"You ready to get drunk tonight?" Ron asked in a giddy fashion.
"I believe so," I answered.
"You want to do some karaoke?"
"Do I have a choice?"
".......No," he answered while laughing.
I appreciated his honesty.
I've written about Ron before, a guy I don't see often. I attended his wedding months ago and got all silly drunk and found myself singing dirty songs on karaoke. He was in town this weekend on business and wanted to hang out. I told him I'd be happy to partake in some drinking, but karaoke?
On the way to the bar Ron told me it was an Irish Pub and that I would like the beer. Fair compromise I thought. After I walked into O' Flannigans, or something to that effect, I realize this place was about as Irish as the Olive Garden is authentic Italian cuisine. A trashy dive with darts and pool the bar had every sort of character you would expect. Old men were sitting up at the bar in jean jackets and trucker hats, chunky women dressed with a massive amounts of cleavage, and various white trash sorts decorated the bar as they washed down their broken dreams with some whiskey.
This is Ron's kind of place.
Ron, Brian, and I sit down and I start drinking, heavily. Massive amounts of Guinness was consumed and I started feeling a good buzz going. Ron and Brian got up and sang before the crowd and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Shortly after I hear words that I didn't want to hear.
"Erik step on up to the mic."
'Hmm there's another Erik here,' I thought to myself. I glanced over at Ron and Brian who were both clapping and gesturing me to go up there.
"What the hell is going on?" I asked. "I didn't give him a slip."
Ron laughed. Oh shit he filled one out for me. I sat for a second and pondered how I'd make my escape, but the alcohol in me said to hell with it. I'm never going to see any of these people again so I'll go up and sing whatever.
I walk up and grab the mic waiting to find out which tune I would be serenading the crowd with. I heard the first chord and instantly recognize it. Yes folks it was encore time as 'The Ballad of Chasey Lain" was sung again by Wiwille.
Some people in the crowd recognized the tune actually and started hollering and gesturing. In front of me was a crowd of 40 somethings celebrating a birthday. They were obviously not familiar with the song, but they laughed as I belted out each lyric.
The song ended with much applause and laughter. I made my way to the bathroom when a girl stopped me.
"That was really funny," she said. "I can't believe you sang that."
"Well it was that or some awful rendition of Summer Nights," I said.
We started talking and she introduced me to a friend of hers. She asked what I do for a living. I told her I work for a software company.
"What do you do when you're not hanging around karaoke bars?" I asked.
"I'm a dancer," she said.
"Oh yeah? Like ballet or ballroom?"
"Yeah," she said with a sarcastic look. "Not that kind of dancing."
"Ohhhhh. I see. Well how's the medical benefits in that profession?"
She shot me a look that told me how unfunny I was being.
"So," she said. "I suppose you're gonna try and sleep with me now?" She had a tone that was sarcastic and bitter. Behind those eyes of hers was a soul torn with Daddy issues and a mess of men who'll do and say anything to get with her only to later discard her like a full ashtray.
"What makes you think I want to sleep with you?" I asked.
Her face almost hit the floor. That wasn't the response she was expecting. The 'dancer' excused herself to the restroom in a hurried fashion. I turned and looked at her friend who was holding back her laughter. When the dancer was out of sight she took my hand and shook it.
"She uses that line all the time," Kelly said. "You're the first guy to ever say that to her."
"I hope her feelings aren't hurt," I said. "But then again she shouldn't be so presumptuous. She's not that hot."
Kelly laughed and thanked me for saying that to her. I excused myself and finally made my way back to the table. More songs were butchered by the patrons including myself as I decided to spread a little Johnny Cash. It was awful, but it was fun. I met a lot of people in that bar and found that most were good folk. As the night went on the crowd got younger and more entertaining and I understood finally why people like this karaoke thing, but even then I doubt I could make a habit of it.
This weekend was even more packed with Whirlyball, a Mariners game, a couple of parties, and various other antics. Much alcohol was consumed, a lot was regurgitated, bad food was eaten, great conversation was had, and I forgot what a good night's sleep is. Maybe I'm getting to old for this.....
I think I've written enough for today.
"How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man." - Johnny Cash