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[whitespace] Bars, Clubs & Coffee Houses 2001: Fantasy Ice Land

One enchanted evening involves a dream date, the Thunderdome and rapture on ice

By Mike Connor

Dear Diary:

Oct. 14, 2001. It's been weeks and I still haven't gotten up the courage to talk to Nancy. What am I supposed to do, just walk up to her and start talking? About what? How beautiful she is? How stylish? How her particular brand of spacey, blissful aloofness enchants me to no end? Should I tell her that I think a pug would be the perfect accessory for her, its rakish charm perfectly complementing her aura of spacey, blissful aloofness? No, no, no!

Oct. 21, 2001. I was eating jelly doughnuts and watching Aladdin today and then it hit me like a piece of chalk thrown at me by my seventh-grade biology teacher: I'll become all-powerful, and after turning that teacher into a frog raised for scientific research (I still can't believe he threw chalk at me!), I'll simply make her fall madly in love with me. But no, that'd be too ... manipulative. I couldn't be happy knowing she didn't love me of her own accord.

Oct. 31, 2001. I wonder if these doughnuts will help me become all-powerful? Meantime, I figure it's a good time to start planning "One Enchanted Evening"--the theme of senior prom. Didn't have a date then, but I do now, ha ha!

Anyhow, back to business. I think it's a good idea to start off low-key, like, say ... a candle-lit dinner in a four-star restaurant encapsulated by a gigantic jellyfish tank. It'll be so cool ... luminescent invertebrate organisms shining above us like stars, like her eyes ... yes! "Darling, your eyes shine like jellyfish in the sky," I'll croon. I hope she'll be delighted when our waiter, who also works as a contortionist, walks on his hands and serves our food with gloved feet. "Eat your goulash!" he'll bark with a thick Austrian accent.

Then, after dinner, we'll head over to the Dome for the evening's entertainment. Like Thunderdome, sans Mel Gibson, the midget and the barrel-chested brute. Lo and behold, it's my biology teacher and my friend Dave's dad, Pastor Ciolkoz, in the ring instead! And even though Master Blaster isn't there, someone could still scream out, "Master Blaster! Listennnnn to the laaaaaaaawwwww!" for dramatic effect, wherein Nancy will, I think, put her arm in mine and ask, "Have you been working out?"

Next, I'll lead her over to the river, where a gondola is waiting to ferry us upstream. The gondolier speaks of our nation's economy and how a fluctuation in the business cycle rhymes with puncturation of the unicycle. I commend his astute observation and tip him generously as we exit the gondola at a secret spot that nobody knows about. I move a piece of brush aside to reveal a secret entrance, which we then secretly enter.

Up ahead, white light pours out of the right side of the corridor like some heavenly TV snow. We enter and squint as blinding white light stings our dilated pupils. Inside, the air is cold, crisp and infused with the smell of burning cedar. I look into Nancy's eyes, shining now like frozen jellyfish in the cold, white air, when all at once the camera spins around us once and freezes like the ice we're standing on. Then, it pans back as we push off away from the wall in unison, gliding gracefully on steel blades toward the center of the rink, where we freeze like two statues. I'm poised like an arrow, left leg stretched out behind and right arm stretched forward, pointing toward her, and she ... she's just standing there with her hands on her hips, grinning wryly at me.

Millions are watching, even the people who couldn't get good seats watch our images projected onto the gigantic dome above, star-struck. A hush falls over the crowd as everyone waits for us to move. And then Nancy reaches out and grabs my outstretched hand, pulls me in close. There we are, standing nose-to-nose, arms at our sides, palm to palm to palm to palm, and finally it happens: "Dada da dah da daahhhhh," sounds the horn section, followed closely by the high hat picking up the pace as the band strikes up the theme to The Love Boat and the whole crowd roars to its feet as we circle round the rink, pumping our legs forward and backward as one, cold air at our cheeks, breathless and smiling at life's sweetest reward.

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From the October 24-31, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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