This week I thought we could play it together. I will post Monday-Thursday three true stories and one tall tale, then on Friday you can vote which story you think is the fake.
Is this fun? I can't tell.
But here it goes, Story Three:
image of the fateful summer taken from katyknight.com
(yours truly on the phone)
A year after my first year in college, my high school friends and I decided to move out together. We chose a dumpy apartment in Provo's South Campus district and settled into our walls. Then we started to have lots of parties because that is what you are supposed to do, correct?
One roommate came home one day with a flyer announcing a lip syncing contest. It was to be held at the dance club downtown called Omni. I was never sure if the Omni was a first-syllable take from the word omniscient, or named after a writer in the Book of Mormon. Both would be equally applicable around here.
Because it seemed like the kind of wild Mormon college girl stunt that we were up for, we signed ourselves up to do a group number. Ever since a summer trip to Sweden I'd had a penchant for ABBA, (why doesn't everyone in this world have a penchant for ABBA? Does it get any better? No, no it doesn't.) and I talked the girls into doing Dancing Queen.
You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen
Beat those lyrics. Bono.
We hunted down some bizarre costumes at our various second-hand stores. Somehow we all fell into personal themes. I had plastic fruit in my hair, another roommate wore all camouflage, and Wendy zipped up in a plastic coat the color of the blue Popsicle. We were a year before the Spice Girls, a note to our being ahead of the trend. So . . . tell me what you want. What you really, really want.
On the night of the contest, we arrived to a packed club. People like ants. Scattered, moving, picking up pieces of meat and swarming. It was so hot that the fruit in my hair started to droop. Before we were to go on stage I was in the bathroom re-pinning the strawberries. I thought for a second of just dropping the idea, but when Wendy found a can of hairspray in an empty stall, I knew it was a sign from the Dancing Queen herself.
The crowd was waiting for us, whistling and clapping. We started out in a backs-to-the-crowd formation and explosively turned around on the first note. In hoping to amaze the crowd, I gestured a little too hard with my head and the lemon next to my right ear flung into the audience. I didn't know it at the time (because it hadn't been invented yet) but that was called a wardrobe malfunction.
We danced, we mouthed the words, we were the beat. Not unlike the Dancing Queen, we were having the time of our lives. When the song ended my fruit was all over the stage. Proof that I had held nothing back.
We giggled all the way back to the bathroom. A club girl walked in and gave us the thumbs up. There were seven groups total, and we had to wait for a couple more numbers before the voting, but I was sure we were going to win. The Dancing Queen had graced us with her energy, and my heart knew it.
After the last group, we watched beefy bouncers hand out orange voting ballots to the noisy audience. I voted for our group and then found a ballot on the ground, so I voted for us again. Not that I thought we needed the padding.
Votes were tallied in a backroom somewhere and the host for the evening came back out on stage and asked for all of us to join him. We crowded around in the spotlight as he announced that there were two runner-ups and one winner. I felt butterflies and reached out to hold my roommates hand, who, coincidentally was wearing butterfly wings, if that isn't cute.
When he announced the second runner ups the crowd cheered. Confetti was thrown from a few well-placed dancers. The group pushed their way to the front of the stage and victoriously took their plastic trophy. As I clapped them on, (good for them!) I caught a glimpse of the host's index card. It was a list of the vote tallies. We were at the bottom. With ten votes. There were seven of us, I voted twice, which meant that we had garnered a fruitful two votes from the audience.
I couldn't believe it.
After the confetti-filled ceremony was over, we shamefully descended the stage. I wanted to leave, get a drink and sit in a place that didn't thump. Exiting the club I was hit in the back of the head with my long lost lemon. On the scale of feeling stupid I was off the charts. Into the cosmos.
At 7-11 we quietly filled up on Slurpees. One roommate tried to console our spiritless group.
"I bet we were fourth. I'm sure it was close." She nodded her head, faking cheer.
"We were fourth." I lied. "I saw the vote tallies."
"So close." Said another roommate.
"So close." I responded.