Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.

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July 28, 2014
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Gwen Petersen: In a Sow's Ear 7-28-14

People have asked, “Where do you find ideas for humor?” Or: “What’s your inspiration?” “What do you think is funny?” And so forth and so on.

Most of the time, it’s a matter of choosing. Given the horrors happening all over the globe, one could become chronically depressed. While not suggesting serious matters should be ignored, I prefer to “sing about what is good and decent and enjoyable.” I don’t know where that quote originated, but it resonates in my brain.

Having said that — which is about as serious as I ever get — I shall hereby recount a recent experience that I found both awesome and hilarious. I’m speaking of a rock ’n roll musical event at the Pine Creek Lodge and Café establishment. The place is located a few miles south of Livingston, Mont., on the way to Yellowstone National Park. The event was called ... and I quote ... “Igor and the Red Elvises.” No doubt this excellent band of musicians is known to all the world — except to fuddy duddies such as myself.

I’m one who has always loved to dance — or used to. I could two-step, jitterbug, Charleston, square dance, waltz, conga, varsouvienne, polka, tap dance — I could even shimmy like my sister, Kate ... Remember that song? Remember school house dances? Community Hall dances? Remember the old-fashioned custom where the guys asked gals to partner with them (or vise-versa if the fellas hadn’t had enough brave-making beverage to approach the gals ...) Remember getting dressed up to attend a special dance?

Igor and the Red Elvises are amazing musicians. Igor (as you might guess) originates from Russia. He is the musical maestro/genius behind the group. All summer, they travel around Montana, hitting one location after another on a daily basis. Given the distances in Montana, that’s an awesome schedule. One evening they’ll be in Chico, the next in Missoula, the next in Pine Creek — destinations hundreds of miles apart.

Pine Creek Café sports an outdoor stage built under shade-providing cottonwoods. A rough-board platform accommodates dancers. The music started at blast-off decibels. (Be advised: Unless you look forward to going deaf, always be prepared to stuff cotton balls in your ears).

I admit it, I am an out-of-touch fossil. I thought there’d be dancing. No such thing. No organized steps of any kind. People jumping-jacked up and down, jiggled, shook and gyrated to the beat of the music. No partners needed. Watching the variety of twitchy movements was better than watching reality TV. Fat folks’ jelly rolls quivered. Paunchy guys lumbered like bears coming out of dens in spring pushing their bellies ahead of them. Old hippies — I figured they were hippies because they sported gray pony tails from what remained of their hair — jerked, shuddered and shook. Many individuals didn’t bother wearing footgear. They spasmed to the beat barefooted, apparently unworried about splinters from the rough planking. At frequent intervals, the dancers threw their hands in the air and clapped to the beat.

Lyrics to most of the songs came across as unintelligible grunts. Singers uttered, muttered and moaned into microphones while gesticulating, waving and performing awesome body movements. I had no clue as to the actual words being sung — except for one. Igor announced a newly released album titled Smell the Bacon. The musicians and the entire rubber-band crowd shouted those three words at regular intervals: SMELL THE BACON, SMELL THE BACON, SMELL THE BACON! SMELL THE BACON! SMELL THE BACON!

What’s funny, what’s inspiring, what’s humorous you ask? Answer: SMELL THE BACON! ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Jul 24, 2014 12:41PM Published Aug 11, 2014 02:10PM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.