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OUT OF BOUNDS By Geary (Smedley) Leason

A Shark Takes a Big Bite Out of Smedley!

-19121344505233A9A5Three weeks ago, this column reported that a local character, Ernest Smedley, had been accepted as “presenter” on the popular TV show, Shark Tank. And sure enough, on the Feb. 12 show, Smedley presented his robotic interactive dancing dummy, “Daisy,” to the Sharks claiming that Daisy could teach anyone to dance and dance well. The skeptical Sharks insisted on proof – so first up, Daisy taught clumsy Shark Kevin O’Leary the Frug, a dance he had never been able to do; next Daisy taught cool Shark Damon some new hip-hop moves; then Daisy helped Shark Robert learn a smooth Fox Trot; and finally, Mark Cuban, after several minutes with Daisy, was able to do a decent Paso Doble. What really blew the Sharks away was that after each mini lesson, Daisy walked her partner back to his seat and thanked him for the dance.
Before the impressed Sharks started their negotiations with Smedley for a piece of his invention, they wanted to know how he came up with his unbelievable creation. Here’s the story he told them . . .
“I was an awkward kid who was never asked to dance during my junior high and senior high school years. I was the only child of my single mother who had no time to teach me the usual social graces such as dancing, so I suffered the pain of being a wallflower. As I prepared for college which was made possible by several academic scholarships I received owing to my innate brightness, I was determined that my college years would be different – that I would be a great dancer, much in demand!”
“During the summer before my upcoming freshman year at Cal Tech, I tirelessly researched robotics, wireless connectivity, computer programming, lithium battery science, plastics, and dancing manuals. After several weeks, I came up from my basement workshop carrying “Daisy,” my first dancing dummy prototype. “Daisy” was an inflated polyurethane female figure standing about 5’6.” Her “brains” were all in a fanny pack. Sitting in a chair about ten feet from Daisy, I clicked my remote device and immediately Daisy approached me and asked if I would like to learn how to waltz. I said ‘Of course. Let’s go!’ Immediately, the music of the Blue Danube waltz filled the room as I found myself in the firm grip of Daisy with her giving commands of ‘one, two, three, and one, two, three, and turn, and one, two, three . . . ’”
“Two hours later, I had the waltz down like I was Johann Strauss himself. After a short rest Daisy asked me if I would like to learn the Texas Two Step. And off we went again as Daisy patiently instructed the once klutzy me on making the right steps and keeping the rhythm as well.”
“After eight intensive weeks under Daisy’s tutelage and with me tweaking Daisy’s fanny pack which contained all the robotics, programming, and a 1000 hour battery, I confidently headed off to college knowing that my dancing skills were first topnotch. My dancing, indeed, did wow the college crowd and I soon became the most popular guy on campus.”
“My dancing was so good that I earned several thousands each summer as the dancing instructor on all the Carnival Carribean cruises. After graduation I went on to a career with NASA putting Daisy in the garage where she stayed until three weeks ago when, after viewing the Shark Tank show, I thought the Sharks might see a value in her. So here I am.”
Following Smedley’s fascinating tale, the bidding among the Sharks for Smedley’s Daisy was frantic, but there was no way that Mark Cuban was going to let this one get away. As nobody topped Cuban’s offer of one million dollars for a 10% interest in Smedley’s company, Smedley accepted Cuban’s deal. The accompanying photo shows Mark Cuban standing next to Dancing Dummy No. 95, his new “partner.”
Cuban’s intense interest in Daisy apparently stemmed from his failure to advance as a contestant three years ago on the popular Dancing With the Stars TV show because he could not do a decent Paso Doble. Cuban reasoned that if he had the benefits of Smedley’s Daisy prior to his appearance on DWTS, he could have walked off with the show’s championship trophy.
And the rest is history. Mark Cuban International has already franchised several hundreds of Daisy Dummy Dance Studios here and abroad. And this fall, Fox TV will be airing Dancing with the Dummies. Smedley had a new double-wide delivered to his lot on Milkweed. {SIC}

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