On karaoke

I was just at a place on Thursday night that featured karaoke. Like many forms of entertainment, this past-time is not for everyone, but most people think they can sing. Far be it for me to tell them otherwise, but the strange sounds emanating from the stage caused my beverage to go up my nose at one point. I am not a champion karaoke singer–let’s just get that out on the table, but to sing a popular pop tune just like the original pop star did is nye on impossible and very near hilarious depending on how weird either the song or its singer were in real life. One woman really knocked a Stevie Nicks cover out of the park, but the next guy’s rendition of who-knows-what sent foamy suds up my sinuses. But is that the fun of karaoke in all its kitschy phantasmagoria where popular culture mixes black velvet paintings of dogs playing poker with a live microphone, a drunk audience, and dark desires of fame and failure? You never were Engelbert Humperdinck, but you want to sing one of his crooner masterpieces just like he did? You never met Lynn Anderson, but you want to sing about unpromised rose gardens? It is amazing, however, how brave a person can get after a few beers. They pick up that microphone and stand up in front of their drunk friends and start to sing their own weird cover of “Knock Three Times.” I admire their courage, and although I have sung karaoke a couple of times, I’m not convinced that that little world of pop culture turned odd is for me. My karaoke will have to stay confined to the shower, and even then I know when to stop singing and let Johnny Cash do his thing.