By the Tracks
"Okay, then we’ve decided. This year’s Women’s Auxiliary charity benefit will be a salute to burlesque. Baggy pants, comedians, some parody strips, it will be fun!" The meeting broke up in happy agreement.
Little did they know!
There is a saying. "The devil is in the details." Several details were not properly attended to. At the home of Judith Gratts, Women’s Auxiliary secretary, she checked the boxes on the on-line screen for the order for the Theatrical Supplies web site.
"Full-body body stocking, opaque" – item HT-138A
Come on, Mom. I’m in college now. I don’t have time for all you pet projects." Angie pouted defiantly at her mother.
"Angela Sara Maxville. It’s only one night and you’ll get to clown around on the stage. It’s very little to ask." Lauren Maxville stood her ground against her daughter. Lauren looked too young to be the mother of a eighteen year old daughter. On more than one occasion people had asked if they were sisters. They shared similar athletic figures, honey brown hair and striking blue eyes. Lauren was always flattered even when she knew the people were just kidding her but she liked the comment. "Your classmate Steffie will be doing it with her mother."
Angie defiance weakened as she thought. "It would be fun parodying an old burlesque strip dance in front of the town fathers. The Grand Opera House had been remodeled and would be a great place for a show." Angela agreed, she and Steffie would dance with their mothers.
The discussion at Steffie’s house went much the same when her mother, Rose, talked her into joining the troupe for the Benefit. Steffie had been the head cheerleader in high school and had taken dance classes. There had been more than one time the cheerleaders had done a bump-and-grind to the stands as their football team struggled to score. "Okay, mother, but if we’re going to do this, I want us to do it right." Steffie led Rose through some hip moves which would have inspired the old gents in the burlesque houses of old. Her mother did well.
At the Theatrical Supplies shop the order was prepared with one ‘minor’ change.
"Full-body body stocking, fishnet, black" – item TH-138A
The order was sent. Nobody at the Auxiliary checked the order when it was received. The boxes were placed with the other things to be taken to the Opera House.
Judith Gratts was orchestrating the backstage comings and goings on the night of the benefit. When Steffie, Lauren, Angela, Rose and the other two ladies arrived Judith hustled the six women into a dressing room designed for a full opera chorus line. "Be sure to put all your clothes and possessions in the lockers. There’s been some petty thefts and we don’t want your stuff taken while you’re on stage. Put these locks on your lockers. Get undressed. Your costumes are in these brown packages." Judith took off leaving the six to prepare for their special dance.
Fifteen minutes later Judith returned to find six very embarrassed unhappy ladies. They had done as instructed. Their clothes had been placed in the lockers and locked. They were each a bit self-conscious without any clothes, but they put it down to the theater experience. Only then did they open they open the brown packages from Theatrical Supplies. There was a collective gasp as Rose pull the first stocking from the box. With nothing else available they put them on. The fishnet body stockings were scandalous.
Judith looked at the embarrassed ladies. "Oh, my. The order’s been screwed up. Let me see what I can do." Judith ran off leaving the six revealed ladies to breath a sigh, grateful that they had not been expected to dance in only fishnet. NOTHING was hidden. If anything the tight fishnet emphasized their naughty bits. Mothers and daughters all were blushing even without any audience save themselves.
The show was underway when Judith returned. The audience could be heard applauding even as Judith looked unhappy.
"Sorry, ladies. There’s not much I can do. I found the balloons we were going to attach to your opaque body stockings, but all we have are those tacky fishnets for you to wear. I’ll go tell the MC to skip your act." Rose, Lauren and the other mother Elizabeth sighed with relief even as the daughters Angie, Steffie and Barb smiled. They exchanged looks and Steffie spoke.
"Can’t we see how we’d look in the balloons? Maybe they are enough for us to do the show."
The mothers were silent and blushing as Judith answered. "I guess it can’t hurt. The balloons are already blown up. I guess you can pull the tied ends under the fishnet to keep them in place." She wheeled in a large box. Upon opening the box the balloons tried to drift upward. "Careful! Someone filled them with helium. They’ll float away if they get loose."
Steffie, Barb and Angela grabbed balloons. With some quick trial and error and thanks to the tight fishnet balloons were arranged strategically along their bodies -- one over each breast, one over their frontal pubic region and one over their behinds. The girls giggled and teased their mothers until they surrendered. With the girls’ help the mothers were attired in similar balloons.
The mothers were speechless for once. Barb suggested, "If we stay back from the lip of the stage, they won’t be able to look up our balloons." Finally, the mothers found their voices. They argued the balloons revealed too much. The daughters as a group argued that it was for a good cause (as the mothers had told the daughters nights ago). "And the show must go on", urged Steffie.
Angie was enjoying her mother’s discomfort. Her mother was always after her for something. True, most were good causes but there were so many of those. "One has to set priorities", she thought. "Besides, I’ve got a great opportunity to get even for all those times I got lectured for dressing like a slut. Mom’s gonna be the one with too little to wear tonight." Angie did not tell Barb or Steffie about her thoughts. She might have been surprised to find they had similar plans for maternal revenge.
The six women walked to off-stage right waiting for the MC to announce their "balloon dance". Angie grew a bit nervous. "I’m really wearing very little." She could feel her body responding to the way the balloons moved back and forth, threatening to reveal more than she wanted. The balloons covering her breasts had their tied end tucked into the fishnet immediately beside her nipples, nipples which had grown erect and protruded through the netting. She leaned closer to her mother and blushed as she decided what to do. She would want until the dance started and then strike.
The stagehands, mostly guys, gathered behind the balloon ladies. Brief scraps of their remarks were heard by the women.
"Where’s a pin when you need one?"
"What are they wearing under the balloons?"
"I hope they have a popping good show."
All of the ladies became a bit more nervous while two comedians finished the Abbott and Costello classic, "Who’s on first?". The audience laughed as if it was the first time they’d heard it; maybe it was. The hundreds of laughing voices worried Lauren particularly. "It’s a packed house." She glanced briefly around a flat. The house was filled completely and the stage lights thoroughly illuminated the stage. She backed up a step, fearing the moment she would step onto that stage.
The comedians ended and the MC announced the dance. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a very special act for you now. Six wonderful and lovely ladies doing their version of the classic balloon dance. Put your hands together for the Sextet."
"That’s your cue", whispered Judith. "Go out there and ham it up like in the video tapes I played for you. Remember, you’re comedic dancers, not strippers. Make them think about that."
The music started and the women pranced onto the stage -- mother, daughter, mother, daughter, mother, daughter. The daughters pushed their mothers forward and formed a second line behind them. With only the fishnet under their balloons they skipped the high-kicks and used the hip-thrusting bump-and-grind moves they had practiced. All six women felt the hot lights on their bodies but the real warmth they felt came from within. Even the mothers managed to smile as they realized they really were dancing half-naked before hundreds and getting away with it.
Angie was enjoying the show immensely. If the audience knew how little she wore there would be a scandal. Her mother would never live it down. She giggled. It was time to strike. She stepped forward until she was close to her mother. As the music throbbed Angie put both hands on her mother’s balloon covering her behind. Angie pulled. The balloon came away with a snap only her mother noticed. Angie released the balloon to float up into the lights.
The crowd saw the balloon and a chuckle erupted. Lauren dropped her hands to her butt and, feeling only the fishnet, stopped dancing. Without thinking she turned in time to see the balloon rising from Angie’s hands. Lauren jumped for the balloon but it bounced off her sweaty palms and rose out of reach.
"Shake your booty to the crowd, Mom!" yelled Angie.
Lauren's face grew red as the audience cheered the view of her "bare?" bottom to the audience. She quickly turned, her face flushed and sweaty.
The shocked expression on Lauren's face made the ‘comic gag’ work. The house roared and applauded. Steffie and Barb laughed and made grabs at their mother’s balloons.
Rose danced away from Steffie hands but Elizabeth was not so lucky. Not only did Elizabeth lose her butt balloon, but in her effort to swat away her daughter’s hands Elizabeth moved too quickly. The balloon for her left breast floated up out of reach. The audience exploded in laugher and applause except for a few gentlemen near the lip of the stage. Their stares were intense, trying to decide what the women wore under the sexy fishnets.
The embarrassed mothers were in shock but they did not cower. Chaos erupted on the stage. It was Steffie, Angie and Barb who were dodging the hands of their mothers as the older women attempted to steal balloons to replace their lost ones. All the grabbing and pushing led to ….
Under attack from her mother’s long fingernails both of Angie’s breast balloons burst leaving her topless.
…and Steffie right breast was uncovered.
Barb became the first to suffer loss of loin coverage. The balloon below her waist exploded, stinging her sensitive flesh. She dropped her hands to cover her exposed loins even as her mother lost her other breast balloon. With the pops and the balloons floating up in the lights the six women fought for some tiny last bit of dignity.
Rose had escaped the loss of any balloons, but the situation changed in an moment. Laura, Angie, Steffi and Barb all grabbed at Rose’s balloons. Nobody gained as two balloons were knocked toward the audience where they hovered before floating serenely to the ceiling. The other two balloons popped and the audience roared. Rose was left in only her fishnet body stocking. She counter-attacked with a vengeance.
Finally, with only four balloons left on the six red-faced ladies they ran backstage.
Even the off-stage pop drew more applause and laughter from the appreciative audience. One by one the patrons stood until it was a complete standing ovation.
The women ran until they were safely in the dressing room. Mother and daughter looked at each other in near horror as they waited for Judith to appear and unlock the lockers so they could get at their clothes. After a period of silence Steffie started giggling. One by one the others joined in until they all laughed uproariously.
Steffie was so out of breath she was barely able to speak. "I bet no one else is gonna top our act." They all burst out in renewed laughter until…
A knock on the door.
The laughter froze in the throats of the Sextet.