June 2008
Home Up July 2008

There were two Newsletters in June

June Issue One
June Issue Two


Rick Archer's Note: There is a second June Newsletter.  If you would like a copy of it, sign up for the SSQQ Newsletter and I will forward you a copy.


Ulyses Rosas is offering the first Argentine Tango class taught at SSQQ in several years.
American Tango and Argentine Tango are similar, yet quite different.
One similarity is both dance systems can share the same music. Many of the motions are shared by both dances.
There seem to be two major differences between American Tango and Argentine. Whereas American Tango has preset patterns (memorized), Argentine Tango allows more flexibility. That is another way of saying Argentine Tango lends itself to making things up on the spot. This puts more pressure on the ability to lead and the ability to follow which explains why Argentine takes longer to learn.

The other difference is that while American Tango lends itself to traveling around the floor, the Argentine Tango seems quite comfortable with the man standing in one spot while the woman wraps her body around him in every imaginable way just short of crossing the line. This of course explains the rabid popularity of Argentine Tango to men.
This should be an interesting class to say the least. It starts Thursday, June 5.


ADVANCED TRIPLE TWO with Scott on Sundays at 430
SWING CHARLESTON II with Maureen on Sundays at 7
ACCELERATED FOXTROT II with Dakota on Sundays at 7
ADVANCED WESTERN WALTZ with Sharon on Wednesdays at 7
INTERMEDIATE BACHATA with Linda on Thursdays at 7
R&B TWOSTEPPIN' (aka SWINGOUT) with Willie on Saturdays at 430

BEG SALSA - Jamie & Theresa
SALSA DIPS AND LUNGES - Steve Gekas (couples only)

Colors for the evening are Red and Black.
Linda Cook is organizing a Salsa dance performance for the event. More information in the next Newsletter.


-----Original Message-----
From: Cher Longoria
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 9:03 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Texas Classic update

SSQQ made a good showing at the Texas Classic.

Susan Arevalo came in 3rdin her division.
Amanda Ulrich and Milt Oglesby scored high golds.
Katrina Canti (Anita Williams' niece) got a 1st place in two-step.
Joel and Ruth came in 1st.
Kimberly Schweinle came in 4th.
I came in 5th with a gold.

I can't think of any more ssqq students that competed, but there were several who came to cheer us on. Oh I almost forgot, Anita and Toby also did great. Toby got a gold graduate in west coast and golds in two-step and triple two.

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Ladell
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:24 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: texas classic

Hi Rick,

I wanted to fill you in on the Texas Classic this past weekend. Once again, SSQQ staff and students made a strong presence there this year. A lot of our students came out to watch the event and several competed and did very well. In particular:
Susan Arevalo competed with me in the very competitive Diamond Novice Pro-am category and placed third out of 10 people! For the second year in a row she placed 2nd in polka, and this year she placed 3rd in two-step and scored a gold w/ honors. She also placed 3rd in cha-cha and 5th in waltz! This is probably Susan's biggest win in the past 4 years she has competed!
SSQQ students Amanda Ulrich and Katrina Canti competed with me in the new Open Pre-Newcomer Pro-am category. They both scored golds in Triple-two step and Two-step respectively and both took 1st place! Amanda also competed with me in Hustle and also took first place with a Gold. This was the first time either of these ladies competed so I am very proud of how well they did.
Also SSQQ student Toby Blanchard competed with Anita Williams in both the Open and Crystal Novice Pro-am Divisions and did very well, in particular winning first place West Coast Swing and scoring a Gold Graduate! He also scored Gold with Honors in three other dances.
SSQQ Milton Oglesby competed with my Friday night assistant Allison Crunk in the Platinum Newcomer division and took first place with Golds in Two-step and West Coast Swing.
Joel and Ruth McCleskey took first place in the Open Division II couples division.
Cher Longoria placed 5th with a Gold score in the Diamond Novice swing category.
That's all I can remember right now, hope I didn't leave anyone out. But as you can see we have a lot to be proud of!
Thanks, Scott

(RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: SSQQ is best known for its emphasis on the "Social" part of social dancing. We stress partner dancing for the fun of it.
That said, some of our students are interested in the Competition end of social dancing. As you can see, these students usually do very well.
2008 marks the second year in a row that Scott's students have done extremely well at the Texas Classic. Here is last year's story:

If Competition Dancing appeals to you, contact SSQQ instructor Scott Ladell.
scottladell@gmail.com  )

We have finally filled our open Thursday Hall Monitor spot. But my guess is we will have more openings as our regular group take trips and honeymoons.
This is a great job for teenagers who are out of school this summer.
If you have a big lunk of a kid taking up space on the couch and would like to get rid of him or her for one evening a week, please contact Marla. Not only will we pay them to leave you alone, they can have all the popcorn they can eat.
You can email her at marla@ssqq.com

Andy Rooney wrote this for CBS 60 Minutes.
In case you missed it on 60 minutes, this article is for all you girls 40 years and over.... and for those who are turning 40, and for those who are scared of moving into their 40's...AND for guys who are scared of girls over 40!!!!

Andy Rooney says:
"As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why...
A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think. If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it's usually something more interesting.
Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.
Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk or if you are acting like one! You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.
Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 40+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress.
Ladies, I apologize for all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free".
Here's an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage!
So you ask why?
Because modern women realize it's not worth buying an entire Pig just to get a little sausage.

In our previous Newsletter, I wrote that Ann Al-Jazrawi and her husband Sam would be heading off to Europe late in May for an amazing two-month Odyssey across Europe.

Here is a Reprint from the previous Newsletter:
Ann is a vivacious blonde lady who has been in a couple of my Western classes. You might know Ann from her Swing classes or the aforementioned Western classes. Or perhaps you know one or both of Ann's lovely daughters - Gina Nelson and Joy Al-Jazrawi - who are quickly becoming talented Western Swing dancers.
Joy and Gina are my official bodyguards (inside joke). One night while they were on Protection Duty during Friday Night Western Practice, I was yapping about my upcoming Greece trip and how proud I was to finally get the chance to see a little bit of Europe.
Well, they couldn't help themselves. They immediately began to tell me about their mother's amazing two-month trip! My eyes began to bulge. I mean, Ann's Itinerary is incredible - Madrid, Alicante, Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Nice, Geneva, London, Bremen, and Paris! And did I mention the 7-day cruise across the Aegean Sea? The thought of a trip like this knocked my socks off. I would kill to visit the Swiss Alps!
So when I saw Ann in dance class the following week, I told her how envious I was. Ann grinned at me and began to rattle off the same mouth-watering locations her daughters had teased me with a few nights earlier. I was hooked. It was the trip of a lifetime.
Even more ridiculous, every time I saw Ann she would make a point to tell me some new location that had been tacked on at the end of the trip. Suddenly a six-week trip had become an eight-week trip. I just shook my head in disbelief. From that point on, every time I saw or my bodyguards, I would pry for more information.
One night last week Ann had a present for me - she handed me a copy of her Itinerary. I put it in a safe place until I could review it further. That night in the quiet of my home I looked it over. There it was - two months of one fabulous European hot spot after another. I found myself shaking my head from side to side in awe.
Finally I decided I had to share in this vacation in some way. I asked Ann if I could follow her progress around Europe via her two daughters. Ann said of course. In fact she was tickled pink at my interest.
So when Ann and Sam head off on their two-month European Vacation later this month, the entire SSQQ Studio is going to tag along!

Today I am proud to report that Ann and Sam are one week into their big trip. I have posted news from their first week. Sam got lost in the middle of Spain for five hours!
Now as I write, they are visiting Istanbul, Turkey.
Tomorrow Saturday Ann and Sam begin a seven-day voyage across the Aegean Sea in a small yacht-style cruise ship known as the Windstar. Oh my goodness.
Go check out Ann's Big Adventure!


August 24-August 31
Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

When I sent out the previous Newsletter, this trip was our 4th largest trip in history. Anyone who watches the Olympics knows that Fourth Place doesn't get any medals. Well, Good News.
Today the 2008 Dance Cruise is sitting pretty in the 3rd position as the largest trip in studio history at 129 passengers. Plus we have Number Two in our sights - we are only 7 behind the 2006 Rhapsody Trip. Maybe we will catch that trip and become Number 2!
We currently have a spot for a single lady in an inside at the original rate of $629 and we have an Oceanview cabin at the rate of $807 per person. Email if interested. We will lose the Oceanview cabin next week. There is also a man looking for a roommate. No cabin preference has been given.
Marla can still get anyone on board at the prevailing rate. She also asked me to say that if you are signing up without a roommate, she will have to wait-list you until another person comes along. For example, as of Monday, May 12, we have two people wait-listed. There is one man and one who need roommates to share a $679 Inside Cabin. There is also an Oceanview cabin available at $807 a person
Marla's email address is

 or you can phone her during the day at 713 862 4428.

STORY SIX: FANTASY ISLAND (reprint from previous issue)

A couples month ago when I was first getting to know Joy and Gina (the Bodyguards), one night I told Gina about some pictures of an incredible RV that Leroy Ginzel had sent me. I told Gina I was researching a story about retiring in an RV. That's when Gina told me she had a cousin who had actually done exactly what I was talking about - he quit his job, sold his house, bought an RV, packed up his wife and his dog, and headed off into the wild blue yonder. I was so envious! Gina's story actually made the entire fantasy seem so much more real.
After that, Marla and I yapped about buying an RV whenever a spare moment came along. And when I jogged in the morning that's all I could think about. It didn't help that someone parked an RV right along my job route during a three-day visit to relatives in the Heights.
It took me about a month to finally stuff my RV Fantasy back in a bottle.
Just about the time I was getting back to reality, that darn Milt Oglesby - yes, the same Milt who aggravated me in the previous newsletter - sent me pictures of a Retirement Cabana in the South Pacific. Oh no, I just can't take it! These pictures made me drool. I wanted to fly off to the South Pacific and live on my deserted island. There I would live happily ever after with Marla and rum cocktails with funny little umbrellas in them.
I was having a hard time with this fantasy too. Finally I decided there was only one way to get it out of my system - publish the pictures and make you the Newsletter Reader suffer too!
While you are reading my story about "Fantasy Island", you will probably enjoy reading my other two articles about Retirement Fantasies: Greg Norman's Yacht and RV Retirement.
Retirement Fantasies (Fantasy Island, Greg Norman's Yacht, RV Retirement)


Two California Highway Patrol Officers were conducting speeding enforcement on I-15, North of MCAS Miramar. One of the officers was using a hand held radar device to check speeding vehicles approaching near the crest of a hill.
The officers were suddenly surprised when the radar gun began reading 300+ miles per hour. The officer attempted to reset the radar gun, but it would not reset and turned off.
Just then a deafening roar over the treetops revealed that the radar had in fact locked onto a USMC F/A-18 Hornet, which was engaged in a low flying exercise near the location.
Back at the CHP Headquarters the Patrol Captain fired off a complaint to the USMC Base Commander.
Back came a reply in true USMC style:
"Thank you for the message, which allows us to complete the file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Hornet had detected the presence of, and subsequently locked onto your hostile radar equipment and automatically sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore, an air to ground missile aboard the fully armed aircraft had also automatically locked onto your equipment. Fortunately the Highly Trained Marine Pilot flying the Hornet recognized the situation for what it was, quickly responded to the missile system alert status and was able to override the automated defense system before the missile was launched and your hostile radar was destroyed.
Thank you for your concerns."

(RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?
This story has been around at least 10 years. This email story weaves its way into my In-Box every couple years. The story is so much fun that every now and then I go ahead and publish it anyway.
Just be aware that this story and many others like it are total nonsense. The moment I read something suspicious, I immediately visit

 They really do a great job debunking all kinds of weird stories. And surprise, some stories turn out to be true!)

This is an interesting story from 2001 about a community straight out of the movie "Footloose" that banned all dancing inside the city limits for moral reasons.
And yes, this story is completely TRUE!
If you thought religious intolerance related to dancing was limited to the Taliban and other fundamentalist groups outside our borders, guess again. This happened in Virginia.


WASHINGTON, May 22, 2008

11-Year-Year Old Akshay Rajagopal Answers Every Question Correctly In 2-Day National Bee
Akshay Rajagopal, 11, who was the youngest of the top ten finalists, won the 2008 National Geographic Bee geography competition in Washington on May 21. The sixth grader from Lincoln, Nebraska, won the 20th annual bee by getting no answers wrong.

Quick: Cochabamba is the third-largest conurbation in what country?
Your answer might be, "Huh?" But 11-year-old Akshay Rajagopal answered "Bolivia" to clinch the 20th annual National Geographic Bee on Wednesday.
A conurbation is a large, densely populated urban area - and Cochabamba is the third-largest one in the South American country.
Akshay's correct answer capped a two-day event in which he got every question right. A sixth-grader at Lux Middle School in Lincoln, Neb., he won a $25,000 scholarship.
Along the way, Akshay answered questions that included the westernmost Asian national capital, the country where Makossa is a popular type of music, as well as his hardest challenge - and the location of Tillya Tepe. Asked what country lies east of Iran and holds the city of Balkh (the supposed birthplace of the ancient 13th-century Persian poet Rumi), Akshay wasn't sure.
But he took his best guess and let out a huge sigh of relief when he learned he was correct.
"Some of the questions were hard but others were OK," Akshay said as he held up his oversized scholarship check. "I think I was just lucky."
As Akshay blitzed the competition, his family looked on from the front of the auditorium at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington. He boned up for several months by studying geography DVDs and textbooks.
"He's been interested in geography since he was 5," said his mother, Suchitra Srinivas.
"It was just sheer elation," Vijay Rajagopal, told CBS New correspondent Thalia Assuras about how he was feeling after his son's triumph. "Pure joy, I guess... being very proud."
One student from every U.S. state and territory, along with a student from a military family, took part in the competition run by National Geographic. Akshay was the youngest of the 10 finalists, all boys.
"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek, who has moderated the bee for all 20 years, beamed at the good job of the contestants. "These kids never cease to amaze us," Trebek said.
And they give him a sense of optimism for the future as well. Trebek calls their accomplishments "good news" for the country.
"These young people understand that if you're going to get along in the world, it helps if you know something of the other countries and other peoples of the world," Trebek told Assuras.
The runner-up was 13-year-old Hunter Bledsoe, 13, a student at Hewitt Trussville Middle School, Trussville, Ala.
Akshay, whose hobbies include collecting coins, is considering some kind of career that involves geography, but he has plenty of time to make up his mind. For now, he just likes to study the globe.
"I get to learn about the world and how it works, which is cool," he said.
"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek called this Geography Bee the "annual national humiliation". He says this event annually shows that a select group of middle schoolers has vastly more knowledge of geography than most of the nation.
See if you can guess the right answer to these questions.

1. In May 2008 the largest Chinese earthquake in over 50 years occurred in Sichuan Province. Name the capital of this province, which is located about 50 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.


2. Makossa is a type of music popular in which country that lies northeast of the island of Bioko?


3. Name the westernmost national capital in Asia

Tel Aviv

4. The indigenous people of Australia include the aboriginal peoples and a second group whose name comes from what strait that separates Australia from New Guinea

Maori Strait
Torres Strait
Tasmanian Strait
George Strait

5. What country is the location of Tillya Tepe



Story Contributed by Bett Sundermeyer

(RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: This is a TRUE STORY from 2002 about a cat who survived an ordeal. I checked it out on Snopes to confirm this really happened. Please note this story is NOT about my friend Bett's cat. This is a long story, but it is an amazing tale. It is so well written I promise you will thoroughly enjoy reading it.)

This is the absolutely story of the night my 10-year-old cat, Rudy, got his head stuck in the garbage disposal. I knew at the time that the experience would be funny if the cat survived, so let me tell you right up front that he's fine. Now you can enjoy the story.
Getting Rudy out wasn't easy, though, and the process included numerous home remedies, a plumber, two cops, an emergency overnight veterinary clinic, a case of mistaken identity, five hours of panic, and 15 minutes of fame.
My husband Rich and I had just returned from a 5-day vacation in the Cayman Islands (where I had been sick as a dog the whole time.) We arrived home at 9 pm, a day and a half later than we had planned because of airline problems. I still had illness-related vertigo, and because of the flight delays had not been able to prepare for the class I was supposed to teach at 8:40 the next morning.
I sat down at my desk to think about William Carlos Williams. Around 10 pm I heard Rich hollering from the kitchen. I raced over to see what was wrong. I spied Rich frantically rooting around under the kitchen sink and Rudy - or, rather, Rudy's headless body - scrambling around in the sink, his claws clicking in panic on the metal and his head stuck in the garbage disposal. Rich had just ground up the skin of some smoked salmon in the disposal. When he left the room Rudy (who always was a pinhead) had gone in after it.
It is very disturbing to see the headless body of your cat in the sink.
This is an animal that I have slept with nightly for 10 years, who burrows under the covers and purrs against my side, and who now looked like a fur-covered turkey carcass, defrosting in the sink while it's still alive and kicking. It was also disturbing to see Rich, Mr. Calm-in-any-Emergency, at his wit's end, trying to simultaneously soothe Rudy and undo the garbage disposal, and failing at both, and basically freaking out.
Adding to the chaos was Rudy's twin brother Lowell, also upset, racing around in circles, jumping onto the kitchen counter and alternately licking Rudy's butt for comfort and biting it out of fear. Clearly, I had to do something. First we tried to ease Rudy out of the disposal by lubricating his head and neck with Johnson's baby shampoo (kept on hand for my nieces' visits) and butter-flavored Crisco. Both failed, and a now-greasy Rudy kept struggling.
My eyes kept wandering to the electric button that starts the disposal. Surely that disposal couldn't accidentally turn itself on, could it? I tried as best I could to dismiss the disturbing images that kept crossing my mind.
Rich then decided to take apart the garbage disposal. I considered this a good idea, but he couldn't do it. Turns out the thing is constructed like a metal onion: you peel off one layer and another one appears, with Rudy's head still buried deep inside, stuck in a hard plastic collar. My job during this process was to sit on the kitchen counter petting Rudy, trying to calm him, with the room spinning (vertigo), Lowell howling (he's part Siamese), and Rich clattering around under the sink with his tools. Rich is abnormally good about profanity, but tonight was the exception. He was frustrated and deeply worried.
When all our efforts failed, we sought professional help. I called our regular plumber, who actually called me back quickly, even at 11 o'clock at night (thanks, Dave).
He talked Rich through further layers of disposal dismantling, but still we couldn't reach Rudy. I called the 1-800 number for Insinkerator (no response), a pest removal service that advertises 24-hour service (no response), an all-night emergency veterinary clinic (who had no experience in this matter), and finally, in desperation, 9-1-1.
I could see that Rudy's normally pink paw pads were turning blue. The fire department, I figured, gets cats out of trees; maybe they could get one out of a garbage disposal. The dispatcher had other ideas and offered to send over two policemen.
The cops arrived close to midnight. They turned out to be quite nice. More importantly, they were also able to think rationally, which we were not.
They were, of course, astonished by the situation. "I've never seen anything like this," Officer Mike kept saying. (The unusual circumstances helped us get quickly on a first-name basis with our cops.) Officer Tom, who expressed immediate sympathy for our plight ("I've had cats all my life," he said), also had an idea. Evidently we needed a certain tool: a tiny, circular rotating saw, that could cut through the heavy plastic flange encircling Rudy's neck without hurting Rudy. Officer Tom happened to own one. "I live just five minutes from here," he said. "I'll go get it."
Officer Tom soon returned. Now the three of them - Rich and the two policemen - got under the sink together to cut through the garbage disposal. Seeing three large men sticking their heads under the sink together was a sight I shall not soon forget. Bless their hearts, these two policemen were trying as hard as they humanly could to help.
There I sat on the counter taking it all in. I was holding Rudy and trying not to succumb to the surreal-ness of the scene, with the weird middle-of-the-night lighting, the room's occasional spinning, Lowell's spooky sound effects, an apparently headless cat in my sink and six disembodied legs poking out from under it.
One good thing came of this: the guys did manage to get the bottom off the disposal, so we could now see Rudy's face and knew he could breathe. But they couldn't cut the flange without risking the cat. Stumped.
Officer Tom had another idea. "You know," he said, "I think the reason we can't get him out is the angle of his head and body. (You can see where this is going, can't you?) "If we could just get the sink out," he continued, "and lay it on its side, I'll bet we could slip him out."
That sounded like a good idea - at this point, ANYTHING would have sounded like a good idea - and as it turned out, Officer Mike runs a plumbing business on weekends; he knew how to take out the sink! Again they went to work, the three pairs of legs sticking out from under the sink, surrounded by an ever-increasing pile of tools and sink parts. They cut the electrical supply, capped off the plumbing lines, unfastened the metal clamps, unscrewed all the pipes, and created a mess the likes of which made my heart stop beating if I allowed myself to think about it.
About an hour later, viola! The sink was lifted gently out of the countertop, with one guy holding the garbage disposal which contained Rudy's head) up close to the sink (which contained Rudy's body).
We laid the sink on its side, but even at this more favorable angle, Rudy stayed stuck. Officer Tom's radio beeped, calling him away on some kind of real police business. As he was leaving, though, he had another good idea.
"You know," he said, "I don't think we can get him out while he's struggling so much. We need to get the cat sedated. If he were limp, we could slide him out." And off he went, regretfully, a cat lover still worried about Rudy, to fight crime in another part of the city.
The remaining three of us decided that getting Rudy sedated was a good idea, but Rich and I were new to the area. We knew that the overnight emergency veterinary clinic was only a few minutes away, but we didn't know exactly how to get there. "I know where it is!" declared Officer Mike.
"Follow me!" So Mike got into his patrol car and Rich got into the driver's seat of our car, leaving me in back to carry the kitchen sink, what was left of the garbage disposal, and Rudy.
It was now about 2:00 am. We followed Officer Mike for a few blocks when I decided to put my hand into the garbage disposal to pet Rudy's face, hoping I could comfort him. Instead, my sweet, gentle bedfellow chomped down on my finger really hard and wouldn't let go. My scream reflex kicked into gear.
Rich slammed on the brakes, hollering "What? What happened? Should I stop?"
"No," I managed to get out between screams, "just keep driving. Rudy's biting me, but we've got to get to the vet. Just go!"
Rich turned his attention back to the road, where Officer Mike took a turn we hadn't expected, and we followed. After a few minutes Rudy let go. As I stopped screaming, I looked up to discover that we were wandering aimlessly through an industrial park, in and out of empty parking lots, past little streets that didn't look at all familiar.
"Where's he taking us?" I asked. "We should have been there ten minutes ago!" Rich was as mystified as I was, but all we knew to do was follow the police car until, finally, he pulled into a church parking lot and we pulled up next to him.
As Rich rolled down the window to ask Officer Mike, where are were going, the cop, who was not Mike, rolled down his window and asked, "Why are you following me?"
Once Rich and I recovered from our shock at having tailed the wrong cop car and the policeman from his pique at being stalked, he led us quickly to the emergency vet, where Mike greeted us by holding open the door, exclaiming "Where were you guys???"
We didn't have the strength to explain that my screams had so distracted my husband that he had followed the wrong car. To this day I don't know how that happened anyway. But here we were.
It was lucky that Mike got to the vet's ahead of us, because we hadn't thought to call and warn them about what was coming. (Clearly, by this time we weren't really thinking at all.) We brought in the kitchen sink containing Rudy, and the garbage disposal containing his head, and the clinic staff was ready. They took his temperature (which was down 10 degrees) and his oxygen level (which was half of normal), and the vet declared, "This cat is in serious shock. We've got to sedate him and get him out of there immediately."
When I asked if it was OK to sedate a cat in shock, the vet said grimly, "We don't have a choice." With that, he injected the cat. Rudy went limp and the vet squeezed about half a tube of K-Y jelly onto the cat's neck and pulled him free.
Then the whole team jumped into "code blue" mode. (I know this from watching a lot of ER.) They laid Rudy on a cart where one person hooked up IV fluids, another put little socks on his paws ("You'd be amazed how much heat they lose through their footpads," she said), one covered him with hot water bottles and a blanket, and another took a blow-dryer to warm up Rudy's now very gunky head. The fur on his head dried in stiff little spikes, making him look pathetically punk as he lay there, limp and motionless.
At this point they sent Rich, Mike, and me to sit in the waiting room while they tried to bring Rudy back to life. I told Officer Mike he didn't have to stay, but he just stood there, shaking his head. "I've never seen anything like this," he said again and again.
At about 3 am, the vet came in to tell us that the prognosis was good for a full recovery. They needed to keep Rudy overnight to re-hydrate him and give him something for the brain swelling they assumed he had, but if all went well, we could take him home the following night. Just in time to hear the good news, Officer Tom rushed in, having finished with his real police work and still concerned about Rudy.
Rich and I got back home about 3:30 am. We hadn't unpacked from our trip, I was still intermittently dizzy, and I still hadn't prepared for my 8:40 class. "I need a vacation," I said, and while I called the office to leave a message canceling my class, Rich made us a pitcher of martinis. I slept late the next day and then badgered the vet about Rudy's condition until he said that Rudy could come home later that day.
I was working on the suitcases when the phone rang. "Hi, this is Steve Huskey from the Norristown Times-Herald (Pennsylvania)," a voice said. "Listen, I was just going through the police blotter from last night. Um, do you have a cat?"
So I told Steve the whole story, which interested him immensely. A couple hours later he called back to say that his editor was interested, too; did I have a picture of Rudy? The next day Rudy was front-page news, under the ridiculous headline "Catch of the Day Lands Cat in Hot Water."
There were some noteworthy repercussions to the newspaper article. Mr. Huskey had somehow inferred that I called 9-1-1 because I thought Rich, my husband, was going into shock, although how he concluded this from my comment that "his pads were turning blue," I don't quite understand. So the first thing I had to do was call Rich at work - Rich, my hero who had worked tirelessly to free Rudy - and swear that I had been misquoted.
When I arrived at work myself, I was famous; people had been calling my secretary all morning to inquire about Rudy's health. When I called our regular vet (whom I had met only once) to make a follow-up appointment for Rudy, the receptionist asked, "Is this the famous Rudy's mother?"
When I took my car in for routine maintenance a few days later, Dave, my mechanic, said, "We read about your cat. Is he OK?" When I called a tree surgeon about my dying red oak, he asked if I knew the person on that street whose cat had been in the garbage disposal. And when I went to get my hair cut, the shampoo person told me the funny story her grandma had read in the paper about a cat that got stuck in the garbage disposal.
Even today, over a year later, people ask about Rudy, which a 9-year-old neighbor had always called "the Adventure Cat" because he used to climb on the roof of her house and peer in the second-story window at her. I don't know what the moral of this story is, but I do know that this "adventure" cost me $1,100 in emergency vet bills, follow-up vet care, new sink, new plumbing, new electrical wiring, and new garbage disposal-one with a cover. The vet can no longer say he's seen everything but the kitchen sink.
I wanted to thank Officers Tom and Mike by giving them gift certificates to the local hardware store, but was told that they couldn't accept gifts, and that I would put them in a bad position if I tried. So I wrote a letter to the Police Chief praising their good deeds and sent individual thank you notes to Tom and Mike, complete with pictures of Rudy, so they could see what he looks like with his head on.
And Rudy, whom we originally got for free (or so we thought), still sleeps with me under the covers on cold nights, and, unaccountably, still sometimes prowls the sink, hoping for fish.


In our health-conscious environment here at SSQQ, I field a wide variety of complaints about hygiene and sanitation. In fact, these complaints have resulted in three changes at the studio.
For example, someone asked recently why there are no Altoids Mints any more. Once a fixture here at SSQQ, the Altoids disappeared thanks to a very serious complaint. One night a woman observed a man sneeze in class on several occasions and wipe his nose on his hands. When she observed him making a trip to the Altoids can shared by all, she complained bitterly that the Altoids were an invitation to spreading communicable diseases throughout the studio. Au Revoir, Altoids.
The wrapped candy mints are the replacements for the Altoids.
In addition, we now have hand disinfectant readily available in our classrooms, another development attributed to concerns about germs being spread in dance class.
Hygiene is a major concern of many people here at the studio. As you might guess, 99% of all complaints are made by women about men. There does exist the occasional oblivious female, but they are few and far between.
Recently a female student begged me to say something in the Newsletter. I told her I have written about these problems many times in the past, but agreed it was probably time for the annual Newsletter article about HYGIENE.
So here goes my 2008 discussion on the topic of HYGIENE.
We start our discussion with a letter that dates back to August 2000.

"Rick, I wonder if you could say something on the personal hygiene factor!!!
I was dancing with a guy on Wednesday and he had a runny nose and would wipe his hands over his nose and then he would just take the dance position. It was disgusting!!
It happened each time I got him. I am sure we all "got it". I could not possibly run to the bathroom to wash my hands but was conscious of my hands till break and dashed for the bathroom. I am also dancing with impossibly drenched guys sometimes. They are dripping and I wonder why they can't bring a second shirt or go and towel off instead of running their hands thru their wet hair and wipe it off their pants.
Adriana B.
August 2000

Just so you MEN understand this issue clearly, NOTHING irritates women more in dancing than a man's poor hygiene. Women will put up with having their arms jerked, their feet stepped on, no rhythm, being run into other dance couples, or even suddenly being turned upside down by an acrobatic step as long as the lady feels the guy means well deep down.
WHAT WOMEN WILL NOT TOLERATE IS POOR HYGIENE. Women believe poor hygiene reflects something deeply unpleasant about the man's character.
Let me add that women do not wish to confront the offensive man about his problem. Their favorite trick is to complain to me. How much good this does is open to debate.
I will say for the record I don't enjoy confronting a man who smells bad or has bad breath or sneezes or sweats profusely or all the other awful things men do any more than women do.
So women will say, "Well, Rick, why not make an announcement to the class?"
That is when I explain to them that announcements to the class are a waste of time. The people who will listen to me already agree that hygiene is important. Meanwhile the one person in the class who smells, sweats, has bad breath, etc, will be too busy picking his nose to pay the slightest bit of attention when I make the announcement.
The subject of "Hygiene" is extensively covered in my "Advice to Men" page.

Sadly, however, I am sorry to say that I believe that men who are clueless about hygiene in the first place rarely get the message unless it is delivered between their eyes with a two by four.

I will conclude this chapter with this:
Written and contributed by SSQQ Instructor Rachel Koenig (who retired this past January)
1. Thou shall Slither only people you know.
2. Thou shall not slither with a sweaty hand, arm, or neck.
3. Thou shall not slither a women if she has already frowned at the previous attempt.
4. Do not criticize or correct your partner's moves.
5. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
6. Leave the teaching to the instructors.
7. Let the man lead. 'Follow' may be an 'F' word, but it isn't a bad word.
8. It is ok to say 'no thank you' to a dance invitation, but it means you must sit out for that entire song.
9. Use deodorant extensively. Change shirts if necessary. Bring a towel if necessary.
10. Breath mints should be your best friend.

Contributed by Milt Oglesby

From 1920 to 1933, the United States outlawed the use of alcohol. Known as the Prohibition Era, the Dry Law had the support of every decent person in America. Mysteriously, many men stubbornly continued to drink, even men who believed it was morally wrong to do so.
Thanks to Milt, now we know why.


Why Engineers Don't Need to Make as Much Money as Lawyers
Contributed by Jill Banta
Three lawyers and three engineers are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three lawyers each buy expensive first-class tickets and watch with scorn as their three engineer companions buy only a single ticket.
"How are you three people going to travel on only one ticket ?" asks a lawyer out of curiosity.
"Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer. With that, the whole group boarded the train. The lawyers take their respective seats. They begin to laugh when they see the three engineers cram into a restroom and close the door behind them. Their grins turn to hysterical laughter when they hear the distinct sounds of 'gas' being released.
Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, "Ticket, please." The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. One whiff and the conductor nearly passes out. Holding his nose, the conductor grabs the ticket and quickly moves on.
Well, the lawyers roar with approval and give each other High 5s. They like a good scam as much the next guy. The lawyers discuss the ploy and agree it was quite a clever idea. So after the conference ends, the lawyers decide to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money. They realize they make so much money they don't need to cheat, but can't help themselves. They do it anyway because it is in their nature.
When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their surprise, this time the engineers don't buy even a single ticket. This makes the lawyers scratch their heads. These engineers might be trickier than they give them credit.
"How are you going to travel without a ticket?" asks one perplexed lawyer.
"Watch and you'll see!" says an engineer.
When they board the train the three lawyers cram into the restroom. Once the door is closed, the three engineers cram into another restroom nearby. The train departs. Shortly afterward, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the lawyers are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please!"

(Rick Archer's Note: this Joke is part of our June Joke collection. You may find the rest at:


EXEGESIS (noun): A critical explanation or analysis, especially of a text.

"When I remembered the deliberate and impertinent moralizing of Thackeray, the clumsy EXEGESIS of George Eliot, the knowing nods and winks of Charles Reade, the stage-carpentering and limelighting of Dickens, even the fine and important analysis of Hawthorne, it was with a joyful astonishment that I realized the great art of Tourguenief."
Quote taken from "My Literary Passions" by William Dean Howells

(Rick Archer's Note: Don't you wish you could write stuff so clever that no one had a clue what you just said, so they universally agreed you must be brilliant? That quote falls into this category nicely.)

1. In May 2008 the largest Chinese earthquake in over 50 years occurred in Sichuan Province. Name the capital of this province, which is located about 50 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.


2. Makossa is a type of music popular in which country that lies northeast of the island of Bioko?


3. Name the westernmost national capital in Asia

Tel Aviv

4. The indigenous people of Australia include the aboriginal peoples and a second group whose name comes from what strait that separates Australia from New Guinea

Maori Strait
Tasmanian Strait
George Strait

5. What country is the location of Tillya Tepe?


(RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: How did you do? Believe it or not, I am an amateur Geography Wizard. I love Geography! I am such a wizard that I got ONE answer correct out of FIVE above. ONE. So much for Mr. Geography Lizard.
Adding to my embarrassment, this year's winner got all five questions correct without the benefit of multiple choice. Unbelievable.
Did you know SSQQ has a pretty good Geography Quiz on its website?

If you haven't been humiliated enough already, please visit:


And that's a Wrap! Thanks for Reading.

There were two Newsletters in June

June Issue One
June Issue Two


JUNE 2008 SSQQ Newsletter
Second Issue
The SSQQ Newsletter is written by Rick Archer







Come learn the Hand Jive, the Harlem Shuffle, the Hully Gully, the Money Dance, Twisting the Night Away, the Cha-Cha Hustle and the SSQQ Classic Dance “Heard it Thru the Grapevine” Raisin Dance. Plus we cover “Land of 1000 Dances” featuring the Pony, the Monkey, Watusi, Cool Jerk and more!

These one-hour workshops are free and you can come late if you wish.  All you have to do is show up.






(a crash course to learn more about Jitterbug for slower Sock Hop music).









We have finally filled our open Thursday Hall Monitor spot.  But my guess is we will have more openings as our regular group take trips and honeymoons. 

This is a great job for teenagers who are out of school this summer. 

If you have a big lunk of a kid taking up space on the couch and would like to get rid of him or her for one evening a week, please contact Marla.  Not only will we pay them to leave you alone, they can have all the popcorn they can eat.

You can email her at marla@ssqq.com





In our previous Newsletter, I wrote that Ann Al-Jazrawi and her husband Sam would be heading off to Europe late in May for an amazing two-month Odyssey across Europe. 

Ann is a vivacious blonde lady who has been in a couple of my Western classes.  You might know Ann from her Swing classes or the aforementioned Western classes.  Or perhaps you know one or both of Ann’s lovely daughters - Gina Nelson and Joy Al-Jazrawi - who are quickly becoming talented Western Swing dancers. 

Joy and Gina are my official bodyguards (inside joke).  One night while they were on Protection Duty during Friday Night Western Practice, I was yapping about my upcoming Greece trip and how proud I was to finally get the chance to see a little bit of Europe.

Well, they couldn’t help themselves.  They immediately began to tell me about their mother’s amazing two-month trip!  My eyes began to bulge.  I mean, Ann’s Itinerary is incredible - Madrid, Alicante, Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Nice, Geneva, London, Bremen, and Paris!   And did I mention the 7-day cruise across the Aegean Sea?  The thought of a trip like this knocked my socks off.  I would kill to visit the Swiss Alps!

So when I saw Ann in dance class the following week, I told her how envious I was.  Ann grinned at me and began to rattle off the same mouth-watering locations her daughters had teased me with a few nights earlier.  I was hooked.  It was the trip of a lifetime. 

Finally I decided I had to share in this vacation in some way.  I asked Ann if I could follow her progress around Europe via her two daughters.  Ann said of course.  In fact she was tickled pink at my interest.  

Today I am proud to report that Ann and Sam are halfway through their big trip. 

So far they have visited Spain and Turkey.  They have completed a seven-day voyage across the Aegean Sea in a small yacht-style cruise ship known as the Windstar.  They have visited Greece and Italy.  They have visited southern France. 

And today Wednesday, June 18, Ann and Sam are traveling up to Switzerland.   

Go check out the stories of Ann’s Big Adventure!





Last night Tuesday, June 17, the roof literally caved in on Salsa Dancer Extraordinaire Ulyses Rosas.  As he practiced his dancing in Room One, a ceiling tile fell and hit him on the head.  To say he was surprised would be a major understatement.

Fortunately it was only a segment of ceiling tile and it was soaking wet.  Ulyses has a very hard head and appeared to be unhurt.  So the incident was more funny than serious. 

But the incident served as a painful reminder that we have a leaking roof again. 




Do you have a wound from the past so painful that you prefer not to think about it?   And once you do start thinking about it, you get so spitting mad again you find you can’t get the Anger Genie back in the bottle? 

I have a problem just like that - the leaking roof of the studio.

Back in July 2006, we developed a serious leak in the roof in Room One.  I complained bitterly but discovered it didn’t do a bit of good. 

The new Landlords - Haya and Jacob Varon of Lenox Hill Holdings - refused to do anything about it. 

They told me they were taking bids on a new roof.  Since the roof problem was so severe, small patches here and there were a waste of good money.  Calling it their “Big Picture Strategy”, they would fix the entire roof soon.  Just be patient. 

As a result, they did nothing.  Meanwhile the hole in the roof kept getting worse... and worse... and worse. 

July 2006                      Baby the Rain Must Fall - the Leaks Begin

August 2006                  Leaking

September 2006                     Leaking Worse

October 2006                 Leaking Even Worse

November 2006                       Leaking Much Worse

December 2006                      Unbearable

January 2006                 The Waterfalls Begin

February 2006               Roof is Finally Fixed


Seven months passed with this problem.  Water leaked constantly whenever it rained.  The problem got so bad we had little waterfalls pouring from the ceiling during dance class.  Everyone thought it was funny... everyone, that is, except me.  I was furious.

You see, the previous landlord had a different philosophy.  Whenever there was a leak, patch it immediately.  Using that philosophy, in 14 years (1990-2004), not one drop of water ever hit our expensive dance floor. 

Now take a quick guess which philosophy I prefer.

Once we hit the waterfall stage in February 2007, I was on the verge of filing a law suit.  A couple weeks later, the problem was miraculously fixed.

If you are morbid enough to wish to read the entire story, read “Landlord Disputes”.  Warning - this story may make you very angry.




So here we are in June 2008.  That brand new roof only lasted 16 months.  I guess that’s what happens when you give the contract to the lowest bidder. 

I first noticed our new problem on Saturday, June 7th.  I immediately climbed up on the roof to have a look.  The roof had a major depression in the area above our leak.  The depression was full of water.  I looked around - not one air-conditioner nearby.  The only explanation had to be rain.  There had been a brief rain in the Bellaire area; I imagine all the runoff from that rain collected to create this small pond on the roof.  I got a broom and swept the water away.  The leak disappeared immediately. 


I sent this email to Mark Ray the Management Company, Office Buildings of Houston. Or Kensington Property Group (I can’t figure out their official name so I will list them all). 

Here is a recap of our email exchange so far:


-----Original Message-----

From:         Rick Archer

Sent:          Saturday, June 07, 2008 4:44 PM

To:              Mark Ray

Subject:      serious leak at studio


I came to the studio at 11 am to discover water all over my floor in Room 2.

When I looked into the ceiling, I could see the water was coming from the



When I inspected the roof, I could one area on the roof has developed a

depression. When I went up there, I discovered a virtual lake right above

the leak area in the studio. There was no air conditioner in the area, so I

can only assume it was rain water that had gathered there.


I would imagine a patch in this specific area will solve the problem.




On Wed 06/11/2008 10:23 AM

It has now been four days since my first email to you.

I have not received acknowledgment of my first email.

It rained yesterday and a great deal of water fell on my floor for the second time.

I would prefer NOT to wait seven months this time.

Please call the roofer and have a patch put on immediately. 

Linda Cook knows exactly where the problem is.



-----Original Message-----

From:         Office Buildings of Houston

Sent:          Wednesday, June 11, 2008 1:11 PM

To:              Rick Archer

Subject:      Re: serious leak at studio 4803 Bissonnet SECOND SEND


The roofer was sent to the bldg Monday and said he corrected the problem apparently he didnt get it all, I will send him out agian




Thu 06/12/2008 12:32 PM


Unfortunately, what you say makes no sense. 

When I went up there yesterday, there was absolutely no sign of any recent work done on the roof.  I took pictures yesterday to support my words. 

Besides, how would the roofer know where to look?



If you the Newsletter Reader have been following the dialogue above, you will notice that someone is telling a fib.  Obviously no one has fixed a damn thing because Ulyses Rosas was struck by a wet ceiling tile last night. 

Ten days have passed and nothing has been accomplished.





(RICK ARCHER’S NOTE: Margie is one of my dearest friends from the early days at the dance studio.  Margie was my constant companion during one of the darkest periods of my life back in 1986.  She and several other people at the studio were instrumental in nursing me back to sanity. 

The best story about Margie involved a great practical joke known as the “Tom Easley Look-a-Like” Party.  http://www.ssqq.com/stories/advent11.htm  )

-----Original Message-----

From:         Marjorie Saibara

Sent:          Wednesday, June 18, 2008 2:15 PM

To:              dance@ssqq.com

Subject:      ssqq


Hi Rick

A member from PASH called and asked about dance lessons, so I went out to your website to get a telephone number for him to call. 

Wow, you’ve been busy working on your page!  It looks really nice.

I ran into Maureen (Brunetti) last year at Sam’s and she said something about you might be retiring from dance when the lease is up at the studio.  

Hope all is well with you.


-----Original Message-----

From:         Rick Archer

Sent:          Wednesday, June 18, 2008 3:00 PM

To:              Marjorie Saibara

Subject:      ssqq studio


I am closing in on 59.  The studio’s lease ends on April 30, 2010. 

There is no way they are going to renew my lease at my Bissonnet location.  I will have no choice but to leave this location.   I don’t necessarily want to retire, but I sure as heck don’t want to be signing a new long-term lease at age 61 by myself.

The thought of moving mirrors, sound equipment, that massive floor, locating a new location and haggling over a new lease doesn’t seem very appealing.  Marla and I could just as easily get a job as Ballroom Instructors on a cruise ship.  Or buy an RV and see the country.

That said, I have a great operation, Margie.  I have a wonderful staff and great customers.  The SSQQ web site is a marvelous business tool as is the Newsletter. 

Best of all, after 30 years, SSQQ is a household name throughout the city.  We have a great Reputation and wonderful momentum.  Business is so good we don’t even have to advertise.  Word of mouth and the Newsletter seem to be all that is necessary. 

It would be shame to close the curtain on something this good. 

There is no reason why someone with two feet and some business sense could not take up the reins and guide a program as successful as this into the next generation.

You would think someone would be interested in becoming a partner and help me lead the studio into the next phase.



RICK ARCHER’S NOTE: I wrote an article on this subject a year ago.  If you are interested,







(RICK ARCHER’S NOTE: I know you are curious, so let me reassure you I am printing this recent story for a reason.)

Associated Press

June 5, 2008, 8:11AM


Lesbian kiss at Seattle ballpark stirs up controversy

SEATTLE—Most of the time, a kiss is just a kiss in the stands at Seattle Mariners games. The crowd hardly even pays attention when fans smooch.

But then last week, a lesbian complained that an usher at Safeco Field asked her to stop kissing her date because it was making another fan uncomfortable.

The incident has exploded on local TV, on talk radio and in the blogosphere and has touched off a debate over public displays of affection in generally gay-friendly Seattle.

“Certain individuals have not yet caught up. Those people see a gay or lesbian couple and they stare or say something,” said Josh Friedes of Equal Rights Washington. “This is one of the challenges of being gay. Everyday things can become sources of trauma.”

As the Mariners played the Boston Red Sox on May 26, Sirbrina Guerrero and her date were approached in the third inning by an usher who told them their kissing was inappropriate, Guerrero said.

The usher, Guerrero said, told them he had received a complaint from a woman nearby who said that there were kids in the crowd of nearly 36,000 and that parents would have to explain why two women were kissing.

“I was really just shocked,” Guerrero said. “Seattle is so gay-friendly. There was a couple like seven rows ahead making out. We were just showing affection.”

On Monday, Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said that the club is investigating but that the usher was responding to a complaint of two women “making out” and “groping” in the stands.

“We have a strict non-discrimination policy at the Seattle Mariners and at Safeco Field, and when we do enforce the code of conduct it is based on behavior, not on the identity of those involved,” Hale said.

The code of conduct—announced before each game—specifically mentions public displays of affection that are “not appropriate in a public, family setting.” Hale said those standards are based on what a “reasonable person” would find inappropriate.

Guerrero denied she and her date were groping each other, saying that along with eating garlic fries, they were giving each other brief kisses.

On Tuesday, Guerrero said a Mariners director of guest services had apologized to her. The team spokeswoman could not immediately confirm that.

After the story broke, the Mariners were blasted by the sex-advice columnist Dan Savage, who wrote about the incident on the blog of the Stranger, an alternative weekly paper.

“I constantly see people making out,” Savage said. “My son has noticed and asked, ‘Do they show the ballgame on women’s foreheads?’”

Savage called for a “kiss-in” to protest against the Mariners.

Web sites have been swamped with blog postings for and against Guerrero and her date. And the story has people talking in Seattle.

“I would be uncomfortable” seeing public displays of affection between lesbians or gay men, said Jim Ridneour, a 54-year-old taxi driver. “I don’t think it’s right seeing women kissing in public. If I had my family there, I’d have to explain what’s going on.”

“It all depends on the degree,” Mark Ackerman said as he waited for a hot dog outside Safeco Field before Wednesday’s game. “Even for heterosexual couples.”

Since the incident, Guerrero’s job and her past have come under scrutiny. She works at a bar known for scantily clad women and was a contestant on the MTV reality show “A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila,” in which women and men compete for the affection of a bisexual Internet celebrity.

“People are saying it’s 15 more minutes for my career,” Guerrero said of the ballpark furor, “but this is not making me look very good.”

In 2007, an Oregon transit agency chief apologized after a lesbian teenager was kicked off a bus when a passenger complained about her kissing another girl.

Also in 2007, a gay rights group protested a Kansas City, Mo., restaurant they said ejected four women because two of them kissed, and a Texas state trooper was placed on probation in 2004 for telling two gay men who were kissing at the state Capitol that homosexual conduct was illegal in Texas.

“There’s a double standard. That’s the bottom line,” said Pat Griffin, director of the It Takes a Team! Education Campaign, an initiative from the Women’s Sports Foundation to eliminate homophobia in sports.




RICK ARCHER’S NOTE:  The story about the Lesbian Kiss raises this important question: 

When is it appropriate to defy prevailing social norms?

The story of the Lesbian Kiss serves as a snapshot moment.  The incident appears to violate a social prohibition against gay behavior in non-gay public places.  As I glanced through the Internet for reactions, the prevailing public sentiment supported the Seattle club in their decision to remove the women from the stadium by a wide margin.  This indicates that as of June 2008, the mood in our country is that the Seattle baseball organization did the right thing.

So will the Lesbian Kiss strike a blow for gay civil rights?  Or will it just be written off as rude behavior in a public place?  When it comes to civil rights and the Gay movement, it boils down to this:  When is it right to violate social norms?   

On the one hand, you have a gay couple who wish to express their affection for another openly in a non-gay public place.  On the other hand, you have other people who prefer the kissing couple keep their expressions of affection to themselves.

I am writing about the Lesbian Kissing incident for two reasons. 

First, the issue of Same Sex Dancing at SSQQ has been debated at various times over the years.  The Kissing incident seems to support my contention that the majority of customers at SSQQ are not ready for Same Sex Dancing in our group classes. 

This is an issue I have discussed in the Newsletter. Although I have never put it to a vote, it is my gut feeling that the majority of our students prefer that boys dance with girls.  If you are curious to know more about previous discussions on this sensitive topic, please visit this page:

Same Sex Dancing




The main reason I listed Lesbian Kissing story is because it reminds me of a weird story that took place at the studio almost ten years ago. 

One day back in 1999, a female dance student signed up for a group class expecting to dance the “Lead”, i.e. the boy’s part. 

She did not bother to warn us in advance.

She did not see anything wrong with what she was doing.

She expected a woman who was a total stranger to be willing to dance with her.


In our minds, her behavior seriously violated existing social norms at the time.  When we pointed this out, the woman disagreed!  She said we were sexually discriminating against her.

In fact, the woman’s arguments were quite similar to the Lesbian Kissing couple in Seattle.

Here is the story.  A very attractive young lady named Joye signed up for a Beginning Swing class.  When the instructor told everyone to get a partner, Joye walked right over to a woman who was a total stranger and put the woman in her arms.  Without any explanation whatsoever, Joye expected the woman to cooperate and be her dance partner.

As Joye wrapped her arms around the woman, the look on the woman’s face was sheer consternation.  The woman simply did not know what to make of it.

The instructor took the cue from the woman’s face and concluded she was highly uncomfortable with the situation.  So the instructor decided to ask Joye to explain what was going on. 

Joye said she wanted to learn to be a “Lead”.  She did not explain why.  Furthermore, to her mind there was no reason why she had to ask permission or explain herself.  The instructor disagreed.

A very ugly argument ensued that resulted in Joye being asked to leave the building. 

A couple days later I received a letter from Joye claiming that her rights had been violated and that we had discriminated against her. 

I wrote a letter back explaining my position.  To my knowledge, she did not reply. 

Soon after, I posted this story on my web site for two reasons. 

The main reason I posted the story is because I had long believed the majority of my students strongly preferred dancing with the opposite sex.  Now we had an incident that proved my hunch was correct. 

I also posted the story as one of my “Adventures of a Dance Teacher” because it was literally a ‘once in a career’ kind of situation (knock on wood).   That was back in 1999.   Since the lady never surfaced again, there the two versions of the story sat undisturbed for eight years.

In 2007, the story came back.  Please read the email.



-----Original Message-----

From:         Joye

Sent:          Tuesday, August 14, 2007 3:13 PM

To:              dance@ssqq.com

Subject:      Please remove my name from your website


Dear Mr. Archer,

When my name is googled, your web site is the first one that comes up.

I am asking you to please take my name out of your web site.  I do

not authorize you to use my name.


Thank you, Joye



There was no Google back in 1999 when I wrote my story.  I commonly put everyone’s full name in each story and didn’t think anything of it.  But here in 2007, Google had become a huge force on the Internet.  Joye’s reputation was taking a serious hit!

As I studied her email, I did not want to remove her name.  I had absolutely no sympathy.  In my opinion, the woman had behaved poorly. 

Eight years had passed, but I realized I was still angry at the way Joye had disrupted the Swing class. 

In my opinion, her actions had been self-centered.  She wanted to dance with the other women in the class without any regard for their feelings.  She did not ask permission.  She did not even show the courtesy to explain to the women what she was up to.  She had absolutely no respect for our rules against Same Sex Dancing.  And she made such a fuss that the entire class was seriously disrupted.  People left the studio.  Let me add that our Staff was completely out of sorts for the rest of the night as well.  No one enjoys a confrontation as ugly as this one. We were all very shaken by the experience.

In a nutshell, Joye had created a horrible Scene. 

However now Google had played a nasty trick on her.  To Joye’s dismay, the events of this story were plastered on the Internet as the very first hit when she typed in her name.  As her career in Washington as a highly placed assistant on a Congresswoman’s staff took off, this awful story was following her every place she went!

Although her email to me showed not even the slightest hint of regret, I decided to do the woman a favor.  I removed her last name from the page as she requested. 

At the same time, however, I was fascinated by the power of Google.  In fact, I was so curious about Google’s effect on society that I wrote an eight-page essay on the subject of Reputation.


To my surprise, seven months later Joye contacted me again.  It was now March 2008.  Apparently Google had uncovered another SSQQ web site page with her full name on it.  This new page had immediately soared to Number One any time she typed her name into Google.  She demanded that I remove it. 

This time I was reluctant.  I did not like her approach the first time, but I cooperated anyway.  Now she was demanding I remove her name again.  I didn’t like being told what to do the first time and I definitely resented it the second time.  So this time I ignored her request. 

Joye decided to try a different tactic.  Two months later, Joye persuaded a gentleman to write me in her behalf.  His May 2008 email letter took a much different approach.  Instead of telling me what to do, the gentleman asked nicely.  So I acceded to his wishes and removed her last name from the second page as well.  I assumed that was the end of it.  Wrong.

In June 2008 I received a second letter from the same gentleman.  Google had uncovered yet a third ssqq website page with her full name on it!   I had not been previously aware of this page either.  Google certainly works in mysterious ways!  I wondered why Google kept finding one page at a time.  Why didn’t it find all three the first time? 

On practically the same day I received the new request to remove Joye’s name for the third time, the story about the Lesbian Kissing incident came out.  Talk about a strange coincidence!

As I placed the two stories side by side in my mind, I kept wondering over and over what Joye’s motivation could possibly have been to violate such an obvious social norm in our dance class.

So I made a decision - if Joye would tell me what she was thinking nine years ago, I would remove her name permanently.

If you would like to read the complete story and the letter I wrote to her, please visit:



And that’s a Wrap!   Thanks for Reading.

There were two Newsletters in June

June Issue One
June Issue Two

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