I’ve been a bit under the weather but I hope that you find a egg-tra big smile reading this episode of Queer Tango.
And, whether or not you celebrate Easter, may you have a beautiful, warm feeling of hope, light and happiness today and enjoy a big slice of chocolate!
I’m sending you a big, chocolate covered grin and much love from us.
Jody, Em and Ferb. xxx
Episode 4: Egg-straordinarily Happy
It was very tense inside the little hall of Bumblebridge and the array of dancers in eclectic headwear stumbled around to strains of dated pop music.
Beyond them, through the mist and assorted tea cups was Agnes and her fluffy blue rinse hair. Her steamed spectacles shimmered with the kids’ soft play stash as she furrowed her wise brow. Yes, Agnes had reared eight girls and managed not to throttle their father for sixty odd years and that invaluable egg-sperience had provided her with a key, irreplaceable skill: Chocolate egg making.
So, the dancers stomped and stumbled and clattered into each other with wild abandon as their focus remained upon Agnes’ treasured egg tray. Tango was one thing but high-sugared chocolate goodness surpassed any flounce or twirl… unless it was a chocolate Twirl.
Stan was inspired by this untouchable stockpile and paused, mid-step, to gaze upon his dear love. ‘Your love is more delicious than a chocolate egg,’ he whispered to Gaynor sure that this poem would win her over. ‘More delightful than that gooey filing that gets over your fingers.’
Gaynor spun him, pretty sure that she needed more chocolate to hear yet another poem.
‘Your eyes are deeper brown than my favourite caramel cream,’ he said, hoping she could see it, see just how much he loved her. ‘And your scent is better than those Snicker things upon which Tammy lingers.’
Tammy snorted as she stomped down the room dragging Tracy faster than her feet would go—It was harder with a tag on. ‘I love a good snickers, me.’
Gaynor glared at Tammy until she stomped off and then glowered up at her husband. ‘I love chocolate and to compare it to anything is just disgraceful.’ She put her finger to Stan’s stubbly top lip. ‘How could you, my love, utter such crap.’ She dragged Stan away from Agnes’ table before they got knocked over by Glynnis and Andy. ‘I would rather you say something more tasteful,’ she muttered and turned him toward Paulette and her dodgy CD player. ‘Or have a beer and take a nap.’
‘Oh, good one,’ Andy said with a snigger as he twirled Glynnis then pirouetted on the spot before catching Glynnis’ hands and swishing along the centre. ‘I got one for you…’ He cleared his throat sure that his mum liked the music Paulette was playing. ‘I once knew a bloke called George,’ he said then smirked across the crowed hall at George who glared back. ‘Who told me I was the hottest chick around.’ Andy tried to keep a straight face as Diane frowned at George. ‘He bought me a drink, and with a smile and a wink.’ Andy giggled to himself. ‘Said there wasn’t a better entertainer to be found.’
‘It was dark and I was hammered,’ George shot at him then smiled at Diane hoping she would take Andy’s annoying comments as teasing.
‘So, anyway,’ Lanie said, ducking under George’s outstretched arm. ‘You have been working loads and I thought you might need a break.’ She dodged around Glynnis’ outstretched foot as Andy slid them into a dramatic pose. ‘Plenty of tracks to cycle down in Witherbottom.’
Miriam nodded, mid-dodge around Tracy’s Welsh hat and once again wondered about Lanie and her cycle addiction. She had worn the helmet to every dance class even when Miriam had offered to just buy her an actual Tango hat—not that she knew what they were called. ‘Are there cars there too?’
Lanie shrugged. She didn’t know of many places without cars. Miriam mentioned cycling often and although Lanie liked bicycles, she hadn’t ever ridden one as much but… if she could get Miriam on holiday… to her parent’s caravan then maybe they could do something other than discuss puncture kits.
Tammy sniggered as Lanie headed their way and stuck her bottom out and bounced Lanie into Miriam. ‘Strike!’
Tracy snorted and high-fived her as Lanie and Miriam clattered into Paulette and nearly took out the CD Player. ‘Just need to knock the others out the way and the egg-stash is ours.’
Lanie rubbed at her throbbing ankle and glared over her shoulder. ‘Oi, you’re meant to step on her feet not mine.’
‘So, Witherbottom…’ Miriam said, egg-asperated and hoped to drag Lanie back to the conversation. Lanie had been trying to ask her to go to the caravan all week and Lanie’s mother had already asked and Miriam had said yes… but Lanie needed to ask… because then Miriam could say she hadn’t just dyed her hair pink for no reason.
‘Ay,’ Tammy said and charged Tracy toward Diane and George. ‘Your Ricky still hasn’t nicked new hats.’
‘I know,’ Tracy mumbled, jumping over Hedges’ leg as Mary-Lou twirled and twirled Hedges with her. ‘Ricky is laying low… had a visit from Paulette… and wouldn’t say more but I found a plimsole on the driveway.’
‘You’ll see my plimsoles if you keep taking out half the class,’ Paulette muttered, stare hard and unrelenting. Yes, she hadn’t been a Cream Egg in the dancing corps for nothing. Too bad her ex had been the Sherbet Lemon. He’d looked so sweet on the outside but she should have chosen the guy playing the chocolate fudge instead, at least he would have had more substance to his middle.
‘It’s nice that they are getting on so well,’ Diane said as she bounced Tracy off with her bottom. ‘Lanie was so heartbroken when Miriam left.’
‘Oh, I know,’ George said, glad that Diane had moved on from Andy’s Ruby comment and that she’d taken on Tracy instead of him. ‘I feel for her. I know what it is to pine for someone who doesn’t know and doesn’t realise just how much her love of fried hot cross buns moves me so.’
Diane beamed. She loved hot cross buns. Did George mean her? Had he found a place for her inside his egg-stra big heart?
‘Ruby is watching her waistline, thank you,’ Andy said and winked at Diane before dashing down the centre of the room and in front of Tracy who nearly had her hands on the caramelised eggs.
‘I gave up chocolate for lent,’ Glynnis said, eyes locked on the fondant topping of the marshmallow centred eggs: Agnes had some talent. ‘I’ve never chosen chocolate before but it was a silly idea… I didn’t realise just how large a portion of my diet chocolate is.’ She swooned at the sugar coated selection. ‘I had withdrawal symptoms… real ones.’
‘I do love chocolate myself,’ Andy said with a flourish. ‘I couldn’t give it up so I’ll just say Ruby did… it’s easier not to eat on stage.’
‘My favourite is the cream filled one, although I’m not sure it’s actually cream because it looks like egg filling?’ Hedges said, deep in thought, not noticing that she’d stepped on Tracy’s heel and sent them clattering into the soft play at the back of Agnes. ‘It doesn’t taste like cream either.’
Mary-Lou nodded, part-shivered and hugged her towel around her as they strode toward Ceri and Janice doing an odd on-the-spot version of tango. ‘My daughter puts a load of ice cream in her soda.’
‘I throw gin in mine,’ Hedges mumbled then averted being seen by Gaynor. ‘Stan had me singing to her… singing…’ She shuddered then spotted Ceri twirling to close so broke hold and… um… tap danced around back to Mary-Lou who raised and eyebrow. ‘My husband doesn’t think I’m gonna pull a Trevor anymore.’
Mary-Lou, impressed by the ad-lib dancing, threw in some break dance moves she’d picked up from her daughter’s friend. ‘Hedges, I don’t get you, honey.’
‘Pull a Trevor,’ Hedges said loudly like she was translating to the profoundly deaf. ‘Means running off with someone else.’ She tried to mimic Mary-Lou’s dance moves not sure when they’d learned the moves but she was sure she’d never seen a head spin in tango before. She couldn’t manage a head spin so just jogged on the spot. ‘I made him come with me this time and forced him to play bongos.’
‘Who, Trevor?’ Mary-Lou jogged on the spot too not sure what Hedges was doing but Ceri and Janice were doing the same thing so she guessed it was a new form of Brit Tango. Probably helped them keep warm while dancing.
‘No, not Trevor,’ Hedges said wincing at Ceri. ‘My husband.’
‘Why must you keep reminding me of that boy,’ Glynnis mumbled as she swept by then looked Ceri up and down. Clearly it was a new move. She and Andy jogged on the spot too… albeit Andy tap danced in between with Hedges. ‘Did you know that Barry sorts through the refuge he collects to sell it cheap on the line.’
‘I know, he calls it art,’ Ceri muttered then checked her steps. She needed to jog faster. How could Janice’s mother be so ahead on her steps? She was older… as in at least seventy odd. So unfair. ‘He gave an empty tin of beans with two chewing gums and a string attached to Sally and told her it was representative of how she labelled people and strung them along.’ Ceri pursed her lips. ‘I took it back around there and I told him that if he didn’t keep his rubbish to himself, I’d send Janice round.’
Janice nodded and puffed out her chest. ‘I’ll show him what to do with discarded gum alright.’ She jogged then noticed a mark on the nice pristine flooring so dropped her cloth to her shoe and scrubbed the mark away hoping it looked like she was doing the twist. ‘You can stick a lot of things together with gum.’
‘You can, you even managed to stick the tiles back on in the bathroom with it,’ Ceri said, so proud of Janice’s abilities around the house. Trevor had managed to sink the sofa in the middle with his backside but that was about it.
‘Did.’ Janet eyed Stan who was half-jogging on the spot, half-twisting his foot like her. ‘Your wig is on the wonk.’
‘Cheers.’ Stan righted it with a smile. It was so thoughtful of Andy to lend it to him. He hadn’t had hair since his twenties. It was nice having a warm head.
‘We’re tango-ing… why are you… whatever it is you’re doing?’ Gaynor stopped. She wasn’t jogging, she didn’t have her sports bra on—because she didn’t own one—and her boobs hurt when she exercised… as did her legs and everything else.
Tammy wasn’t jogging on the spot either. If she tried it, she’d give herself and Tracy black eyes. ‘They are clearing the floor for the egg-sperts.’
Tracy winked at Mary-Lou. ‘That’s right, yoga pants, the chocolate stash is ours.’
‘Not so fast.’ Lanie stuck her foot out and sent Tracy flying into Tammy and onto the old trampoline Janice was in the middle of sticking together with gum.
‘Your egg-iled to the edges, girls,’ Miriam said, beaming up at Lanie. The cycle helmet had come in handy for something.
‘Oi,’ Tracy said, bouncing off Tammy and the trampoline back into Tango hold. ‘I’ll have you know, I talked to Neal.’
Miriam folded her arms.
‘Yeah, I did.’ Tracy nodded then yanked around in a sort-of twirl but Tammy was heavier than her so they just looked like they were doing the javelin… no… whatever the sport was where the beefy blokes swung around and around in a cage. ‘He told me that he had remarried.’
‘And?’ Miriam was hoisted off her feet by Lanie who swung her around while jogging on the spot.
‘And…’ Tracy said as Miriam spun. ‘I told him… that you… were… off with… someone… who looked… better… in lycra.’ It was hard trying to tease someone who was spinning.
‘Don’t tell Mary-Lou that,’ Miriam said then swung herself around just to stop Lanie trying to make her sick. ‘Barney isn’t my type.’
Hint to Lanie.
Mary-Lou stuck up her finger. ‘Don’t go there, honey. He’s real into his pink pants and I ain’t been able to stick them in the garbage can.’
‘She means he likes his cycling outfit and she can’t get him to throw them out.’ Hedges puffed out her breath and shrugged at Paulette who eyed them all jogging with a mixture of pity and egg-asperation.
‘Yeah, he looks like an egg and that he’s put on eighty pounds,’ Mary-Lou said trying to erase the picture of her beloved Barney in pink. There was only so much a girl could take.
‘Eighty pounds?’ Tammy stopped her charge at the eggs long enough to drool at Mary-Lou.
‘She means weight not money,’ Hedges said with a nod and a puff. It was egg-hausting running on the spot.
Tracy nodded and headed for the eggs again. With most of the class jogging, they had a clear route.
Diane crashed into her and bounced her into Paulette. ‘Some people just go tangoing into things but other people need a more softer embrace.’
Paulette nodded. Her plimsole had given Ricky an embrace and oddly she’d had a brand new car delivered the next day.
‘I agree,’ George said with a swish of his cooking apron—he needed it for confidence. He was always confident in front of a fryer so he thought it’d help. ‘It’s like the cream egg and chips special. I had to have the courage to find the right combination… and, my muse… you inspired me yet again.’
‘I agree, the right combination is essential.’ Diane blushed. She didn’t like to tell him that the chocolate didn’t really need frying to be tasty.
‘The right combination is not running off with someone who didn’t even make the eleven plus,’ Glynnis said, mid-jog, with a sniff.
‘What’s that?’ Andy asked with a bemused egg-pression. ‘Ruby’s a size twelve if that helps?’
‘That’s egg-stremely slim,’ Glynnis said with a wink.
‘Witherbottom,’ Lanie said between puffs. ‘You want to come with my parents and me… I mean it’s not cool—’
‘Yes,’ Miriam blurted out. ‘I’m very egg-cited about it.’
Lanie grinned. ‘You are?’
‘You are more wonderful than tea,’ Stan said, grasping the opportunity to impress Gaynor, and his wig.
‘Can you borrow Ruby’s feather boa?’ Gaynor muttered and held onto her hat.
‘Why?’ Stan said while puffing.
‘Cause you can stick it in your mouth so I can have some peace and quiet.’ Gaynor rolled her eyes—which was hard mid twist-jog. ‘And maybe we can tango instead of running… why are we jogging?’
‘Need more steps,’ Ceri said with a grin on her face. ‘Janice’s mother walks ten miles a day.’
‘She does,’ Janice said with a proud smile. ‘It means so much to her that someone else likes walking as much as she does.’
‘Yes, but walking ain’t tango,’ Tracy said pulling herself out from under Tammy.
‘And yet, Paulette isn’t yelling at us,’ Andy said then looked around. ‘Where is Paulette by the way?’
The kettle boiled and the class stopped and locked their eyes on the fair faced, steamed glasses, of Agnes.
There, amongst the steam, was Paulette, two eggs in her hands and a big smile on her face. ‘I’m egg-amining you from afar,’ she said chomping on her chocolate. ‘Your dancing is more egg-huberant than normal, I’ll say.’
The class ditched jogging and scurried to the table with grins on their faces.
Agnes, with a contented sigh, enjoyed feeding her hard workers. Yes, keeping people filled with sugary treats made her egg-straordinarily happy.