Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In Defense of Karaoke

In my younger and more rum-sodden days, my friends and I would frequent the karaoke nights at Capones bar in Ames, Iowa.  We would go and sing and drink and I would pee more often in this bar than any other because the bathroom had a harry potter deathly hallows symbol in it.

Yes, I took this picture while peeing in a urinal, and I now realize what that might have looked/sounded like to another person in that bathroom.

Also, I have to pee a lot when I get nervous, and I always get nervous before I sing karaoke.  I can't help it.  I love to sing and have a good time in front of a crowd, but I get so much anxiety beforehand!  So after I signed myself up for karaoke with the only song I ever sing: "Semi Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind, I designated my spot next to the bathroom, so I could frequent before my name got called.

Like all things inevitable, my name was eventually called.  My nerves were so high, my hands were literally shaking as I took the microphone.  "God, I should have been drinking doubles," I thought to myself.

But the song started playing, and I immediately felt better.  For me, the truly worst part about being in front of a crowd is the wait period beforehand where my mind creates all types of humiliating scenarios, but once I get up on stage, all of that goes away, and I have nothing but fun!

I starting singing Semi-Charmed Life and dancing on stage and just being a drunken fool.  My friends were laughing with me, the crowd was laughing at me, and I didn't care.

But because this was a college town, there are always going to be assholes.  This night, the assholes manifested at a table near the stage.  The was a small group of people, two of which I knew personally. The assholes were with my two friends, and they started throwing ice at me.  At first, I ignored it.  The ice cubes were bouncing harmlessly off of my clothes.  But it still hurt on the inside.

Then an ice cube whipped me across the face.  I am the world's biggest pacifist, you guys.  I wanted so badly to kick a speaker off the side of the stage onto their table.

But instead, I quit mid-song, and rejoined my friends, all of whom had witnessed what had happened.  Some of my group wanted to go talk to the asshole-table, but I just asked if we could leave and go to a different bar.  We did.

To this day, I have no idea why I was the target for ice throwing.  Maybe they hated my singing voice. Maybe they hated my flamboyant dancing on stage.  Maybe their parents beat them as children and their lasting trauma cause them to inflict pain on strangers for fun.

And I just have one big message in this article that I hope you all take away.  If you are this person, this Ice-Throwing Dick: It's really easy to go through life and throw ice from the group, and it's really hard to get up in front of a crowd and act like an idiot for their benefit.  In the end, we know who's tougher.