Monday, 19 October 2020

Archive in a Pandemic A-Z: D is for


Charleston Dance Diagram by Andy Warhol 

DON'T take your partner by the hand

Keep your distance, touching's banned!

Two colleagues in the corridor!

There's not enough room on this tiny floor

First, step to the left

Then step to the right...

Then step to the left...

Then step to the right...

Then step to the left...

Then step to the right...

Laugh at the silliness of it all

Then flatten yourself against the wall

Breath a sigh that all's gone well

But wait! What's that unearthly smell?

A third colleague comes round the corner

She's far too close, quick, someone warn her!

All three dance about like fools

It's the work-place dance, these are the rules.

Oh readers, we are exhausted by all the dancing about each other in the halls! Is this happening in every workplace across the land? We were all subjected to Scottish Country Dancing as children and so sometimes get carried away and end up doing an entire (socially distant) Virginia Reel up and down the corridor. Most tiring.

Library staff downstairs have been complaining about our ceiling-quaking gallops and raucous whoops, but I've seen them doing the (socially distant) charleston when they change over at the desk so they have no power over me at all.


  1. Your post made me laugh and so did the labels, especially "unearthly smells"

  2. Thanks Pat! The archive staff are, of course, very fragrant indeed and any indication to the contrary is purely artistic licence.

  3. Somehow reading the above put me in mind of Tom Lehrer's "Vatican Rag". It doesn't take much to adapt it for the current circumstances:

    First get down upon your knees,
    And pray to God that you don't sneeze,
    Tie a mask below your eyes and-
    Sanitise! Sanitise! Sanitise!
    The big thing when doing this dance,
    Is to keep your social distance:
    Cheek-to-cheek's a no-no,
    You can dosi-do though,
    Doing the Covid-free rag!

    1. Thank you Paul, that is excellent and very funny.

  4. I laughed, too, and envisioned you dancing carefully (or perhaps just rambunctiously) around each other. I expect you are not alone, but can't say for sure as my husband has been occupying our living room--his alternate office--since March. Thanks, Dusty, for another great post. P.S. Paul's adaptation is superb! ^_^

    1. This one of Archiver's contributions, I can't begin to reach her level of wit. Now that we've posted this I can't stop doing wavy arm movements along the corridor whenever I pass someone. I'm sure they will throw me out soon.

  5. Oh, my--please give my apologies to Archiver. I should have looked more carefully. I don't think they'll throw you out. It's much more likely that they'll join your arm-waving. Which triggers an amazing mental image. LOL! Sorry I took so long to reply. I can't find the "notify me when someone replies" button any more, and with Real Life getting in my way it's a struggle to get back to the Archives every day. :( But, I will keep checking back.

  6. Please do! It is always great to hear from you and I hope you get your living room back soon. Stay safe!


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