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Revenge Karaoke
(Seeing how well received my "Boobs" essay was, I'm submitting another. I aced this one too.)

My wife and I vacation annually with the same friends and have for nearly a decade. Thirteen of us split the rent on a large home near the ocean in North Carolina. Almost everyone in the group sings and likes to drink so we don’t miss our yearly karaoke experience. This year my wife begged off as too tried, but bid me to go under the watchful eyes of our friends.

The crowd is pretty country and the bar pretty divey, perfect for suburban trailer trash like us. Nothing designates a high-brow cultural experience like walking through the door of a strip mall bar. Instinctually I note the other exit. If you’ve got to crack the skull of a drunken redneck you should leave before Bubba scrapes himself off the floor, his buddies join in, or the cops arrive. North Carolina must have a smoking ban because the sea air inside is surprisingly clear with perfume and after shave masking the remnants of stale beer. The obligatory neon bar signs cast just enough light to turn our skin an alien grey and keep the real color of our drinks concealed. The black DJ croons a warm-up on the corner stage that’s about two risers high. It’s big enough to fit me and five women dancing, as I’ll discover later.

I nurse my beer as I take in several songs, some performed much better than others. A cute blond twenty- something starts her version of a slightly dirty rap tune and figuring I’ll help her out, I turn a chair around and prop my feet on the stage as she sings. She takes the bait, sings to me, and I enjoy it more than a man married thirty years probably should have.

Later, as I approach the stage to sing my infamous version of Radiohead’s “Creep”, I whisper it’s time for her to return the favor and she eagerly obliges, placing seat and feet just as I had. When this fifty-six-year-old croons “I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo…” to a lovely young girl, the crowd goes insane. My falsetto is working well tonight and this dark theatrical performance is enthusiastically embraced by the stunned audience. They’ve never seen or heard karaoke like this on a Wednesday night.

Knowing the importance of describing my protagonist, I solicit the help of my tablemates that hadn’t ingested as many gin and tonics as I. As fast as I can transcribe, five witnesses ratchet off fedora, gangster, tattoo, testosterone vibe, dark eyes, tanned, barely Caucasian, muscle shirt, bustier vest, ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag and painted-on jeans. She is in her late thirties or early forties and fairly height-weight proportionate. Not at all my type.
She picks Bobby Brown’s “Prerogative” and as the song begins, repeatedly begs her family to join her onstage. With one exception, they remain conspicuously absent. After her tablemate suffers through a few lines and abandons her unceremoniously, she is very unhappy. I’ve seen and heard my share of bad karaoke, but when her table chants “Off the stage! Off the stage!” it is a first for me.

Undeterred, she convinces the DJ to play a follow-up song with “fuck you” as the chorus and she flips off her family at each stanza. Revenge karaoke. The crowd goes insane a second time this evening. Two women leave her table and join us uninvited and announce that they are not, in fact, related to the performer but had only met her several days ago. Oddly enough, this doesn’t seem out of place considering the circumstances.

Toby Keith’s “Shoulda Been a Cowboy”, right in my range, is my second performance of the evening. Blondie returns to our stage side seat and props her feet. My friend Freda, walking point for my wife, joins her. Cutie tells Freda “I’d like to meet his wife” which in the din of the bar I heard as “I’d like to be his wife”. “Well, maybe just for tonight.” I replied. Twenty-something took the joke as well as my wife when Freda ratted me out to the group in the morning.

Enjoyed it! I had no idea you were 56, but how would I know how old you were? (I would probably have used "instinctively" rather than "instinctually", but you aced it so who am I to say anything?) Anyway, I liked it!

I try not to "act my age" because I'm 65, and I remember what my grandfathers were like at 65! Neither would have done a lot of the things I do (which might be construed as good, but I don't think so)!
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
I did enjoy that read.
Another enjoyable read, kowboy.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
Bob of QF
I'll raise a virtual glass to another good'un.

Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
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