How The Macarena Saved My Life

Don’t mess with a knight in plastic armor.

“Don’t move!,” my captor snarled at me in the dark, small dungeon. “Don’t even blink!”

How could I argue? Mice nipped at my heels, the walls closed in around me. And the aggressor, dressed in a knight’s helmet, wielded a sword. A sword! It stabbed at my arms, legs, and abdomen. “Your blood is dripping on the floor,” I was informed. Well, that sealed the deal. I was staying put.

“Somebody saved me!,” I screamed, but nobody came. “Be quiet!,” the masked knight ordered, finally revealing its face. A girl! A little girl! Are you serious? This half-pint was holding me hostage? “Come on, ” I argued, “Just let me go and I won’t cause any trouble.”

She stabbed me again, slicing open my arm. “Ahhh!!!” But my cries were drowned out…by a familiar beat. Louder and louder the music played. I listened closely to the lyrics…

When I dance they call me Macarena
And the boys they say que estoy buena
They all want me, they can’t have me
So they all come and dance beside me

Was that…The Macarena?! Seriously?! First, I’m stabbed and verbally berated, then I’m mentally tortured by bad music. “Somebody please get me out of here!,” I yelled, only to be beaten by four more tiny hands. The girl knight was joined by two more minions, each no taller than the ringleader. I was shocked by their cruelty. They were laughing at me while they were beating me with tiny fists and feet. Laughing! “Don’t freak your eyes out!,” one of the new captors yelled at me. “What does that even mean?,” I asked her. “Be quiet!,” was the reply.

It was obvious I couldn’t overtake them physically. I was outnumbered after all. I was going to have to resort to mind games. But, with a combined age of 10, surely I could outsmart them. I flailed my arms out to my side, rested my head against the dungeon wall, and exhaled the phrase they wanted to hear. “I’m dying…you’ve killed me…”

I closed my eyes nearly all the way, still barely able to see them. I didn’t move a muscle. Hardly even breathed. Stunned, they glanced at each other, unsure what to do next. One captor, who eerily resembled my young daughter, looked genuinely concerned. “Is she really dead?,” she asked her cohorts.

Now was my chance. But what to do? I let the music guide me. I popped open my eyes, and before they could attack…

Dale a tu cuerpo alegria Macarena:
I extended my right arm, then my left, then turned them over one by one…
Que tu cuerpo es pa’ darle alegria cosa buena:
I put my hands behind my head, right hand then left…
Dale a tu cuerpo alegria, Macarena:
I crossed my arms over my torso, put my hands on my hips…
Hey Macarena!
Then turned in a quick circle with my right arm extended above my head!

The posse, surprised by my outburst, shrieked with laughter, one girl even falling to the floor in hysterics. Faster, faster I danced! Again, and again!

“Stop!,” the ringleader pleaded with me. “Please just stop dancing! You’re free to go!”

I bolted out the door, but not before one of the girls grabbed me by the leg and exclaimed, “You’re funny mom!”

(This is a true story. The captors were my nieces and daughter. The dungeon was in the playroom at a local museum. The music blared from the wedding dance of a relative in the nearby reception hall. Truth really is stranger than fiction.)


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