You know what I don’t get?  Why do we sometimes call the abdominal region of our bodies the stomach, when the stomach is, in fact, just one of about a katrillion different organs (clearly, I’m no biologist) crammed into that disgusting, moist, dubious space within all of us that somehow keeps us alive?  Just food for thought.  I also bring this up to remind you all that HUMANS ARE GROSS.

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I typed in "humans are gross" on a Google Images search WHICH WAS A REALLY DUMB IDEA, I'LL ADMIT. Still trying to erase the grossness from my mind machine. So here's a photo of a chimp and a naked man. CUTE.

But besides being gross, humans are also proud creatures, which is how I imagine the art of belly dance may have first developed all those thousands of years ago.  In our current cultural climate, it’s hard to believe that anyone would willingly put her stomach (by which I mean the abdominal region, rather than the organ itself) on display.  Unless, of course, she’s one of the scant few humans sporting a six-pack who also has priorities that rank higher than (a) spending 2 hours at the gym at least 5 days a week and (b) slowly starving oneself to death.   Then you can imagine she’ll be showing off that rockin’ bod at every opportunity: beach outings, trips to the grocery store, board meetings, you name it.  But, hey – that’s certainly any gym-goer’s hard-won right, and I won’t hold it against her.

Clearly a gym-goer.  This photo makes me think strange thoughts.

Clearly a gym-goer. This photo makes me think strange thoughts.

Anyways, please excuse my meandering – from this point on it’s a straight shot home.  Promise.

May the 12th marks the annual celebration of World Belly Dance Day, of which I’m a fan primarily for two reasons: (1) I enjoy awkward, oftentimes unnatural expressions of the human body (i.e. belly dancing, pretending to be a cat, pretending to be a cartoon cat, pretending to be Japanese cartoon cat, etc.) and (2) The belly dance is a statement of pride for one’s own body (and for the human body, in general), and I like that very much.

BELLY DANCING CATS??!!! SPLURGH. GLEP. KLORG. (sounds of Michael malfunctioning)

BELLY DANCING CATS??!!! SPLURGH. GLEP. KLORG. (sounds of Michael malfunctioning)

The dance originated many years ago in the Middle East but has since gained popularity around the world, especially in Australia, the UK, the US, and Canada.  No idea why.  World Belly Dance Day is celebrated throughout the world by public performances, conferences and technique classes, although (surprisingly) no such events are scheduled to take place in the Pittsburgh area.

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Don't trust this cat.

 Still, you can sometimes catch a belly dancer or two at the local hookah joints, and perhaps they’ll even have something more flamboyant than usual scheduled to mark the occasion.  Hey everyone!  I have an idea!  Let's all grab a friend, a pair of castanets, and some form of flowy, see-throughy garment and meet each other there!  Or, you know.  Maybe not everyone has to come but a few other people would be nice.  I'd feel awkward if it was just me sitting alone watching a girl's torso shiver and shake in my direction.

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So, what do you think?