Back when I was a young kid, we had an amorphous all-purpose saying of indeterminate meaning: “Can’t dance”. It was the 70s version of “Whatever” or “Oh well” or the ever-popular Primal Shrug. Forty years later, I still occasionally use it as an expression of general ambivalence — Can’t dance. *shrug*
Which brings us to young Bristol Palin’s performance on “Dancing With The Stars”. (Cut me some slack; I’ve been sick, and right now my brain is that of a primordial, low-functioning beast like a Gila Monster. This is as much intellectual heft as I can handle at the moment.)
Never mind the assist from the devious vote-freeping campaign of Teabagger Nation, which got Palin further along in the competition than she might have deserved and fueled conspiracy theories in the world outside the blogosphere where people don’t know about things like freeping. No mystery there — it would have been more mysterious if they had not freeped the vote. But there is a mystery, a different kind of mystery, a mystery of mathematics and physics and the immutable laws of Calories and Kilojoules: how did Palin manage to gain weight while she was doing DWTS?
To wit, here is where we juxtapose!:
Uh-oh. The “skinny” picture is from early in the competition and the other picture was taken more recently — and even the casual observer can see there’s some chunky-wunky going on. Bodyweight generally fluctuates in inverse proportion to exertion: the more you do, the less of you there is to do it. DWTS contestants reportedly train 8 hours a day, and in the calorie consumption sweepstakes that’s a feat of aerobic exertion on a par with with a couple of hours of hockey — and it’s several times a week. So unless Palin was woofing back a wheelbarrow full of Nanaimo bars every day, this weight gain would seem to be mathematically impossible.
Unless she wasn’t really training all that hard because she was pretty sure she’d win either way. On the day of the finale, a smug and snarky remark revealed a hubris that suggested this just might be the case:
In comments before the broadcast, Palin said, “Going out there and winning this would mean a lot. It would be like a big middle finger out there to all the people out there who hate my mom and hate me.“
No Bristol, it would be a “big middle finger” to the principles of fair play and good-faith competition; you know, as opposed to corked baseball bats, anabolic steroids, loaded dice and insider trading. Oh yeah, and freeping. Fortunately, the principles of fair play won, and that “big middle finger” will just have to express itself some other way. *shrug*
(To see someone who most definitely can dance, DWTS winner Jennifer Grey — old chicks FTW! — clickety-click!)