by Fred Astaire
What kind of sickly little nellies are they allowing to compete on Dancing with the Stars this year? The past two weeks has been filled with bitching and moaning about oh, my flu. I’m filled with the flu. The flu has be down and I need to go home to sleep. BOO HOO! I’m sorry I’m a failure at life.
Back when I was on Dancing with the Stars, we didn’t cry about having the flu. We didn’t let our professionals take days off so they could sniffle under the covers while everyone else Two-Stepped their way to victory. When I was on Dancing with the Stars, we danced long and hard and until our feet were worn to the nubs and all we had left were bloody ankle stumps and then we taped them up and danced some more. I danced the jive with two broken femurs. I broke them dancing the jitterbug on the freeway at 3am while hopped up on speed pills and orange flavored Fanta. The cops tried to get me but I waltzed myself into the dark cloak of nightfall and hid in a tree until dawn, snacking on tree mites and larvae.
In my day, Dancing with the Stars was hardcore. There were no glitzy costumes tailored for us every week. Instead, we each shared a pair of extra small black trousers, size eight dancing shoes and 3/4 of a t-shirt, ripped in the great dance-off of such-and-such-a-year I can’t remember on account of all my dancing related concussions. That’s right, dancing concussions, most of which are from the Tango, but a few of which are the result of some non-sanctioned dance-ninja hybrid moves my pals Frankie, Nibs and I had been working on bringing out to the main stream. We coulda made some good names for ourselves until Nibs severed his windpipe when, after 17 straight hours of practice and total delirium, he thought we were doing gain access to the castle by befriending the enemy when we were supposed to be executing a regular Pat and Chris for the same-sex rhumba semi-finals in Manitoba. He thought I was getting frisky and he started a dance-karate slap fight that really got under my skin. In the heat of the moment, when he tried to get me with the hand claws from our angry tiger routine, I backed off and he whacked his own neck and blew out the old esophagus. He took some weeks to heal and eventually got back on the dance floor, but he was never the same and we all eventually realized that our moves were too forward-thinking for this type of dancesport.
Years ago, when I was dancing, there were no handsome and well-dressed judges and hosts, no Bruno, Len and CarrieAnne. It was just us and three retired mafioso from Soviet Russia who didn’t speak English or know what entertainment was aside from strippers, vodka and cabbage. I didn’t take long before my dance partner, Adele, decided to quit the floor and hang up her shoes for good. That’s about when I was at my lowest, performing dance-for-hire gigs in the red light district of Peoria just to pay my rent.
It would be many years before the stars of Hollywood would shine on this face, but shine they did and old Ginger and I danced the shit out of that place. We could have tapped the hell out of every one of those Dancing with the Stars professionals, including that Derrick Hough who thinks he’s sexy with his smooth hairless chest, but let me tell you something. If you’re going to dance, there is no time for waxing and shaving and sneezing and pussyfooting around. That wouldn’t have cut it on the studio lot when we were filming for 36 straight hours a day. There were no bathroom breaks or lunch breaks or dinner breaks. The only breaks we got were leg fractures from tapping the living daylights out of Puttin’ on the Ritz. You think that I did that healthy and in my prime, Derrick Hough? You think I was a spring chicken with my whole life ahead of me and no ailments to hold me back? THINK AGAIN! I had shingles, the trots and a burst appendix. I was half dead. They had to shoot me up with liquid cocaine for the last half of that number. It was all they could do to keep me on my feet and that’s how things went back in the day, when I was on Dancing with the Stars. And you know what? I was so fucking good that the only star was me, Mr. Fred God Damn Astaire. I could top spin and fish tail and kick ball change before you knew what hit you, motherfucker. That’s what happened back in my day.
All I see now are nothing but a bunch of whining, overpaid crybabies who got it so good, they can’t even manage to keep their shit together for three months at a time. And don’t even get me started on those “celebrities” they’ve got trotting around that dog and pony show. You coulda taken the stars of my day and put them on a dance floor and worked them so hard they’d pee the floor and keep on dancing, because they all learn after the first time they fuck up on the syncopated separation and get the caning of their life. Yeah, you heard me. That cane wasn’t a prop, it was a gentle reminder of what awaited if they missed that fallaway rock and swivel even one more time, Joan Crawford! Don’t you do it! Celebrities are like race horses if you train them right. They’ll run their little hearts out if you show them what’s coming. Look at Barbaro. He knew how a champion is made. Sure, he’s dead, but we all know his name. That’s how it should be.
That’s how it was back in my day.