Charles & Claire Ch. 25bySchuppinzigh©
"Two days after that, we travel to Detroit, Michigan, where we're the featured performers at the Fox Theatre, where there will be an orchestra and over 5,000 of your screaming fans to watch you dance for an hour. Your mother and I have sent them a suggested set list."
"From there we all head back home to Columbus, where our own beds will feel like clouds of heaven."
"Very nice review, Sara... what're we making, money-wise on this trip anyway?" I asked.
"I thought the money wasn't important to you Charles?" Annie pointedly asked.
"It's not the only reason to do this Mom, but it's a perk. We'll be on the road a lot, living in hotels, shaking hands, giving autographs and interviews," I explained.
"Point well made, Honey-Buns," mom said, with a giggle.
"So, Sarah -- the money?" I asked.
"The Amusement Park, is paying us $6,000, The radio station is a freebie, but we're there; The ball game in South Bend is $7,500, Chicago Philharmonic is paying $20,000, Grand Rapids Baseball game is $7,500 also, and the Fox Theatre in Detroit is paying a whopping $40,000; so for about sixteen days of work, and some is more fun than work, we're going to be bringing home about $81,000, total."
Annie said, "In the words of Charles Newman himself, 'Holy Shit.' I'm sorry for that, but it seemed appropriate for the news."
Clearing her throat to get our attention back, Sarah said, "Remember, the dance events will be using music you already know, so there's no need to learn anything new, if you don't want to."
"But, we won't have the rules and regulations of the NDCA beating on us anymore," I commented, "So, we can dance more open, using a minimal amount of Closed Position, Claire and Kalista. We can use the 'Kallie' hold."
There was a car horn outside, so we all got up and our red Chevy Suburban had been delivered to our door. We got some last minute instructions, and were given the keys.
There was a knock on the door, I got up and saw Sarah's oldest son Ken, bringing in photographic equipment, and was being followed by his wife Sarah Jane, and their kids, Lily, Rich, and Jeff. Each of them were carrying in a piece of equipment.
"Which of their outfits should we use, Ken?" Sarah asked.
"How about the outfits they wore the first time they took down YouTube - you danced to The Rainbow Connection -- If I remember correctly?" Ken answered.
"Kids. Change into those outfits, quickly, you too, K... you're part of this team, in your red dress please?" Sarah said.
We all dashed up the stairs, eager to do this. I was down first, of course. Annie checked my clothes for wrinkles and Sarah combed my hair for me, smiling at me with those wonderful eyes of hers. I mouthed to her, 'behave.'
Next down was K, who looked fabulous in her red dress, and her tallest heels; Annie brought her some earrings to wear, and she looked fabulous.
Finally, my girl, my love, my friend, and my dance partner, Claire McArthur, came down, looking stunning. I went to her, she smiled at me, and we walked over to Ken.
"Mom and Sarah, your Yellow dresses, with matching bling, hurry," I said. They giggled as they ran up the stairs together.
"OK, Charles, what do you want?" Ken asked.
"Before we talk poses, Ken -- what size will these posters be?"
"There are a couple of standard sizes, take a look at this sheet? It has sizes in metric and standard. There is an 'A' series and a 'B' series of sizes to choose from," Ken said.
"Can we give people a choice of size, or should we make everything the same?" I asked Ken.
"It'd be easier for the printers, to have everything the same size, but..."
"Then we'll have everything the same size, Ken. We'll use the A2 size. People who buy posters usually have their walls full, so we go a little smaller and they might buy more than one. 42 x 59.4cm (16.5 x 23.4 inches) will let them buy all the posters, if they want," I said, causing Ken to laugh.
"OK, I've got four poses in mind Ken... no five. First, Kalista by herself - I want every pre-teen boy and girl, to want this picture. The boys will fall in love her, and the girls will all want to be her," I said. That made Kalista giggle.
Nine-year-old Lily spoke up saying, "I'll want one of Charles & Claire."
This prompted eight-year-old Rich to say, "I want one of Kallie for my room."
Little six-year-old Jeff said, "I want Kallie in my room, too."
Kalista beamed and blushed at her supportive cousins.
Ken got some magical shots of Kalista, catching her impish grin perfectly. We next moved on to Claire and I together, in a dance pose; then Kalista, Claire and I; with them on either side of me; I want one of those myself.
Two angels came down the stairs, holding hands, and looking hot enough to melt the camera. Even Ken said, "Wow, Mom -- looking really good there... You look happy, considering what's happened in your life recently; you got a new man in your life or something?" She gave him an impish grin.
"Mrs. Newman, you're one beautiful woman, I'm sorry for that a-hole who left you. No man in his right mind would leave a woman who looks like you do," Ken added. However, Sarah Jane slapped him on the back of his head and said, "Take their picture honey - and stop drooling."
That made us all laugh, reducing the tension a little. I brought Annie and Sarah and asked Ken to take a picture of them together. Every 'male' in America over the age of fourteen will want that picture.
Then I got in between them, and we took a picture with them turned towards each other, but looking at the camera. I basically had their boobs on either side of my head, as the picture was taken.
Lastly, I positioned Mom and Annie standing, Claire and Kallie, kneeling with me in the middle, getting all of our faces in as close together as possible, so the picture was just our heads.
After the final picture was taken, Sarah said, "Ken, the only man in my life right now is Charles, so if I look happy, it's all because of him." Ken gave me a big thumbs up.
The equipment was being taken down, as I walked up to Ken, shaking his hand, and asking about how people will be able to get these posters.
He replied, "Charles, I've already setup a PayPal website. People will be able to view and order whichever one of these they want. They'll even be able to blog, if they want."
"What will the cost point and price point of the posters be, Ken?" I asked.
"Price point Charles; you know what you're talking about, don't you? Our costs per poster will start at $1.88 each, selling for $5 each. Costs will drop as quantities are ordered. How many do you think we could sell?" Ken asked.
"We took down YouTube, because 500,000 people wanted to see Charles & Claire. If, One out of Ten of those people buy one poster, that's $250,000, so we'd make $150,000 profit off of selling 50,000 posters," I calculated. "Of course, that's all based on the $1.88 price point. And we could sell 5,000,000 posters, instead of 50,000. How low could our cost point go per each?"
"250,000 sold, would bring it down to $1.48 each, and 500,000 would get it to $1.18 each. I suppose a 1,000,000 copies would bring the cost per to $0.88 Charles. We need to look over the pictures, so you can approve them before going to print," Ken said.
With everyone looking over my shoulder and having some input, we looked at and approved, one from each set of poses, and the Ken McArthur family left us.
I asked for a C-Cask Meeting.
I started with, "Sarah, before we start the business of C-Cask, what's the status of Quit-Claiming John off of everything?"
"All the trusts, the bank accounts, the twelve-seater, Life Insurance Policies, this house and my Will, have all been notified. We'll be notified by email, as each of these events happen," Sarah responded, with a very satisfying smile on her face.
"Quick question Sarah, absolutely none of my business, but without a spouse, who's your Beneficiary now, in the event of your... death?"
"I've asked, and Antoinette Moynihan has agreed to be my Beneficiary, and I'm now hers, with her divorce proceedings moving forward. She's gotten back, from your father, a signed Dissolution of Marriage, which still needs to be filed, but she and I both consider ourselves single again."
With that, Sarah gave me such a look.
"Charles," Annie added, with a tremendous smile on her face, "I also got 'him' to Quit Claim off our house, car, Will, and my Life Insurance, so I'm able to put the house on the market, when we get back. Your father has agreed to a lump sum payout of $500,000, payable over 36 months, which will be going in C-Cask's Bank Account."
"Has C-Cask LLC been legally established yet?" I followed up.
Sarah answered, "That's one of those, waiting for a response items; Nevada and Delaware are the best places to file for an LLC, due to the costs. We picked Nevada, and we're waiting for approval of our Articles of Organization, which should be in about eight more business days. A Bank Account has been set-up, assuming approval. It can be used in the interim."
"We've received a wire notice from Michael Bublé's people, requesting bank account information for direct depositing your monthly checks. Since you're all going Professional, it didn't make any sense to set up three different bank accounts for you. Your mother and I'll be co-executors of the LLC Bank Account."
"Wow, ladies -- we certainly have got the right women doing our finances and PR stuff. Lets give them a big round of applause, girls," I said. Claire and K stood up and the three of us applauded our Moms.
I said, "OK, next order of business, the skirts of the dancers. My skirts are just fine, thankyouverymuch, but I think we've a potential problem with the young ladies?"
Claire turned to me and said, "What's wrong with our skirts now, Charles? Still not short enough for you?" This made Kalista giggle.
"That's not it at all, Claire -- I see you changed into a skirt -- Annie and Sarah, look at Claire while she does some pot stirrers." I got up and moved to the middle of the floor; Claire did as well, looking really pissed at me.
I grabbed her hand and put her through about half a dozen fast pot stirrers and her skirt billowed out, as you'd expect. I looked over at Annie and Sarah, whose eyes got real big and said, "Stop Charles! You... made your point!"
"Claire, you and Kalista need to get some Show Panties as well as some dance shorts, before you do any more of your routines," Sarah said, blushing. Annie walked over to both of them and explained what the problem was. Kalista and Claire both covered their faces, in embarrassment.
Claire came over to me and said, "I'm so sorry Charles! I was being a witch with a b, wasn't I?"
"No, you hadn't known, and now you do, both of you. It was noticed at the BBQ, and I'm telling you of it. It's only an issue when you have a party type dress on; Kalista, your red or black dresses are tight around your hips, so don't despair."
"But, since I plan on adding some easy Developés, Side Lunges and Rondés to our routines, we need to be G-rated. We can now separate completely, during a routine if we want, and do as much Open Work as we want. We could even add some dips and drops, depending on the music and your outfits. There's a Cha-Cha Rondé, I saw on the Internet that either of you could do easily. We're going to become... a little bit of a Show Dance team, while trying to remain true to our ballroom roots. I even have an idea roaming around in my head for a number that all three of us could dance. We can develop it, on the road, if necessary."
"We can't get too sloppy, because I negotiated with Michael a week off, if we want, so we can be at Nationals next March."
Claire, Annie, Sarah and Kalista engulfed me - My CASK runneth over with love.
Claire asked, "Can we go and get our Show Panties please, I suddenly feel the need to hide my bushel."
Annie, Sarah and Claire all laughed at this remark, while you could see the gears turning inside Kalista's head.
"Oh my goodness," K said, blushing, then covering her face.
The next morning I woke up, with a magnificent idea. A number all three of us can dance to. I listen to music a lot, hoping for inspiration, but sometimes, it just comes out of... nowhere. I've only heard the music to 'Wicked- the Broadway Musical' once, but the beautiful vocals of the particular song 'For Good' from Kristin and Idina are just overwhelming.
Since I seem to remember everything musical I've ever heard, I had a dream of a dance to this song, with Claire, in a white dress, and we dance during Kristin's vocals, and Kallie and I, with her in a green dress, dancing to Idina's.
I've been wondering if a dance with all three of us was possible, but now, with the 'rules' gone, we can do it. It'll make a truly memorable Slow Tango - our first Professional Routine to learn... from scratch.
The girls went out and got some white and black show panties and dance shorts yesterday afternoon. While Annie, Claire and Kalista were gone; I got a back rub from Sarah.
Thankfully, she avoided my newly minted 'erogenous zone' found on my back earlier. She gave me a rubdown in the Spa, and she also helped me to understand more about a woman's E-Zones, in G-rated terminology.
I also found out she does something called abdominal crunches, so after getting out of the spa and drying off, she showed me how to do them, and then helped me learn by watching her. She keeps herself... quite fit. We plan to do them together as often as our schedule may permit.
"PACK A SUITCASE WITH SEVEN SHOW CHANGES, PLEASE!"
These were our marching orders to get ready to leave on our extended Road Trip, starting with a trip to see both of our Moms' parents, in Springfield, Ohio first.
We each packed a suitcase, and had a backpack as well. Mom put the New Chevy, and the Land Rover in the garage, and we took the twelve-seater for this trip. We had a meal first; then went on our way.
Amazingly, way back when Mom and Sarah first met, they found out that their parents lived two blocks from each other in Springfield, Ohio, less than an hour west of us in Columbus.
We first visited Annie's Mom and Dad, seventy-two year-young Grandpa Xavier Aloyisious Moynihan and his blushing bride Ruth Josephine MacGilicutty, a spry seventy herself.
I give you their complete names, because I enjoy Genealogy in my spare time, I even got the Merit Badge to prove it. These days, I don't seem to have nearly as much time as I'd like to work on any of that. I've put Claire and her family in my gedcom file, adding Claire as my wife. Talk about Freudian!
We spent an hour with them, talking about where we were going and what was planned for the rest of our trip. I'm very hopeful that they may stay around to see Claire and my children some day. Yeah, I really hope they do.
We then moved two blocks southwest, and visited with Sarah's parents, Jonathan Henry Rollins, seventy-four and his wife of forty-five years, Henrietta Claire Smithson, also seventy-four, but older than him by six months. She has the same beautiful eyes that her granddaughter, Claire has. I just got to see how marvelous Claire might look in sixty years - Hmmmm.
The girls and I changed before we left for Cedar Point Amusement Park in Toledo, and the next sixteen days were amazing. All the places we went to, were less than four hours from our previous location.
It was remarkable, getting to travel to each of the communities, where we were welcomed like returning family members; Toledo, Ohio; South Bend, Indiana; The Chicago Philharmonic, where we performed at Pick-Staiger Hall, on the Northwestern University Campus, in Evanston, Illinois, about fourteen miles north of downtown Chicago.
While we were there, Claire and I danced to 'Let's Stay Together,' 'Marry You,' 'The Circle of Life,' 'The Cinderella Waltz (So, This is Love),' 'Sunrise Sunset,' 'Putting on the Ritz,' 'At This Moment,' and with Kallie, 'Lady in Red,' 'That's How You Know,' 'Hate on Me' and 'Hold On.' Every seat in the auditorium was full, and there were TV camera's there. I mentioned our website, for people who wanted posters, as I did every chance I could.
An amazing coincidence occurred while we were performing at Northwestern University. Apparently, the Freshman Fifteen, or the F15 as I've heard them called, originated at Northwestern, and we were surprised when they came out and did a few songs, finishing with them starting up their version of 'Kiss the Girl.'
As soon as I heard the song start, I grabbed Claire from the wings and we went out and started our routine, while the boys sang their beautiful and tight harmonies. A spotlight came on and found us, which caused some applause; Claire and I moved to in front of them, and they re-formed their semi-circle around us, all while singing the song.
We kept our dance moves small, and they enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed them. We all finished together; causing an uproar like you wouldn't believe. Claire and I bowed to the boys, then turned and bowed to our audience.
The Fox Theatre in Detroit, who's paying us a whopping forty grand, slotted us in between Tony Bennett, who'd performed the previous night, and the rock band INXS, who performed the following night. They brought in the Detroit Philharmonic and we did many of the same dances as we'd done in Evanston.
We've got the whole 'hotel thing' down pretty good now, but we were all glad to be back home in our own beds.
When we got back, there was a box in the garage that had a set of our posters, for each of us. The girls shrieked as they quickly got into their rooms and started putting them up. I followed behind with suitcases, and Sarah came up to me and gave me a kiss, which put some energy in my stride.
I dropped off suitcases at the doors and knocked. Both girls stopped long enough to thank and kiss me, and I was now ready for the spa, big-time.
I got into my suit and grabbed a towel and walked briskly to the spa. It was calling to me, it said, 'get your sore back and butt in here,' so I did. I had it all to myself for a while until I heard, "Hey there Loverboy -- Does your back hurt?"
It was Sarah.
"No, not really hurt, just ready for a water jet to make it feel better," I said.
Using a little girl voice, she said, "Does that mean that Charles doesn't want my hands on his back any more?"
I chuckled as I replied, "No, Sarah -- I've told you before; I love your hands, I want your hands, I need your hands; but sometimes I just can't... have your hands. Sometimes thinking about your hands causes me the same problem that your... hands have, and I'm unsure how to deal with that, or you."
She turned me around and said, "If you don't need my hands, maybe you need this." She grabbed my face with both of her hands, much like I've done before with Claire and Kalista. Then she looked deep into my eyes and said, "or maybe this," and she had her lips on mine, quickly putting her tongue deep inside my mouth.
I returned these actions in kind, putting my hands on her back, above the water, in case Mom walked out. But this time Mom didn't interrupt us, neither did Claire... nor Kalista, and I was truly close to doing something marvelously inappropriate in front of my girlfriends mother, although many would see what we're doing already... qualifies as inappropriate.
I moved my hands to, on top of her hands and took them off of my face... gasping for air.
I said a meek, "Thank you Sarah" as I got out of the Spa, wrapping the towel around my waist. I saw Mom on my way up to my room; who smiled at me and said, "You passed the ultimate test Charles."