January 11, 2002

Karaoke: Good Times

Karaoke: Good Times

So me, George and Mike go to the "Tin Alley Grill" in Hackensack last night, where firefighters from Mike's station hang out every week for Karaoke Thursdays. After 8 shots...3 Prairie Fires (tequila and tabasco sauce) at Fridays and 5 Orgasms (Kahlua, Amaretto and Baileys) I was referring to our location as "The Tin Can."

Now I've been karaoking at bars frequented by white people quite a few times and let me tell you it's always a night for shits and giggles. There's always the old guy who sings Frank Sinatra songs and the short fat girl who sings Whitney songs but screeches the high notes. There's always that one white guy who tries to bring a little flava to the place by doing a hip-hop or reggae song. In this case it was some guy doing "Angel" by Shaggy complete with the rastafarian accent...he was actually pretty good. And there's always the people who go up there and screw around...last night it was "Angus", who sang "Hey Jude" in a Gaelic accent.

I had to sit through "The Right Stuff" by the new New Kids on the Block (three high school girls acting drunk from O'Douls) and I had to sit through "Aquarius"..."Down on the Corner"...and eight jillion country songs. The worst of which was a song sung by "Christine" (the Lesbian, I mean HELLO she sang like 3 Alanis songs and a Fiona Apple song) called "Whose Bed Have You Been Leaving Your Boots Under?" which resulted in the following conversation:

Mike: Don't judge me by them, I'm Jewish...these are not my people.
Me: You can't use that one Mike, that only works when you're trying to elicit Holocaust sympathy. Otherwise, it doesn't work in America... you're all white.
George: I can't believe this girl can sleep at night, knowing she knows the lyrics to this song.
Random White Girl: I don't listen to it but I think I have this CD at home.
Me: Don't admit that.

(Editor's note: Now some of you people out there may be cringing at my utter lack of political correctness when referring to people's races but come on... you all know being PC is a load of crap. "People of Color" always want to be referred to as Whatever-American but when the hell was the last time you heard a black guy, a Puerto Rican or a Filipino say the word "Caucasian?" Never. They just say white.)

Back to the Tin Can...

Me: Mike, how come no one sang 'Sweet Caroline?' That's like the white people karaoke anthem.
Mike: Have you noticed how the same people are up there singing? It's like a rotation.

Favorite moment: Going outside to call Eric in San Jose to proclaim disbelief regarding the night's revelry and writing "FREE BLOWJOBS" under "Televised Sporting Events" on the restaurant blackboard. In lilac-colored chalk nonetheless.

In the Final analysis last night was fun but it didn't actually make it into my Top 5 nights in the History of Marissa's Karaoking. Those were:

5. (1998) Going to some private karaoke room in Glendale with Dennis, Prency and Jigs. Prency goes to the bathroom so we put in "Puff the Magic Dragon" as a joke...she comes back and without even looking at the words begins to sing along from memory. With feeling! I mean even the second and third verses!! I didn't even know the song had second and third verses!!

4. (2001) Me and Net putting in "Vogue" for Manny and George at Lee's Hawaiian in North Arlington and watching them actually go up and sing it.

3. (1999) Going to some trashy little bar in Garfield, New Jersey with my girl Nadia and Mike. After 3 songs (Dreams, Always a Woman To Me and Lean on Me) and an enormous amount of liquor, Nadia gets real wasted and proceeds to almost get kidnapped by these 3 really big lesbian women who think she's cute. I almost end up brawling with one of them when she comes up to where I was bartending and starts bitching me out. Incidentally, Nadia does the vocals for a group called Iio that has a dance single out called "Rapture" that is really popular right now.

2. (1996) Getting WASTED at that huge karaoke place in Koreatown in L.A. with Eric, Jon-Jon, Thiel, Alvin, Millicent and Faye and singing "I Think We're Alone Now" while line dancing.

1. (2000) Getting stranded in Tokyo overnight en route to Manila. I go down to the hotel bar to nurse my boredom and a Jack and Coke. In Japan apparently, they have karaoke machines everywhere: restaurants, malls, men's restrooms and even buses. Naturally, this bar was no different. After listening to a group of about 20 drunken white people sing for an hour, I had to down 3 more Jack and Cokes just to dull the pain. On my way out they flagged me down and asked me to join them. I refused. They asked why not. I said "Because have you listened to yourselves?? You guys are AWFUL. I'm drunk because of you. I mean look...there's no one here anymore...you drove them all away." After a moment of silence they all started to laugh and we decided to go to yet another karaoke bar (a 24-HOUR karaoke bar for God's sake) to get further wasted. And so they could sing some more. It was actually a pretty good mix of people, most were Marines stationed in northern Japan but the others were flight attendants and businesspeople all stranded by Northwest Airlines. One of the Marines nailed one of the flight attendants about 45 minutes into the night which might have been a record but my friend Oli nailed some girl in San Diego 12 minutes after meeting her.

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