Do You Boogaloo?

I once knew someone who said that she didn’t believe in fate, only in synchronicity. Whatever the label, I absolutely believe that at times, seemingly random events converge for reasons greater than simple coincidence.
Case in point:
Important Event A:
As I was sorting through the box of memorabilia my mother gave me a few weeks ago, I came across a certificate from elementary school that acknowledged my outstanding achievement in the area of breakdancing.
It’s true, what they say, about never appreciating what we have until it’s gone. I mean, I went to a school that not only allowed breakdancing, but actually encouraged and rewarded it?! Did I also walk to school along a gumdrop path, past the chocolate river, shaded by the cotton candy clouds? How did I never realize my obscenely good fortune, scholastically speaking, until just now?
And on a bit of an aside, I remember now that elementary school was the last time I was able to do the worm, before puberty hit and I grew hips and boobs. [Okay, fine – hips.]
Important Event B:
Email exchange between Natasha and me this Monday afternoon.
To: Natasha
From: Jenny
Subject: Classes
Hey Nat –
I just missed the most recent sign-up for classes, but I think I’m going to take something fun next session. Any interest in one of these?
1. Blues harmonica
2. Banjo
3. Hip hop/Funk dance
4. Tap
I’m leaning toward a dance class since that will also count as exercise. Let me know!
– Jen
To: Jenny
From: Natasha
Subject: RE: Classes
Jen –
You are not taking banjo or harmonica! Those are instruments of the hateful Jug Band! Resist! Haven’t you been hurt enough?
Hip hop/funk dance is your calling… look into your heart. Krump Jen Krump!
– Nat
Insanely Important Event C:
Monday night, as I was taking my ritual stroll down the information superhighway, a curious email popped into my inbox. It was from someone called boogalooshrimp2001. I smiled and clicked on the email, which was actually a comment on an older entry where I referenced two of my all-time favorite dance movies – Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.
The comment was signed: Boogaloo Shrimp, aka Turbo.
I immediately grabbed the phone and called Natasha.
BRRRRIIING! (let’s pretend we all still have phones that make this sound)
Nat: “Hello?”
Nat: “What the hell are you talking about?”
Me: [breathing] “Okay, I know you’ve never seen Breakin’ or Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo and HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE but he’s one of the main characters from that movie. Michael Chambers, aka Boogaloo Shrimp, aka Turbo. He left a comment on my site. At least I think he did. What if it was a joke? Who would do such a mean thing? Do you think it was a joke?”
Nat: “Well, I-“
Me: “I mean, that would be really cruel if someone pretended to be him, and left a comment to get me excited and then it turned out to be a trick. But it has to be him! I think it was him! FRICKIN’ BOOGALOO FRICKIN’ SHRIMP!”
Nat: “Yeah, I guess I should Netflix that movie at some point.”
Me: “Um, yeah you should! I just can’t believe you’ve made it this far in life without having seen either of those movies. I gotta go. I need to talk to someone who understands me. I’m calling Dr. Greene.”


Voicemail: “Hi, this is Dr. Greene. Leave a message and I’ll call you back. Thanks!”
Me: “Why isn’t anyone who understands me answering my calls? I need to talk to someone who can relate to this, and I think you have seen Breakin’ and Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo. Well, if you’ve seen them, then you know that one of the main characters is Turbo aka Boogaloo Shrimp. So get this: HOLY CRAP BOOGALOO SHRIMP JUST LEFT A COMMENT ON MY SITE! Boogaloo Frickin’ Shrimp! Do you even understand how happy that makes me? Wait… you didn’t leave that comment on my site as a joke did you? Because if you did, that would be the cruelest thing ever, and you and I can no longer speak to each other. Except this Wednesday when we recap America’s Next Top Model. But never again after that. You didn’t trick me, did you? No, I think it was really the real Boogaloo Shri- “
Dee-Dee: “Hey Jen! What’s up?”
Me: “Hey – you’ve seen Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, right?”
Dee-Dee: “Of course. Why?”
Me: “THANK GOD! Okay, so remember when I wrote about how I was trying to download Din Da Da as my ringtone?”
Dee-Dee: “No.”
Me: “Well, I did. Anyway, I think Turbo from Breakin’ just commented on that entry.”
Dee-Dee: “No way!”
Dee-Dee: “Are you sure someone wasn’t playing a joke on you? It sounds like something Dr. Greene would do.”
Me: “NOOO!! Don’t even say that! I just left him a message, so we’ll see when he calls me back. Oh wait – hey, I gotta go! I’ve got another call coming in – this might be Dr. Greene.”
Me: “Hello?”
Vivian: “Hey, it’s me. I got your message – what the heck are you talking about?”
Me: “Okay, Viv. I know you’re anti-pop culture and all, but I think the coolest thing just happened. I think Boogaloo Shrimp from Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo just commented on my site. But Dee-Dee thinks it’s a joke.”
Vivian: “Hmm. Was it on an old post?”
Me: “Yeah, pretty old.”
Vivian: “All right, I say it’s totally him. No one would put a joke comment on a two-month old post. It’s him.”
Me: “You’re always the voice of reason. I’m emailing him back right now!”
An email response from one Mr. Michael Chambers confirmed that my commentator was not an imposter. Call it fate, call it synchronicity, call it happenstance – but the bottom line is that BOOGALOO FRICKIN’ SHRIMP COMMENTED ON MY SITE!
So what does it all mean, these apparently random events coming together at the same time? I once clung to the idea that I, too, could be just like Kelly from the movies Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo – a rich, white, classically trained dancer who ultimately became a competitive breakdancer. Sure, I was neither rich nor classically trained, but that never stopped me from hoping. Then later, I dreamed of becoming a Fly Girl, just like Jennifer Lopez before anyone knew who she was. So today, at 35, and sorely out of shape, is it too late to pursue a career as a hip-hop dancer? Perhaps. But now, thanks to an unexpected comment from a stranger, I get to hold onto that dream for just a while longer.
And for the unfortunate souls among you who have never experienced the sheer joy that is poppin’ and lockin’, I give you the often imitated but never duplicated BOOGALOO SHRIMP!

41 Responses to “Do You Boogaloo?”

  1. Jessica Says:

    I totally had a crush on him.

  2. Neil Says:

    You better get those dancing shoes ready, because if you check imdb, he has a project in production for next year titled, The Untitled Break-Dance Revolution Project (2007). I bet you that they’ll soon be having auditions. Bring along that certificate from elementary school. You have experience!

  3. Sunny Says:

    Whoa, a celebrity contacted you out of the blue? That is WAY past ‘synchronicity.’ It’s like one step before fate shows up herself to give you the heads up.
    I’m afraid that I was one of the ‘unfortunate souls’ who had never heard of him, but boy can he dance! Though I have to wonder, how did he do that bit with the broom? I mean, no prep time at all and he’s like Houdini! Do they teach that in a class? Cause, if so, I’m signing up for the next one, too!

  4. Strode Says:

    So, I had resisted watching those movies. After reading you post I felt I had somehow missed out on something. You almost had me Jenny. Then I watched the video. Dude was doin’ his thing. Suddenly he started doing a David Copperfield with the broom. Magic broom handling and bad porn music ruined it for me.

  5. jenny Says:

    Jessica: Too funny! I think I’m going to start making a list of people you don’t have a crush on, since it might be easier to keep track of… ;)
    Neil: OMG! You’re so right! I’ll bet none of the other dancers are actually degreed in breakdancing like I am. I’m a shoo-in!
    Sunny: That’s the magical power of breakdancing for you!
    Strode: A part of me died when I read your comment. So, I guess if you didn’t like the magic broom, then I definitely shouldn’t show you the scene where he breakdances on the ceiling, huh? Oops. Too late!

  6. number4of5 Says:

    This might be the coolest thing to happen to anyone…ever.
    I don’t know how you can be friends with people who have not seen these movies. I mean, they can dance on walls for pete’s sake!

  7. mike Says:

    Never have I seen such smokin’ moves with a broom without hearing the words, “Chim Chim Cheroo”.
    Fate indeed. Can you breakdance and play harmonica/banjo? Seriously, that’s worthy of a Breakin’ 3.

  8. Dustin Says:

    Seeing as how that movie came out 2 yrs. after my birth, I think I missed the hype on it. However, with a tag line that includes the phrase “Push it to pop it“…I just might need to see this one.

  9. Tracy Lynn Says:

    BOOGALOO SHRIMP! OH MY GOD JENNY! That so takes me back. Amazing. I got 5000 charisma points on that old post for referencing young Boogaloo Shrimp, if I remember rightly. Rock on with your bad self.

  10. Kevin Says:

    DAMN! Now that’s cool!

  11. Sarah Says:

    That is so freakin’ awesome!
    Now get on down to Electric Avenue and DANCE!

  12. peefer Says:

    Très cool! I’m happy for you in that I-so-don’t-relate but whatever-makes-you-happy makes-me-happy king of way.

  13. Fish Says:

    Holy Moly! and that guy can use a keyboard too?
    Not worthy!

  14. Jessica Says:

    It’s true…I have a lot of crushes (you are one of them, Ms. Amadeo).
    What can I say? Don’t hate the playa.

  15. jenny Says:

    4of5: I know! It’s like I have absolutely nothing in common with my friends!
    Mike: Breakdancing and harmonica playing could present a serious choking hazard.
    Dustin: I almost had to ban you for flaunting your youth, but then you charmed me by quoting the tagline.
    Tracy Lynn: Was it only 5,000? I should’ve given you 12,500 charisma points!
    Kevin: Do you want to join my breakdance crew? Auditions begin next week.
    Sarah: Good idea – I think I’ll rock down to Electric Avenue, but then I’ll take it higher.
    Peefer: This makes me very happy, so you should be ecstatic right now!
    Fish: Oh, don’t say that. I’m sure that with enough practice, you could be the breakdancing king of London!
    Jess: Yeah, I suppose I should be more understanding. Like the song says, it’s hard out there for a pimp.

  16. shari Says:

    No frickin’ way did frickin’ Boogaloo Shrimp frickin’ comment on your frickin’ site, out of the frickin’ blue like that!
    Um, who the heck is Boogaloo Shrimp? Besides aka Turbo? I’m sorry Jenny. You’re going to ban me now, aren’t you? And I deserve it, since I am clearly deficient in something insanely important. *sigh* I will miss you.

  17. allison Says:

    Dude. I am so jealous. I was such a fan of the Breakins’ that I bought the record (you know, big, black plastic, waxy disc-like thing?) complete with plastic floor mat and directions for busting it living-room rug style. And you are one degree of separation from the Turbo. Lucky girl.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Jenny,
    If my calculations are correct, you are one degree of separation away from Michael Jackson leaving a comment on your site.

  19. brando Says:

    heh. i remember the jug band posts! that’s when i thought you might not be totally normal. thank god i stuck with you.
    but you didn’t just get first place in breakdancing. you got first place in FORENSICS and breakdancing.
    you would have made one hell of an entertaining lawyer, runjenrun.

  20. jenny Says:

    Shari: I need you to know that banning you hurts me more than it hurts you, but it’s the only way. (oh, and it’s Boogaloo Frickin’ Shrimp.) Oh, who am I kidding? I could never ban you!
    Allison: NO WAY! You had the dance mat? OMG – that is so incredibly cool!
    Vivian: It’s only a matter of time before I get invited to Neverland Ranch. Wait… did he have to sell that?
    Brando: Heck, joining jug band was the most sane thing I’ve done in ages. Quitting it was what threw me off-kilter. [And in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that the first place ribbon belongs to the certificate that was sitting on top of my forensics/breakdancing one – it was for the shuttle run, otherwise known as the ankle snapper…]

  21. Anonymous Says:

    It was totally him and my jealously is strong, like knife in heart.
    Though banjo is KICK ASS and American Boy is learning and you two should TOTALLY start a breakdancing banjo group.

  22. Strode Says:

    I feel all bad now. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to kill a part of you. I like you the way you are. I am a bad man.

  23. Strode Says:

    Actually the dancing on the ceiling thing was cooler than the broom thing. A wonder of video editing that.

  24. jenny Says:

    Ash: AB is learning banjo? You, my friend, have found yourself a keeper!
    Strode: No worries, I regenerate quickly, like a lizard. And if you liked the ceiling dance, there’s hope that we may make a breakdancer out of you yet! ;)

  25. sandra Says:

    Oh my GAWWWWDDDDD! I’m so jealous! First, that you can breakdance (or could at one point anyway — I’ve always thought I’d be cooler if I could do that) and second, that the fabulous Boogaloo Shrimp commented on your site! I kind of feel like you’re a celebrity now.

  26. sandra Says:

    p.s. Whenever I see the word “synchronicity”, I think of The Police. My dad had that tape when I was little and I used to take it and listen to it in my “ghetto blaster” (yes, this is what I called it) in the backyard.

  27. egan Says:

    I really enjoy breakdancing. It’s so much fun to spin out of control on my back. Flopping around on my chest like a fish out of water is kind of cool too.

  28. jenny Says:

    Sandra: With your fierce model poses, if you were any cooler, you’d be ice cold, so I think it’s best you don’t learn to breakdance. Did you carry your ghetto blaster on your shoulder while bopping to Synchronicity?
    Egan: Can you really spin on your back? Do you carry around your own cardboard? I have long suspected that you were uber-cool, but now that has been confirmed. I need someone in my breakdance crew who can do the more athletic moves, so consider yourself part of my posse.

  29. ms. sizzle Says:

    that is so awesome!
    yes, i have seen both movies. hello! it’s a must see. duh.

  30. Pants Says:

    Holy crap I am so incredibly jealous I don’t know where to begin! Seriously, this made me so happy- I’ll totally be having sweet breakdancing dreams!
    And what an awesome elementary school! When we were eight my cousin brought some cardboard to a rather large family reunion and did some breakin’. I’m all about dancing but there’s no way I could pull most of it off now- I’d probably break a hip!

  31. MsBunn Says:

    Weird. I just got done watching “Breakin'” tonight. Then I learned that Michael Chambers died of a bad headspin-accident where he broke his neck. I won’t believe that this is true! I just won’t!!! But, I can’t seem to find any details of this so-called death. Can you shed some light on this?

  32. egan Says:

    Pants is clearly not paying attention to my skills. Yes I can do the back spin Jen and a few other moves. Look out I say.

  33. Dawn Kelly Says:

    Go girl go!
    If I can learn the drums at 45, you can siure as hell pop -n- lock at 35.
    Run don’t walk, to the auditions — you have peeps in high places now.
    Oh and no worries about MJ — you don’t fit the age demographic to get invited to the ranch and um, the wrong sex.
    *Is it embarassing that I worked the whole flashdance workout into my aeorobics routine — way back when?*

  34. jenny Says:

    Sizz: FINALLY! A true film lover among us! :)
    Pants: Interesting… I actually have a family reunion coming up. How awesome would that be if I brought some cardboard and a ghetto blaster?
    MsBunn: Again with the synchronicity. And as far as I can tell, Michael Chambers is alive and well! Unless his ghost commented on this site…
    Egan: Sweet! You get to skip the auditions. Hey – can you beatbox? I can do a little, but I might need someone to beatbox, too. Any takers?
    Dawn Kelly: It’s only embarrassing if you dumped a bucket of water on yourself at the end of every aerobics workout.

  35. jenny Says:

    Oh yeah, and I just had another idea. TequilaCon ’07: Electric Boogaloo
    I’m going to see if I can get Kool Moe Dee to join us. Wonder if he has a blog?

  36. steph Says:

    breakdancing. wow. just….wow. thats cool, but in a weird, disturbing sort of way..

  37. egan Says:

    I can sort of beatbox Jen. It could use some refining, but I will practice up.

  38. elle Says:

    I’m impressed. Really impressed. I had to look up “Krump” that’s how uncool I am, derrr.

  39. Sarah Says:

    And I love how you totally downplay that that certificate was for forensics AND breakdancing.
    Ms. Modest.
    I’m going to go sweep now.

  40. Michael Shrimp Chambers Says:

    For the record it is really me and I usually respond to positive and creative people like Jen. Thank you and feel free to check out the new site.
    Take care Jen!
    Michael Shrimp Chambers

  41. Serenity Says:

    Ok, my first time ever visiting your site and I am already insane with envy.
    I LOVED those movies! I even bought the soundtrack on tape. (Tape…Hi! I’m old!) I distinctly remember, at age 16, popping the tape in to my boombox and ripping off the wallpaper in my room, (it was a project, that was supposed to happen), and practicing my moves.
    I never could get that jerking and poppin thing down. They looked cool. I looked like I was having an episode and in need of medication.
    I think I still have that tape. Off to go find it.