Monday, August 07, 2006

better than a bug zapper

last summer the dance class that cc and i were in was having a mini recital. the teacher decided to combine all the classes for a couple practices, because the final pieces would tie together and she wanted to make sure we had it together before we went on stage.

so about 40 people were crammed into a tiny studio with slick wood floors that was so humid we could barely see ourselves in the mirror. groups of five or more were passing through each other as we practiced and she kept changing up the choreography to make it work better. this would have been all fine and dandy, but i could hardly concentrate. this gangly redheaded teenager was in the opposite line, right across from me, and i couldn't stop staring at her. it was like a trainwreck, i knew i ought to be watching the mirror to make sure i didn't look like a complete ass, but i was riveted.

you see, she was doing what what my mother would call 'trying to catch flies.' you know the type-- they sit in class/watching tv/waiting for the bus, slackjawed. it's often accompanied by a dead look in their eye, as if they're 15 seconds from slipping into a coma. Corey Haim perfects this look in 'License to Drive'(and most of his other work) and it's masterfully demonstrated by Jon Heder in 'Napoleon Dynamite'). when i see this, i have to fight the urge to slam the offender's jaw up against her skull. that day i pictured this otherwise cute teenybopper with big fat flies zooming into her gaping maw like chickadees at a backyard birdhouse.

disgusting, yet entrancing. i mean, it'd be open for a good fifteen minutes at a time. didn't it dry out? didn't her jaw get sore? didn't her lips crack?

i couldn't look away.

5 comments:

Ale said...

dude you were catching flies right along with her! if that was me- i would walk over quietly put my index finger on her jaw and press up to shut it! than if she would have looked at me funny for doing it, i'd give her a nice loud smack accross the face to complete.

Becky said...

i always heard this expression referred to as the "mouth breather," a not even clever or sensitive reference to down's syndrome. you are far classier than my peers.

Gloria Glo said...

I've often asked this question - why don't they dry out? And a follow-up because I work in medicine - don't they know we can FIX sinus problems these days?

jazz said...

i have to admit,

when i'm thinking really hard about something, my mouth does that.

i have a nervous habit of running my tongue along the bottom of my back teeth when i'm thinking really hard.

have to have your mouth open to do that.

am i awful?!

cadiz12 said...

she definitely did not have any special needs, except for with closing her mouth.

yeah, but do you do it for more than 15 minutes at a time? do you look like you're going to slip into a coma? i highly doubt it if your mind is racing. and if you're moving your tongue, it's probably not going to dry out. thus, you are not awful.