They're doing it at Dolphins games. They're doing it at house parties. They're doing it at middle school talent shows. They're doing it everywhere. It's the latest dance sensation.
Fort Lauderdale real estate agent Jane Snyder says she first saw the Superman dance at a talent show at Sunrise Middle School, where her daughter attends the eighth grade. Two boys got up and danced to Soulja Boy's "Crank That." The dance involves a lot of light-footed, back-and-forth jumping and some swimming motions with the arms, all rather pleasing to the eye.
"The guys were really tall and considered handsome," Snyder says. "All the girls in a pack were oohing and aahing."
What struck Snyder, though, was Soulja's refrain, "Superman dat ho," repeated over and over, hypnotically, with the last word extended: "Superman dat hooooo." Ho is not a term Snyder approves of.
"Referring to a girlfriend or a woman as 'dat ho,' that in itself is enough to offend me," she says.
But what about this Superman-as-verb business? Snyder says none of the kids she knows could tell her what it means; it's just something in a song, they said. Then she heard local radio morning show hosts Paul and Young Ron talking about the lyric. "They said what the phrase means is so bad they couldn't say it on the radio. There were parents calling in, and they'd put them on hold so they could tell them what it means."
Finally, somebody directed Snyder to urbandictionary.com, where Superman the verb is said to mean — Tailpipe is softening the language somewhat — putting bodily fluid on the back of a woman when she's sleeping, so that when she awakens, the bedsheet is stuck to her like a cape.
Snyder says that she and other parents called Sunrise Principal Rebecca Dahl to complain that songs such as "Crank That" are played at school activities (more than one website renders its lyrics with the phrase "Watch me super soak dat ho"). Dahl has not responded yet, Snyder says. She did not respond to messages from Tailpipe either.
Soulja Boy, who's from Atlanta, is part of the Dirty South hip-hop movement, where the language is raw, the beats are funky, and the ranks include Young Jeezy, Trina, and Trick Daddy, the last two from Miami. 'Pipe suspects Dirty South's appeal is more in the beats than the lyrics, which often are arcane, with messages that must fly over the heads of young dancers.
When Tipper Gore was so shocked by the lyrics of Prince's Purple Rain that she lobbied to have the record industry put warning stickers on some records, back in 1985, 'Pipe jeered. When in doubt about singers and songs, laissez faire is the way to go. But if Soulja Boy really meant to celebrate squirting the backs of sleeping women, that's where the 'Pipe just might draw the line.
Charlie Don't Surf
Tailpipe trekked up to Roosevelt Elementary School in Cocoa Beach last Tuesday to witness a rather unusual meeting of the minds: Kelly Slater — eight-time world surfing champion, frequent arm candy of supermodels, professional pitchman, and star of the videogame Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer — was hobnobbing with Charlie Crist. The reasons for the powwow were twofold. First, Crist, a mere governor in the presence of surfer royalty, was signing Senate Bill 1472, a measure to protect public access to beaches, pushed through the legislature by the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation. Two: Slater was accepting a nomination to the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, a group designed to promote healthy living and stop obesity among kids.
Slater had plenty of impact just by sticking around to chat with every boy and girl who approached him for autographs. Meanwhile, the governor was asked to sign exactly zero videogames.
Slater presented Crist with a surfboard, a new, partially biodegradable biofoam board made in part of soybeans, while lamenting that surfing isn't a greener sport. "I get about 100 boards a year," he said. "As a surfer, that's great. But when you think of all the toxic chemicals and the waste and the fumes [that go into surfboard construction], I'm not the most environmentally sound person."
He signed the new surfboard "Let's go surfing!" Crist signed "Why not?"
Slater assessed Crist: "I want to get him in the water!" he said.
'Pipe was wondering whether Crist might be more popular if he posed in trunks on a board — and then he remembered John Kerry, who posed while windsurfing in the final days of the 2004 presidential campaign and shot himself in the foot.
"I've only done it once," Crist said of surfing. "Here in Cocoa Beach. It didn't turn out so well."
So when Slater gets Charlie into the waves, you can bet the news boys won't be invited.