Gettin’ down at the Wilma


Lurking just a couple feet from the ladies’ bathroom, a thin middle-aged man wearing a beige trench coat, ball cap, and round glasses keeps his hands deep in his pockets and smiles at passers-by. Only office shoes and black socks cover the lower portion of his pale white legs, which lead up under his trench coat. After receiving vicious looks from several women, he worries that his wife won’t come out of the bathroom anytime soon and that people aren’t getting the joke. Many don’t know this is a stereotype party, and that he’s not really a flasher.

Pulsating strobe lights and flickering colored patterns cut through a dense fog hovering in the Red Light Green Room’s two-room dance floor. A swelling mob of 350-400 party-goers begins to anticipate the new year’s approach as thumping disco gets drowned out by a flood of party horns and cheerful outbursts.

Meagan, visibly pregnant, busts-out serious dance moves and gulps drinks with reckless abandon. On closer inspection, she’s not only pregnant, but she has dark, furry, bear’s feet. She’s bear-foot and pregnant, groovin’ with a great big smile.

The crowd’s energy works into a climax, but the bartender keeps sober and focused. Surrounded by overwhelming noise, flying confetti, and a dense crowd, he climbs on the bar and stretches to reach a cord releasing a balloon-loaded tarp hanging from the ceiling. The swelling noise becomes deafening, the countdown begins, and with an explosion of cheers, confetti and widespread kissing, the hour comes round.

As the balloons drop, a funky horn riff leads into Kool and The Gang’s “Celebrate Good Times.” For minutes, the air fills with out-stretched cell phones, loud cheers, camera flashes, clapping hands, party horns, confetti explosions, and a deafening barrage of popping balloons.

Dancing perhaps a little too wildly, a cowboy slips, falling to the floor. Instead of standing up to meet the new year on his feet, he gets literal about getting down. On his back laughing, he kicks his legs and waves his straw hat to the music.


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