Saturday, May 26, 2012

Schuhplattler polka -- Sat., May 26

Cotulla, TX

A little back story: I'm of German descent. A few years ago, Bob and I joined a folk dance group in Portland, Oregon and learned how to dance reels, polkas, waltzes, schottisches, landlers, tarantellas, minuets, the Mexican hat dance, and others.

I've told you how bad the bugs are here. Here's how bad... (At this point you're probably asking yourself what does folk dancing have to do with bugs?)

Well, let me tell you. When I go out during the hot afternoon to check trucks in and out of the gate, the black flies bite my legs. It hurts! I slap my left calf, slap my right knee, slap my left ankle, slap my right thigh. Sometimes four or five bugs bite me at once or in rapid succession.

All I can think is that I look like an Austrian or German doing the Schuhplattler polka which consists of slapping knees, thighs and ankles. You can find YouTube videos of the dance. Here's one: Schuhplattler dance and another Schuhplattler polka.  (I wish I had the whips and could use them like the dancers at the beginning of the second video! That would kill some bugs for sure--or at least keep them at bay. What did you think I wanted whips for?)

Normally, the schuhplattler is a dance in which men try to impress the marriageable ladies with their dancing prowess. In my particular situation, being the only woman in an oil field full of male workers, the men are probably pretty impressed by my thigh-slapping, bug-killing "dance." 

I think they get a "kick" out of it at the very least. I must look pretty silly out there trying to rid myself of the black fly bite-y bugs. At night, it's the mosquitoes. 

Oh well, maybe they're getting as much of a laugh out of it as I am. "Look at that crazy lady!! What is her problem? Is she putting on a dance for us?" 

Ya gotta find humor where you can out here. I think the Texas sun is getting to me. 

Travel "Bug" out.