Saturday, April 23, 2016

Doing the "Elaine Dance" at Oil Can Harry's - Hot Stuff



Oil Can Harry's - Hollywood, California

Remember two years ago when I was in Los Angeles and made a total fool out of myself at Oil Can Harry's (see HERE)?  Sure you remember. 

It was "Disco Night" or "Seventies Night" or some such thing.  Pat and I had just arrived in LA after a five hour flight and then fighting the traffic from LAX to our bed and breakfast.  It was raining that night and all Pat wanted to do was rest.  However, I wanted to take a trip back in time and experience the best time of my life, disco night and dancing at a gay bar.  Some of the best days (and nights) of my life were disco dancing at various gay bars on the East Coast.  I wanted to go to that happy place again.

I talked Pat into driving me through the dark and rainy night, on the twisty Mulholland Drive, which we weren't familiar with.  We found Oil Can Harry's and lucky for us there was just one parking spot left.  Pat backed into it (always back in, makes the getaway easier).  

We entered the bar and as expected, the disco ball was sprinkling its faceted light among the dancers and lookers on.  And the music was thumping.  After we got our drinks I told Pat, "I have to go out on the dance floor."  He gives me THAT look like a parent patiently indulging a child who is about to make a very foolish decision. 



I bee bop my way out on the dance floor and am soon joined by a tank topped, muscleman with a drink in his hand and torn jeans.  Oh no, just a dance buddy, nothing more.  

I morphed into my "Elaine Dance."  Oh sure, you know what the "Elaine Dance" is don't you?  "Seinfeld?"  Check it out.





Hey folks, I did the "Elaine Dance" before Elaine did it.  Back in the 70's at the Backstreet Bar in Provincetown.  I wondered why I cleared the dance floor.  But hey, I was enjoying myself even though I always managed to clear the disco mirrored dance floor when I began by kicks and thumbs up dance gyrations.

So there I was, in the middle of the dance floor at Oil Can Harry's in LA and I make my moon walk back step and . . . . . . fall flat on my back!  

I hear a collective "OH!" from my fellow dancers as they parted the Red Sea to see if this sad 72 year old was alright.  As I lay there on the dance floor, flat on my back looking at the still rotating disco ball, I thought "This is so embarrassing!"  But at least I'll never see these people again.  

I get up off of the dance floor, on my own but not without a struggle.  My tank topped, torn jeans dance partner just stares at me in amazement as he backs away from me with his "I don't know him" move.

I summon up my "This is no big deal" attitude and casually exit the dance floor.  I asked Pat, who was videotaping a dancer whose moves he was admiring,  "Did you get that?"  He didn't!  Man oh man, that video would have went viral.  

The dance floor quickly filled in like a hand removed from a bucket of water.  It appeared that my humiliation was short-lived as my fellow dancers quickly resumed their Trip Back to the Seventies and Disco Night nostalgia trip.  Perhaps thinking, "There's just another poor old fool attempting to relive his past."  Oh well.

This past January when we returned for our annual trip to LA, Pat and I couldn't fit Oil Can Harry's into our schedule of activities.  But you know folks, I think I would like to give it a try again next year.  Especially after listening to this selection from a group called "Opiuo."  The selection is called "Slur and Giggle" which I think is appropriate for a now 75 year old Old Fool getting out on the dance floor, under the disco ball and doing my version of the Elaine Dance.  Hey folks, that's what life is about.  Having a good time and especially being able to laugh at yourself.  

This selection may not be old fuddy duddy disco but check out the beat, how can you NOT dance to this?  And this time I'll make sure Pat videos me doing my moves


13 comments:

  1. Hey Ron - Oil Can Harry's turned out to be a fun nite. I remember the weather well - and not totally sure of our way. And I regret not getting your Elaine move on video. However - I did witness it. And I'm sorry I denied it when someone asked "Is that your friend"? Just kidding. Well it will be a full holiday again next year too as you know we are in LA when Palm Springs is having it's Modernism Week which is a pretty big event with people attending from all over to experience the Modernist Mecca Palm Springs apparently is. Perhaps you could work on some dance moves before we go LOL.
    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      So looking forward to our further "LA Adventures." The "Ron and Pat Show" hit the road again!
      Ron

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  2. I went to OCH for the first time 44 years ago. Glenn and I live about five blocks from the place. We have had lots of fun there. Here is their site, http://www.oilcanharrysla.com/

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    1. Mike,
      We definitely have to meet up next February when Pat and I are in LA. Unfortunately, my favorite bars of 44 years ago or more are no longer. The bar where I met Bill is now a drugstore. How sad. If only those walls could talk.
      Ron

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  3. Thanks for brightening up the day with the story

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    1. Roger,
      If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at? Great fun. So funny when I fell completely flat on my back making a total (old) fool out of myself.
      Ron

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  4. So why am I laughing?? Is it human nature to get pleasure out of seeing the misfortunes of other? I think so. It's a funny story, Ron, and you told it well. I only hope that the next time you're on the dance floor Pat will keep the camera rolling.

    Look at the bright side - - you probably hold the honor of being the only person who ever did a backwards swan dive on the dance floor at Oil Can Harry's.

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    1. Oh Jon, I did the "backward swan" for sure at Oil Can Harry's. Of all places, a gay bar where I was the new face. Some impression I left, an Old Fool. Oh well, at least I didn't seriously injure myself . . . . physically. Only my pride and ego. My image was destroyed with one backward step.
      Ron

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  5. As one who has always been self-conscious about dancing --1st time I ever danced with my wife was at our son's wedding-- I have always viewed those who dance with confidence, despite possible awkwardness, braver than I am. You may now consider yourself my hero.

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    1. Geo.,
      Actually, I don't think I'm quite as bad as Elaine but I'm no natural dancer but I do enjoy myself.
      Ron

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  6. Go, do, enjoy - age should not be a barrier. I was hoping for a picture of said 'tank top", oh well next time.

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    1. Good advice David! Actually, "tank top" was quite attractive and if this was the Seventies and I wasn't so spooked out about STD's, I probably would have taken "the ride." But I have survived this far and catting around just isn't my thing now. I get a lot more enjoyment out of my friendship with Pat that I ever did or could with some stranger I meet at a bar. Oh my, how I have changed (smile). I do think I have "tank top" in one of my videos that I took of the dance floor. I'll check and if so I'll post it. He was Hispanic and nicely muscular with a sexy smile.
      Ron

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  7. Ron, you can still move!! I would have danced with you in a heartbeat!!! Tank top, muscular and torn jeans??? Wish you had a pic of him.
    I love the Elaine dance!! Julia Louis-Dreyfus is my straight crush. I think she is gorgeous!!

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