Tazered Travolta

Turns out our resident columnist also enjoys throwing shapes on the dancefloor. You should see him do the fandango. Very, very frightening

Illustration: Sean Coen

If you’ve ever seen a sperm whale tear the face off a seal while being simultaneously pleasured by a confused octopus, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how I look when I’m dancing. It’s more despair than Astaire; more Nurofen than Nureyev. I’m going to tell you about my favourite dancing moment, which is as pointless as a panda recounting his favourite orgy, but stay with me.

Do you remember Daft Punk before they became wedding buffet beige? When they were a super techno spaceship and not a rusted milk float? Their debut album reduced a zillion record needles to an exhausted nub. I caught them DJing at Manchester’s Bugged Out, which sounds like disco for pest exterminators, but was actually one of the most bang-on club nights of the 90s.

Picture the scene. Everyone was sponked off their Y-fronts on idiot pills. A dancefloor full of shirtless gurners glistened like butcher’s window ham. Young scenesters stroked their barely pubic beards. Huddled corner lurkers rolled curious cigarettes. Braids, curtains, faded denim, someone reading the first Harry Potter book or whatever the heck you had in 1997, I dunno.

The beats hit as hard as a belly flopping disco walrus and oh boy, I danced. Here is a list of moves I tried that night: dangerous macarena, hippo chic, crucifixion shuffle, tazered Travolta, surprise groin swing. As I was throwing shapes (squares, triangles, that complicated one called dodeca-something), a Frenchman shaped like a pepperpot approached me. This next bit is absolutely true. With all the hope of the world in his eyes, he placed his small hands on my torso. The Frenchman then rolled me like dough while declaring in a guttural Parisian accent: “Wide boy! Wiide boooy!”. He actually rolled me. Now, he wasn’t wrong. You could indeed call me a “wide boy”. I’ve also been called a planet-sized twazmuppet and a tuneless tribute to burger-Elvis.

But no matter how much you knead me, I’m not going to turn into focaccia.

As the guy sloped off and the scuffed acid of ‘Da Funk’ filled our ears, I’d learnt something new. Something important. Despite the hefty blur of mangled flesh that leaves fellow clubbers cowering in the cloakroom, my dancing was now internationally notable. My surprise groin swing had won the day. I am whale, I am seal, I am octopus. I am Wide Boy, the malleable monster of movement. Now watch me pirouette. Duck!

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