As I was rocking in the Millennium Subaru this morning, Dancing Queen by ABBA played Mark VII [my named iPod]. Reminded me of my first “karaoke” song I ever sang… totally by accident might I add. The memory flooded into my mind …
The Summer of 1995
Lynnwood, WA – Thrifty Payless Inc. I was the youngest supervisor on staff at the ripe old age of 19. Many of the old-crow cashiers were upset by this promotion by management. They thought I would react by being all award show [letting the title go to my head] One of my first responsibilities was to count inventory in our warehouse in the back of the store. It’s a very stressful time of year.
In order to mitigate that stress I would laugh, and joke, and sing, and dance and work off the clock when possible. The only music available to me was the satellite fed, Muzak music from Wilsonville, Oregon. If memory serves me correctly, only 6 songs were on that damn track.
As you can imagine, working part-time for the past 3 years, with each song averaging 3 minutes in length, I heard each of those more times than I care to admit to! One of those songs was Dancing Queen by ABBA. You don’t need to be a rocket surgeon [I know it’s a mixed metaphor – it’s funny, LAUGH!] to realize you learn the lyrics a song eventually.
One Sunday morning, during “Inventory Season”, I slid in early to do some counting. I was issued an alarm code, a key to the store, and whatnot. I plugged in the lights therefore the Muzak music was turned on as well. The typical, same boring songs were on, Blue Bayou, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and more!
NO ONE ELSE IS IN THE STORE, mind you. With my focus and eyes staring into the racks of shrink wrapped pallets (think Costco), my arm outstretched with a Papermate pen pointing, and a clipboard as my ‘tambourine’. Well… Dancing Queen played for the first time of the cycle, so I unconsciously started belting out the lyrics.
Unbeknownst to me, Trisha, the Accountant, had arrived and let some of the mostly male crew into the store. They heard a voice, and knew it was me. They all gathered up behind the thin, metal, swinging doors (think a restaurant kitchen door) to eavesdrop.
By the time of the crescendo, I was in full effect. Effectively, ABBA in the warehouse that had great acoustics! I was still concentrating on my pallet counts, though. One, two, three, “feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yay!”, I’d tap the clipboard against my hip. Four, five, six, “… digging the Dancing Queen!”
The song finishes, the lights go out, and I exclaimed, “What the hell?!” The lights were unplugged which were by the door. Then all I can heard is snickering, and applause, as I rapidly approach, Jeff, the ex-hard core Marine, plugs in the lights and music.
The entire crew is literally falling down on the tile, laughing, and pointing, and hollowing …“Los is a dancing queen!”
Oh, here we go, I mentally groaned. I could already envision it: tomorrow or the coming weeks my desk will be littered with ABBA paraphernalia, the crew will be making a name tag with “ABBA” or “Dancing Queen” as my title, and forever plus one day, I’ll never live this down!
To this day, anytime I hear that song, a smirk creeps onto my face, and I think, where’s my all-white outfit, with white belt and more importantly, where’s my CLIPBOARD?!