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Smithson Thus Far... ·


From the Skin Horse brainstorming emails, a pressing question:

[Jeff's comments in italics.]

Tip: Yes, fairly well. This is a skill he cultivates as part of the basic seduction package, like cooking.


Unity: Enjoys thrashing violently and almost rhythmically about. Can possibly do the "Thriller" dance.

Three-year-old "dancing" consists of a lot of stomping around while music is playing. This is the sort of thing I immediately see on the topic of asking her to dance. If you were an inspiring sort of dance teacher at a performing arts academy like in "Fame," you would urge her to try to use some of her combat katas instead of actually trying to "dance," and this would be your big breakthrough moment as her teacher.

Sweetheart: Maybe, if you can convince her to, which you can't without getting her very drunk.

Possibly when alone.

Moustachio: Programmed to dance a perfect quadrille. Can't actually do it because he has no legs.

How sad.

Gavotte: That's like asking a human whether they can talk.

Are you good at breathing?

Nick: Surprisingly enough, was quite a good dancer when human, not that he'd do it in public. He has a gift for kinaesthetic learning. Whether he can dance now depends on what you classify as dancing.

Again, this would be a challenge for your hypothetical performing arts teacher looking for an inspiring and audience-friendly breakthrough.

Dr. Lee: Hopeless. Possibly unaware that she's hopeless.

An inspiring Dr. Lee story would involve convincing her that maybe she should sign up for a different department in your performing arts school.

Chris and Marcie: Can probably do dances they learned at Ren Faire. Chris totally strikes me as a guy who would do a schottische in a utilikilt.

Also, possibly Marcie was in an amateur Shakespeare-geek student organization while in college, wherein she may have picked up some steps.

Tigerlily: There's an issue of "Sandman" where an ancient fertility goddess has been working at a strip club, and she decides to stop holding back and really dance. All the patrons' brains rupture and then the strip club explodes.

As she says, with terrifying groove.

Also: Julie -- No. Can probably do a mean chicken-dance or Hokey Pokey at a wedding reception but that's the limit of her talent.

In summation: Dr. Lee will continue to be the worst dancer in "Skin Horse" until such time as we introduce [REDACTED].

Julie is still better than Lee.

Bo Lindbergh (blgl) says: A character who's supernaturally, spectator's-mind-fryingly bad at dancing? Hmm....
E.T. the Eccentric Type (et_the_eccentric_type) says:

Can't be worse than the Cypress.

Or Louis the Peace Lily.

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Nick being a capable dancer surprises me. It doesn't surprise me that he could pick it up easily - the kinaesthetic learner thing seems more common among geeks, for whatever reason (or maybe it's just that only geeks will do enough meta-analysis of their own thinking patterns to classify themselves as "kinaesthetic learners" or otherwise) - but it surprises me that he put even that minimal effort into actually learning it.

I've done the "combat katas as dance" thing before. Doing it to J-pop is possibly a better cardio workout than actual armored combat.

James Rice (jhrice) says:

After failing the audition for that OK GO video, Sweetheart will probably never dance again.

Rachel S. (masamage) says:

This transcript fills me with joy and love.

Naked Kali (nakedkali) says:

The cobras probably only dance as a group, where they wriggle and twine in one giant ball.

The silverfish probably dance to big band music in the hall of their castle, when their queen isn't looking.

The crystaline entities were always dancing, not that we inferior creatures would have the proper sensorium to notice this.

fluffy <3 (fluffy) says:

Now I'm just imagining Sweetheart dancing like Snoopy.

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: If Nick were in the body of a jet fighter I would say he could do some pretty impressive dancing for sure, those things can really do some spectacular moves. As he is now he could pull off a pretty good slow dance if he worked on it.
Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

Oh noes!  If Nick has watched a nature documentary about how bees communicate, and Gavotte sees him practicing... Moustachio might jolly well have a reason to rampage!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "You Should Be Dancing", The Bee Gees)

Tip trips the light fantastic ...
And Nick was not too bad ...
The zombie's wild and spastic ...
But Doctor Lee's just sad!

    Got no rhythm and she's hopeless now ... no ...
    Got no rhythm and she's hopeless now ... no ...
    She's bad at dancing, yeah!
    Dancing yeah!

That funky Tigerlily,
Her groove will drive you nuts!
Says Sweetheart, "Dancing's silly,"
Poor Dr. Lee's a klutz!
    (repeat REFRAIN)

See Chris and Marcie reeling
At Ren Faire in the fall ...
Gavotte?  It's just like breathing ...
Doc Lee can't dance at all!
    (repeat REFRAIN)

Brian Bogue (badbear) says:

if Dr Lee is hopeless would that make her  Dr "hopeless" Lee?

Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

Nick may well have a plan to get Sweetheart drunk enough to dance, but is tragically unable to discuss it with the others.

His wrongswear software doesn't like him using the word "whisky" and the names of dances in close succession...

Sor Cyress (sorcyress) says:

@fluffy: I _demand_ someone draw art of this. Sweetheart snoopydancing would be AWESOME

Also, this is the best Sunday feature from all of Narbonic and Skin Horse combined. 

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

...cannot get the image of Sweetheart drunkenly attempting to linedance out of my head. Do Canadians linedance? Do they admit to having done it afterwards when sober?

Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says:

Re: Nick: I know someone's done an inside loop in a JetRanger, and someone else did one in a 707 (both while successfully maintaining separation with the ground), so maybe an Osprey could do some simple aerobatic manoeuvres...

woozy (woozy) says:


Daniel Mellows (felsenheim) says:

Oh, relax. We've already learned it's a twice dead fox. Possibly three times.

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

urge her to try to use some of her combat katas instead of actually trying to "dance," and this would be your big breakthrough moment as her teacher.

Also the big breakthrough moment for your abdomen, skull, etc....

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile