I should have seen it coming… Those words were muttered by more than one person recently. A few letters back, I wrote about a Beijing dinner theater (A Fun Ti) with western Chinese dancers and music…even one who performs with a snake. This was the tourist trap where the customers and dancers get to dance upon the table. Before the show started, the dancers handed out colorful caps similar in the shape to those worn by Jewish males. Of the four in our party was the boss. He was one such recipient of these caps. In the early stages of the show, they were soliciting volunteers from the audience to become participants in the show. One dancer asked the boss to come up on stage. The rest of our party kind of egged him on. Part one of this segment included a partner of the opposite sex and a balloon. You danced with your partner trying to hold up the balloon between the pair. When the music stopped, you broke the balloon. Well, the boss didn’t win. He came back to the table muttering something that he’d been set up…well… The female winner was given some prizes and escorted off the stage. The winning male was seated, blindfolded, and on came the music, dancer, and snake. The dancer proceeded to dance and dangle the snake on her blindfolded partner. Soon he shed the blindfold and started really getting into the show. Again, the boss muttered something about getting set up.

The winner?

The last time I was here, the dancer went through the audience and the snake bit someone in the nose...not hurt except it did draw blood.

It should have stopped there but in the next audience participation, they came looking for more volunteers. I should have excused myself and hid in the bathroom. Part one… belly dancing…complete with belly.

Next stop…partner up. They rehearsed just once. They told me to remove the shirt…out came the catcalls…never seen anyone with a hairy chest before? Emulating Fred and Ginger, I got to take the partner to the knee, lift her up, and spin her while she rested (trusted) in my arms. My partner groaned that I wouldn’t be able to lift her. Not a problem. My fear… Well, I hadn’t been drinking a lot of late but had to get back into training for my trip home so I had a couple of beers and shared a bottle of wine.

I feared, at best, that I was going to drop my partner. At worst, fling her off at a tangent into the fifth row. Fortunately, none of these happened and I gently laid her down across my knee.

The last stop was walking like an Egyptian like the Bangles in the video of the same name. I can do that.

…end of story….except for the boss dancing on the table.

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