to will not divulge the owner's name, but he can relay a message. I again request to be called back. Perhaps that message got misplaced, because I still have not gotten that return phone call.
The clerk gets the judge himself on the phone who explains it is my responsibility to obtain the needed information-but he needs it that day or my 14 days will have expired. He does suggest that the tax records are public records and I might find the information at the City of Bellaire offices. Since I have the judge on the phone, I ask if there is a way to check the laws on towing since I really don't want to be wasting anybody's time. He suggests I look on the Internet and that the tow hearing is to discuss the laws that apply. The City of Bellaire information clerk regrets to inform me that they no longer keep tax records at that location. They are at the Harris County Courthouse (I remember where that is) but first try the water bill records upstairs. Upstairs, the water bills for that address are unpaid and they do not have a valid billing address. I hear the Door Store owner has several people upset with him. Everyone is interested in my plight but no one knows the name or address of the owner of the property itself. I go to the Harris County Courthouse. Tax records show taxes are billed to TOW COMPANIES LTD (sounds suspicious to me). This is when I knew I was getting determined to see it through.
I take my copy to the City of Bellaire office and several conversations later, I know that the property AND the Door Store are owned by Joel Loshak, and he is in bankruptcy proceedings. I inform the clerk that I now have the name but not the address of the owner. The clerk confirms that the TOW COMPANIES LTD is also owned by Joel Loshak. She cannot set the tow hearing without a mailing address. I look in the phone book. No listing. I phone information, "At the request of the customer, that information is unlisted". I phone the lease company again, this time mentioning Mr. Loshak by name. This time, I am told Mr. Loshak has a lawyer, Steve Smith, to handle all his legal issues. Several conversations later, when I phone Rick Archer for any possible leads, I find out Rick has his address! I am given Mr. Loshak's address. I get my tow hearing date set.
TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT NEWSLETTER
(Editor's Note: In the next Newsletter, we will find out how Kathy fared in her court date with the Judge. Perhaps she will meet the infamous Loshak in person.
In my opinion, I think we all owe Kathy a big 'thank you' for having the guts to fight back. Her determination to see the battle through has impressed me so much!
In the meantime, send your comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have something to say to Kathy Heller, I will be happy to forward them for you.)
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THE SSQQ APRIL JOKE PAGE IS READY!
We have 23 classic jokes ready for you to read on our April Joke Page.
You definitely need to read #23 - The Robbers. It is a true story that will crack you up!!
In the meantime here is one of my all-time favorite jokes from the April Joke Page as a sample.
April CS 09: The Aggie, the Longhorn, and the Pig
A student from Texas A&M University, a student from The University of Texas, and a pig were in the hospital waiting room, each awaiting the birth of his firstborn child. Suddenly, the lights went out.
Fortunately, power was restored shortly thereafter and the head nurse made her way to the waiting room.
"I've got good news and bad news for both you gentlemen and Mr. Pig," she announced. "Despite the electrical outage, two healthy young boys and one healthy piglet have been delivered. "However, since the lights went out at the most inopportune time, we aren't sure which firstborn belongs to whom. The only way we know to resolve the problem is to draw straws and have the winner choose first."
The three proud papas agreed this was the fairest way. The UT grad won the drawing.
He was escorted into the delivery room and looked at the three newborns for a painstakingly long time.
Finally, with head bowed, he scooped up the piglet and headed for the door.
"Sir, are you quite certain that you've made the right choice?" the nurse asked with a frown.
"No, I'm not," replied the Longhorn. "But I just couldn't run the risk of choosing the Aggie."
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THE SSQQ APRIL BLUE SIDE JOKES ARE READY!
(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 get the address is to email me from the email address you use to register for classes and request it. email@example.com )
We have 21 Wonderful Dirty Jokes this month on the Blue Side.
April BS 01: The Frog and the Well-Hung Man - Michael Brockmyre
April BS 02: Aging Gracefully - Michael Brockmyre and Robin Wagner
April BS 03: The Minister and his Congregation - Andre Faust
April BS 04: Venus and Mars Again - Cindy Sue Cortez
April BS 05: Bull Story - Gary Richardson
April BS 06: How Yodeling Was Invented - John Anderson
April BS 07: 10 Things Men Know About Women - Gail Sink
April BS 08: Bubba and His Friends - Kathleen Parker and Jill Banta
April BS 09: National Poetry Contest - Richard Weisberg
April BS 10: Sexual Dysfunction - Bett Sundermeyer
April BS 11: The Camping Trip - Bett Sundermeyer
April BS 12: The Chicken Stud -Tracy King
April BS 13: The Doctor's Exam - Judy Walsh
April BS 14: The Gorilla - Pat Roberts
April BS 15: The Anniversary Present - Kathleen Parker
April BS 16: Be Careful Who You Sleep With - Bett Sundermeyer
April BS 17: The Fireman - Carole Nelson
April BS 18: Cake or Bed - Jerald Anthony
April BS 19: The Marriage Competition - Crista Reuss
April BS 20: The Friendly Neighborhood - Pat Roberts
April BS 21: The Mask - Rick Archer
Here is one of my favorites from Gary Richardson
April BS 05: Bull Story
- Gary Richardson
Three bulls heard via the grapevine that the rancher was going to bring yet another bull onto the ranch, and the prospect raised a discussion among them.
First Bull: "Boys, we all know I've been here 5 years. Once we settled our differences, we agreed on which 100 of the cows would be mine. Now, I don't know where this newcomer is going to get HIS cows, but I ain't givin' him any of mine."
Second Bull: "That pretty much says it for me, too. I've been here three years and have earned my right to the 50 cows we've agreed are mine. I'll fight him, run him off or kill him, but I'm KEEPING' ALL MY COWS."
Third Bull: "I've only been here a year, and so far you guys have only let me have ten cows to 'take care of.' I may not be as big as you fellows yet, but I am young and virile, so I simply MUST keep all MY cows."
They had just finished their big talk when an eighteen-wheeler pulls up in the middle of the pasture with only ONE ANIMAL IN IT. The three bulls gasped
in awe as the biggest Son-of-A-Bull these guys had ever seen appeared at the edge of the truck. At 4,700 pounds, each step he took toward the ground strained the steel ramp to the breaking point. It felt like a minor earthquake each time he took a step.
First Bull: "Ahem...You know, it's actually been some time since I really felt I was doing all my cows
justice. Anyway, I guess I can spare a few for our new friend."
Second Bull: "I'll have plenty of cows to take care of. As a welcome to pasture, I might let him
borrow a couple and while he's adjusting, maybe I'll just stay on the opposite end of the pasture from HIM.
Don't wanna bother him while he's having some fun."
Then another sound distracted. The two veterans looked over at their the 3rd bull and saw him pawing the dirt, shaking his horns, and snorting. Both bulls looked at each other in astonishment. Did their young friend have a secret death wish?
First Bull: "Son, let me give you some advice real quick. Let him have some of your cows and live to tell about it."
Third Bull: "Hell, he can have ALL my cows. I'm just making sure he knows I'm a bull."
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VOCABULARY WORD OF THE MONTH WITH JANE DOWNS - TEMULENT
TEMULENT \TEM you lent\, adjective Latin, temulentus.
Intoxicated; drunken. (Rare, depending on who you deal with)
Example: In my temulent state, I can ascertain only one thing: it's your turn to do the beer run.
THE APRIL JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH - THE NIGHT OF
This month's picture depicts a young lady in a highly advanced temulent state of being. You will witness the aftermath of a wild drinking party that appears to have gotten pretty far out of control. This is one of the few pictures that has the power to make me feel a little bit better about being too old to be that stupid.
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COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH - THE HALL MONITOR WITH AN
Several students were deeply upset that we had no complaints last month. Well, cheer up, we have a fascinating complaint for you this month guaranteed to make you think deeply about the human condition.
SSQQ is like a movie theater. We have drinks and popcorn, six theaters of fun, and we have a ticket taker at the door known as the Hall Monitor.
Our students drive the Hall Monitors nuts because only about 2/3rds of the people on any given night remember to bring their class receipts.
The Hall Monitors are supposed to look the student's registration up on their computer, but the computer response isn't always very fast. The students stare at the Hall Monitor in frustration and quite frankly can be very rude at times
which is sad because the student could solve the problem effortlessly by bringing their 'ticket' in the first place.
One night one of our Hall Monitors snapped completely and decided to fight back in a very interesting manner. The HM thought they were being clever, but unfortunately went too far.
Decide for yourself.
It's your favorite swing dancing attorney. As you may know, I have gone back to class again to learn C/W dances at the best and most friendly dance studio in Houston (prob. the universe). Swing is fun but due to limited venues, C/W is the ticket (plus most C/W places have swing in the song rotation). I am taking Amanda's Beginning Western Swing class and enjoying it greatly. Amanda is a fantastic instructor, funny and very precise about the steps and technical aspects. Her class is a real pleasure to go to.
Over the years, I have referred many people to SSQQ when I am out in dance venues because it is by far the friendliest and most socially fun dance studio I know of. I compliment you on the business and atmosphere that you have created and I greatly admire it.
So, you are probably wondering what is the point of this email...and I hesitate to mention the following. But after all these years, I have a small complaint or maybe suggestion. Normally, if something irritates me I sleep on it and then blow it off...but I did sleep on it and I am still irritated. In addition, I really love going to SSQQ and intend the comments below to be constructive. Also, it occurred to me that you might not know about what irritated me and that you should.
Last night I got to class late and left my registration slip at work in my briefcase (I discovered later). Amanda had very carefully explained that we need to have that slip with us each night because if we didn't they would have to look us up on a computer to reconfirm our registration and it would cause delays. A very good and logical policy. I had forgotten my slip during the prior month and a very nice young man looked my name up on the computer and allowed admittance. Amanda's warning confirmed my experience.
Last night something different happened with a monitor when I showed up for class 30 minutes late. I was only person at door to get in:
HM: "Hi Student, do you have your registration?" (the HM was smiling and very pleasant - I had introduced myself to them during prior night practice sessions).
Student: "I'll look but I don't think so"
HM: "Well, where is it?"
Student: "I may have left it at work or lost it; I'll reprint one from registration history for the next class"
HM: "So you lost it...well we have a special name tag for you" (again smiling)
Student: "Can't you just look it up on the computer?"
HM: "Here, wear this" (Name Tag reads "I LOST IT")
Student: "What's this, you must be joking, okay, how about a tag with my name" (both smiling at this stage)
HM: "It just lets everyone know you lost your slip"
Student: "I really don't think this is funny...seriously, this is going to irritate me, I don't like public chiding" (both still smiling)
HM: "Here, go on in; you will have lots of company" offering name tag again.
Student: (me realizing the HM is serious and me becoming irritated and short) "Well, if this is what I have to wear to get in, I'll just go home."
HM: some sort of hrrmph sound, "Well if that's how you feel, here's your name tag" handing my a new tag with "Student" on it (neither of us smiling at this point)
Student: "Is this Rick's policy now or something you're doing"
HM: "Go on in and have a nice class"
Student: "I may ask Rick about this...I really don't like this name tag business"
HM: "If you do, I may go home"
I am sure that HM was well intended and was just trying to be funny with a point to force me and others to bring the slip next time...so I don't really fault the HM if they came up with this idea on their own since even well intentioned people make mistakes, or if the HM simply was following your directions. However, during my class I danced with several women who had the I LOST IT name tag on. I asked them about it. One thought it was funny. The other two found it irritating and took it off after I asked about it.
Anyway, this obviously pushed a hot button for me....trying to force someone to wear a dunce cap etc is not something I would even consider doing with children, my own or otherwise, much less adults.
Well there it is....if your policy, I just ask that you reconsider...as for me, I will make sure that I have the slip in future and if not, I will just stay home until I can reprint another one....I genuinely don't like public chiding and don't want to make your monitors uncomfortable either... However, if this is one monitor's idea of a joking way to do it, I just ask that the HM and others think of some other way to enforce your slip policy that does not involve public chiding or humiliation... however, well intended.
In all sincerity, I intend this email to be constructive and also, it is only my point of view. As I said, you have a very well run and successful business; you obviously don't need some amateur like me second guessing you if this name tag approach is policy. So if it is policy and you believe the benefits from a business point of view outweigh the negatives, then I will certainly understand and you will not hear any further comment from me about it.
Thanks, (Student's name withheld)
Rick Archer's Reply:
Student, I am so grateful you have taken the time to write me.
I noticed several people wearing a name tag like that. I thought it was their idea of a joke. Unless I find out otherwise, my guess is that the HM was acting completely on their creative own.
You have my complete assurance that it will not happen again.
I am totally irritated with this move. The HM should be ashamed.
The HM is supposed to look names up on the computer.
Please forgive. Rick Archer
(Editor's Note: This was a harmless
I wish all of our students would respect our need to check receipts, but
at the same time no one deserves to be embarrassed when they forget
On the other hand, I feel for the HM. SSQQ Hall Monitors are subjected to a lot of
unnecessary irritating comments from students, volunteers, and staff who don't bother to remember their ID.
One woman simply walks past the HM each week as if they aren't even
I guess one HM decided they had had enough and were not going to take it any more.
Although as a business owner I cannot tolerate any employee who treats customers in a discourteous fashion, at the same time I completely understand their point.
As a result of this incident, I personally have made a special point to bring my own ID with me to show the
HM. And I might add this was a very interesting story. When I
get around to selling the ssqq story to Hollywood as the next
Cheers, I will definitely use this curious incident in my pilot
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CLARA HARRIS JOKES - Pat Roberts and Andre Faust
(Editor's Note: Clara Harris jokes will be gone soon, but we
should enjoy them while we can. Here are a couple gems.)
- New name for Cheatin' Husbands in Texas - Speed Bumps
- The price of gas in Texas has gone so high that women who want to run over their husbands have started carpooling.
THE TEN BEST THINGS ANYONE EVER SAID
Here is a thought-provoking list of interesting quotes.
1. "Only the Mediocre are always at their best." - Jean Giraudoux
2. "A Narcissist is someone better looking than you are." - Gore Vidal
3. "The only reason I would ever take up Country-Western dancing is to hear heavy breathing again." - Erma Bombeck
4. "Never eat more than you can lift." - Miss Piggy
5. "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." - Bill Cosby
6. "The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get to the office." - Robert Frost
7. "When ideas fail, words come in very handy." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
8. "I only like two kinds of men - domestic and foreign." - Mae West
9. "Virtue is its own revenge." - E.Y. Harburg
10. "From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents. From 18 to 35, she needs good looks. From 35 to 55 she needs a good personality. From 55 on, she needs cash." - Sophie Tucker.
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(Editor's Note: A couple of years ago, I wrote this sensitive love story and I don't think a soul even read it. Too bad, because it was a great story!! Now that a year has passed, it is time to alert everyone to the existence of the best love story I ever wrote.
Here is an excerpt:
"It was a dark and stormy night. They were alone in the house. The storm had come up quickly and a chill had entered the room. As the wind-driven rain battered the house, it seemed the wrath of an Irish Banshee was nigh!! Each time the thunder roared he watched as she trembled in fear. He wanted to help her, but he knew it was wrong
As the wind howled like a ghost separated from its soul, she stole a glance at him from across the room. He seemed so brave and powerful!! She admired his strong presence. She wished that he would take her in his arms, comfort her and protect her from the terrible storm that raged outside
Then she hated herself. Her secret thoughts were taboo; she knew that. She could never act on them!! It was a violation of every ethical code she had ever believed in. It was a Union totally forbidden in her culture. Yet she ached for his comfort so badly.... Suddenly a huge burst of lightning seemed to strike the very house itself!! The sky lit up, then the room plunged into total darkness as the power failed. She screamed in terror!!
(Editor's Note: To read the powerful climax to this story visit
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DID YOU KNOW?? 20 QUESTIONS - THE SSQQ INFORMATION PAGE
The SSQQ Web Site has a question and answer section.
This area of our web site targets the following questions -
01. Private Lessons
03. Referring new students
04. Group Discounts
05. Switching Partners
07. Credit for Unfinished classes
08. Same Sex Dancing
09. Making up a Class
12. Need a Partner?
13. Watching Classes
14. Starting classes a week late
15. Repeating a Class
17. Husbands Who Won't Dance
19. What level of class to take
20. General Questions (like why SSQQ doesn't have bottled water and why we don't have other locations).
If you have a question you want to have answered, let us know!! firstname.lastname@example.org
MARS AND VENUS BASHING TIME!!!
Contributed by Ann Bush
1) He said... I don't know why you wear a bra; you've got nothing to
put in it.
She said...You wear briefs, don't you?
2) She said...What do you mean by coming home half drunk?
He said... It's not my fault...I ran out of money.
3) He said... Since I first laid eyes on you, I've wanted to make love
to you in the worst way.
She said...Well, you succeeded.
4) He said... 'Two inches more, and I would be king'
inches less, and you'd be queen'
5) On wall in ladies room: "My husband follows me everywhere."
Written just below it: "I do not."
6) Priest... 'I don't think you will ever find another man like your
She said...'Who's gonna look?'
7) He said... What have you been doing with all the grocery money I
She said...Turn sideways and look in the mirror.
8) He said... Let's go out and have some fun tonight.
but if you get home before I do, leave the hallway light on.
9) He said... Why don't you tell me when you have an orgasm?
She said...I would, but you're never there.
ANOTHER COMPLAINT - DANCING TOO ROUGHLY WITH WOMEN AND LEADING MOVES
THE WOMEN DON'T KNOW.
(Editor's Note: Did you know complaints are not limited
to students? Instructors get to complain too.
Recently two ssqq instructors got fed up and had something to say
about one of our students.)
Rick, I am furious. Last night I was helping one of my beginning two step students at practice night and happened to notice that NAME WITHHELD (don't know last name but he has been at the studio longer than me) was leading one of my other beginning two step students in advanced moves. At the time, I was unsure that she was one of my students, so I did not interfere. I later confirmed with my assistant, that it was one of our students. However my assistant informed me it was worse than I thought. He was leading her in Ghost Town patterns and she left immediately after. I can only hope that the
woman student returns. This is not an isolated incident. This is a pattern of behavior with NAME WITHHELD.
Finally NAME WITHHELD has been busted.........I too have suffered at his rough dancing arms and too, way too quick dancing feet. I danced a polka with him one night where I thought I was actually going to die. It was the most uncomfortable dance I've ever had, and now no longer dance with him; I certainly won't give him another opportunity to hurt my arms and scare the living hell out of me again. I've seen him do this with beginners, advanced and super advanced; very capable women, the looks on their faces was utter disgust.
I think all instructors should make this announcement to be more careful as a part of dancing etiquette, that you don't lead someone who doesn't know what they are doing. The ladies, beginning or very capable advanced ones should drop their asses right in the middle of the dance floor and walk off when this is pulled on them.
(Editor's Note: Honestly, when I was fairly new to the dance game, I made every mistake in the book
when it came to dancing with women. I was definitely rough and tough
- My errors included dancing too roughly and leading moves too tough for some of my lady partners. Thank goodness I finally figured it out.
Interestingly enough, I learned my lesson the time I was forced to
dance the lady's part in class for the first time. I couldn't
believe how rough the men were!! There really is something to
be said about walking in someone else's shoe.
I decided to put what I learned into words so others who were just getting started might avoid some of my mistakes. I highly recommend my article titled "Advice to Men"
After you read this article, I think you will understand why gentlemen are called gentle men.)
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VOLUNTEERS NEED TO HAVE A CARD
SSQQ is blessed to have many students who give of their time and energy to come to the studio on a regular basis and volunteer for classes.
The only problem is that our studio has become so large that we need to keep better track of everyone.
Starting in March all volunteers will be given a card on their first night and will be expected to present it to gain entry to the studio.
AND THATS A WRAP FOR THIS ISSUE
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!
One more thing. In case you were wondering, this issue of the SSQQ
Newsletter is equivalent in length to 25 pages.
Rick Archer SSQQ Dance Studio
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