The Safety Dance (or "We Can't Dance If We Want To")

For the past week me and my diplomatic colleagues in Saudi Arabia have been on "lockdown" in our residential compounds, and next week will be more of the same. I've been on "lockdown" before, but back then it was called "grounded," usually for "stealing my friend Steve's parents' Ford Escort when we were 14 while they were out for the evening, and joyriding to Safeway." This time around I'm not on "lockdown" because I'm "grounded." Probably. I guess I do owe the Lebanese cook at the Consulate cafeteria several riyal for a small bowl of chocolate mousse that I impulse bought, and then impulse ate, before realizing I was broke. I suppose that could be factoring in to the decision to keep my colleagues and I confined to our compounds. Nobody likes an impulse eater. Especially Jillian Michaels. She only likes impulse LUNGES!

We can't dance if we want to. Waaaaaaah. 2005.
The real reason for the lockdown is safety, which is noble, I suppose. But I will say it's a bit of a drag that this lockdown coincides with Eid al-Fitr, a weeklong holiday that follows Ramadan in the Muslim world. So, unfortunately and ironically, we can't dance (outside our compounds) if we want to, precisely because we're doing the safety dance. This is not how Men Without Hats intended things to go down.

But that's the breaks, and anyhow lockdown isn't so bad. I've done all sorts of interesting things while confined to my house, like straightening lampshades and then making them crooked again; air whittling (similar to air guitar, but makes you sweat less and, when you're done -- voila! You have an air sculpture); winebibbing (but using chocolate milk as a wine substitute); starting at the Wikipedia article for "Elmer Fudd" and seeing if I can get to the article for "Chernobyl" by clicking on fewer than 20 embedded hyperlinks; and searching Google Maps satellite maps of the Pacific Northwest for Bigfoot (my guess is that he is big enough to see from space, but if I don't find him soon, I'll try Google Street View and start looking for him up and down the streets of Spokane, because if I were Bigfoot that's where I would go to hide -- small town, pleasant summers, but still plenty of people to eat).