Day 231: Bimbo Limbo

It was time once again for Laetitia to take a break from leading a tour. The previous evening, Laetitia had been invited to go to an Irish pub with her grandmother and several of her grandmother’s friends. During the evening, one of them had politely inquired about what Laetitia was up to these days. She had answered vaguely, “I work for an Internet business.” She shot a furtive glance in the direction of her grandmother, whose face bore an enigmatic smile not unlike that of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa.

The conversation moved on and “the girls,” as they called themselves, talked about their youthful idealism and naivety. Laetitia was reminded of a conversation in Agatha Christie’s They Do It with Mirrors, in which a long-time American friend of amateur detective Jane Marple says to her, “Of course it was the fashion when we were young to have ideals—we all had them, it was the proper thing for young girls. You were going to nurse lepers, Jane, and I was going to be a nun.” The ideals of the girls were somewhat less altruistic. They grew up at a time when young ladies often went to college simply to find a suitable mate.

As the evening wore on there was talk about the fun they had, their boyfriends, and fads like the Limbo. This was a dance of sorts that originated in Trinidad in the 1950s. The dancers bend over backwards and inch forward, pelvis first, as they try to pass under a bar. If they succeed in passing under the bar without falling down, the bar is lowered and they try again, hoping to set a record. The Limbo was all the rage at college parties in the 1950s and 1960s. The girls had an acquaintance that they referred to as the “Limbo Bimbo.” She was not especially bright, but was promiscuous and very athletic, and therefore especially good at the limbo. Though it is hard to imagine, the limbo record is purported to be passing under a bar around eight inches high. It was rumored that the Limbo Bimbo once went into a public pay toilet in Chicago, and when she found that she had no change, simply pulled up her skirt and slid limbo fashion right under the door of the stall. Whether it was true or not, it provided Laetitia with the limerick of the day.

Lacking coins for the loo, a young bimbo
Who was skillful at doing the limbo
Deftly slipped ‘neath the door
Just an inch from the floor
With skirt up and both arms akimbo.