For ‘Dancing Dads,’ do or die battle for seats

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 10, 2002

When it was all said and done, it had only taken a couple ofminutes. But those few minutes took all of the athleticism andstrategy of three sets of tennis or two days of intense golf. Heck,there is less planning and strategy in the Egg Bowl than thisevent.

I had been told to call in the score immediately. My cell phonewas primed and ready!

“The eagle has landed,” I reported on my phone — a little bitout of breath.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Where are we?” I was quickly asked.

“Well, it wasn’t pretty and two people went down, I almost wentdown with them,” I said.

“Where are we?” she asked again, a little more sternly!

“Row J, seats 1-6,” I said proudly.

“You couldn’t get closer?” Amy asked.

“Well, it is the middle section,” I shot back. “And, if thatlittle girl had not cut me off, I might have gotten a couple orrows closer,” I said. Looking for a little sympathy, I threw inthat I did not think my ankle was too badly sprained.

She did not take the bait. “Did you tape off the seats and putour name on the tape?”

“Yes dear,” I said.

“Good, we will see you in an hour,” and the phone went dead.

This all started about 10 days ago when I was informed that as a”Dancing Dad” my job was to stake out the seats for Friday night’sdance recital. I was told all the dads would be there, and a fewkey names were rattled off.

I was running a bit late Friday afternoon. As I pulled up, therewas Stan Winborne, walking in the door with a folding chairstrapped to his back. “He knew the ropes,” I said to myself as Igrabbed a chair out of my trunk and headed to the Co-Linauditorium. I was ready for battle.

I got my place in line on the right side door as instructed andunfolded my chair. I was told the doors do not open until 5:30 butto get there by at least 4:30. I was not as late as I thought,because I was the fourth person in line on my side.

I said my pleasantries to the folks standing in front of me. Butwithin minutes the foyer was full of people — mostly mothers!Where were all the dads I was told about? At this point, the only”Dancing Dads” were Stan, Johnny Rainer and I. I had been had!

As we got closer to the appointed hour, you could feel thetension in the air. People were watching each other carefully, andslowly the line was pushing closer to the door. It was then Irealized the seriousness of the situation, and why the mothers werehere — other dads had failed and had not been asked to return.

I looked around. Everyone had a roll of tape in hand. Some hadalready made signs with their names clearly written. I had my tapein one hand and a magic marker in the other. Amy had prepared mewell.

As the clock ticked closer, I got up from my chair. One motherlooked at me and told me to leave my chair right where it was andnot to move it.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because it will block everyone behind us,” she said. Shestarted doing warm up stretches.

I moved my chair anyway.

The mother behind me suddenly moved right next to me.Laughingly, I told her I was going to block her out — she didn’tlaugh.

What happened next is a blur. The door opened and quickly themother to the right of me blocked me out and two other mothers shotpast me. I thought picks were illegal!

I dodged the folding chair in front of me and then shot throughthe door.

I had a clear path and a row picked out when all of a sudden alittle blur shot past me — straight to the row I had pickedout!

I grabbed the next one and my mission was accomplished.

Another dad looked at me and said, “this is tough.” He added,”Last year I almost had to get in a fist fight with a fellow oversome seats. I told him it was either him or my wife, and I hadrather take him on.”

Next year I will be ready. My goal will be row H. I will bewearing tennis shoes and sweats. And those three moms — they aregoing down!