Portland, OR – What began as a Ladies Night Out nearly turned into Lights Out for Daryle Rico, when the aging mambo artist tried to charm five young Indonesian women at Portland’s famous Conga Club last Saturday.
The evening started with a beginner’s salsa lesson but quickly progressed to advanced cardiac arrest as Rico attempted to entertain all five women single-handedly. Rico appeared to be holding his own during the slower numbers, such as Illuvia and No Mo Se Mañana, but the faster-paced merengues soon had him knocking at death’s door.
According to other dancers who were on hand that evening, Rico had been dancing non-stop for over two hours, rotating partners between numbers, when he suddenly collapsed in mid-song. By the time paramedics arrive, they found Rico sweating and wheezing and laying in a fetal position in the middle of the dance floor.
“He kept muttering ‘No mas, No mas’,” reported Meritje Maung, his horrified dance partner. Other witnesses claim they saw the victim twitching his left foot in 4/4 time.
“It was a pretty pathetic sight,” said dance instructor Erick Gonzales. “Not as pathetic as his bachata, but close.”
“He was white – even for a gringo,” said club owner Roger Rumba.
Once paramedics administered water and oxygen to the downed dancer, Rico was able to stagger back to his feet. “It was touch and go for a moment there,” said EMT Ben Morrell. “One more cross body lead and he might have been done for.”
“It was as close to death as I’ve ever come,” claimed Rico. “not counting the time I accidentally ran my face into Todd Er’s armpit during a cha-cha-cha.”
Rico, who went through three shirts and a package of breath mints en route to his near death experience, vowed to return to the club the following Saturday. “But this time I’ll be wearing a heart monitor,” promised Rico.