The Cleveland Shuffle…


Okay, personal blog entry here.  I know I don’t do many of these.  So much of my life is tied up with Poet’s Haven related stuff, that the promo posts pretty much sum up what I’ve got going on.  But when I have a weekend night that isn’t tied up with open-mic stuff or website work (and you’ll soon be seeing a promo post about why I can say website work is tying up a chunk of my time right now), I try to go out and have fun.  Whether this is seeing a band play somewhere, going to a movie, or just hanging out in a club with a DJ spinning dance music, I like to go do something.

This past Saturday, I went to a dance-party-slash-boat-ride on the Goodtime III.  (This was after spending Saturday afternoon zipping around Cleveland distributing fliers for the August 23 open-mic.)  The boat has three levels.  The lower level had a band playing.  They were okay, pretty good when they covered blues tunes but not so hot when they covered 70′s and 80′s disco dance music.  The top level was just for hanging out.  The middle level was a dance club.  The DJ was okay, though I was slightly annoyed when he started repeating songs during a short 2-hour trip.  Okay, Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” twice I could see, its still a hot dance song, but playing Rick Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl” three times?  Anyways…

Now let me tell you about the Cleveland Shuffle…

About half-way through the trip, the DJ spun the Cleveland Shuffle.  (Or would it be clicked, in this day and age of using a laptop with MP3s instead of vinyl or CDs?)  Every time I’m somewhere, be it club or concert, if the Cleveland Shuffle comes on, there will be a fight.  EVERY TIME!

My new-year’s eve, I got to experience mace.  I went to a club with a hard-rock/metal band playing.  After the ball-drop, the band took a break and the club’s DJ started spinning tunes from the likes of Snoop Dogg and the aforementioned Timberlake.  Not quite the music that the crowd that was there for the rock band was expecting, but nobody complained.  Hell, there was even a few hot chicks dancing on the bar.  Then the DJ turned on the Cleveland Shuffle.  Two minutes into it, the fight broke out.  Some drunk dude said something stupid to another drunk dude, and fists started flying.  One of the guys got shoved into the bar, knocking one of the hot chicks down, smacking her face as she fell.  These guys were right in front of the entrance.  The club security reacted quickly, spraying them both with mace and kicking them out of the bar, and I imagine into the custody of the police who were sitting in the parking lot most of the night.  Problem was, there was now a cloud of mace filling the bar, and I was trapped on the other side of it.  I finally pulled my shirt up over my face and darted through, out to the smoker’s patio for the fresh air (that’s funny, coming from a staunch NON-smoker).  That was my new year’s.

Couple months go by, then I’m out with some friends at another bar.  There was a DJ playing music for people to dance to, nothing big.  The DJ played the Cleveland Shuffle.  Five minutes after the end of the song, two drunk women start trying to pull each other’s hair out.  A bartender and the bouncer at the door quickly separated them and kicked one out, then the other once the first was gone.  Hey, it’s drunk people on a Saturday night, nothing unusual, but still, it was right after the Cleveland Shuffle.  This is just a goofy dance song where the lyrics are the steps for the dance.  You think if people were gonna fight, it would be during something with violent lyrics or something fast and heavy.

So there I am Saturday night and the DJ spins/clicks the Cleveland Shuffle.  My eyes go wide, and I have to get as far away from the dance floor as possible.  Nothing happens.  Hey, okay, it’s all good, right?

An hour later, the party’s over and everyone’s getting off the boat.  And that’s where the fight was starting.  From what I could see, it looked like two drunk women starting it, and then their boyfriends getting involved too.  Cleveland police were there, and separated the two groups, friends of the people fighting also helped keep them separated, and then a bunch of guys from the boat’s staff came out and assisted the police.  Drunk people on a Saturday night, whaddya expect?  One side got driven off by their DD, the other side got put in a cab and sent on their way.

This is the third time I’ve witnessed a fight start somewhere this year, and all three times it’s been somewhere where they played the Cleveland Shuffle.  So here’s what I’m calling for:  All clubs and bars in north-east Ohio (or at least the ones I visit) should put a moratorium on playing the Cleveland Shuffle!  Despite the innocent nature of the song, it must have some sort of subliminal messages, if every time I hear it I then get to witness violence.

And now it’s Monday, time to start another lousy work week…  Ugh…  G’nite all.


–VX