Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Every so often the Kerpatty! boys and I will venture out and do a little something we call Kerpatty-Oke...which is basically just karaoke.

Last night was such a night.

The place we normally go to, the Avenue Tavern, no longer does karaoke on Tuesdays. This is a shame because it was usually dead-ish and they had a pretty good selection. (Also, the kid who spun the karaoke would to an AMAZING version of Britney Spears' "Gimme More". While I am not a fan of the song, his mastery of it was something to behold.)

The three of us stood, dejected, in the sweltering heat and mulled over our options. After some hemming and hawing, we landed on Trader Todd's as our only choice.

Trader Todd's. Ever been? Charming establishment.

Upon entry were smacked in the face with some poor soul muddling his way through a Bare Naked Ladies song. He was one third of a pod - three guys in black "tuxedo" tee-shirts and sports style lettering on the back, two of which read:

We took a table behind a couple out on an early term date. What a truly strange notion, to bring a date out to Karaoke. New couples are baffled enough by one another, why compound the puzzlement by volunteering to sing "You Oughta Know" or Bel Biv Devoe?

Maybe it was a "test" date.

My initial thought was to get a simple well drink and be done with it. But, no. Instead - and I'm not sure if it was island-themed decor or the musk of twenty-something desperation - I ordered one of these:

In fact, I ordered three of them.

The point with Trader Todd's drinks, as I'm sure you've figured out, is not so much to enjoy the act of drinking it, as one might with a good craft beer or a nice Pinot Noir. The point is to get as much alcohol down your gullet in as short order as possible. This enhances the fun. It sparks your enthusiasm to cheer on any macho dude who takes the stage to sing "Dead or Alive" or some strappy dressed chick who sings "Love is a Battlefield".

This has its dark side, too. At one point a young Asian woman in a white dress was called to sing Jewel's "Foolish Games" (which rests easily in the "I got something to say, I hope you're listening, Boy Who Will Never Understand Me" genre of karaoke). The song started and rather than sing, she took the opportunity to bark into the microphone just what a Jerk-Faced Dick-Wad the karaoke DJ was and how he totally treated her like dirt and never had she been so insulted.

Everyone in the bar watched with pity and awe as she stormed off the stage into the arms of her jittery boyfriend. The song continued to play and a pack of girls took over for her, singing with unbridled pathos:

Well in case you failed to notice,
In case you failed to see,
This is my heart bleeding before you,
This is me down on my knees, and...

These foolish games are tearing me apart,
And your thoughtless words are breaking my heart.
You're breaking my heart.

(This song makes me want to hurt someone.)

To be fair, the DJ was a jerk. But I can't say I blame him. If I had throngs of drunk girls showing up at my table and demanding to sing "Since U Been Gone", I think I'd get a little cranky, too.

My name was called. I had requested a standard: Total Eclipse of the Heart. this is one of those that could go horribly right or beautifully wrong depending on how you spin it. I spat it out with gusto and blew my voice out in the process. Somewhere during the instrumental, one of the Jewel singers (the "good" singer among her friends) said:

"It's -j-j-, right?"

I leaned out and narrowed my gaze at her. "Uh-huh."

"You don't suck."

"Oh, okay."

"One of those guys over there said you suck. But you don't suck."

"Oh...well I probably do suck. That's what this is all about right?" I then shrieked even louder into the mike.

What on Earth? I appreciated the support, but I'm not sure what her motivation was.

Once I finished, I was high fived by the Pod.

Ten minutes later I was subject to video footage of my performance.

I used to do karaoke all the time. There was a time when it was assumed that's what we did on special occasions. Some of the luster is off it these days...especially when you go to a place like Trader Todd's

There's something about it, though. I am consistently amazed that people are willing to take their bedroom lip syncing into a public forum. There is a reason they choose the songs they do. Sometimes the choice is just for fun, but others carry an odd "sideshow" quality. We look on as our friends holler boozy renditions of "If I had a Million Dollars" or Three Doors Down. I always wonder what they want us to hear.

I just want everyone to know that "I'm living in a powder keg and giving off sparks."


Dianna said...

I've been Trader Todds ONCE, and t was for karaoke... let's just say I did the "shot off the water-ski". If you didn't see this happen while you were there, I will describe it to you when I see you next.

Ever try Hidden Cove?

"sishalks" is simply "sklahsis" backwards, and everyone knows "sklahsis" means to belt your karaoke song

S. E. Johnson said...

What a magfuckingnificent entry. I only wish I could see you a. drink and/or b. sing karaoke at least once before I die. So, there's something on my July to-do list. ;)

Was it the Bonnie Tyler or the Nikki French version, he wondered aloud?

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