A Karaoke Story

Have I mentioned how much I love karaoke? It’s true. For a while, karaoke and I were on a break, because it is quite difficult to find the delicate balance of a good DJ, good songs, and a good crowd. The crowd is key. You dont want a bunch of divas, and you want people to be friendly, and supportive, and there to have fun. And the bar has to be at least okay. You dont want two chicks behind the bar who are more interested in adjusting their ridiculous boob shirts right in front of you than actually bartending, taking 10 minutes on a slow night to give Babz a bottle of Coors Light (*cough* Crazy Cocktail in Levittown *cough*).

So I have once again found good karaoke, but nothing will ever be able to compete with the insanity that was Red Lobster on Wednesday nights. I worked at Red Lobster for five years, and in the later years, they brought in karaoke to the bar, which was awesome. It was the most wildly random crowd you could ever hope to meet, and we became one big, utterly bizarre family. Every week provided at least one bout of madness.

For example. Every week, Writer Boy and I were there, but we were not dating anymore. For a while, I was dating Chucklehead, whom Writer Boy felt threatened by in a very Chandleresque way, because not only did it mean I liked someone besides Writer Boy, but I found Chucklehead hilarious. Double whammy!

But Chucklehead was a bit of a chucklehead, and had some truly chucklehead friends. One night he brought one of these friends, Unfortunate Roommate, to karaoke. Unfortunate Roommate was your quintessential insecure, homophobic, tough guy. You know who I mean. He didn’t exactly have a sense of humor about himself. Or much of anything, really, but especially himself.

So Writer Boy was getting his bitch on, as he is wont to do at karaoke, and decided to mess with Unfortunate Roommate. Writer Boy is like the exact opposite of Unfortunate Roommate –very not tough, extremely witty, and everyone thinks he is gay, but he of course doesn’t care. He’s awesome. And at one point, while we were chilling out, looking over the book, he leaned in to Unfortunate Roommate, and very seriously suggested that Unfortunate Roommate sing “You Dont Bring Me Flowers” with Chucklehead. Of course I started cracking up, as did Chucklehead.

But MARONE, did Unfortunate Roommate lose it! Well, not all at once. First he stared uncomprehendingly at Writer Boy, saying he didn’t know that song — of course not! It’s about flowers, and everyone knows flowers are gay. So Writer Boy and I sang a few bars of it, as I added in my own encouragement over the song choice.

What followed was the textbook Meathead Simmer. You know the Simmer. Said Meathead in baseball cap leans against the wall, muttering to his buddies about how that guy is looking at him, and dude, he might have to fight. And like, seriously? Meatheads? YOU DON’T HAVE TO FIGHT. Bar fights, particularly ones started over inferred threats to your manliness or whatever, are the stupidest things ever. If you can’t enjoy your bottles of Bud and shots of Jager without getting into a fight, or worse yet, TALKING ALL NIGHT about how you’re gonna fight, then STAY AT HOME. Or go do some other heterosexual male activity that doesn’t involve alcohol. Like reading Maxim or something. I dont know. But stay out of my bars.

Anyway. Unfortunate Roommate stalked away from us, and spent the next hour alternating between muttering to Chucklehead and glaring at Writer Boy, never taking his eyes off of him for more than a moment, lest he catch The Gay.

Let me tell you, you havent lived until you’ve heard the Meathead Simmer, where instead of, “He looked at me/he’s looking at my girlfriend (Jen),” it’s, “Yo — yo — why did that guy tell me to sing “You Dont Bring Me Flowers?” Why does he want me to sing “You Dont Bring Me Flowers?” Why does he want me to sing it with a dude? And he was totally serious. Writer Boy found this even more hilarious, which obviously just pissed off Unfortunate Roommate even more.

Finally, Unfortunate Roommate had to leave, because if he didn’t, he was gonna punch that guy. He never came back, and then he moved to Kansas with a girl. Because you know, he likes chicks. Not dudes. And definitely — DEFINITELY — not flowers.

© May 19, 2005

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