So I’ve been violating everyone’s ears with my singing for years and only recently have I been introduced to the wonders of karaoke. I mean, I knew it was around, but I’d never gone to a bar on karaoke night and belted out my favorite oldies in front of a bunch of sort of drunk people.
Shannon (who is definitely NOT an internet predator) and I went to this ridiculously hilarious bowling alley bar called The Lindbrook a couple weeks ago for karaoke night. The bowling alley had this kitchsy 60s light-up BOWL sign that flashed with 100 individual giant bulbs. We parked and unloaded our glittery selves out of the car and into the bar. We floated into that drab, dark bar like drag queen butterflies. I didn’t get any pictures, like a FOOL, but I have a before-make-up picture of my snail dress.
I’ve been aching to find a reason to wear this amazing home-made dress again, preferably without some harpy shrieking at me about it. It’s birth caused a fiasco a couple Halloweens ago because a friend of a friend was furious that she wasn’t “the only bug” at the party and that I had “won the costume contest.” She took no consolation in the fact that she WAS the only bug because snails are mollusks and would hear none of my protests that there had, in fact, been no costume contest and that me besting her at Halloween was entirely in her head. This had caused numerous drunken rants directed at me in the years afterward, but I think she’s finally over it.
ANYWAY, Shannon looked equally as fabulous and out of place in her leopard print top and seriously awesome red glitter make-up. We took a seat and, both broke, refused drinks. When the karaoke cards were passed out, we set to work finding songs like drowning women. Gasp! Written down. Guh! That one! ALL THE SONGS! We filled out about ten cards each and ran up to hand them in, buzzing with excitement as the big, black DJ sang a love ballad.
When he finished, who was first but Stephanie Fantastic with Never Gonna Give You Up. So I went up to rickroll the old drunk crowd. It started off fine. I know the whole song. My brain, however, shut off and devolved into a chorus of giggles because it couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t been clicked out yet. Laughing uncontrollably in my over-the-top snail dress, I handed the microphone to the DJ and announced that I was done. Next up was Shannon with Suffragette City, which she performed with gusto and actually finished.
When we sat back down at our table, giggling with karaoke glee, the old trucker-looking lady bartender came up to us and informed us that we would need to buy at least one drink each if we wanted to sing. Okay no problem, I thought. I have credit and one drink won’t break my bank. So I pulled out my card and asked for just a bottle of water and whatever Shannon wanted so she’d get off our fabulous backs. She came back after a few minutes with drinks and I went to hand her my card but couldn’t find it anywhere. I had dropped it on the floor and had taken forever to find it, but when I went to hand it to her, she informed me that it was a cash-only bar. We made a token attempt to remove $20 from my credit card but I knew I didn’t have a pin for it. So we gathered our things and walked out, SHAMED but not defeated. I mean, really. She should have told us it was cash-only before making or bringing back any drinks. We had a good time elsewhere anyway.
So The Lindbrook was not the greatest place to do karaoke. It was really uptight and catered to a much older, quieter crowd than I’m used to being around. A couple days ago, though, Shannon pretty much chose out of a hat The Tomkat Lounge. What a fucking difference! We were just as extravagant and out of place (I just realized I was wearing another home-made outfit, this time my final project from sewing class), but the whole atmosphere was so much friendlier.
I’d like to note that I only intended to wear the blue glitter lips for a second and then wipe them off to go to karaoke but I really liked them and Shannon’s second opinion sealed the deal.
So we got to the crowded, tiiiiny Tomkat Lounge a little before karaoke started and espied two tables covered in bright green plastic cloths and glitter. Now, in hindsight, it seems pretty obvious that those tables were set up for someone, but at the time, we squee’d and beelined straight for them. As Shannon was setting down her purse (take that, two tables shoved together!), we heard a very loud man yelling, “DON’T SIT THERE!” Startled and unsure of where the voice had even come from, we moved to another table in the back. A few minutes later, a giant older man in a cowboy hat strode toward us, threw his arm around me, pressing me close to him, and began to talk directly to Shannon.
Drunk Cowboy: Hey! I didn’t mean to scare you ladies! Only it’s m’daughter’s birthday today!
Me: Oh, is she here?
Drunk Cowboy: (looking at me like he hadn’t realized he had his arm around someone) Oh no, but she’ll be here soon! She looks just like me!
Shannon: …Does she also have a cowboy hat?
Drunk Cowboy: (loud guffaw) Nah! She’s dressed in little kid clothes!
Me: A little kid who’s old enough to go to a bar, right?
The conversation pretty much carried on like that and later, when his daughter walked it, he introduced us and I told her we were bffs with her dad. Everyone was about as friendly as that guy, even a really old guy with a trucker hat who danced with me for a bit as Shannon was singing some Creedence. No one said a word about my blue lips and I feel like I really rocked Walkin’ After Midnight. It was all around a good night. Also, we had learned our lesson from The Lindbrook and brought cash AND each bought a tequila sunrise even though no one asked us to buy anything. We’re cool like that.
We left when the Elvis contest started because there would be no more freestyle karaoke. Apparently there was a serious contest going on because all through the night, Elvises poured into the bar. Full jumpsuited Elvises, lazy Elvises in jeans and big Elvis sunglasses who didn’t even look like Elvis when they dramatically took off the glasses, fat Elvises, not as fat Elvises, a madhouse of Elvises! And from what I understood, one lucky Elvis would go on to some Elvis finals when he won.
We both only sang one song again but it was such a blast. So again, I say, why didn’t anyone let me loose on karaoke before?