Here’s this week’s episode of Queer Tango, I hope you enjoy!
As always, please excuse the typos.
Episode 51: A Class Outing
Paulette was a dedicated teacher which she blamed on her desire to have a class that could remember their steps, perform like professionals, and do so without any bickering over whether they wanted greasy food or salad for dinner—Miriam was still trying to persuade Lanie that organic onions were worth the price.
Being dedicated, she spent hours making class plans, organising rehearsals, finding spaces willing to let ‘Plimsoles’ Wigglers’ perform, while keeping Andy from sneaking a look at her dance routine drafts. It was a struggle because he was very easy to let close and he provided chocolate.
However, dedicated or not, Paulette was sleep deprived because Little Agnes was teething and bawled louder than George when he got married. Andy was sure they were happy bawling tears though unlike Agnes’ which made Paulette’s stomach crunch into a ball. She understood now why her mother had needed a few tissues when Paulette fell on her arm and broke it. Andy tended to sob with Little Agnes so between them both, Paulette’s stomach could act as a George Mat.
It hadn’t helped her dedication and she’d forgotten to write a class plan so, as her professionally inept class members stood waiting for her instruction, Paulette tried to make her brain work enough to make sense.
‘Diane, you twirl over there and George will too,’ was all she could manage and then she yawned. ‘Miriam, you do some steps with Lanie.’
Miriam cocked her head. ‘Any particular ones or shall we just walk around?’
Lanie chuckled. ‘I could hop and make it interesting.’
‘That’s my step,’ Hedges said and poked out her tongue only for Billington to poke out his tongue and wag too.
‘Um… you decide,’ Paulette said and rubbed at her eyes. She’d just have a sit down.
Little Agnes started bawling and her stomach crunched. Andy hurried over to Agnes and picked her up, sang to her, gave her a cooling chew and danced about. Little Liza danced about on the George Mat with him.
‘I think she’s teething,’ Stan said, peering underneath his wig.
‘I think she is too,’ Gaynor said peering through her glasses.
Little Liza nodded and pointed to her mouth.
Agnes, Paulette’s mother, wandered over from the kettle and cooed at Little Agnes, then Little Liza and Agnes the smaller then stopped and gazed up at her.
Andy handed her over with relief in his eyes. ‘You look like you’re qualified.’
‘I’d say so.’ Agnes, the older one, nodded and took her granddaughter in her arms. She’d had eight daughters, most of which had babies and they’d all bawled. She’d fed every one of them alcohol to help. Paulette wasn’t happy with giving babies alcohol though. She also didn’t like Agnes’ concoctions to help either because, of course, Paulette knew better having had one baby, reading a leaflet and being nagged by medical staff than Agnes.
‘Don’t give her that mixture,’ Paulette managed then slumped onto the George Mat; Little Liza was thrown upward then landed next to her with a giggle.
‘I’m not giving her any,’ Agnes said, pulling the bottle from her bag—with her mixture in—and popping it in Little Agnes’ mouth. ‘She’s just thirsty.’
Paulette tried to glower at her but her eyebrows were too heavy.
‘Why don’t we put you on the mat properly and I’ll take class,’ Andy said with a soothing voice and placed Agnes’ table cloth over Paulette.
She yawned then passed out.
Andy clapped his hands then winced as Paulette stirred. ‘I think we should leave her to sleep and dance outside.’
Mary-Lou eyed the doorway. ‘It’s cold.’
Hedges looked up at her. ‘Cold? I’m sweating strimmers.’
‘Huh?’ Mary-Lou smiled down at her.
‘A strimmer, you know? You cut the edges of the grass with it.’ Hedges nodded up at her like she was translating.
‘I got the reference to your power tools, honey, I was confused why you think it’s warm.’ Mary-Lou hugged her cropped jumper. ‘I needed a turtle neck.’
‘You don’t look like you have a turtle neck,’ Janis said with a frown. ‘You don’t even have any wrinkles.’
Hedges looked from Janis to Mary-Lou. ‘Huh?’
‘Turtle neck…’ Janis shrugged. ‘Maybe I’m thinking of a double chin.’
Ceri smiled up at her. ‘It’s wrinkly.’
Mary-Lou covered her high-neck on her jumper. ‘It is so not.’
‘No, not your neck, a turtle neck.’ Ceri chuckled and walked back and forth as Andy led them outside.
‘It means a polo neck,’ Hedges translated as she hopped down the steps with Billington hopping on alternate paws beside her.
‘A polo neck?’ Mary-Lou folded her arms. ‘They have a collar.’
‘No, that’s a polo shirt,’ Gaynor said glad that Agnes was entertaining both babies yet trying not to appear like she wanted to hurry inside and check if Agnes was making Liza drink any mixture.
‘A blouse or a jersey?’ Mary-Lou asked and twirled to keep warm.
‘Not a blouse,’ Glynnis said pulling out binoculars and scouring the car park in case Trevor or Barry were lurking. ‘It’s a jumper though, you’re right.’
‘I didn’t call it a sweater,’ Mary-Lou said with a confused frown then turned to Andy who was dragging furniture out from the shop like he was creating a display.
‘That’s what a jersey is though,’ Tracy said, chomping and eying the furniture while trying to pretend she didn’t want to call Ricky to ‘borrow’ the sofa.
Tammy wandered over to the same two seater and eyed the price tag then sucked in a breath and pulled out a Snickers to calm herself.
‘No, you wear a jersey when you exercise.’ Mary-Lou looked at Hedges but she was talking to Billington about not peeing on the expensive sofa.
‘That’s just a shirt,’ George said, tripped over the steps, catapulted over the sofa, and flattened Lanie who landed on the sofa with an ‘oompf.’
‘A shirt is what you wear when you’re attending a dinner party?’ Mary-Lou glanced at Hedges for help but she was being dragged at high-speed by Billington over to the car park.
Glynnis lowered her binoculars. ‘Can sniff him at distance.’
‘The shirt?’ Mary-Lou asked then winced.
Hedges squealed as Billington dragged her over a ditch, through a puddle and sped onwards toward the road.
‘No, we call sportswear, shirts.’ Glynnis let out a happy sigh. ‘Billington can sniff Trevor’s sportswear at distance.’
‘Why, does his jersey stink?’ Mary-Lou eyed Lanie who clambered off the sofa and swatted George with a cushion, then Tracy pointed to the price tag, Tammy chomped on her Snickers and fanned herself with the wrapper and Lanie patted the cushion, carefully got off the sofa and patted it.
‘Probably,’ Ceri said dusting the sofa with her feather dusters. ‘I did his washing for him.’
‘I don’t think Barry does,’ Stan said and wrinkled up his nose then dodged as George tripped over his foot and landed on Diane’s bust. ‘Where did Andy go?’
Miriam eyed the price on the chair he’d dragged out and wobbled. ‘I wouldn’t need to use anaesthetic on patients, I should just bring them shopping here.’
Diane lifted George up, raised and eyebrow and pecked him on the lips.
Mary-Lou raised her eyebrow. ‘It’s handmade.’
Stan folded his arms. ‘George gets a kiss. If I landed on your boobs, I’d need Agnes’ mixture.’
Gaynor nodded. ‘You would.’
Glynnis waved her binoculars around. ‘A person controlling a machine is not handmade.’
Hedges squealed in the distance, Billington barked and someone yelped.
‘It isn’t machine made,’ Mary-Lou said with a wag of her finger. ‘I have trained people.’
‘You?’ Glynnis stared at her in shock.
‘Well, people I hired.’ Mary-Lou shrugged. ‘I’d need Hedges to translate and she has to do poetry.’
Tammy snorted. ‘And assist Billington.’
Janis eyed the door to Squishy. ‘I think Andy has forgotten us.’
‘I think he’s nicked a sofa and run off with it,’ Tracy said with a smirk.
Lanie walked over to the door then rolled her eyes. ‘He’s fallen asleep next to Paulette and the babies.’
Stan pursed his lips. ‘You should ask her for that recipe,’ he said to Gaynor.
‘I think we should ask her for the recipe,’ Tracy said to Tammy.
‘I’m taking her recipe and the price list for this lot,’ Miriam said to Lanie. ‘It would save me a whole lot of anaesthetic.’
Hedges wandered back, mud splattered, dishevelled and plonked onto the sofa; Billington sprinted over, bumping into George who knocked Diane into Gaynor who flattened Mary-Lou, who tripped up Glynnis, who crashed into Miriam, who knocked over Ceri, who crunched into Janis, who steadied herself as Lanie winced and Tammy enjoyed her Snickers. Billington jumped onto the sofa next to Hedges full of mud and panted with a happy smile at Mary-Lou.
‘Does he have pink lycra in his mouth?’ Mary-Lou asked with a groan.
‘He does,’ Hedges said. ‘But it wasn’t Barry, just a man in a shirt.’
‘Jersey or blouse?’ Mary-Lou mumbled.
‘Neither now,’ Stan said with a groan and a snort.
Paulette wandered out of Squishy wondering why everyone was outside then put her hands on her hips as her class were yet again in a pile. ‘That’s what I thought when I saw the price too.’
‘We were supposed to be dancing,’ George said hoping that he climb off the arm of the sofa before Mary-Lou noticed he’d scuffed it.
‘I got that by the groaning.’ Paulette shook her head at them then at Andy snoring on the George Mat. ‘As always, you’ve truly managed a class outing.’