Von Korncrake in Kalamazoo, Part 10

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9

I must now confess that I had never been to a medievalist dance.

In my younger days, at Patrice Lumumba in Moscow, I had attended more than my share of student dances, events which began with great pronouncements of international revolutionary brotherhood, but ended in vodka riots, the Africans and Cubans standing back-to-back fighting off the hoards of jumped-up Russian peasants who in those days made up the bulk of the student body.

Such wonderful spectacle! And, as I would later learn, excellent training for faculty meetings.

So of course I love dancing, all kinds of dancing–tango, samba, mambo, salsa, merengue, foxtrot, waltz, polonaise, schottische, minuet, polka, swing, jitterbug, clogging, line dancing, square dancing, dicso, rock–I love them all equally, with a passion unseemly in a dignified man of late middle age. But, I cannot help myself, for I never feel so emphatically alive as I do on the dance floor.

In Bitterfeld, among my colleagues at the Institut, my dance exploits are legendary.

I once mazurka-ed for three hours and seventeen minutes without stop. In tap I had advanced to the point where I could do a very credible Maxiford (drop shuffle pickup change toe heel). My tango has been praised by Argentines as being “muy empático y conmovedor”. And, once, in a weak moment, I enrolled in several weeks of Irish step-dancing instruction.

So, as you can imagine, dear readers, I was very much looking forward to shaking my Teutonic white-boy booty to some funky music, an anticipation heightened by the lubricating effects of a pint and a half of mediocre brandy.

Sadly, I, who had danced with Masai tribesmen, was unprepared for the spectacle which awaited.

Imagine, if you will, a place where the unsavory human detritus of life has accumulated; a sort of basement sump, into which has drained all of the pasty, pudgy, goggle-eyed, greasy haired, knock-kneed, buck-toothed specimens unfit to appear in public with the productive members of society.

And the saddest thing is that they all, to a man, woman, and ungendered being, believe they are hot, hot, hot.

Oh Fortuna! Imperitrix Mundi!
Sors immanis,
et inanis,
rota tu volubilis
status malus
vana salus
semper dissolubilis
et velata
michi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum
dorsum nudum
fero tui sceleris.

Lady Fate had dealt me yet another cruel blow.

But there was now nothing for it. I had come to dance, and dance I would!

I pulled the bottle of brandy from my pocket, uncapped it, downed its contents in a single draught, and launched myself into this writhing mass of unsightly medievalists, grinding and bumping my way to the center of the floor.

You can tell by the way I use my walk,
I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk.
Music loud and women warm. I’ve been kicked around
since I was born.

Tomorrow, dear friends, I shall continue this story.

7 Responses to “Von Korncrake in Kalamazoo, Part 10”

  1. Msgr. Padraig Ó Fhlannchaidh, S.J. responds:

    Von Korncrake, you have libeled me, traduced my good name and that of the Irish.

    If I were a younger man I’d hunt you down and give you a good arse kicking. But, I will have to settle for setting the law upon you.

    You shall be hearing from my soliciters!

  2. Marigold of Gandersheim responds:

    Yes, I know this is supposed to be satire, but it’s still painfully unfunny. It traffics in stereotype and anger.

    Worse, it’s the work of an infantile mind, probably someone who failed in the academy, although undoubtedly for all the right reasons.

  3. e responds:

    Ek, Gandersheim,

    Dr. von Korncrake knows his academia and he’s got the German culture down pat.

    For someone familiar (dare I say intimately aquainted?) with both, his blog is down right hillarious.

  4. Boeciana responds:

    It traffics in stereotype and anger.

    a) I’m not seeing the anger.

    b) Academic life traffics in stereotypes and anger, among other things. And that despite the fact that on the whole medievalists are helpful, chummy, and less at-daggers-drawn than other groups. Or so we like to think, at least.

  5. Early Modern Notes » Weekend reading responds:

    […] forgot: Professor Korncrake has been liveblogging (well, nearly) the medievalists’ shindig, Kalamazoo. Almost makes you […]

  6. Reformed Medievalist responds:

    The Korncrake’s comments are spot on. I’ve never ventured into the bowels of Kalamazoo for the dance but the good doktor has confirmed my suspicions of the lack of super-fantastic-ness there. And what about the academics’ shoes?

  7. Meg Q responds:

    My husband gave a paper at Kalamazoo last year. He said he went to bed early every night and “got great sleep”. Now I see why.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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