Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Man With The Two Left Feet

Who doesn't wish that he could say: "Eat your heart out - Valentino; George Raft; Gene Kelly; Fred Astaire, even Jack Buchanan!" and, ever since my very musical grandmother taught me the bunnyhug/foxtrot when I was about four (a very tall order indeed), it has been clear that I am not the man with the two left feet.

But only because I am the man with three. I have two that compete with each other for each of the steps and the third simultaneously tramples my partner's feet and is the only part of me that has any syncopating rhythm at all. If she is wearing shoes with closed toes, she will merely end up with crushed toe boxes but if she is wearing open-toed shoes, then she's in for a real battering and, instead of a number on the back of my coat, there should be a health warning, since I am far more perilous out there than any cigarette and one or two women have even taken up smoking again in the aftershock of the experience of having danced with me.

Fortunately, dancing is not all that important (unless you happen to make a living at it) and, anyway, er, real men don't dance, do they? If you need any reassurance on any of this, I highly recommend P G Wodehouse's short story "The Man With The Two Left Feet".

It is a heart-warming little tale and, for reasons that will now be obvious, one of my favourite short reads.

Today's picture is a still from the Band Wagon, of Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, "Dancing in The Dark".


  1. husband can't dance and I'm afraid that I dream of being swept into a waltz by any tall dark handsome stranger. We were taught "social dances" at school but hubs went to some kind of backwoods borstal establishment, it's a miracle he can read and write.

  2. I know what you mean. I can't sing, dance or play any instrument and I feel as though a part of my soul is denied. I think that musical expression must be a great solace and the nearest that can I get is reciting Donne, Swinburne, Tennyson and Yeats to myself. It can be embarrassing when I am accidentally overheard.