KRACKOW, Mo. This county seat of 1,200 has never fit the stereotype of a narrow-minded small town, as traffic along the Missouri River has exposed its residents to the best and the worst the outside world has to offer.
Freak Dancing at the Teen Center
“Charles Dickens passed through here on his American lecture tour,” says local historian Emmet Bevins, “and Jesse and Frank James holed up in one of the river caves after they robbed a bank.”
But local parents had a highly negative reaction to one of the more recent imports from urban America–”freaking”–a sexually suggestive form of dancing in which boys and girls grind in unison at the hip and pelvis area. “If I want my little girl to dance like a slut in a strip club,” says Lurleen Ellis, “I’ll put her on a bus to Kansas City and be done with it.”
Charles Dickens: “Actually, I was looking for Knob Noster.”
Freak dancing has stirred controversy across the country as school officials who intervene are praised by some parents and criticized by others, such as Velma Lou Nelson, a waitress at the Chez When, a local bar. “I spent $150 on my baby’s prom dress last year,” she says bitterly, “and they threw her out after five minutes of dancing better than most of the divorcees in this town after three Busch Lights.”
So Krackow school officials have come up with alternatives that they hope will bring an end to the freak dance controversy this prom season, based on their somewhat-dated notions of adolescent eroticism. “When I was a sophomore, Kevin Hurley turned me on to Twister,” says Assistant Principal Morris Byrum. “Kevin was the unofficial make-out king of Krackow Consolidated Regional High School, and he said Twister was better than French kissing and feeling girls up.”
Twister is a game of physical skill manufactured by Hasbro Games in which a spinner directs players to place a specified hand or foot on a circle that matches the color the spinner’s needle lands on. Due to the scarcity of circles, players are eventually required to put themselves in precarious positions, resulting in spills and pre-marital fondling.
“We’re going to have the world’s largest Twister mat at this year’s prom,” says Byrum. “And those kids are gonna learn just how much fun it was growing up in the ’60′s.”
Juniors and seniors are somewhat skeptical, but say they are willing to give their parents’ preferred mode of public sexual contact a try. “I suppose if I have to I will,” says Naomi Miller, who was Homecoming Queen and president of the River Rats Pep Squad. “But I’m going to keep my distance from Lyle Salloway,” a boy who is known for his chronic flatulence.
Six-inch ruler: Don't get any closer.
For those who don’t want to play Twister there will be a Twist Contest featuring the dance craze made famous by Chubby Checker, and supervised slow dancing that will be subject to the traditional “six-inch ruler” test.
“Couples must maintain six inches of space between their bodies, as measured by certified rulers provided by Donahue Insurance Agency to dance monitors,” says Byrum. “Violators will be ejected from the dance and escorted to their cars where they can skip the charade and go straight to the real thing.”