Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sing, Sing a Song

Have I not told you about our favorite activity on the ship? Did I conveniently forget to mention this? Since I was exercising restraint at the buffets (usually), I needed a new addiction to supplant the old one. I can't ever have a completely addiction-free life. There always needs to be something consuming me. And I found it: karaoke. However, we were actively voyeuristic about it. No, no participation for us.

I now understand how people can get sucked into participating in something like this, though. On our last night, the Mr. and I were sitting there, he drinking beer, me drinking wine. After a few glasses you start thinking, "Hmmm. Maybe I could get up there and sing." And then you drunkenly blurt, "DJ, gimme the songbook! I'm a-gonna find me a song." I looked for something cool to sing in my "range."* The audience doesn't know what a bullet they dodged, because I couldn't find anything that sounded appealing. I never did get up and perform, and neither did the Mr.

But nearly every night, it was the same thing. We'd have dinner at 8:30, then rush over to the karaoke lounge around 10. We couldn't wait to watch karaoke. I know this sounds sad.

We saw the same people in the karaoke lounge most nights, and almost all of them were regular performers. Some of them could really sing, but if too many good singers went up in a row, it started to feel like we were at American Idol auditions. "You were a little pitchy,** but you finished strong and made the song your own," I wanted to tell them.

From what I could tell, there are three types of people who participate in karaoke: a) the type that knows they can't sing and makes self-deprecating remarks before they croak out a song; b) the type that thinks they can sing, but really can't. This type is most often spotted at American Idol auditions blaming their bad performance on a cold; c) the type that can actually really sing and make you wonder what they're doing in a karaoke lounge. B is the least fun to watch, because it's incredibly uncomfortable.

We heard a lot of songs we had never heard before and aren't inclined to want to hear again. Lots of country. LOTS of country. I recall at least two nights that ended with rousing, drunken renditions of "Friends in Low Places," which actually didn't bother me because it reminds me of college when we'd all go out after putting the paper to bed and have a few*** drinks. Inevitably, Garth Brooks or the Counting Crows would wind up on the jukebox.

I found myself particularly inspired by one man's version of "It's the End of the World As We Know It," so much that I asked him to do it again, just one more time. That has to be the first known karaoke audience request made by a total stranger. But this guy, he was that good. He nailed every word. I think he practices in his living room or something.

That's what I'm going for. In karaoke, it's good to have goals and dream big.

*"range" being "dog's hearing"
**the most obnoxious word in the English language
***anywhere from 1-100