Saturday, August 20, 2005

Frailty, Thy Name Is Karaoke

Thursday night, my 'cohort' did karaoke as its social activity of the week. People were actually lobbying for a karaoke night from day one (we did a plain old pub night last week), and have been talking about little else all week. I am not a karaoke fan (was not, anyhow). What I do enjoy though is the concept of people being forced to sing a song which would be the total opposite of what you'd expect. I believe everyone has a 'perfect' karaoke song, one that is perfectly suited to their personality. It may not be immediately obvious, but when the guy who never takes off his Red Sox hat gets up and belts out Sweet Caroline, there's a certain rightness with the universe. Well just as everyone has a 'perfect' karaoke song, everyone has an 'anti-perfect' karaoke song, its exact opposite.

I decided to amuse myself at karaoke night by messing with people. I kept telling people I had signed them up (without their knowledge) and would tell them the song I picked. I went for the 'anti-perfect' karaoke song for each one. Hard core rap fan? Why, I signed you up for the Backstreet Boy's "Quit Playing Games With My Heart". Born and raised in Philly guy? Can't wait for your rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time"!

Of course I never actually did this to anyone, that's just cruel. So imagine my surprise when I heard my own first name being called as being up next. I looked around the crowded bar and just assumed there was another Julie present. Then I heard my last name-- unusual in the world of karaoke sign-up slips Then I heard the song announced-- Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy." Yes, dear readers, I got pranked by my own prank, which I didn't even pull the trigger on with anyone.

Truth is, once I did one number, it was difficult to get me off the stage again. I did duets, I worked the room, I told knock knock jokes during long instrumental breaks, etc. In fact, I was one of about eight cohort-mates who stuck around til the bitter end, made friends with the host, and committed to open next week's set with "Come On Eileen". And I've revised my opinion of karaoke. There was a level of bonding going on, especially amongst the guys, which was unprecedented. One guy never did a solo but literally backed up every single person who sang, including locals we'd never met before. A very shy girl did a version of "Respect" which pretty much knocked down the house. And the bar in question had $6 pitchers. Viva la karaoke.


Blogger Deb & Elliott said...

My first karaoke experience was at age 25 and I regret not doing it sooner. BTW, my perfect karaoke song is the Neil Diamond/Barbara Streisand duet "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." My karaoke partner for this song still lives in San Francisco and I'm looking for a new Mr. Diamond in New York. Know of anyone?

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

Ohmygod... Julie doing karaoke? What has become of the world??

Love the picture.

My favorite karaoke moment was in an Atlanta suburb, where singer after singer walked up in C&W gear to sing some inane country ballad or another (don't ask what I was doing there). Finally, my bold friend Holly got up and did the Divinyls' "I Touch Myself" complete with gestures to match the lyrics. Every jaw in the room hit the floor. I bet the cowboys and gals of North Georgia are still talking about it today.

Julie, we miss you!!

9:30 PM  
Anonymous sten said...

So happy to hear that you've succumbed to the powers of karaoke...only wish I could have been perfect karaoke song: "Shadows of the Night" by Pat Benetar.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Deb & Elliott said...

Looks like you guys were reinacting the Silver Cloud commercial...

3:13 PM  

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