In early 2005 I moved into what was my first whole place to myself as an adult. Before this I always had roommates or lived in boarding houses with shared bathrooms, kitchens and living spaces. For the past six months I had been living on a farm in Iowa County with Jason and Wendy Wickman and their young son Jasper. The propane costs were so crazy that we were forced to suddenly move, and we split ways and got separate places in the nearest town, Williamsburg.
I had a one bedroom apartment downtown above Lillis Insurance, a prime location in the small community, and quickly decided to spend time at the nearby bars getting to know the locals. On what was probably my second night out I was at the Sundown Bar & Grill sitting at a small table by myself drinking a beer and people watching. It was a weekend night, and the crowd was well inebriated and lively, and the jukebox was set far above conversational levels, so I decided just to make it a scouting mission. Then Rod Stewart’s ‘Maggie May’ came blaring over the sound system and I lamented how much I hated it internally – although I was about to hate it much more palpably.
As I sat there peacefully deconstructing what it was I specifically hated about the song, I was suddenly accosted by two women. It was a matching pair of divorcee mothers a decade older than me (28 at the time) with elaborate multi-color highlights in their hair and honest to god country girl belt buckles. They suggested, nay insisted, that I join them on the dance floor right this instant. When I declined they each grabbed a wrist and proceeded to drag me out to the dance floor despite my protests.
There were many problems here. I was not particularly attracted to either woman and even a threesome with both was not incredibly tempting. Under normal circumstances, with music I like and while exercising free will, I am not a very capable dancer. So here I am just trying to power through it by parroting their own arrhythmic spasms, when they somehow ask in unison, “Don’t you just love this song?”
“Actually,” I started to say, but then they stopped paying attention and gave each other a communicative look. At that point one of them exited, and the remaining predator made her move, pulling me in closer for some bump ‘n grind. I guess the friend was just a wing-woman situation, and the mombie ménage à trois was never on the table. I took my bumps and grinds like a champ, and as soon as the song was over excused myself, and hightailed out of that joint as quickly as my violated legs could carry me.
Later as I sat in my new apartment drinking bourbon straight from the bottle I began to consider the irony of the lyrical content. Maggie May is about an older woman who takes advantage of the naivety and weakness of a younger man. Did these two women realize just how hilarious it was to commit nonconsensual, unchoreographed dance assault on me to that specific song? That seems pretty unlikely. Women who wear cowboy boots with turquoise bling aren’t generally known for convoluted pranks which utilize intentional irony. But I could be wrong about that.