Follow Me on Twitter

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dear Abby: Zumba Weeeeeee!!!

You've heard of Zumba, right? It's a group workout class that combines Latin and international music with dance steps that either (a) help you burn calories; or (b) show you off in 360-degree mirrors as the utter and complete fool you are. Zumba participants are either sixty-ish or sixteen-ish. All the in-between age groups are either too shy to try or are already knee-deep in psychotherapy and don't need more material for the couch.

Zumba participants are also usually female. So are the teachers.

One entrepreneurial Zumba teacher in Kennebunk, Maine, a quaint town about 40 minutes south of where I live, decided she wanted to expand her class base. How do I get the men-folk to join me for some gyrating, hip-shaking fun, she asked herself?

A couple of readers have suggested I share her business plan with you. Here we go.

** NOTE: I am a lawyer. I did not take on a second mortgage to go to business school. I can't vouch for the soundness of the "business plan" I'm about to discuss. From a legal perspective, you'll see it's not the soundest of approaches. That's all I'm qualified to say. **

Alexis Wright is 29 years old. She had a dream. That dream was to be the most famous Zumba instructor in southern Maine.

Congratulations, Alexis! You've won the title, not just for southern Maine, but maybe for all of New England! What's her prize, Bill?

Well, iiitttttt'ssss...106 counts of prostitution and invasion of privacy! Good for you, Alexis!

You see, by "attracting the men," Alexis decided to reach back and take a page out of the business plan of the world's oldest profession. She decided that after a day of teaching baby boomers how to toe-heel-twirl, she'd transform her dance studio into a...well, into a brothel.

That's right. Over 18 months, Alexis "hosted" approximately 120 men for a range of "services." She kept detailed records of those services and the clients who received them, and she tallied up the $150,000 she made from her little side-venture with the precision of a certified public accountant. Apparently Alexis really does have a head for business. Unfortunately, her head just didn't seem to have room for anything else, like common sense and/or fear of the law.

Because Kennebunk, where Alexis' studio was, is not the type of place where late-night "hosting" goes unnoticed. It's a famous tourist destination where the Bush family owns a compound and where lobster rolls are sprinkled with diamond dust. You can walk from one end of the town to the other in the amount of time it takes you to consume an order of fried clams.

So when "bow-chicka-wow-wow" started echoing across the bay on a regular nightly basis, people took notice.

Now Alexis has been charged for her hosting duties and for the videotapes she took of her performing her hosting services. Her "partner," a swell guy named Mark Strong, has been charged too (he helped with booking Alexis' services, you see). Both claim it's all a big misunderstanding, that the piles of evidence really just refer to this long-going game of M-A-S-H they've been playing, and someday we'll all sit back and get a good giggle out of this whole thing.

For now, though, no one is laughing. Especially not the dozens and dozens of fellows who had such a good time with Alexis for three minutes here and there.

The names of 21 of those gentlemen were initially released, and then 18 more were published. The lists include men from 20-ish to 60-ish years of age, some of whom are former mayors, lawyers, public employees, and other known figures.

Presumably more names will be released. Some of the men, though, are legally challenging the release of their name, saying it's another invasion of their privacy and that their lives/careers/marriages will be destroyed if their participation in the Ring of Ruin comes to light.

Boo hoo hoo, right? If you didn't want to be known as a dude who pays some (overworked, it would seem) gal for sexual favors, DON'T BE A DUDE WHO PAYS SOME GAL FOR SEXUAL FAVORS! The men who bought what Alexis was selling will be charged with a Class E misdemeanor, the lowest on the totem pole of Maine crimes. The offense is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Most of them probably won't get jail time. So the punishment amounts to a slap on the wrist. Which probably isn't as much fun as the slaps on the backsides they were paying for, but hey.

The point is, being outed is both procedure, fair, and deserved. The criminal system is premised on the notion of openness, with cases and records only being sealed when exceptional facts demand closing the door. Alexis' name and image is plastered all over the media, and with this being an activity where two were required to tango, it doesn't seem fair for the other half of the dance to hide behind the curtain now. What's more, public shaming may be the only punishment that means anything to this current crop of criminals and that deters other testosterone-addled brains from dialing a date.

What's that line Maine likes to throw in your face as soon as you cross the state line? Oh yeah! The way life should be! So come for the lobster, stay for the loose morals!

 With friends like these, who needs clients?
Photo courtesy of


  1. "come for the lobster, stay for the loose morals"...a nice ring to it! PS is the picture of "Free Alexis" real life?

  2. Just think how fit the guards will be wherever she ends up