Ladies and Gentlemen: It Is Party Time at Club Seacrets

(Originally appeared on McSweeney’s, June 28 2011)

Wow! I love me some Kanye West! All right, ladies and gentlemen, right about now, I need all of you on the dance floor. I know every single one of you has a booty, which means every single one of you has got something you can shake. Come on now, there must be two hundred of you out there and plenty of nasty moves to go around. I know I’m new at this, I know my voice has a rodent-like quality to it, but that’s absolutely no reason for you to leave these grooves hanging!

I’m not making crazy demands here. All I ask is that you give my beats the benefit of the doubt. It’s that simple.

I realize this place is right on the pier and that the briny smell is a little overwhelming and that most of you arrived here straight from our bottomless crab cake bar. I’m not at all trying to be critical. It’s just a bit unusual that you’re all crowded around the perimeter of the dance floor the way you are, especially since much of the stimulation—the speakers, the LED stuff—is focused on the very area you’re not occupying. And most of you have been drinking for hours. I guess I’m a little surprised that your inhibitions are as intact as they seem to be.

All it’s gonna take is just one of you, a single party person, to make that first move. Others will rush to follow, I guarantee it. They will fill that funky vacuum. You did come here to dance, correct? How are you all contending with the cognitive dissonance? I promise you, the dance floor is definitely not quicksand. None of you will drown.

Drown. Jesus, there’s a word you should never hear out of a DJ’s mouth. Honestly, how do you people think I’m doing so far? Is it just a matter of experience, of which I have little? Or is it a lack of charisma, which one either has or doesn’t have? I don’t think it’s that. These are just natural growing pains. I bet it’d be pretty weird if I wasn’t this unsure of myself, right?

Okay. Starting over: LET’S DO IT! Throw your hands up in the air, and wave ’em like you just don’t care!

Like I’m really going to get you moving with a line out of the Stone Age like that! Sorry. I’ll try to do better. Besides, I know you all do care, very deeply. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be here tonight! This is Ocean City, Maryland, for crying out loud! Partytown, U.S.A.! Look, I swear to God that nothing harmful will occur if you come forward. I just want you to give me a chance. Help me to help you shake that ass.

All right, I’m gonna take the tempo down, down, down. That’s it. Yeeeeeah. If Usher’s not doing it for you then you just don’t know what sex is. Nice and eeeeeasy. Holy Toledo! I haven’t heard this tune since I was working as a busboy at Benny’s Crab Shack on 23rd. Put your hands up if you’ve eaten there! Now let me see your hands if you were hospitalized by the bisque. Can you see my hand? I should’ve sued that place.

Folks, this is not Guantanamo Bay, and this is no way an interrogation. This is Saturday night at Seacrets! This is your once-a-week escape! From the bills! From the hassles! From your boss and your horrible blue-collar job where you might get your fingers sheared off at any moment.

I’m sorry! I have all the respect in the world for the blue-collar types and their hard-working families. Workplace accidents are never a fun thing.

Hold up, I just got handed a note. Beth Williamson’s turning 21 years old tonight! And what do her friends do but throw her a kickin’ party at Seacrets! Is there anything better! All right, I want every one of you on that dance floor, especially Beth and her gals! If you won’t do it for me, that’s fine, I accept that. But whatever you think of the job I’m doing tonight, would you just please put it aside for the moment? And move your body for Beth’s sake? I thank you.

Okay, I have an idea. What do you say that we just start afresh? As if we’ve never met before, as if you’re walking into the club and seeing me up here for the first time. In other words, it is my job to entertain, and it is your job to get freaky. You wanna have fun, you wanna get lucky. But is hooking up really getting lucky? What are the chances you’re really meeting the “one”? Statistically, you’re nothing more than two desperate souls clutching at each other, as you head over the metaphorical falls together. There ain’t nothing lucky about that, is my thinking.

And since it’s well past midnight, let’s think of this as a new day, a new beginning, for all of us. I’m gonna slow things down again with a personal favorite of mine, “Cat’s in the Cradle” by the late Harry Chapin—a man who never saw the success he deserved, a man who died an unbearably needless death in a fiery car accident. Not his fault! So young.

C’mon, y’all! Last funky time, I promise! . . .

–With Jason Roeder