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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: All Shook Up at the Hop
By Sharlyn Guthrie


I’d spoken to her many times.
We’d had a casual date.
Every time I saw that girl
my heart would palpitate.

She was a gorgeous cheerleader
and I was just Joe Schmuck.
I feared approaching her again
would really push my luck.

And yet here was my opening;
it seemed the perfect chance.
I offered to escort her to
our college “Fifties Dance.”

Great beads of perspiration
upon my brow arose.
Shrugging, she replied with
a resounding, “I suppose.”

My heart did several flip-flops.
I was thrilled beyond belief.
“Stay cool,” my ego whispered
as I trembled with relief.

A prize was being offered
for the couple dressed the best.
I found the perfect get-up.
I knew she’d be impressed.

Saddle shoes and poodle skirt
bedecked my Sally Jean,
plus a curve-enhancing sweater
and a scarf in kelly green.

She called my broken glasses
taped together with a wad
a crazy stroke of genius.
Whew! What an act of God!

With confidence and valor
I took her by the hand,
then turned and twirled and spun her
to the be-bop of the band.

My rhythm was atrocious.
I could not keep the beat;
so I tried to keep her moving
without stepping on her feet.”

We twisted, shook and shimmied
‘til the final song was played;
then caught our breath and waited
as the costumes were assayed.

“Eight finalists were chosen,”
said the judge who held the page.
I beamed at Sally Jean as
we were called up to the stage.

“The winner,” he continued,
is really quite a clown.
While he has been up dancing,
his zipper has been down.”

In haste my eyes averted.
How I prayed it wasn’t me!
Then I glimpsed my whitey-titeys.
What a grim catastrophe!

My trembling fingers fumbled.
The crowd –how it did roar!
I wished that I could disappear
or melt into the floor.

My blood was surging upward
in a retroactive rush.
It set my heart to pounding,
made my whole complexion flush.

At last my pants were fastened,
and I peered at Sally Jean.
She grabbed my hand and flashed the
biggest smile I’d ever seen.

“We won! We get two tickets
to the big concert next week!”
she squealed, and then she planted
a wet kiss upon my cheek.

Another date with Sally?
My head began to whirl.
I’d take being embarrassed
if it meant I got the girl.

Joe and Sally Jean (Johnson) Schmuck will celebrate thirty-three years of marriage this year. Although Joe’s sense of rhythm has not improved, his philosophy, “Keep her dancing, without stepping on her toes,” suits Sally just fine.

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This article has been read 1351 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 07/26/07
So charming and funny! You don't know how happy it makes me feel to know this story is real. I like this couple so much, it's just the icing on the cake to know they're still together! Wonderful story!
Lynda Schultz 07/26/07
This is wonderful!
Melanie Kerr 07/27/07
Wonderful. The right mix of humour in the verses, spot on with the rhymes and the meter and as for the errant zipper – a dash of genius!
Benjamin Graber07/27/07
LOL... This is great!
Joanne Sher 07/28/07
Absolutely fun fun FUN! Love the rhythm, and so many of the clever rhymes. A delightful read.
valerie chambers07/30/07
This was just toooo precious.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/30/07
I loved every rollicking line!
Catrina Bradley 07/30/07
Tripped right off my tongue - too much fun!
Betty Castleberry07/30/07
Whitie tighties. LOL!
This is SO well done.
It's really fun, too. Excellent.
Linda Watson Owen07/30/07
Ta-da! This is it! Loved the story, the perfect balance of humor, and the skillful rhyme and rhythm! What a fun piece!
David Butler07/31/07
Go Joe Schmuck! It gives us other Joe Schmucks some hope - although I've got my girl, thank God. A lotta fun to read, and very well crafted poetry. It's a big challenge to blend humour and verse like this successfully, but you did it.
Kristen Hester07/31/07
How much fun! I'm sure he could have played the zipper down as part of the cotume. I got chills at the end when I read the sweet, happy footnote. Good job!
Loren T. Lowery07/31/07
Bright with illustrative prose, I could just see every moment... great fun, great job!
Jan Ackerson 07/31/07
Chraming and tender story, and great rhyme and meter. This is the whole deal.
Cheri Hardaway 08/02/07
Sharlyn,congratulations on a well-deserved win! This poem was right-on in every way. I just couldn't stop smiling when I was reading. And somehow I knew he got the girl for good, even before you revealed that at the end. Nice work! Blessings, Cheri
Sheri Gordon08/02/07
Congratulations on your EC -- very well deserved. This is very, very good -- so much fun to read. Great job.
Mo 08/02/07
Very good! Congrats on your EC!
Lynda Lee Schab 08/03/07
Ha! I love it! Just my type of humor. And who hasn't been embarrassed in a similar way? That reminds me...A few months ago, I came out of the tanner and walked all the way to my car before I realized I never zipped up my zipper when re-dressing. LOL And I passed a couple of people on the way out. Wonder what they were thinking? Never mind...I don't want to know. (blush) Great poem!
Beth LaBuff 08/04/07
Congrats on this! How cute!!! You did a great job with the meter and the rhyme. I really enjoyed this. Well done!!