In high school, Herbert Binks knew his place in the world. He was short, anorexically thin, wore "coke bottle bottom" glasses, and sported a sub-stylish "bowl" haircut. His appearance apparently infuriated the males in his school, as they routinely beat him up. The females on the other hand, tended to have a more physical reaction: nausea. Once, he told a girl that he thought she was very pretty. She ralphed on the spot, ran off in tears, and subsequently filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. Needless to say, he learned his lesson quickly.
His dateless high school years finally came to a close. He applied to, and was accepted a distant University, far from the misery of home. His first year there was initially relatively uneventful, until one chilly evening in October. He had been walking home from the library when a carload of intoxicated frat boys screeched to a halt next to him. The drunkards leaped out, swarmed around him, then stuffed him into the trunk of the car. Herbert was to be the butt of an enormous joke.
He was brought to their house where he was stripped of his glasses and clothes. They stuffed him into a dress, force fed him gratuitous amounts of alcohol, then presented him to the party in progress.
He was drunk and couldn't see, so he stumbled around like Frankenstein in drag as the room roared with laughter.
It was then that a pumped-up dance tune erupted from the stereo. The room began to chant, "Dance! Dance! Dance!" Herbert reeled and spun for a few moments, then felt the beat begin to take hold as his staggering became a little more deliberate. The chanting halted and more laughter and cheering erupted from the crowd. He closed his eyes, tuned out the room, and slipped into a state of psycho-sensory extacy. A few moments later, he was in a full body, furious gyration.
The crowd hushed and backed away. One girl whispered to another, "That boy can dance!" Before long, every girl in the place was dancing around him.
Herbert woke up with a start. He groaned as the ache in his head pounded with each beat of his heart.
He sat up, rubbed his eyes, then squinted in an attempt to recognize the room. From what he could see, he was in a small room occupied by numerous slumbering bodies.
He slinked over to the nearest person, hoping to get a look at a familiar face. He jumped and squeaked when he saw it was a beautiful girl. She awoke, blinked, smiled at him, then moved forward and kissed him on the forehead.
In one single movement, Herbert leaped the 8 feet across the room, and shuffled out the door.
He found himself standing at one end of the living room, being eyeballed and otherwise glared at by the male residents of the house. One came up to him and handed him his obscenely thick glasses.
"Damn, Herb. If we had known you were such a ladies man, we never would have brought you here," the kid said with a chuckle. He patted Herbert on the back, leaned in, then whispered, "You'll have to show me how to dance like that sometime."
Herbert put on his glasses, looked at the young man, then shifted his gaze to the other occupants of the room.
"I'm going home now," he announced and walked out the door.
The next few days left him few clues as to what had transpired that fateful night; the bulk of his memory lay hidden in a pea-soup alcoholic fog. On various occasions, people of both genders who he did not recognize, greeted him warmly as he passed by them. Several girls actually gave him their phone numbers. In Herbert's entire history as a member of the male gender, this was unprecedented.
"Could it be that things have changed?" He thought to himself. "Could it be that I'm not horrifying? Could it be that I'm popular? Could it be that I'm ... I'm a stud muffin?"
It was under this impression that he approached an attractive young blonde in the hallway of the English building.
"Hello," he said with a smile. She looked at him, appeared shocked, then quickly looked away.
"Um. You have a really pretty face." He almost couldn't believe how suave he was sounding.
"Thanks," she replied without looking at him, then began walking down the hall. He followed.
"You're right, it's pretty loud here," he said. "So, I'll bet you don't eat much."
"I mean, you couldn't, to keep a figure like that." He was on a roll.
The girl walked faster.
"Or, maybe it's this kind of exercise?"
She aborted her flee atempt and turned, ready to fight. "What do you want?"
"Um. What's your name?" He was pleased with how well this was going.
"What's yours?" she snapped, "I'll bet it has a "stalker" in it somewhere. Joe Stalker, is that it?"
He laughed heartily. "You're funny, too. That's great!. My name is Herbert." He offered his hand.
"It fits," she hissed, glaring at him. "Will you leave me alone now, please?"
"sure, but can I give you a call sometime?" he asked. "Maybe we could go for dinner and then some dancing?" Gesturing his proposal, he did a little jig.
A bewildered expression appeared on her face. "Do that again," she said.