Whoomp! Here it is: / by Deborah Clague


It was a crazy Saturday night. Some would say epic. The evening began with a simple herb-and-garlic chicken dinner finished with a slice of pumpkin pie, a treat I granted myself after spending daylight running around the city completing errands that were beginning to take on a life of their own. Post-meal at 8:00pm, I was exhausted but it was still too early for anyone under the age of 75 to go to bed. Choosing to mentally rest by watching mentally vacant 'America's Next Top Model', I pondered which contestant would land the coveted cover of Girls and Corpses Magazine. Containing my yawns was futile though and I eventually decided to just embrace the fact that my autobiography would never be a bestseller. My joints ached. Slumber called. But first, my canine companion needed to do some, ahem, "business". This is when my evening took an unexpected turn. 

Downtown Saskatoon is typically a quiet place on any given evening, but on this night the sound of music wafting through the air piqued my interest. It seemed to be coming from the general direction of the historic Bessborough Hotel. Heading towards it on the TransCanada Trail, I was soon met with a visual that I will not soon forget: hundreds, né THOUSANDS, of people marching towards me whilst chanting "Whoomp! There It Is". I was bewildered. I was scared. I was intrigued. Common sense would have had me head home to the comforts of Tyra Banks' forehead, but like a gullible rat following the Pied Piper, I joined the fray. 

Besides a questionable taste of music, the only collective theme of this gathering was the omnipresence of Canadian flags. I later discovered that this gathering was a cross-country tour called the decentralized dance party and that the only requirements are to a) show up and b) wear your national pride. According to the website, the event was supposed to be alcohol-free but the number of people passed out in the grass surely wasn't from strenuously performing the macarena en masse. Wavy Gravy circa Woodstock would have probably been more lucid than half the people there.

Monty, sensing trouble, became scared by all the drunk girls wanting to pet him. I, sensing trouble, became scared by all the drunk guys wanting to pet me. And so we watched from a distance under cloak of darkness as the revelers brought the rave to University Bridge. Monty eventually found the perfect spot to have a bowel movement; as did a gaggle of girls trading modesty for convenience. It was a crazy Saturday night. But then it was time for sleep.