I’ve lived through some rather embarassing things, like wiping out and laying in a heap under my bike as a bus full of children creeps by…but that was a whole 5 days ago, and it doesn’t hold a candle to what I experienced last Friday night. A night that will go down in history as “The Zumba Debacle: Epic Fail!”
It started out like this: I am a Girl Scout co-leader. A job that makes me feel a certain kinship to Miss Hannigan, but I digress, and this year it fell to our first-grade troops to plan the yearly Mother-Daughter event. We brainstormed, we talked, we researched, we prayed (not really but I’m going for dramatic effect) and eventually came up with an idea so unique and fun that we were sure to make history! Oh, we succeeded; in a Mark David Chapman kind of way.
ZUMBA night! Everyone loves Zumba! Girls love to dance! Exercise is in!
First line of business; hire a Zumba instructor. After about a dozen phone calls to local gyms and personal contacts we came up empty handed. We had a lead, and it fell through. So we called a certain Zumba-only studio a little ways away and they said they’d ask around.
Then: HE called. HE would love to do it. HE had his own equipment. HE had been certified as an instructor for about 2 years. HE had lost over 100 pounds doing Zumba and loved it and couldn’t wait to share his passion with our Girl Scouts. We worried… we’ve never met him, will HE show up? Will HE be wearing yellow lycra biker shorts? Will HE be Richard Simmons? But HE answered all his texts in a kindly, timely manor; Yes it would be fun, yes his equipment and music was easy to bring along, yes he’d be there.
We showed up on location with our decorations and cupcakes and there HE was.
HE, dear friends, turned out to be Homer Simpson. Only a dirtier, homeless looking, variation. I was horror-stricken. HE was wearing dingy ill-fitting shorts, black socks, old sneakers, and a really grimy collared shirt. Could this really be a Zumba instructor? HE hasn’t shaved in days, or showered!! It couldn’t be worse… OH DEAR GOD, HE took his shirt off… it’s worse! HE is now wearing a stained, thread-bare t-shirt inside out, and his belly is hanging out of the bottom!! What can we do?!? Girls are showing up!
There was no time for a reaction. Girls Scouts and moms were arriving for their Zumba experience. It was like hiring entertainment for a child’s birthday party and then Al Bundy shows up wearing a clown nose. At this point we really are praying: praying that HE does know some Zumba moves!!
Guess what? HE doesn’t.
HE turned on his music and started doing a strange shuffling move, not to any particular beat or rhythm, mind you. HE had moves that were similar to how penguins move; right before they die…
I was in shock. What should we do? Play it off like this is what we planned all along? Rush the stage and chase him from the room? Start laughing and yell “APRIL FOOLS… in March…” I scan the room… and see… a bunch of little girls dancing and a room full of moms respectfully trying to follow along. I see women dancing along to these injured-walrus-dance moves and then, I LOSE it. This has to be a stunt for Candid Camera; I can not actually be living through this.
Then came the comments. Nothing mean or ugly. Oh no! It was better than that:
“So, where did you girls meet this guy?” Oh HE teaches Zumba to the stars. HE flew in from Hollywood for this event.
“I’ve never done Zumba before, I didn’t know what to expect.” Well now you know, it’s just like this. Always like this. Yup.
My favorite though, was the mom who was so cautiously trying to ignore the elephant in the room that she decided to just GUSH about the cupcakes, “These are so good, and so beautiful, where you get them?” Oh, you know, the Zumba instructor made them. It was a packaged deal. Oh, wait, I DID actually say that. How could I not. Her look of horror was worth it.
What did we learn? We learned that you really can’t drink enough beer to erase some memories.
We also learned that you can buy some musical equipment, a Zumba CD, and then hire yourself out as an instructor. America is all about opportunities and the entrepreneurial spirit you know. On that note, I am now for hire as a party planner. I’m pretty sure I’ll have time for it now that my Girl Scout leader impeachment is inevitable.
Just let me know if you’d like me to hook you up with some Zumba lessons.