Dances with Ferrets

There are a lot of Zumba classes in my town these days – over 90 classes per week within a five mile radius. They pop up in church halls, gyms, schools, Scout halls, night clubs and community centres. Last night's class was a first for me – it was at the village pub.

There's a small function room next to the main bar with ye olde wooden beams, stained glass windows and a stopped grandfather clock. There's shaggy green carpet with a little wooden dance floor in the middle of the room, so if you chose your spot right you could boogie on down like John Travolta. I picked a carpeted bit towards the front so I could check out my moves in the bar mirror.

It started out like any old Zumba class – a shimmy here; a sashay there. Then halfway though Track 3 a voice boomed from the doorway, "ZUMBAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

An old man wandered in. He might of been quite young actually, 60ish? It was hard to tell from his bright red complexion, the result of a day in the sun with many many beers. He shuffled and twirled around the ladies in the back row as he cried, "Zumba! Zumba Zumba ZUMBA!"

As if that wasn't surreal enough, he was carrying a ferret under his arm.

And not just any ferret – it was a taxidermied ferret, mounted on a log. A lot like this one:

The whole class was in stitches. Maybe he pops in on a regular basis? I don't know. The instructor seemed torn between bemusement and mortification as man and ferret made their way to the front of the room and stood beside her.

"RIGHT LADIES," he said, step-touching from side to side not quite on the beat, "Let's ZUMBA!"

He hoisted the ferret above his head like a barbell, pumped it up and down a few times as his hips shimmed, "Zumba! Zumba! Zumba! ZUMBA!".

He then tucked the ferret back under his arm, and left.

The rest of the class passed without incident. Kinda disappointing, really!

31 thoughts on “Dances with Ferrets

  1. That is quite simply one of the funniest things I have read in a LONG TIME!!!
    Love yer pal,

    Jaclyn x

  2. Makes my local classes seem positively boring?!?!?

    Why oh why does this kind of thing happen in the UK but never in Australia?? I have so many crazy stories from my couple of years in the UK but none from a lifetime in Aus.

  3. It’s good it was taxidermy, because a live ferret goes after dancing ankles… trust me πŸ™‚

  4. I feel that I am missing out on so much by not living in Scotland. You take having your weekly marketing delivered for granted and now interesting characters wander into your Zumba classes that seem to be on every block twice a day. I thought the States had everything. We are primitive compared to Scotland!

  5. OMG, I’m wiping my eyes right now (and not just because of hay fever)! I SO wish something like this would happen when I’m on the cross-trainer; maybe I’d be able to break the ten-minute barrier. πŸ˜‰
    Keep these stories coming, PLEASE! You made my afternoon.

  6. Man, this makes my Zumba class seem positively BORING in comparison!

    I would have been rolling on the floor in absolute STITCHES. I was fine until the part where he started using the ferret as a barbell.

    Oh god.


  7. He was taking the piss, in an alcoholic dementia type way.
    That is funny, though πŸ™‚
    What do you suppose the ferret’s name was? My tip is Fergus. Fergus the Ferret.

  8. Love it – I love how Zumba brings the crazy out in people πŸ™‚ Happy Easter Shauna, hope you got an Elegant Rabbit x

  9. That is absolutely hilarious. I heard another funny story that I just had to share with you. A very close friend of my son’s told it this week at our Thursday night dinner (the whole family and this close friend goes out to eat once a week after their bowling league). He was quite young, I’m guessing only 3 or 4. He was jumping up and down on his bed, and his mother walked in the bedroom. He gave her “the finger.” She was horrified and told him, “NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!” He said he told her a few years later he didn’t understand why she got so upset, because at that age, he had no idea what “giving the finger” even meant. Hilarious. The picture in my mind of this little boy jumping up and down on the bed giving his mother “the finger” just cracks me up. It’s obscene, inappropriate, but so innocent and funny. The drunk guy with the stuffed ferret at Zumba class hits me the same way–just so completely obscure, something you would never expect to happen–and so completely laughable. Thanks for sharing!

  10. HAHA!

    Did you know that ferrets are outlawed in NYC, Shauny? I only found out the other day. An outrage!!! I think the gist of it is that in such high-density living, they might turn, form a pack, and eat someone in such close confines. Your old bloke here was evidently taking preventive measures.

    In a serious case of Wind in the Willows-itis, I had an English teacher called Mr Ferret. He wasn’t a real ferret, unfortunately.

  11. Shauna-
    I literally just finished your book about 10 min. ago. I wouldn’t let myself read the blog until I finished the book. I am so so obsessed with your story. My favorite part in the book is that you are so real. You continued to struggle (like me) and were honest about it. Thank you.
    I think I read about you being at Fitbloggin’ which is why I picked up the book.
    I will be there too and I so hope to meet you.
    Thanks for being so real.
    Laurie (your URL request didn’t like my URL)

  12. Love it – it’s probably only in Scotland that this kind of crazy thing could happen. Have you seen the video on You Tube about the drunk trying to go up the down escalator – as I said only in Scotland!! Zxx

  13. I made the mistake of reading this entry whilst sipping hot coffee. It made me laugh so hard that I sneezed said coffee. I now have scalded nostrils and the giggles…

    Thanks for that – made my day πŸ™‚

  14. Sounds like the sort of thing that happens in my little Tasmanian village ! BTW this blog is the best one I have found in ages and I know you will continue to inspire me !

  15. Ok, so I’ve never really been sold on the idea of dance classes until now. If I was guaranteed a ferret-carrying sectagenarian gatecrasher I’d be there in a shot – or is that only in Scotland?

  16. I attended my first Zumba class last week & felt totally unco-ordinated & stiff, maybe a ferret would have helped me. I wasn’t going to go back but then again you never know what could happen!

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