They come up to you with a fanatical glitter in their eye, grab you by the elbow, and proceed to enthuse at great length about some great book they've just read, or movie they've just seen, or exercise routine they've just started -- and you've simply got to see it!
In vain do you try to wriggle away, plead a headache, terminal disease, or other futile excuse. No, that won't do. You've simply got to see this.
With a name like Merry, I'm supposed to be the cheerful one around here. Even so, their very enthusiasm is so excessive that it turns me against them; for some reason they put the F.U. into effusive. Lately, I've been encountering fanatical pole dancers. Yikes!
I have no doubt that pole dancing is a great way to work the arms and core muscles. Just watching people spin around the pole upside down shows that. And sure, if it gets people working out, pole dancing classes sound fine.
[Text for the video-impaired: pole dancing fitness class.]
The blogger Rachel From North London defends pole dancing as a form of exercise. "Why? Have we been brainwashed and turned into Barbie? Not really, I say, it's just that it is completely excellent fun. Especially compared to the humourless, soul-less gym. We warm up, we practise ballet, yoga, strength-training moves. Then we get to access our inner showgirl. We swing on poles and kick our legs and toss our hair and feel gorgeous and go slightly bonkers whilst the Rolling Stones pound in the background."
I don't have a problem with that. What I find annoying is people who want me to watch pole dancing. For some reason, it's immensely popular. It's even being featured on shows like "America's Got Talent" and such.
I don't think that this sort of thing is half as much fun to watch as it is to do. I've never tried pole dancing, but it looks like the people doing the pole dancing really enjoy it. I have no doubt it's a great way to work the core muscles, but unless you're in a sleazy bar taking off your clothes while you're doing it, I don't think other people -- people who don't practice this form of exercise themselves -- really want to watch.
All right, so it's mildly amusing to watch pole dancing bloopers:
[Text for the video-impaired: what not to do when learning pole dance. Hint: next time, leave the mattress on the floor rather than propped up against the wall.]
On the plus side, there is some "pole dancing" that I can approve of.
[Text for the video-impaired: A Russian trio display an act that's a cross between dancing on a trampoline and on a balance beam. Very impressive.]
Am I being unduly critical of pole dancing? I don't think so. There are some forms of exercise that I would willingly watch -- ballet comes to mind -- but to me, pole dancing is not Art. It may be fun, it may provide a great workout, I'll take your word for it. Just don't ask me to watch it.