Group Portraits


“Elvira” was sort of the theme song for the grouters. Every time it came on the radio it caused an uproar, what with its heavy beat, its honky-tonk sound, and its attention-grabbing bass vocals. Whenever I heard, “Elvira, Elvira, My heart’s on fire for Elvira,” I knew I might as well forget about grouting for the next three minutes. Chuck would immediately stand up and start dancing by his chair; Earl would remain seated but would rock from side to side with the beat; and Leon would inform everyone that this was “Elvira,” by the Oak Ridge Boys. When the song got to the strange bass chorus—“Giddy up, oom poppa, oom poppa, mow mow, Giddy up, oom poppa, oom poppa, mow mow”—Chuck and Jerry would make faces at each other; Earl would rock even faster than before; Ramona would point at the three of them and howl; Lisa would look up nervously, then get right back to her glass; and Doug, totally involved in his work, wouldn’t pay any attention at all.

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