Meredith C. Carroll: Meredith Pro Tem
The Twisted Grip Dance & Fitness studio in Duncan, British Columbia, unveiled a new class in its lineup last week. Little Spinners, offered on Saturday mornings, will have children as young as 5 learning how to shake and shimmy around a pole – a dance form popularized by scantily clad women looking for dollar bills to be stuffed into their G-strings by sloppy drunk guys in gentlemen’s clubs.While dance-studio owner Kristy Craig says there’s “nothing sexual” about the course, which will reportedly teach moves similar to those taught in pole-dancing classes for adults, sparkly pink-platform stripper heels adorn Twisted Grip’s homepage, as does a feature photo of the student of the month wrapped upside down around a pole and wearing bright-pink panties, a black bra and next to nothing else.”It’s pure fitness and strength and fun,” Craig told the CBC. “I mean, kids love climbing trees. They will climb anything.”Indeed, kids these days are increasingly proving that they are flexible in lots of ways. Which is why for the first time ever Twisted Grip is offering more than just dance classes in an effort to integrate children into areas of culture that have previously been in the realm of adults and older teens only.Crack Pipes for PreteensTake away the crack-cocaine base, and handcrafting crack pipes can be a lovely lesson in glassblowing. Tweens enrolled in the course learn the art of glass-forming by inflating molten glass into a parison with a blow tube. After the pipe is formed and cooled off, they’ll learn how crack cocaine is made, marketed and distributed and will practice their glass-pipe-smoking technique (although R-rated salvia will be used in place of anything more illicit). At the end of the semester, each student will take home their very own crack pipe along with a signed pledge not to use it until they take their first trip to Amsterdam in college. Carjacking for CutiesSure, unless they’re 16, they can’t drive, but that doesn’t mean underage kids need a license to jack a car. Students will be divided into two groups: Those who want to clear out the people in the car before they make off with it (extra points for unbuckling a baby from the booster seat) and those who can manage stealing the car while simultaneously keeping the victims at bay while driving away. Really, it’s a lesson in multitasking: brandishing a weapon while also striking mortal fear in the driver as you call upon your physical strength to knock them out of the driver’s seat. But it’s also about knowing the rules of the road, safely running a red light and driving at night without headlights – and without crashing into anything – while being hotly pursued by the police.Shoplifting for SquirtsThe prerequisite to Armed Robbery for Adolescents, Shoplifting for Squirts teaches kids that before they can make a big splash, they need to learn how to swim: slipping in and out of a store unnoticed (or how to be neither seen nor heard), evading security cameras and doing the math so that anything they steal adds up to a total that won’t equal a felony if caught – in other words, lessons that they’ll carry with them for life (either at work or behind bars).Armed Robbery for AdolescentsOnce Shoplifting for Squirts has been completed successfully, kids can move on to the more advanced Armed Robbery for Adolescents. Like in life, the goal is to make away with the most amount of money without actually hurting anyone. Extra credit is awarded to the kids who can cite a minimum of three facts about the U.S. president whose mask they wear as a disguise during the holdup.Real Tattoos for TotsFake tattoos are child’s play. Kids who want to get real get inked for real. The course guides them how to create designs that are body-part appropriate (butterflies work on shoulder blades but not in the tramp-stamp area, for instance). They learn how to double-check the spelling of all Chinese characters because there’s a fine line between “The Matrix” and “demon bird moth balls,” apparently. Little ones who walk away with spoils from the Shoplifting for Squirts and Armed Robbery for Adolescents are also urged to earmark some of their bounty to get the tattoos inked in real life lasered off later on in life when they realize just how dumb they look.More at http://www.meredithcarroll.com
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Commentary: “My granddaughter Charli, dressed in an ankle-length sun dress, sporting a fresh manicure and wearing light lipstick (her mother helped reorganize that), quietly welcomed me to the affair, maintaining an air of sophistication that surprised. She knew it was a big deal.”