TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE: THE SSQQ CRUISE TO MARDI GRAS AND COZUMEL!!
SSQQ has scheduled a 7 Day Cruise to visit the 2004 New Orleans' Mardi Gras. We will sail aboard Royal Caribbean's beautiful Rhapsody of the Seas. We leave Sunday, February 22nd, and return on Sunday, February 29th.
Since we first wrote about this trip a month ago, we have filled half our space. Recently we acquired a leader for our group - MG Anseman and his lovely wife Gay have joined us.
This is great news! First of all, MG is a native of Louisiana. Not only does he speak the language, he is a grizzled veteran of several Mardi Gras trips. MG has relatives in New Orleans who take Mardi Gras seriously. He might even have connections to special events. At the minimum MG knows the city like the back of his hand and says he will be happy to be our Guide to the Wild Side.
MG is the owner of collections agency. They do a lot of check processing for large companies as well. Although MG might injure me for letting out a little secret, I know that before he became a prosperous business owner, in his younger days he worked as a bouncer at a club. And from what I gather he mixed it up with unruly patrons a time or two. Now MG is the kind guy I want leading our group!! I'll follow him wherever he wants to go.
I fully admit how much safer I feel having MG there to lead us into trouble we can handle and to help us avoid stuff we can't handle and being smart enough to know the difference!!
Count on reaching New Orleans Monday evening in time for a wild night of dancing on Bourbon Street. Then after a little rest, on Tuesday we hit the peak of Mardi Gras during the legendary Fat Tuesday, the day of Parades, revelry, and legalized insanity.
We will remain in New Orleans Wednesday till 6 pm, then it is off to the sparkling warm waters in beautiful Cozumel. While others shiver stateside in the middle of winter, our group will work on getting great suntans at the famous Chankanaab Beach.
This exciting trip promises to be the experience of a lifetime!
SSQQ NOW HAS THE LOWEST PRICE IN TOWN BUT YOU BETTER HURRY!!
(check out to see who is already going to Mardi Gras:
As I write this month's Newsletter, the SSQQ Mardi Gras prices are now significantly lower than anyone else in town (or the country for that matter). For example, over at Vacations to Go, the Houston-based travel agency that sponsored the first three SSQQ cruises back in 1998, 2000, and 2001, the prices listed for this trip are $44 per person HIGHER for an Oceanview Cabin and $34 per person HIGHER for an Inside Cabin.
These numbers are surprising since we have found that Vacations to Go prices are usually among the lowest in town.
Now that SSQQ has the lowest price for this high-demand trip, we have already begun to note some odd developments. This past week we had three people from California sign up for the trip through SSQQ. They were searching the Internet and discovered we not only had space available, but our prices beat everyone. They couldn't wait to sign up! We have had several out-of-town inquiries since, but have held off making a commitment to any other outsiders to give SSQQ students one more week to climb onboard this trip.
Consequently we will reserve the remaining 25 spots for SSQQ at these current prices for one week. Then on Friday, October 3, we will allow the price of this trip to rise to its current market value.
Therefore, if you have any desire to go - we realize thinking four months ahead of time is an incredible task for single people - YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR MOVE NOW!
It costs you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to make a reservation. If you decide not to go, then you can get your entire deposit refunded as long as you ask for it before December 13th.
REPEAT: You know the game - after you make your deposit, you then have till December 13th to completely make up your mind (December 13th is the last day you are entitled to a full refund of your $250).
BUT YOU MUST PLUNK DOWN $250 NOW TO RESERVE THE RIGHT TO GIVE YOURSELF TWO MORE MONTHS TO MAKE UP YOUR MIND.
THIS TRIP IS A SUREFIRE HIT. THE MARDI GRAS IN NEW ORLEANS IS AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE. YOU WILL HAVE A BLAST! THEREFORE PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL OR EMAIL US TODAY.
Check out the ssqq web site for the price, to see who is going, and further promotional information -
PHONE: 713 862 4428 (Marla Gorzynski)
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THE OCTOBER SCHEDULE OF SSQQ DANCE CLASSES.
The October Dance Semester begins the week of Sunday, September 28th.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE OCTOBER 2003 SCHEDULE
BALLROOM FOXTROT will be offered on Sundays in October with Judy Archer. Foxtrot is the Uptown cousin of the Texas Twostep - they both have similar timing & patterns. Foxtrot is the epitome of Fred Astaire and Formal Dance. In this course you will learn all the variations off the Box Step, Twinkles, Parallels & much more!
An INTERMEDIATE LEVEL of the legendary Disco partner dance LATIN HUSTLE will be taught by Jack Benard on Sundays in October. This course has proven to be a very popular listing.
SWING CHARLESTON with Maureen Brunetti is one of the flashiest, most popular Swing courses in studio history. Swing Charleston patterns are eye-catching, heart-pumping fun. Swing Charleston will be offered for only ONE MONTH, so don't miss it!
BEGINNING WESTERN WALTZ, the Western dance of Romance, will be offered on Sundays at 7 pm with Judy Archer. Offered in time to get you ready for Christmas dancing and New Year's Parties, Western Waltz is exceptionally beautiful and marvelous fun to dance.
NIGHT ON THE TOWN covers 3 famous Ballroom dances that share almost identical footwork - Foxtrot, Waltz, and Rumba - which allows you to basically learn 3 dances at once!! Taught by Charlene on Mondays, it will feature Sinatra Foxtrots, Irish Waltzes, & smooth Jazz Rumba music.
Jill Banta will offer a special course in Latin Dance called "SOME LIKE IT HOT" on Tuesdays in October.
October brings us INTERMEDIATE WESTERN CHA CHA with Sharon Crawford on Wednesdays. Cha Cha is the famous Latin dance that works surprisingly well to slow Western Polkas with a romantic Latin feel to them (e.g. "Neon Moon").
GHOST TOWN 11 will be offered on Fridays with Brian White. As you might gather, this particular Ghost Town level is pretty tough and no doubt Brian will have some Halloween Nightmare patterns to frighten you into dance paralysis...
BEGINNING NIGHT CLUB will be offered on Fridays with Anita Williams. This lovely dance is popular at the Western Clubs as an option used to the slow-tempo ballads such as Faith Hill's "Breathe".
TO REGISTER FOR UPCOMING CLASSES ON-LINE
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THE SSQQ 4TH SATURDAY DANCE PARTY IN SEPTEMBER
THE SSQQ WESTERN DUDE RANCH DANCE
Saturday, September 27th, 9:15 - Midnight, Cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES 7-9 pm
TEXAS TWOSTEP - Ben
TWOSTEP CIRCLE TURNS - Amanda
BEG NIGHT CLUB SLOW DANCE - Anita
INT/ADV NIGHT CLUB SLOW DANCE - Susie Merrill
TEJANO DANCING - Linda
BEG WESTERN WALTZ - Karen
SPECIAL WESTERN WALTZ REVIEW - Sharon
Music: Western, Waltz in Room 1, Whip, WCS in Room 4, and East Coast Swing in Room 6.
SUSIE MERRILL WILL RETURN TO VISIT AT THE SEPTEMBER DUDE RANCH PARTY
Susie Merrill is a longtime SSQQ Instructor who retired after 15 years of teaching from the studio earlier this year in January 2003.
Susie started at SSQQ in 1988 about the same time as Sharon Crawford (1987) and Ben Liles (1988). Judy Archer came along in 1989. I remember Susie many experiences here at the studio, but she is best-known for two things in particular - her love of the dance known as "Night Club Twostep" and as the talented coach of the world champion dance team Heartbeat which trained here at SSQQ.
Susie took Night Club Twostep, a dance that basically very few Houstonians had ever heard of, and made it a very popular dance here at SSQQ. Night Club is used to very slow Western Ballads. With footwork similar to a variety of different dances - Rumba, Salsa, Cumbia, Waltz to name a few - Night Club is a unique dance that matches very lovely dance patterns to very slow and beautiful music. Once Night Club Twostep became an important part of the Western dance competitions, Susie decided her team needed to master this dance in order to perform Night Club at Worlds. At the same time that she mastered every move she could find to this complex dance, Susie decided the entire studio might enjoy learning the dance besides just her team members.
Although the dance had been introduced at SSQQ years earlier, it had never quite caught on. Susie single-handedly inspired so many people to take Night Club that she eventually offered FOUR levels of a dance that had never even existed before!! Susie's Night Club program was an amazing success.
Even more amazing was Susie's coaching work with the love of her life, the Heartbeat Dance Team. Susie started Heartbeat in 1997. Many current SSQQ instructors were on Susie's team at one time or another including Anita Williams, Ben Liles, Ann Bush, Brian White, Mo Hendrix, Jill Banta, Christine Sandel, Martin Anderson, Gloria Sanchez, and Susan Waring. As you can see from this impressive list of names, Susie's Heartbeat legacy remains strong today. This team stuck together for five and a half years and matured into an amazing group of performers. Their crowning achievement was winning First Place in the international competition known as the UCWDC World Championships in early January 2003.
Unfortunately all this success came at a price. In addition to her "real job", Susie must have put in 5 days a week and 15-20 hours a week coaching Heartbeat. Susie is so talented, so determined, and so energetic that she pulled it off, but a serious illness suffered by her husband Bill Merrill was the straw that broke the camel's back. The stress of the Heartbeat Team and the stress of Bill's mysterious problems was just too much for her. After Heartbeat won the championship, Susie decided it was time to go off and heal for a while so she retired from her dance teaching duties here at the studio.
Then more problems developed - as Houston's economy hit a rough spot, Susie lost her job. Unable to find work here in Houston, Susie spent time at her lake house up in Longview, Texas (in East Texas due east from Dallas near the Arkansas border). She found that the high school there needed a science teacher. Teaching and Science are two Susie's favorite passions so she accepted the position and made her move to Longview a semi-permanent one.
Last August as I though about the September Schedule, I noticed it was time for the Dude Ranch Dance Party again. This party was originally created as a combination tribute and loving spoof to Susie's longtime friend Sharon Crawford. They will always be linked in my mind together. I wondered if Susie would be interested in coming back for this popular event so I asked her to teach a Night Club class. To my pleasant surprise, she enthusiastically said "Yes".
I know many of you will enjoy welcoming Susie back on Saturday, September 27, as she teaches an Intermediate Night Club pattern the first hour and an Advanced pattern the second hour.
For further information on the history of Susie Merrill, click here:
THE STORY BEHIND SHARON CRAWFORD'S DUDE RANCH WESTERN PARTY
Every September SSQQ has a Dude Ranch Western Party. The idea is to dress to the nines in Western wear. Most people do not realize that Sharon Crawford was the inspiration for this party.
Sharon is a very sharp Western dresser. Back in the 90s, Sharon and her friend Patrick Steerman competing in Western Dance Competitions on a regular basis. As a result, Sharon acquired several beautiful and very expensive Western costumes for to perform in. The problem was that Sharon would wear the costume once, then 'retire' it so she wasn't seen in the same old costume at each competition.
These gorgeous outfits just sat in her closet at home taking up space and collecting dust. This bothered Sharon a lot. One day she complained to me about all these beautiful outfits taking up room in her closet. With complete seriousness she stated what a shame it was she never got any opportunities to wear them. What a waste!
Well, this gave me the idea to have a Dude Ranch Party in honor of Sharon Crawford. The idea would be for everyone to "overdress" at the party. Whoever wished to dress flashy and fashionable could do so without having to feel self-conscious. They shouldn't hesitate to take a fashion risk. Indeed anyone who showed up wearing simply blue jeans and a white shirt... the long-time standard for Western dancers...would be ignored as not worthy. I assumed this would make Sharon happy because now she would have the PERFECT opportunity to wear one of her elegant outfits. Wrong ! Sharon was miserable. And she made me miserable as well. Sharon simply could not make up her mind which outfit to wear.
Sharon went nuts with indecision. She had at least 7 outfits that were gorgeous! What was she going to do? Which one to wear? Each day she changed her mind. She worried about it constantly. Finally she asked my advice. I recommended she wear all of them! I said she could wear one dress for a while, go change, wear another one for a while, go change, and so on. Sharon thought this was a brilliant idea!
A party in her honor where she could wear all her different outfits. What more could a girl ask for?
I am sorry to say that despite my good intentions this idea backfired. Sharon indeed ended up wearing all her outfits, but what we didn't anticipate was all the time it took to take one off, hang it up properly, and put another one on. Other than a spectacular Western Waltz performance with her friend Patrick, Sharon was nowhere to be seen as she spent practically the entire night changing clothes.
Apparently Sharon's elaborate competition dresses took a lot of time to put on and take off. She would come out of the bathroom just long enough for me to take her picture with Patrick, then run right back in and change again.
People kept coming up to me asking where Sharon was. They had heard about her beautiful dresses. Frustrated by standing outside the restroom practically all night with my camera, I flippantly said, "Sharon is changing; if you want to see the dresses, why not go in the restroom and check out her latest dress?"
I had no idea this suggestion would backfire as badly as it did. Women kept going in and out of the restroom all night long. There was an endless parade of well-wishers visiting with Sharon in the restroom which of course slowed things down even more. There was a line at the door! People would clap as she would make an entrance from the Ladies Room. Sharon would quickly pose with Patrick, I would snap her picture, and then she would race right back in. For this one night Sharon was the without a doubt the best dressed Western woman in SSQQ history, but it was really not as much fun as she thought it would be. Due to her inability to choose her favorite outfits, she spent nearly the entire evening changing clothes.
The irony is that we held a party in Sharon's honor and unless you could visit her in the restroom, you hardly saw her. What's the point of being glamorous if no one can see you? Sharon was frustrated before the party started and even more frustrated after it was over!
In recent years due to the enormous popularity of Sharon's annual Western Waltz class in the summer, her students have asked her to hold a special Western Waltz Review Class befroe the Dude Ranch Party. As a result, many of Sharon's students will be in attendance at the party and you will get to see some of the most beautiful Waltz dancing imaginable. This will be quite a treat!
For further information about the adventures of Sharon Crawford, click here:
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|THE SSQQ 2ND SATURDAY PARTY
MOONDANCE SWING, LATIN, AND BALLROOM PARTY!!
Saturday, October 11th, 9:15 - Midnight, Cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES 7-9 pm
ZYDECO - Ronnie
TEJANO - Linda
BALLROOM WALTZ - Amanda
ARGENTINE TANGO - Don
SALSA DIPS AND LUNGES (CPLS) - Judy
STEVE'S FAV SWING PTNS - Steve
Music: Swing in Room 1, Tango, Waltz, and Foxtrot in Room 4, Salsa in Room 6.
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|THE SSQQ 4TH SATURDAY PARTY
THE SSQQ HALLOWEEN PARTY IS AROUND THE CORNER!
Saturday, October 25, starting at 9 pm - 1 am. Cover Charge $12
You better wear a costume!! Last year in 2002 we had an awesome 7-foot Frankenstein waiting for you in the Haunted House. We haven't fed him since last year. This year he has been instructed to eat the first guest attempting to enter without a costume. This way he gets fed and we don't have to give a refund either.
Obviously we will have quite a bit to say about this party in next month's Newsletter, but for now why not review some of the pictures from last year's 2002 party:
THE SSQQ HALLOWEEN MONSTER TRIVIA CONTEST - USE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF HORROR MOVIES TO WIN A FREE PASS TO THE INFAMOUS SSQQ HALLOWEEN PARTY!
Many of you wasted your youth watching too much TV and too many movies. Now as an aging adult, you may regret terribly all those hours down the drain where you could have been writing a famous novel or studying more to get the grades that would put you into the graduate school of your dreams.
Now - finally after all these years - comes an opportunity to have something, anything to show for your terribly misguided and misspent youth. You can take the SSQQ Halloween Monster Trivia Contest. Try to identify 40 pictures from the famous and not so famous horror movies of the past 70 years. For every Frankenstein and Dracula, there will be a few pictures so completely obscure that only people who have a history of watching useless, long-forgotten movies have any chance of winning! In other words, Slackers have the best chance! You could be the one!
(PS- Previous Participants Prohibited From Winning. And if you have played before, SSQQ Scout's Honor Not to Help Anyone! Let's have a level playing field. This is a Major Contest after all!!)
And will Chris O'Rourke make a
comeback at this year's party as the incredible half-naked Cowboy??
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RESULTS OF THE SEPTEMBER LOGIC PUZZLE RESULTS -
THE DANCING COUPLES!
The September Logic Puzzle was the most popular logic puzzle in SSQQ History. We set a new record with twelve winners!!
One of the neat aspects of the puzzle was that an SSQQ student - Susan Arevalo - created the puzzle herself and gave me permission to publish it. Rumor has it that Susan is so smart she can understand and explain an SSQQ Ghost Town syllabus. Lately even our instructors have been seen asking her questions. Now that is SMART because as all of you know we put our GT syllabi in an incomprehensible code so tough even super computers have no chance!
And now here are the name of our brilliant dozen puzzle solvers for September. Nice work, everyone!!
1. Marlies Whitmoyer (Two months in a row!! Her Brain is back!)
2. Jeff and Connie Woodman (Third month in a row)
3. Christina Montalvo (first time winner)
4. Sabriena Watts (first time winner)
5. Mara Rivas (The Brain Robber wins for the third month in a row!)
6. Robby Thompson (Third month in a row)
7. Ryan Borelo (Second time winner)
8. Marla Gorzynski (A first time winner!!)
9. Elicia Anderson (First time winner!)
10. James McCormick (First time winner!)
11. Jackie Chang (First time winner!)
12. Ann Faget (She won in July, but took a month off)
13. PLUS Susan Arevalo (Honorable Mention winner!!)
I am especially pleased to note Marlies Whitmoyer is back as a Logic Puzzle solver for the second month in a row. Her success with the September Puzzle marked the fourth SSQQ Logic Puzzle she has successfully solved this year. This total puts her in second place behind Mara Rivas who leads with six.
Obviously Marlies is a very smart young lady, but long-time readers of the SSQQ Newsletter have heard me speculate before that both Mara and Marlies have the most curious brain lapses. First Mara went nuts (read all about it in the June Newsletter).
Then last month Marlies appeared to go nuts as well (read all about it in the September Newsletter).
Now as we approach October, I am still worried that Marlies is not herself.
Last month I told a story about one of the stupidest jokes of all time (it was told to me by Sandy Lenardoozy):
"This blonde guy shows his neighbor two incredibly dangerous looking German Shepherds that he has just bought for home security. He says they are his new dogs.
The neighbor asked what he named them.
"Timex and Rolex".
"Why on earth did you name them that?"
"Well, duh, isn't it obvious? They're watch dogs!! Do I have to explain everything?"
I retold this joke to Marlies - who happens to be blonde herself - the next night. Judging from her smile, Marlies liked it a lot. In fact now that I think about it she was the only one who laughed. A couple days later I received the following email from her:
From: Whitmoyer, Marlies M
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 2:14 PM
Subject: Watchdog joke
Rick, Would you be a sweetie, like I know you are, and email me that horrible joke you told about the Watchdogs named Rolex and Timex... I've tried to repeat it (shhhh.. don't tell anybody), but everybody just looks at me in a very odd way. I think I must be saying it wrong. Could you pretty please email it to me?
Thank you, Marlies"
As I said last month, I was deeply worried about Marlies. First, why on earth would anyone ever want to hear a joke that bad a second time? Second, how on earth could you forget a joke that simple-minded?
Now for the second month in a row I am still deeply worried about Marlies. Read this email:
From: Whitmoyer, Marlies M
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 8:53 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: A Terrific Blonde Joke : )
"A guy took his blonde girlfriend to her first football game. They had great seats right behind the bench.
After the game, he asked her how she liked the experience.
"Oh, I really liked it," she said, "especially the really tight pants and all of the big muscles, but I just couldn't understand why they were killing each other for 25 cents!"
Dumbfounded, her date asked, "What on earth do you mean?"
"Well, I saw them flip a coin, and one team got it, and then for the rest of the game, all they kept screaming was, ..... "Get the Quarter back!" "Get the Quarter back!"
Now that you have read this joke that Marlies sent me, aren't you a
little worried about her too??
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AND NOW FOR THE OCTOBER SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE - THE
Difficulty Level: Not Hard.
On one side of a very unusual street named Terror Avenue, there are five very rundown haunted houses which are painted (in no particular order) Banshee Black, Halloween Orange, Bloody Mary Red, Graveyard Gray, and Moonlight White.
Now the owners of these houses are Frankenstein, Dracula, Witch, Ghost, and Psycho. Their occupations in no particular order are Horror Film Actor, Undertaker, Psychotherapist, Assassin, and Obituary Writer.
The first two people to answer the puzzle get the 2003 Halloween Party for free and the next ten people to answer the puzzle correctly get a free Practice Night in October!!
Plus we will tell the world how smart you are in the next Newsletter! Send in your answers immediately! Oh boy.
Ready, Set, Go!!
THE SSQQ SIDEWALK BISTRO - FURTHER
Just for the record, as we wrap up September, amazingly all four chairs, all four bushes, and the table are still
there after three full months. Unfortunately I over-watered one
of the bushes which almost died. Oh well.
And for the third month in a row
I even saw some people sitting there! As I mentioned in the
August Newsletter, on Wednesday, July 30, Gary Thorpe, Michael Tucker, and Susan Arevalo were seen actually sitting at the Bistro after Practice Night.
At the time I was stunned to see this neglected area actually getting some us.
Then to my surprise on Wednesday, August 27, as I left the studio, I
was surprised to see the same three sitting there again. As I
got in my car, I also noticed out of the corner of my eye that they
were all leaving. The moment I left, so did they the exact instant
they thought my back was turned.
It was then I realized that they were just sitting there hoping to
be mentioned in the Newsletter again. Some people will do ANYTHING
for publicity. Now Isn't that sad?
Well, guess what... as I left the studio last night to my
shock there were three more people sitting at the Bistro...
Cathy Stevens, John Winn, and yes, Gary Thorpe,
for the THIRD MONTH IN A ROW.
Now get this, Gary actually showed up at the studio at 10:15
pm. Why on earth would he come this far just for 15
minutes of dance practice?
You know the answer and I know the answer - Gary knows that I
write the Newsletter each month the day after the final
Wednesday. He is so greedy for PUBLICITY he will do almost
anything. Tsk. He drove all this way just to get his name in
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THE ANCIENT SSQQ - RADIO SHACK FEUD IS OVER.
When SSQQ first opened its doors at our Bissonnet address in 1980, the Radio Shack store next to us was in its heyday. I used to buy all the SSQQ music equipment and VCRs and anything else imaginable at the place. SSQQ and the Bissonnet Radio Shack were best friends back in those days.
Unfortunately in 1990s the relationship soured badly due to two developments. This was the time when our studio grew in leaps and bounds, especially during the 90s Swing Era followed soon after by the Salsa Revolution. As a consequence, the studio's demand for parking increased exponentially.
Our students developed a bad habit of parking right in front of every business in the Bissonnet Shopping Center. Businesses like Charlie's Barbeque and Radio Shack which were still open at 7 pm had their livelihood threatened due to lack of any convenient parking.
I put up one sign after another trying to encourage students to avoid parking in those spots, but it was pretty useless. Either the students who needed to read the signs didn't know how to read or simply preferred to ignore the notices. Oddly, these people did a better job of avoiding the spots in front of Charlie's. Maybe it had something to do with the Towing Signs in front of the diner, a threat which has never been exercised in twenty years to my knowledge.
But Radio Shack was different. Our students loved to park in front of this store!!
About the same time, the Radio Shack got a new manager named Dick. He was an ex-Marine tough guy with a crew cut and a scowl to match. I think he was one of the meanest human beings I have ever encountered.
One night Dick walked right into my class and demanded I find the owner of such and such car and have it moved from in front of his store immediately. Thirty students in my class stared in slack-jawed incredulity as the man screamed at me. Taken off guard, I submitted to his request while I seethed at the embarrassment. After ten minutes of going from one room to the other, we found the "culprit" on a second visit to the room. The man had dodged the confession on the first visit to the room, but on the second try realized it was hopeless! He was terribly embarrassed. From what I was told, he got in his car, drove off and left. I don't blame him.
This stunt happened two more times. The second and third time Dick sent some hapless underling to deliver the message instead.
After the third time, I had had enough. I told my assistant to teach my class. Then I left my class and followed the minion back to Radio Shack. I told Dick in no uncertain terms that I wasn't going to have my class interrupted again. I said I had put up signs to the best of my ability, but didn't intend to sit on the curb in front of his store begging my students not to park there. They had a legal right to park there if they wanted to, a fact I had already confirmed with the building owner.
I told Dick to quit being so helpless - all he had to do was put a sign out just like Charlie's did and the problem would go away. Then I said the next time he entered my building, I was calling the Bellaire Police. I had developed a serious dislike for this man.
Dick lost it. He wasn't used to people standing up to him. He started cursing me like I have not been cursed in my life. He threatened me physically. He told me to get the hell out of his store and not to come back. Believe me, not a problem.
This ended his visits to the studio and my visits to his store permanently. But a new phase soon developed - each time Dick saw someone park in front of Radio Shack then head down the sidewalk toward SSQQ, he would run out of the store, track the hapless person down, and order them to move their car. This was a very effective technique.
Word spread quickly. SSQQ students not only avoided the parking spots, they avoided Radio Shack itself like the plague.
Eventually Dick left, but the era of bad will lingered on with the SSQQ students. They were unaware he was gone and stayed as far away from the place as possible.
One year ago we were decorating for the 2002 Halloween Party. Frankenstein had just made his grand entrance into the SSQQ Haunted House and we needed some batteries to watch his huge hand tremble. Judy Archer and I were desperate with anticipation to see Franky in action.
I knew Radio Shack next door had what I needed. But I hated Radio Shack. Judy chided me to go get some batteries, but after the humiliation I had suffered I was reluctant to ever shop there again. I figured Dick wasn't there any more since I hadn't seen him in ages cussing anyone out but I still hated the place.
And this was a shame. Until Dick came along, I had always liked Radio Shack. As you might imagine over the years SSQQ was a frequent customer. The studio frequently needed many Radio Shack products such as batteries, speaker wire, extension cords, wire cutters, VCR and computer cables, videotapes, timers, clocks, flashlights, you name it.
Judy insisted we needed the Batteries NOW. At first I was going to send Diane Murrell, but finally I swallowed my pride and walked down the sidewalk myself. I decided to pay them a visit partly because I was curious to find out who had replaced Dick.
That is when I met a delightful woman named Pat who was very eager to help me find things. As she rung up my order, I casually asked who the new manager was. I secretly kept looking over my shoulder in case Psycho Dick was on the premises with a knife. I wasn't completely sure the rumor that he had left was correct.
Pat smiled at me and said that she herself was the new manager. I was deeply embarrassed as I realized how guilty I was of sexism. I never dreamed that the technology-oriented Radio Shack would hire a woman to run their store!!
Fortunately Pat did not seem to be offended. Pat was the polar opposite of Dick. Where Dick used anger and intimidation, Pat was warm, cordial, and helpful. I liked Pat so much I even invited her to come see the studio. She walked down with me to visit with Frankenstein, see the Haunted House, and gaze in amazement at all the Halloween decorations. She was surprised to see how big the studio was. Casual observers usually have no idea how large the studio is just looking at it from the street.
And that was how I made a new friend.
Fast-forward one year. Last week, Pat pulled me aside when I went inside Radio Shack to buy a stop watch (which I use for counting the beats per minute to a song). She told me how happy she was that our students were starting to visit her store on a regular basis. Apparently our new generation of students is blissfully unaware of the deep animosity that had once existed. Lately they seemed more than happy to visit her store.
I was pleased to hear the news, but at the same time flabbergasted at the total absence of rancor over the continued parking problem. I asked Pat why she wasn't angry about the ssqq cars parked in front of her store.
Pat laughed and said she couldn't care less. I was really curious now. Couldn't care less?
I asked her how she handled the parking problem. She said her late-night customers had learned to double-park behind the parked ssqq cars. After all, no one ever came back for their cars till 9 pm, so who cares??
She was just glad that the SSQQ Grudge finally seemed to have vanished and thanked me. I was embarrassed at her thanks. After all, I hadn't done anything to deserve any thanks.
But now that she had thanked me, I decided to say something in the Newsletter about this gifted woman and the excellent job she does managing the Radio Shack next door.
Give Radio Shack a visit sometime and tell them I suggested it. I would appreciate sending as much good will in their direction as possible.
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
sent in by our students which we will eventually add to the immortal collection. But
first you get to preview them!
By the way, getting a joke selected isn't very easy since we have been collecting jokes for so long and it's tough to find a new one. Nevertheless we greatly appreciate any jokes you would like to submit. Send them to Rick Archer at
MANAGEMENT AT ITS BEST
Contributed by Pat Roberts
A company, feeling it was time for a shakeup, hires a new CEO. This new boss is determined to rid the company of all slackers. First he made some key lay-offs with some under-producing management. Soon after he decided to make a surprise visit and check up on his staff.
Walking though the plant, he felt the hairs on the back of his neck bristle as he noticed a young man leaning lazily against a post. Noticing the slovenly appearance of the young man and the obvious lack of any interest in what was going on around him, the CEO took an instant dislike. The long hair, the tattoos, and the young man's earring further served to irritate this new boss.
The CEO walked over and got right in the kid's face. "Young man, just how much are you being paid a week?" said the CEO angrily.
"Three hundred bucks," replied the young man.
At this the CEO smiled to himself. Considering the incentives in his contract for raising productivity, this kind of money was chicken feed to him. On the other hand, making an example of this pond slug would go a long way towards establishing his reputation as one smart tough son of a bitch.
With an inner smile, but an outward show of fury, the manager spoke loudly to draw attention. "Okay, boy, that's it, this is the last time you get paid for sitting on your lazy ass!!" he barks.
With that everyone stopped to watch. Taking out a fold of bills from his wallet, the CEO counted out $300, slapped the money into the boy's hands, and said "Here's a week's pay -- now get the hell out of here and don't come back, you bum!!!" With that he added an unnecessary shove to the kid towards the door.
The boy, obviously stunned, somehow stumbled to attention then turned heel and ran out the door.
Satisfied with his performance, the manager turned to one of the supervisors nearby and asked, "How long has that lazy bum been working here anyway?"
"He doesn't work here, sir," said the supervisor. "He was here to deliver a pizza for the going away party of the manager you just fired!"
DISORDER IN COURT
Contributed by Bett Sundermeyer
These are from a book called Disorder in the Court, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters - who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.
Some of these are excellent - don't miss the last one!
Q: Are you sexually active?
A: No, I just lie there..
Q: What is your date of birth?
A: July fifteenth.
Q: What year?
A: Every year.
Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
A: I forget..
Q: You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten?
Q: How old is your son, the one living with you?
A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
Q: How long has he lived with you?
A: Forty-five years.
Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?
A: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
Q: And why did that upset you?
A: My name is Susan.
Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo or the occult?
A: We both do.
A: We do.
Q: You do?
A: Yes, voodoo.
Q: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?
Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?
Q: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
Q: And what may I ask were you doing at that time?
Q: She had three children, right?
Q: How many were boys?
Q: Were there any girls?
Q: How was your first marriage terminated?
A: By death.
Q: And by whose death was it terminated?
Q: Can you describe the individual?
A: He was about medium height and had a beard.
Q: Was this a male or a female?
Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.
Q: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.
Q: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
Q: Did you check for breathing?
Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.
THE PARKING TICKET
Contributed by Jim Harper
I went to the store the other day, and I was in there for only about 5 minutes. When I came out there was a motorcycle cop writing a parking ticket.
So I went up to him and said, "Come on, buddy, how about giving a guy a break?"
He ignored me and continued writing the ticket.
I didn't like his attitude so I called him a pencil-necked Nazi. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for worn tires!
So I called him a poor excuse for a human being. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket!
This went on for about 20 minutes. Now the windshield wipers held tickets two and three deep. And I just couldn't hold my tongue.
The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote. I didn't care.
After all, my car was parked around the corner.
THE PET DUCK
Contributed by Steven Ferguson
There was a single guy living downtown who had a pet duck.
He had a little harness and took his duck for a walk each after work .
One rainy day, as he was walking his duck, he noticed the movie "Basic Instinct" playing at the dollar show across the street and decided he would watch it since it was just starting and he had never seen it. When he went to buy his ticket, the cashier asked what he intended to do about the duck.
"Oh, he's no problem. He sits quietly beside me at home and we watch TV for hours."
"Nope - can't take the duck in the theater."
"But...what do I do with him then?"
"Take him out back and tie him up with the rest of the pets" the cashier instructed.
The guy goes around back and starts to tie the leash to a bicycle rack and decides this won't do. Something will happen to the duck. So he tucks the duck under his raincoat, buys his ticket and finds a seat. The well-trained duck is perfectly quiet and soon decides to nap.
A married couple came in late and the wife takes a seat next to the guy with the napping duck. During one of the steamy scenes between Douglas and Stone, the wife nodded over to her husband and whispered, "Honey
"What, what is it?" he replied, annoyed that his wife was disturbing him right then.
"It's this man over here..."
"What about about him?" the husband replied, even more annoyed.
"He's got his... his THING out - that's what!" she hissed at him.
"Big deal - just ignore it. Some guys just get a little carried away during..." he replied with his eyes still glued to the screen.
"OH YEAH - well this guy's thing is eating my popcorn!"
Contributed by Pat Roberts
True story from Sweden some might enjoy...
After 17 years of marriage, a man dumped his wife for a younger woman. The downtown luxury apartment was in his name, & he wanted to remain there w/his new love, so he asked the wife to move out & then he would buy her another place.
The wife agreed to this, but asked that she be given 3 days on her own there to pack up her things. While he was gone, the 1st day she lovingly put her personal belongings into boxes & crates & suitcases. On the 2nd day, she had the movers come & collect her things. On the 3rd day, she sat down for the last time at their candlelit dining table, soft music playing in the background, & feasted on a pound of shrimp & a bottle of Chardonnay.
When she had finished, she went into each room & deposited a few of the resulting shrimp shells into the hollow of the curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen & left.
The husband came back, w/his new girl, & all was bliss for the first few days.Then it started; slowly, but surely. Clueless, the man could not explain why the place smelled so bad. They tried everything; cleaned & mopped & aired the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents, carpets were steam cleaned & air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in, the carpets were replaced & on it went. Finally, they could take it no more & decided to move. The moving company arrived & did a very professional packing job, taking everything to their new home ... Including the curtain rods!
THE STRANGE WONDROUS SOUND OF THE MONKS!
Contributed by Gary Richardson
A man's car broke down as he was driving past a beautiful, old monastery.
He walked up the drive and knocked on the front door of the monastery. A monk answered, listened to the man's story and graciously invited him to spend the night.
The monks fed the man and led him to a tiny chamber in which to sleep. The man thanked the monks and slept serenely until he was awakened by a strange sound.
The next morning, as the monks repaired his car, he asked about the sound that woke him. The monks said, "We're sorry. We can't tell you about the sound. You're not a monk." The man was disappointed, but eager to be gone, so he thanked the monks for their kindness and went on his way. During quiet moments afterward, the man pondered the source of the alluring sound.
Several years later, the man was driving in the same area.
He stopped at the monastery on a whim and asked admittance.
He explained to the monks that he had so enjoyed his previous stay, he wondered if he might be permitted to spend another night under their peaceful roof. The monks agreed and the man stayed.
Late that night, he heard the sound.
The next morning, he begged the monks to explain the sound. The monks said, "We're sorry. We can't tell you about the sound. You're not a monk."
By now, the man's curiosity had turned to obsession. He decided to give up everything and become a monk if that was the only way to learn about the sound. He informed the monks of his decision and began the long and arduous task of becoming a monk.
Seventeen years later, the man was finally established as a true member of the order. When the celebration ended, he humbly went to the leader of the order and asked to be told the source of the sound.
Silently, the old monk led the new monk to a huge wooden door. He opened the door with a golden key. That door swung open to reveal a second door of silver, then a third of gold and so on until they had passed through twelve doors, each more magnificent than the last. The new monk's face was awash with tears of joy as he finally beheld the wondrous source of the mysterious sound he had heard so many years before.
(Go to bottom of page for what it was!)
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IF YOU HAVE COMPUTER SPELLCHECK, BETTER TURN IT OFF FOR A WHILE
Contributed by first by Phyllis Porter (and a dozen more people after her!)
"Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a wrod dosen't mttaer, the olny thnig thta's iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat ltteer of eevry word is in the crorcet ptoision. The rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet."
(Editor's Note: This one lit my computer screen up with a sea of squiggly red as the automatic computer spelling program recoiled in horror. We suppose this little article makes about as much sense as the rest of the Newsletter, yes?)
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VOCABULARY WORD OF THE MONTH WITH JANE DOWNS -
KERFUFFLE (ker·fuf·fle, kr fϊff'l, noun, UK.
A noisy disturbance or commotion
(Early 19th century. Origin uncertain: perhaps from Gaelic car "twist" + Scots fuffle "fuss.")
Example: "The young man caused quite a kerfuffle on the crowded bus as he pushed people aside in his frantic haste to exit before the door closed."
(Editor's Note: I have a confession to make. The lovely Jane Downs hasn't actually contributed a new Vocabulary Word in many a month. Recently I have been publishing some of her greatest hits since she used to send me three and four words a month and I would pick one. But alas I haven't heard from her in ages. If any other Newsletter readers would like to submit a word or if Jane would like to resume her previous vocation, please do!! Send your bizarre or unusual word to Rick Archer at
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SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE -
LINDA MALIN AND BILL HOLDEN ANNOUNCE THEIR ENGAGEMENT!
Linda Malin and Bill Holden recently signed up for the SSQQ Mardi Gras. Although I have few details, I believe Marla Gorzynski and Linda talked on the phone one day and Linda mentioned the engagement. That is the Sum Total of what I know so far!
Linda Malin and her friend Deborah Orf have been taking primarily Swing classes at SSQQ for several years. These two ladies were practically the first people to sign up for the 2002 Summer Rhapsody Cruise and roomed together. Linda saved me one day by loaning me her Swing CDS. My laptop computer was disabled by a Daiquiri that fell on it. There went the SSQQ music I had brought along for the trip!
Fortunately Linda had plenty of CDs that would work in my boombox, so we used her music for the Swing Rueda classes and the Swing Jams late at night.
This past summer Linda and Bill went on the 2003 Jubilee Trip with us. You can see their picture at
Bill will probably kill me for telling you to go see their picture because he isn't exactly smiling! Maybe he will forgive me if he knows it was the only picture I had of the two of them.
Thursday, September 24
Email Note from Linda Malin:
You are correct - Bill and I are engaged.
I don't know if you were aware that we met at SSQQ and have been dating for a year. We have been engaged since mid-July, however we ordered my ring from Ireland and decided that we would not tell anyone until the ring arrived.
The ring is an "Irish Wedding Ring" and it came with a little write-up about the "Claddagh Ring"
The Claddagh Emblem is a unique and distinctive Irish love symbol.
Its origin dates back to 1690. The first Claddagh Emblem was used in a ring made by Thomas Meade. Richard Joyce, a well-known Galway goldsmith popularized the design through his manufacture of the Claddagh Ring in the early seventeen hundreds. The symbols of hearts, hands and crown signify in turn love, friendship and loyalty. They were kept as heirlooms which were passed on by the mother to the first married daughter on her wedding day.
We have not set a date but we are thinking the fall of 2004
(Editor's Note: Best wishes to both and more details to follow! For those of you who are counting, this makes 3 weddings and
12 engagements so far this year for the SSQQ community. RA)
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SSQQ'S KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR: MAC THE KNIFE TAKES ON THE LEGENDARY LONGHORN JACKASS!!
Stories of the Legendary Longhorn Jackass began to filter in on a regular basis back in 2000. Since then LJ sightings have become pretty frequent although I don't publish all the stories I hear about this guy. Even though the Longhorn closed last year, his legend continues. Apparently like the rest of the studio he moved over to Wild West as well.
One woman managed to get a photo of the guy. First she asked her husband to go stand next to him. While she pretended to photograph her husband, she got a scary picture of LJ instead.
And to read some of the stories about LL Cool J (Legendary Longhorn Cool Jackass), click here:
Email Sent to Rick Archer
Mon 09/08/2003 10:35 AM
"Hey Rick, just in case you're still interested in Longhorn Jackass stories:
I had an interesting verbal exchange with the Longhorn Jackass last Sunday at the Wild West on Richmond. By coincidence, I was momentarily within approximately 5 feet of Mr. LJ in the Men's room. Mac Riley, on his way out of the room at the time, said hello to Mr. LJ in a manner that I thought was rather friendly. I figured they must know each other.
After Mac had walked away, the Jackass looked over to me and even though I have never met this gentleman before, he proceeded to explain to me what a bad person Mac was, using the most vulgar terminology possible.
After listening to his rant, I asked him what Mac had done to him that was so bad, and Mr. LJ said that Mac always "dances with my dates." I found this interesting that Mr. LJ considers a woman who has agreed to a dance to be his "date."
But more importantly, Mac has a habit of rescuing women from these "dates" they didn't know they had agreed to. I spoke with Mac later that evening and told him that he was a very good man to do what he does. I also noticed that Mr. LJ didn't seem to hang around very long in the presence of Mac Riley."
Rick Archer's reply:
"Is this the same Mac who amuses himself by taking ssqq Halloween pictures to Wild West and showing them to various people?
Are you saying that Mac goes out of his way to dance w/ Cool LJ's victims afterwards as perhaps a way to warn them to avoid LJ?? Is he basically rescuing these women or simply explaining what the score is to the victims afterwards?
I will reprint the story in the newsletter, but I need to understand just what Mac is up to. I also prefer to avoid using your name. Gotta protect my sources!!
The most important point is to warn all women about this predator. And it is interesting to receive such revealing news about a strange man as LJ. He is beginning to sound like a very disturbed man."
Mon 09/08/2003 10:35 AM
Sorry about the delay in writing back, I've been out of town.
You are right that the Mac I'm referring to is the one that has been known to bring his own Halloween pictures to parties.
He rescues women from the LJ by actually "cutting-in" on the dance floor. This practice is what seems to have gotten the LJ so upset. Mac also apparently warns women both before and after they have been groped by the LJ on the dance floor.
It is rather comical that while Mac sees himself as a White Knight rescuing the princess, the LJ sees Mac as a competing predator. There is no telling what the women think, but I'm sure it's got to be pretty amusing to anyone watching."
(Editor's Note: I have to hand it to Mac. He has a lot of guts to take on a potential wacko like LJ. Maybe this year Mac will come to the SSQQ Halloween Party dressed as a Knight in Shining Armor. Or I suppose he could just come dressed as himself. RA)
2002 DARWIN AWARDS
Contributed by Judy Walsh
It's that time again . . . . . They are finally out . You all know about the Darwin Awards - It's an annual honor given to the ones who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way.
Last year's winner was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled over on top of him as he was attempting to tip a free soda out of it.
The nominees for this year are:
A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply, because he had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk. Not surprisingly, this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. This resulting explosion and fire burned his house down, killing both him and his sister.
A 34-year-old white male found dead in the basement of his home died of suffocation, according to police. He was approximately 6'2" tall and weighed 225 pounds. He was wearing a pleated skirt, white bra, black and white saddle shoes, and a woman's wig. It appeared that he was trying to create a schoolgirl's uniform look. He was also wearing a military gas mask that had the filter canister removed and a rubber hose attached in its place. The other end of the hose was connected to a one end of a hollow wooden tube approx. 12" long and 3" in diameter. The tube's other end was inserted into his rectum for reasons unknown, and was the cause of his suffocation. Police found the task of explaining the circumstances of his death to his family very awkward.
Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. It appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.
A 27-year-old French woman lost control of her car on a highway near Marseilles and crashed into a tree, seriously injuring her passenger and killing herself. As a commonplace road accident, this would not have qualified for a Darwin nomination, were it not for the fact that the driver's attention had been distracted by her Tamagotchi key ring, which had started urgently beeping for food as she drove along. In an attempt to press the correct buttons to save the Tamagotchi's life, the woman lost her own.
A 22-year-old Reston, Virginia man was found dead after he tried to use some octopus rubber cord sets to bungee jump off a 70-foot railroad trestle. Fairfax County police said Eric
Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park, jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was found nearby. "The length of the cord that he had assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the ground," Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was "major trauma."
A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend - no doubt a future Darwin Awards candidate - was hospitalized.
Employees in a medium sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building extinguishing all potential sources of ignition; lights, power, etc. After the building had been evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked. Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving an object that resembled a cigarette lighter. Upon operation of the lighter-like object, the gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician suspected of causing the blast had never been thought of as 'bright' by his peers.
And the winner . .. .
The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal embedded into the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of a curve. The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene. The lab finally figured out what it was and what had happened. It seems that a guy had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet Assisted Take Off - actually a solid fuel rocket) that is used to give heavy military transport planes an extra "push" for taking off from short airfields. He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert and found a long and straight stretch of road. Then he attached the JATO unit to his car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the
JATO! The facts as best as could be determined are that the operator of the 1967 Impala hit the JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3 miles From the crash site. This was established by the prominent scorched and melted asphalt at that location. The
JATO, if operating properly, would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at full power for an additional 20-25 seconds. The driver, and soon to be pilot, most likely would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for dog fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, causing him to become insignificant for the remainder of the event. However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles 15-20 seconds) before the Driver applied and completely melted the brakes, blowing the tyres and leaving thick rubber marks on the road surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock. Most of the driver's remains were not recoverable; however, small fragments of bone, teeth and hair were extracted from the crater and fingernail and bone shards were removed from a piece of debris believed to be a portion of the steering wheel. It has been calculated that this moron attained a ground speed of approximately 420 mph.
The latest nominee for this year's Darwin Award (awarded to people for incredible feats of stupidity) goes to.... (from the Orlando Sentinel) Based on a bet by the other members of his threesome, Everitt Sanchez tried to wash his own "balls" in a ball washer at the local golf course. Proving once again that beer and testosterone are a bad mix, Sanchez managed straddle the ball washer and dangle his scrotum in the machine. Much to his dismay, one of his buddies upped the ante by spinning the crank on the machine with Sanchez's scrotum in place, thus wedging them solidly in the mechanism. Sanchez, who immediately passed his threshold of pain, collapsed and tumbled from his perch. Unfortunately for Sanchez, the height of the ball washed was more than a foot higher off the ground than his testicles are in a normal stance, and the scrotum was the weakest link. Sanchez's scrotum was ripped open during the fall, and one testicle was plucked from him forever and remained in the ball washer, while the other testicle was compressed and flattened as it was pulled between the housing of the washer, and the rotating machinery inside. To add insult to injury, Sanchez broke a new $300 driver that he had just purchased from the pro shop, and was using to balance himself. Sanchez was rushed to the hospital for surgery, and the remaining threesome was asked to leave the course.
(Editor's Note: You wanna know something? As amusing as these fairy tales are to read, I don't believe any of these events really happened. If any of you readers have a real job with unsupervised Internet access and want to waste an entire afternoon while getting paid for it, why not provide a legitimate public service and find out if any of these stories are on the level. Email your findings to Rick Archer at
If you get fired, I promise to give you a free practice night next month for your trouble.)
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WHAT WOMEN WANT FROM MEN!
Written by Gail Arias
This is a survey taken from 500 women ages 25 through 45 years old, single and married. When a woman knows the pleasure of dancing in the arms of a man, it is next to impossible to settle for anything less, unless he has some incredibly exciting career in which they can experience unlimited financial freedom together or he is unbelievable in bed or both! Yes, it is true in the order of importance according to our survey. Dance, Financial Success then Sex. Of all the women surveyed not one said she did not enjoy dancing in the arms of a man. To top it off, if he knew how to dance really well then sex was the best she had ever experienced! All women agreed sex is best when both man and woman are in love! In fact 90% of the women said they could tell what kind of a lover a man would be by the way he danced with her and they could tell his level of sincerity towards her by observing the way he danced with other women. Either he is a player, shy, inhibited or uninhibited, aggressive or passive.
Women love a man who has a certain level of refinement. A man who is masculine but who also enjoys the arts as well. A man who is interested in becoming more than just his job. Seeking more out of life than just eat, sleep and work.
Music and dancing touches women in a very profound and unique way. It "Stirs the Soul" and can enable her to let the every day problems of life seem less significant and help unlock the playful and sensuous side of one's personality. What could be better than sharing that with a special man!
Women said that the old dinner and a movie routine for a date has become so boring. First of all standing in line on a Friday night with hundreds of strangers is not real fun after a long day at work or after driving the kids to and from school and soccer practice. Eating high calorie junk food and sitting for 1 1/2 hours in a dark theater without conversation is of course not helping the figure any and not what most women want to do on a date unless they are UNDER 20 years old and have nothing to talk about. Women do like to get dressed up and looking their best when out on a date. Women love to be complimented by their date and on their appearance. After all, there is always something nice a man can say that is complimentary about a woman at any age.
The ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE is dancing with a man and being romanced in a sincere way, getting to know that man on and off the dance floor and being courted where the sexual pressure is off! Eventually revealing deeper feelings for one another and it is MUTUAL and then becoming intimate! This is the ULTIMATE DANCE DREAM come true!
A smart man learns how to dance because he knows that is where all the women are, out dancing! A lucky man meets a fabulous woman while out dancing who loves him and admires him. A smart and lucky man recognizes a good woman when he finds her and continues to nourish the relationship with dance and romance!
TEN QUALITIES WOMEN LOOK FOR IN A MAN! (On and off the dance floor)
1. Good Leader on the dance floor who stays on the music.
2. Neat, clean appearance and well groomed.
3. Confident, self assured. Direct eye contact.
4. Stable career, financial security.
5. Sense of humor, quick witted, intelligent.
6. Well mannered i.e.; opens the door, introduces you to his friends, good table manners etc.
7. Physically fit, keeping weight under control.
8. Interested in what you have to say, a good listener.
9. Good in bed.
Of all the women surveyed, all enjoyed compliments on their appearance, dancing ability, intelligence and cooking abilities. Of course only if they do know how to cook. Women also said they knew if a man was giving insincere flattery, it is like a sixth sense women have. So men beware, only sincere flattery please!
TEN QUALITIES WOMEN DO NOT LIKE IN MEN:
1. Men who can't lead and blame it on the woman.
2. Bad breath or body odor.
3. Cheap cologne.
4. Cocky attitude, think they are "God's gift" to women.
5. Lewd conduct on and off the dance floor.
6. Men who wear clothing that went out of style 10-20 years ago.
7. Cheap toupees. Invest in an expensive one or just go au' natural.
8. Smokers and heavy drinkers.
9. Unemployed loser types. They can dance but don't have a job, house, or money.
10. Dumb Guys.
95% of the women said they would put up with all the negative qualities (with exception to numbers 2, 5, and 8) if the man was a very good dancer.
If men only knew what a powerful aphrodisiac dancing is for women, every man in the world would learn how. Up until now it has been the best kept secret on the dating scene. Try it and see for yourself.
(Editor's Note: This article was emailed to me a couple years ago. I saved it, but forgot who sent it. Recently I ran across it in my document file while looking for something else. I thought it was a very interesting article. However I cannot attest to the validity of the survey. Make up your own mind. )
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SSQQ COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH I -
UNFAIR TO CHARGE $5 TO FORMER STUDENTS AT PRACTICE NIGHT
Red Angeli to Rick Archer: "I'm not being "egged" by anything except the fact that you are charging everybody because of something that happened between you and one other person, period, case closed."
The following exchange of emails below deals with Rick Archer's decision back in April to charge outsiders $5 to come to SSQQ Practice Night while students currently taking classes only $3.
Red was angry from the start back in April. He didn't like this move one bit and decided to say so.
Unfortunately the man is terribly naοve. He overlooks the fact that history is filled with examples of why honest people have to suffer tremendous indignities due to the stupidity or evil of a few people.
As an example, in today's airports people are constantly forced to submit to long lines, invasive questions, and embarrassing body searches.
Why? 9-11. Now on a daily basis millions of people have their time and patience wasted because a few men were so evil the rest of us have to suffer. Need I say more?
The problems at SSQQ are not remotely as serious as the threat of terrorism, but even in this microcosm of life, I can show how every policy at SSQQ was made because some fool did something so stupid and so unexpected that I was forced to make up a rule to deal with it.
There was a time when we didn't have Hall Monitors. Then one day in 2000 we discovered that some students were taking free Salsa classes. We found out because they bragged about it to others who then turned around and told Judy Archer and I about it. The Hall Monitor system soon formed.
In 1999 we found out that the Houston Swing Dance Society was sending people to our classes and to Practice Night to collect email lists which were then used to solicit our students to take Swing classes elsewhere. We had to prohibit taking email addresses at the studio.
Salsa Eddy used the same email trick this year.
In 2001 a man named Dula practically screamed brutality when a Hall Monitor refused him admittance to the studio. He didn't have a class receipt and his name was not on a written roster, but he insisted he had paid. This incident was so distasteful that we decided to move to a computerized registration system for more accuracy in our record-keeping. That move cost us over $20,000.
These are just the obvious examples. Now Red Angeli is mad at me for raising Practice Night prices $2 in reaction to the unscrupulous business practices of his amigo Salsa Ed.
I think the guy is barking up the wrong tree.
Go ahead, decide for yourself who's right and who's wrong. Here is the story:
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH - NO FAIR CHARGING OUTSIDERS 2 EXTRA DOLLARS FOR PRACTICE NIGHT!
From: Red Angeli
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 2:52 PM
Subject: You still don't get it
I know I should ignore this "PRACTICE PARTY PRICE HIKE FLAP, BAD SALSA EDDY DEYNES,PARANOID MONEY GRUBBING RICK ARCHER THING' but I am going to attempt to put this whole ludicrous episode into some kind of impossible perspective. If you cared enough to find out you would see that none of us cares about the $2.00 rate hike one way or the other but rather the way in which it was implemented. The passing out of business cards by a rival dance studio was an act most of us were unaware of, "us" being SSQQ alumni who have forked over more than marginal cash for your wonderful service. I was in Big Bend National Park during "The Incident." (600 miles away and I can assure you I have no discernable long range psychic powers). If as Eddy (ok so I'm on a first name basis with him, big deal!) said, he did not know about the business card debacle, he definitely should have known. But as to one of your supporters writing about Eddy as a selfish, arrogant person, I've not seen that part of the man.
Why would he advertise yours and everybody else's dance events on his web site? The result could have been an increase in your business and a loss to his. Back to the practice rate hike: we are now going to Tropicana on Tuesday's. A six dollar cover gets you a free lesson, current salsa music(no Barry White or "Hot,Hot,Hot!), and an occupancy from 9:00 till 2:00.Now I'm not meaning to belittle the benefits of SSQQ on Tuesdays and Thursdays, particularly the smoke free environment and the complimentary refreshments.
But to group those of us who frequented your establishment during the first two years of the 21st century with people who walk in off the street makes us wonder. I may be naive but I don't believe in "BAD SALSA EDDY" or "OGRE RICK ARCHER" nor would I nominate either one of you for canonization. Some- where in between you will find two real and decent people who could have made fortunes doing something else but love to dance and have brought many people into that joyous fold. As the late Bob Hope would have said: "Thanks for the memories!!!" Think maybe we can make some more?"
From: Rick Archer [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 3:29 PM
To: Red Angeli Subject:
RE: You still don't get it
"Red, I read every word you said and you are absolutely right, I don't get it.
I had a guy with slimy business ethics muscling in on my operation. I took steps to defend my turf and you seem to have a problem with that.
What do you expect me to do with someone I don't trust, hug him?
His actions are that of an enemy. He attacked me and I fought back.
The email you refer to was legitimate. I didn't make up one word of it.
I couldn't care less how much you like Salsa Eddy, take a look at his actions. They tell the real story of the man.
Why are you chewing me out?"
From: Red Angeli
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 4:30 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: You still don't get it
Well, your e-mail really is confusing. You didn't address anything I addressed but rather fabricated whole new avenues of miscommunication. I didn't chew you out; I even complimented you. I didn't say anything about how much I liked Salsa Eddy and do not even patronize his establishment as I once did yours. Believe me when I tell you that this confirms what I always believed from the getgo: You wanted to drive us all away and you've gotten your wish. You win and I won't try to mend fences again. You obviously see it as a weakness.
From: Rick Archer [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 6:22 PM
To: Red Angeli
Subject: RE: You still don't get it
"Believe me when I tell you that this confirms what I always believed from the getgo: You wanted to drive us all away and you've gotten your wish"
That is total nonsense, Red. Let's refresh your memory.
In case you don't recall, here is a copy of my last words to you that I sent in an email to your friend Claire regarding the rise in practice night prices 5 MONTHS AGO:
Fri 04/04/2003 12:31 PM
I like Red and I enjoy his participation at the studio. The same goes for you.
SSQQ is currently 'at war' with another Salsa studio that has attacked us. They think unethical behavior such as coming to our studio and recruiting our students during practice night is acceptable. This has been going on for several months. We asked the owner of their studio not to do this, but after promising not to, his cronies have continued this behavior behind our backs.
Are you aware that last Tuesday someone placed business cards for this studio on over 50 cars in our parking lot during practice night? I have all 50 in my possession if you don't believe me.
Are you aware that we have learned of two huge email lists that have been collected behind our backs (and against our rules)? I have one of them in my possession and evidence of the other in an email sent to me.
Are you aware a student has come forward to say he was personally approached on ssqq premises by someone who suggested he take salsa lessons elsewhere?
When you realize we have uncovered all this evidence without even trying, you begin to wonder how much we missed as well.
When we asked them politely to stop, they promised to do so, they continued anyway. Now we are forced to take tougher measures. Would you have acted any differently?
While our 'war' clearly does not even begin to amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, in a larger sense, some of our former students such as Red must have gotten their feelings hurt by our defensive measures because they did not understand the reasons behind it.
Please explain the problem to Red. Print this email out and bring it with you - the next Practice Night for both of you will be free and I will give him a card which allows him to attend Practice Night for the same price as everyone else.
As for 'free practice night for life', a noble sentiment, but I think $3 is a fair price. It costs real money to furnish the drinks, popcorn, run the air-conditioner, and clean the floors. I assure you our profit margin per person is about 25 cents.
That said, I hope you will both reconsider."
Red, I still have no idea what is egging you today.
From: Red Angeli
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 6:51 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: You still don't get it
For Claire and I, thanks, but I cannot ignore the rest of my friends, peers and contemporaries. Besides, I'm not looking for special treatment. I'm not "being egged" by anything except the fact that you are charging everybody because of something between you and one other person, period, case closed.
EMAIL SIX - FINAL EMAIL
From: Rick Archer [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2003 5:58 PM
To: Red Angeli
Subject: RE: You still don't get it
"I'm not being egged by anything except the fact that you are charging everybody because of something between you and one other person, period, case closed."
That is exactly right, Red, I am charging outsiders more money to come and practice at the studio than my own customers due specifically to the slimy business tactics of your friend Eddie Deynes.
Let us review the facts. I make absolutely no money off practice night at $3. I break even.
Let's figure this out, Red. Electricity. Air-Conditioners. Air-Conditioning repair expenses. Floors. Floor Maintenance. Cleaning People. Rent for the building. Computers to play the music. Free wine. Free beer. Free sodas. Free popcorn. At three bucks, I break even.
So you have a beef because current customers of SSQQ are given a discount to practice "At Cost" while I attempt to make a $2 profit off people who take lessons elsewhere and like to come over to the studio and hustle. Rarely did these people come to dance; the majority of Eddie's crowd came to exploit us in whatever way they could because it was cheap and easy to so.
You accused me of wishing to drive away ex-students. Nothing is further from the truth. You are always welcome here. You are just angry with the 2 Bucks. So to spite us you pay $6 at the Tropicana and more for drinks and get a free dance lesson. You don't like it that you were punished when we were forced to take defensive measures to protect ourselves from people like your amigo Salsa Ed.
You say I don't get it, well, guess what, I don't think you get it either. I run a dance studio, not a club. We sell Dance Lessons.
What you don't understand is how long this has been in coming. Remembering the salsa heyday, we had people sneaking into our dance classes for free all over the place. This could be considered a form of shoplifting. As a result of this deceitful behavior, Hall monitors and checkpoints had to be put into place - at no small expense!!
Then during Practice Night some of the salsa people would enter the studio after we stopped collecting money, dance a couple songs, check out the chicks, and take some beer from the cooler and leave. I don't care whether you believe me or not. It happened several times a night.
So to fight this form of dishonesty, we now have our Staff watching the doors till closing. After we were forced to confront both Robert Primo and Eddy Deynes about recruiting students at practice night, we had to make further measures. As a result, we changed the cost of practice night for non-students, a move you have taken personally.
SSQQ is not in competition with the Tropicana or Wild West or anyone else. We make so little profit off Practice Night that if you want to go practice somewhere else, that is just fine with me. I am glad you are practicing!! Just don't cry to me that I am pushing you away because your position is ridiculous.
We hold Practice Night for the simple reason that people have jobs and can't stay out late most night. It is more convenient for them to simply stay and practice at the studio, especially during the week.
Considering the amount of trouble your buddy Ed and his cronies caused us, we got tired of the headaches. You are barking up the wrong tree, Red. The person you should point your finger at is Ed. Each time changes were made, they were in direct result of outside influences: someone taking advantage of SSQQ's open door policy. If anything, they should be ashamed of themselves for forcing us to take steps that were avoided for 25 years.
You are pointing your finger at the wrong person, Red.
(Editor's Note: If you care to comment, send your response to Rick Archer to
firstname.lastname@example.org . I promise to print all responses. Let me know if I need permission to use your name. I don't mind printing letters to the editor "anonymously". RA)
STORY EIGHT: A NEW SSQQ POLICY - SSQQ ALUMNI ARE NOW WELCOME TO ATTEND PRACTICE NIGHT FOR THE SAME PRICE AS EVERYONE ELSE WITH "CARD".
Effective Sunday, September 28, SSQQ Alumni will be able to attend any Practice Night for the same price as current students.
For the sum of $1 to defray printing costs, anyone who has taken 12 or more SSQQ one-month classes at any time during SSQQ's tenure of business can apply for a card that will permit the discount.
The simple way to get the card is to request it from Susan Schroeder during Registration hours (7 pm - 8 pm) or to ask Rick Archer or Judy Archer directly.
Please note if you took your classes before September 2001, then we will be unable to look your history up on the computer. Nevertheless ask Rick Archer anyway. It would be very difficult to take 20 classes at this studio and not have him remember you.
In case you gathered there might be a connection between Red Angeli's complaint and this new policy, you would be correct. Although I didn't appreciate much of his logic, I see his point that many former students feel "pushed away" and alienated from our premises.
Hopefully the advent of the new "SSQQ Alumni Card" will help soothe some of the hurt feelings.
THE OCTOBER JOKE
PAGE IS READY
Over the years, SSQQ has been
fortunate to receive many jokes sent to us by our Newsletter
readers. We have compiled them into our Monthly Joke Page. At
the end of the year, I will add the jokes that appear in our
"Best New Jokes" column into this monthly "Hall
of Fame" section. This way your jokes will become
Here are the best jokes of the past:
October CS 01: The Three Vampires - Bill Mayo
October CS 02: The Son in Law - Chris Holmes and Leslie Wagner
October CS 03: Aesop's Fable - Donna Ruth and Phil Spruell
October CS 04: The Law of Physics - Gary Richardson
October CS 05: The Mink Coat - Mike Gerstenberger
October CS 07: The Heart Surgeon and the Car Mechanic - Suzy Kish
October CS 08: The CIA - Pat Roberts
October CS 09: The Magician Dad - Mike Guillory
October CS 10: The Preacher's Donkey - Donna Mullen
October CS 11: The Blonde in the Blizzard - Anita Williams
October CS 12: The Cheese From Heaven - Judith Walsh
October CS 13: Cinderella at 75 - Lynn Griffiths
October CS 14: Winter at the Indian Reservation - Marlane Kayfes
October CS 15: The Dress - Gary Richardson
October CS 16: Holy Golf - Pat Roberts
October CS 17: Gone Fishin' Cajun style - Chris Holmes
October CS 18: The Traveler - Bett Sundermeyer
October CS 19: God Sends an Email - Chris Holmes
October CS 20: The Hillbilly and the Army - Marla Gorzynski
October CS 21: The Cherokee Chief - Gary Richardson
Here is a sample joke from the October collection. It is one of my all-time favorites!!
October CS 08: The CIA
Contributed by Pat Roberts
A few months ago, due to "occupational hazards", there were several openings with the CIA for new assassins. These highly classified positions are hard to fill. After recruiting a class of 20 applicants, sending them through lengthy background checks, training and testing them thoroughly, the CIA narrowed the possible choices down to 3 people who showed unusual promise.
The day came for the final test to see which of the three would qualify for this highly sensitive, extremely secretive job. The CIA men administering the test took the first candidate, a man, to a large metal door and handed him a gun. "We must know that you will follow your instructions no matter what the circumstances," the trainers explained. "Inside this room, you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill her."
The man got a shocked look on his face and said, "You people are nuts!! You can't be serious!!
I could never shoot my own wife!"
"Well", said one of the CIA men, "We understand, but you are not the right man for this job."
So they bring a second man to the same door and hand him a gun. Again they explained that this test was to see if he would follow instructions no matter what the circumstances. Then they handed him the gun and told him to go shoot his wife and kill her.
The second man looked a bit shocked, but nevertheless took the gun and went in the room. All was quiet for about 5 minutes, and then the door opened. The man came out of the room with tears in his eyes. "I tried to shoot her, but I just couldn't pull the trigger and shoot my wife. I guess I'm not the right man for the job."
"No," the CIA man replied, "We understand your position, but you don't have what it takes to do this job. Now take your wife and go home."
Now they are down to a final candidate, a woman. They lead her to the same door to the same room and hand her the same gun. They give her the same spiel. "We must be sure that you will follow instructions no matter what the circumstances. This is your final test. Inside you will find your husband sitting in a chair. Now take this gun and kill him."
The woman hesitates for a long time and looks at them with a frown. Finally she nods, takes the gun and opens the door. The door closes and the CIA men hear the gun start to fire. One shot after another explodes in their ears. Then suddenly they hear screams, crashing, breaking furniture, bodies banging on the walls, and cries of agony. Both CIA men look at each other in astonishment
what the hell was going on in there? This went on for several minutes, and then all went quiet.
The door opened slowly. There stood the woman. Her clothes were torn, she was bleeding from multiple cuts, and she could barely stand up. She wiped the sweat from her brow and said, "It took me a while to figure out the gun was loaded with blanks so I had to kill him with my bare hands!!"
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THE SSQQ OCTOBER BLUE SIDE JOKES ARE READY!
(Editor's Note: The Blue Side Jokes are one of the great secrets of the SSQQ web site. Anyone who is on the SSQQ Registration List is welcome to have access. This means if you get the Newsletter, you are invited to visit the dirty jokes page.
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.
October BS 01: The Harmonica - Debbie Awad
October BS 02: The Good Samaritan - Mike Gerstenberger
October BS 03: Hooked on Ebonics - Gary Richardson
October BS 04: Three Wishes - Chris Holmes
October BS 05: The Country Dance - Gary Richardson
October BS 06: First Date - Patty Jones
October BS 07: The Farmer's Wife - Debbie Awad /Mike Gerstenberger
October BS 08: Tickle Me Elmo - Donna Ruth
October BS 09: The Six Presidents - Kerry Pelham
October BS 10: Mother Knows - Dana Pattison
October BS 11: Hotel Robbery - Donna Ruth
October BS 12: Dangerous Diplomacy - Judy Walsh
October BS 13: Bug Man - Mike Gerstenberger
October BS 14: What Goes Around Comes Around - Mike Gerstenberger
October BS 15: The Disgrace - Robin Wagner
October BS 16: Shipwrecked - Mike Gerstenberger
October BS 17: Desert Island - Kendra Heath
October BS 18: Ski Trip - Donna Ruth
October BS 19: The Halloween Party - S Russell and P Brunkhorst
October BS 20: Halloween Happening - Judith Walsh
Here is a sample joke from the October Blue Side Collection. It too is one of my favorites!!
October BS 19: The Halloween Party
Submitted by Sharon Russell and Page Brunkhorst
A couple was invited to a swanky masked Halloween Party. The wife got a terrible headache and told her husband to go to the party alone. He, being a devoted husband, protested, but she argued and said she was going to take some aspirin and go to bed, and there was no need of his good time being spoiled by not going. So he took his costume and away he went.
The wife, after sleeping soundly for one hour, awakened without pain, and as it was still early, she decided to go to the party. In as much as her husband did not know what her costume was, she thought she would have some fun by watching her husband to see how he acted when she was not with him.
She joined the party and soon spotted her husband cavorting around on the dance floor, dancing with every nice chick he could, and copping a little feel here and a little kiss there. His wife sidled up to him and being a rather seductive babe herself, he left his partner high and dry and devoted his time to the new stuff that had just arrived.
She let him go as far as he wished; naturally, since he was her husband. Finally he whispered a little proposition in her ear and she agreed, so off they went to one of the cars and had a fast and furious bang.
After it was over, she got out of there as quickly as she possibly could. She had never been so disgusted in her life. Her husband who she had trusted so much acted like Conan, grunting and pawing and screaming at climax.
After she got home, she put the costume away and got into bed, wondering exactly what kind of explanation he would make for his behavior. She was sitting up reading when he came in and asked what kind of a time he had. He said, "Oh, the same old thing. You know I never have a good time when you're not there."
'Oh, sure', she thought to herself. Then she asked, "Did you dance much? And where's your costume?"
He replied, "I'll tell you, I never even danced one dance. When I got there, I met Pete, Bill Brown and some other guys, so we went into the den and played poker all evening. But I am a little embarrassed to tell you I don't have that Zorro outfit you got for me... that idiot Steve, you know, the guy you hate so much, showed up without a costume. When he saw I wasn't going to need mine, he begged me to give it to him. He took off with some tramp in a French Maid outfit and I never saw him again."
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THE SEPTEMBER JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH
BRINGING CIVILIZATION TO ITS KNEES
Contributed by Gary Richardson
This month's picture isn't very funny, but it is terribly clever and amazingly prophetic. It depicts the various scourges of civilization through time - the Barbarians, the Huns, the Vandals, etc, plus a very dangerous modern day threat to bring civilization to its knees.
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CONSCIOUS BREATHING SEMINAR WITH FRIEDA FOX SEPTEMBER 27 AND NOVEMBER 8
Please join me (Frieda), and share with others - a great opportunity to relax, renew, refresh, re-energize and more!
Conscious Breathing Sat. 9/27 - Intro 1:30; Class 2-4 pm
(Also mark your calendar for the next scheduled session, Sat. 11/8, 1:30-4 pm.)
September session is $20 if you register in advance or $30 at the door. In November the cost goes to $25 in advance or $35 at the door, but if you pay by 9/30 for the 11/8 class, the price remains $20.
Conscious Breathing allows you to connect with your aliveness and the joy of your conscious experience of life, through the profound simplicity of your own breath awareness. Conscious Breathing is a relaxed, intuitive, connected breathing rhythm that enhances health, frees the breath, gently clears stress and trauma from the physical, emotional and energy body, and supports clarity and youthfulness.
Frieda Hamilton Fox has been facilitating Conscious Breathing sessions and training practitioners for over 20 years.
Regular sessions of Conscious Breathing have cumulative positive value (new people welcome at any class). Join us Saturdays Sept 27 and/or Nov. 8, Intro 130-2 for those new or desiring to review intro to this gentle, relaxed, full easy breathing; Class 2-4 pm. Also consider individual sessions to explore and open your unique breathing rhythms and customize the benefits. Contact Frieda to schedule individual sessions or presentations / classes for groups.
Bring pillow and mat or blanket. If eating before attending, eat light to promote alertness during the session.
All events take place at NiaMovesHouston, 4040 Milam - please see map at
www.niamoves.org because the
street address is misleading. NiaMoves is actually located at the corner of Bute and Branard, 6 blocks east of Montrose, 2 blocks south of Alabama, on the third floor of the Fitness Exchange Bldg. Accessible from Hwy 59 (SW Fwy) - exit Richmond, Travis or Shepherd. EASY to find and ample free parking - call for specific directions if you like!
Flyers for both upcoming sessions are attached.
To register, please call Frieda at 713-649-3209 or reply to this email
(email@example.com ). Please make checks payable to NiaMoves.
Breathe easy - Frieda Fox
(Editor's Note: Frieda is the lovely wife of long-time SSQQ Tango and Whip Instructor Don Fox)
Contributed by Gary Richardson
Read all the way to the bottom
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CDL license Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines (indirect taxes)
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Hunting License Tax
Interest expense (tax on the money)
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Local Income Tax
Marriage License Tax
Real Estate Tax
Septic Permit Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road usage taxes (Truckers)
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road Toll Booth Taxes
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
Trailer registration tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
COMMENT: Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago. At that time our nation was the most prosperous in the world, had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What the hell happened?
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SSQQ EMPLOYEE OF MONTH AWARDS TO MARTY
AND ADELE RABER
Marty and Adele Raber completely rescued me from big trouble in September when they agreed to teach the Monday "Slow Dance and Romance" class.
The problem started back in July when I scheduled Charlene Tees to teach the class without either warning her or preparing her properly. Charlene has had extensive Ballroom training. Her students loved her Beginning Ballroom class so much in August that they begged me for an Intermediate level. Unfortunatey I wasn't able to honor their request because I didn't have a room available on short notice.
And I needed Charlene for the Slow Dance class. It had 45 people signed up for it!!
One day in early August I sent Charlene an email reminding her she had a Slow Dance Crash Course to teach. Charlene emailed me back to say this was a total surprise to her in that she didn't know about the Crash Course and that she had never taught Slow Dancing in her life. For that matter, she added, she didn't even enjoy Slow Dancing. Uh oh.
Remember the old saying, "Try it, you'll like it". Charlene gave it a try and reported to me it was the longest, most stressful night of her entire dance teaching career. To say she was miserable would be an understatement.
Before we go any farther with this story, let's not make Charlene the bad guy. There are dances I don't like either. Samba is one of them. I hate Samba. I don't personally care that much for Lindy Hop either. I would rather dance a Jitterbug to the same song. And I have zero desire to learn Argentine Tango. I much prefer American Tango. I am not interested in Shag - I like Whip and West Coast Swing better. And although I am interested in Night Club, I haven't taken the time to learn how to dance it yet. People have the right to have preferences and that includes dance teachers. I actually admire Charlene to have the guts to tell me up front this is simply not her cup of tea. As a manager, isn't it better to listen to the truth and accept it rather than bully people into doing something they don't want to do?
After all, the mistake was all mine - I assumed that since I enjoyed teaching Slow Dancing, everyone would enjoy teaching Slow Dancing. Consequently I never asked Charlene's permission in the first place. I assumed that since she wanted to teach Ballroom, this meant she would want to teach Slow Dancing. Charlene was skeptical from the get-go, gave it the college try, then came away even more convinced she didn't like teaching it. Therefore it was time for option number two.
Adele and Marty Raber have been assisting different people such as Marla Jennings, Jill Banta, and myself teach the SSQQ Slow Dance and Romance class for several years. Last November when I taught the course, Adele and Marty offered to help me again. It was then I realized they know as much as I do about the Lost Art of Formal Dancing.
The problem is that Adele and Marty are incredibly busy in their careers. They travel a lot plus they have a lot of social and business commitments that periodically conflict with teaching a dance class. They prefer "assisting" because they love the dancing and the music, but have trouble making all the classes. "Assisting" gives them the flexibility to miss class without having to feel guilty. They have turned me down a couple times on teaching slow dance crash courses because they were already committed elsewhere.
Knowing full-well their reservations about committing to teach, I bravely asked them to help out. Thank goodness they said yes.
In September they taught a huge class the basics of the Walking Slow Dance, the Rhythm Switch Slow Dance, Foxtrot, and even some Night Club too. Better yet, they said they would teach the same class in November on Sundays and an Intermediate level in December.
In the meantime Maureen Brunetti said she would love to learn how to teach Slow Dancing, so she will apprentice with Adele and Marty in November/December.
And as for Charlene, she has become one of the finest Whip/West Coast Swing instructors our studio has ever had. I am SO grateful she is with us. And I do admire her spunk.
And Thank you Adele and Marty for being willing to step in on such short notice and teach the Slow Dance and Romance class!
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DID YOU KNOW?? 20 QUESTIONS - THE SSQQ INFORMATION PAGE
The SSQQ Web Site has a question and answer section.
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. Parallel Classes
Plus 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
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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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THE STRANGE WONDROUS SOUND OF THE MONK
We're sorry. We can't tell you about the sound. You're not a
monk, are you!!