It is very hard to imagine Steve Wozniak with his tails between his legs.
But I feared that it would happen several times during a quickstep that was more of a frenetic step on his second performance for "Dancing with the Stars."
Dancing on a fractured left foot, he threw himself into his Buddy Holly-inspired "Oh, Boy" routine with all the gusto of a drunken chef who had stumbled into trials for the San Francisco 49ers. As he did, the Apple co-founder's tails (yes, as in formal wear) flapped like the arms of a virgin roller-coaster rider.
Would he ever stop? Would he crash into the audience? Or would his tails flap between his legs, curl themselves around a calf or two, and bring him down like an Italian government?
Unlike an Italian government, he managed to get to the end of his term, but not before a wide-eyed, panting grimace halfway through that must have caused at least one paramedic to grip tightly on his stretcher handle.
The judges tried to be kinder than they were last week. Two suggested that it didn't matter how he danced; he was simply entertaining (yes, he had the geeky glasses, pink shirt, plaid pants, and no sign of swim trunks), and many would be grateful for that.
However, Bruno Tonioli, the judge who last week suggested that the Woz danced "like a Teletubby going mad at a gay pride parade," this week had more prepared remarks. (You don't think they're spontaneous, do you?)
"You remind me of Wall-E," he said. "A bit rusty around the edges, in need of spare parts, but resilient and incredibly charming."
A translation might have been, "Look, your dancing is bloody awful, but we know you've come here to entertain, and we appreciate your incredibly geeky way of trying. And if we say mean things, we fear you might hack into our iPhoto, find our most cherished and private images, and expose us."
The Woz is in danger of trying a little too hard. His orphanlike eagerness to please is overwhelming his ability to control his body and actually trace the steps that have been laid out by his professional partner, Karina Smirnoff.
Watching him dance is a little like watching a movie that you know is bad, but that, when it's over, you feel bizarrely charitable toward. You know, like "Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo."
And his hair was fabulous. Truly. It was as if James Dean had come down from heaven and teased it himself. And the black Chucks on which he hopped around seemed the perfect shock absorbers for his attempt at causing a seismic event in the Hollywood area.
The scores bounced up the Richter scale a little. The judges offered him 17 points--not entirely ugly, but not so cute, either. So adding his meager 13 from last week, it means he reached a respectable 30 out of 60. Well, respectable except for the fact that it put him in last place. (The viewers'--or even techy non-viewers'--vote will have a heavy influence)
Tuesday night sees the bottom two couples eliminated. I have a feeling Steve Wozniak will not be in that elimination. This means more weeks of dancing. And more weeks to find the spare parts and shake off the rust.
Oh, boy. I hope we don't need Wall-E to clean up the mess in the end.