How do motorists react to a giant dancing termite? Beeping, lots of beeping. “I usually get a lot of waves, laughs and smiles,” Cael Keenan says. “It’s kinda nice actually.” Cael is the human inside the arthropod suit. The Termimesh dancing termite can be found pulling shapes at 70 Goodwood Road most mornings and afternoons. “I don’t dance in the rain, but in the heat and the cold, yes. If it gets above 32 degrees I don’t dance. It’s cold in winter and hot in summer.”
The suit is like a second shell. “It’s almost kind of comfortable. I don’t really notice it anymore. You have to walk a bit funny because the tail-butt-thing wiggles around as you go.”
The wiggling and butt waggling entertains passing drivers. What’s the common reaction? “A lot of it is unintelligible screams. One time a few pedestrians tried to get me to the Goody [Goodwood Hotel] across the road and take pictures with me but I told them I couldn’t leave my little patch of Termiturf out the front.”
Cael found the job through his mum, who spotted it and encouraged him to apply. There were no auditions involved prior to landing the gig. “I just turned up and put the suit on.”
He doesn’t favour particular moves. “I like the wave and the thumbs up. OccasionallyI wiggle the termite butt. It gets a bit of a reaction.”
The best part of the job is making people smile. “It’s good fitness and it’s nice to see people smile and laugh and wave as they drive along. Especially when they’ve got kids in the car. They always find it enjoyable. It’s nice seeing their reactions. It keeps it interesting.”
Not much goes through the 20-year-old engineering and finance student’s mind as he dances. “It’s just sort of a normal thing now. Sometimes I get really into it and think about the moves and the people going by.”
Plugging in his tunes and beginning the slow, waggle to his patch, the car horns and delighted grins begin in earnest. In the overcast spring light, it’s an oddly heart-warming spectacle.
Keep an eye out for the Termimesh Termite next time you’re coasting down Goodwood Road. Give him a big smile and thumbs-up. It’s contagious good will.
Have you ever donned the dancing termite suit? Let us know in the comments, below.