How to Do the Chicken Dance Like Tom Cruise

Do you happen to know the name and address of the inventor of the Chicken Dance? Of course not.  He has been under protective custody for years.  Hordes of embarrassed wedding-goers decided to take matters into their own hands.  At first they considered tar and chicken feathers, but that was too ironic. His punishment choices were: go to prison and have the Chicken Dance song continuously streamed into his cell, or be exiled to a remote island.  Now he lives between Hokey Pokey guy and the YMCA guy in an undisclosed location. 

It happens every time you go to a wedding. There you are at your table, perfectly content eating cardboard wedding cake and pretending to listen to a stranger’s History of Bunions, and suddenly you are forced to join in the most ridiculous dance of all time. Grown men and women are making chicken wings with their arms, sticking their “tail feathers” into the air, and wiggling their bottoms, all while trying to look dignified and praying they don’t end up in a viral hit on YouTube.

I am not saying that the Chicken Dance isn’t fun. And you shouldn’t get smashed to enjoy it. I believe you do not need alcohol to have fun.  As Dickinson said, “Inebriate of air am I, and debauchee of dew.”  (That’s Emily Dickinson, not to be confused with Angie Dickinson, the crime solving poet of Police Woman.)  It’s just that it is next to impossible to do that particular dance and not look like a complete dork.  Close your eyes and picture the coolest person you know.  Okay, now someone besides yourself. Tom Cruise maybe?  Now picture him doing the Chicken Dance.  Doesn’t work, does it?  Still cooler than any of us, but who really wants to be a king in the Land of Dorks?

Any song that begins with the oom-pah-pah of an accordian is doomed before it even starts.  Plus, did we have to pick the most ungraceful animal to imitate?

The dance was originally called the Bird Dance and then the Duck Dance, but these names were never taken seriously.  That means that at some marketing meeting, a group of humans unanimously decided that imitating a chicken was a sagacious idea. The only worse choice would be the Headless Chicken Dance.  The chicken doesn’t even want to see himself dance.  He can barely stand the sight of the other chickens, which is why he crossed the road in the first place. 

So how do you keep from looking like a fool?

A.  Fake a hamstring pull before you even reach the chorus.  No one ever thinks to stretch before these dances, so you may be able to pull this off.

B.  Pretend you have a bunion and go find that boring guy at your table.

C.  Pull out your cell phone and pretend you have an emergency call that you can’t possibly ignore. 

D.  A secret weapon reserved for the truly audacious.  It’s called The Domino Effect.  I think you know where I’m going with this…

During the bridge, everyone sticks their arms straight out and flies around in a circle. (Chickens don’t even fly. Actually they can fly for short distances, but that’s only to flee perceived danger.  Like having to do the Chicken Dance.)  Stop dead in your tracks and knock the line down.  By the time everyone is back in place, the song is over. It may seem too risky, but there is only one other option…

E.  Wear a Tom Cruise costume.  Because if you are forced to act like a dork, at least look good doing it.


One response to “How to Do the Chicken Dance Like Tom Cruise

  1. I’m down with the domino effect. Clearly the most effective of all. You, madam, are a genius!

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