Karaoke Whore

I was Glinda the Good Witch of the North in my fifth grade production of The Wizard of Oz and I was fabulous.

The school had no real costume budget and I wore an old prom dress loaned to me by one of my mom’s co-workers.  Fortunately, it was the 80s and the dress was made mostly of layers upon layers upon layers upon layers of the kind of netting most commonly found in the form of a simple wedding veil, sparkled-up with discoball-like bits of glitter and rhinestones.  I wore a tiara, too.  I was the perfect Glinda.  I was ten years old, swathed in miles of white net and bedazzled with bits of plastic that refracted stage lighting and pulsed, perfectly, to the medley of my solo.

Oh, yeah, I sang a solo.  And if you’ve ever seen the movie version of The Wizard of Oz, you’d know that Glinda gets a solo.  It goes like this:

Come out, come out wherever you are

And meet the young lady who fell from a star …

Glinda sings this chorus to the Munchkins who are scared and cowering after Dorothy’s house falls on the Wicked Witch of the East and smashes her to smithereens and witch pulp.  All of her, except, of course, for her slippers.  Which were given to Dorothy by Glinda at their introduction and we all know what happens with the slippers and the tapping-three-times and this is boring and totally not the point.  The point is that I was fabulous.  And that I sang my solo to the fifth grade munchkins with a grace that no other could match.  I’m told that my solo was given a standing ovation.  I didn’t see any standing ovation but, then again, I had the bright light of stardom in my eyes.  Or, maybe, it was the glittered netting of that dress.  In any event, some shit or other was in my eyes and it was bright, and it was wonderful, and I was a star.

Said stardom translated, loosely, to karaoke at some point in my 20s which may or may not have coincided with my legal ability to drink alcohol.  In public places.  Where karaoke is readily available.

Here is a list of great karaoke songs to sing:

“One Way or Another”, Blondie (good in establishments with graffitied walls)

“Only the Good Die Young,” Billy Joel (good in establishments with neon Pabst signs)

“Come on Eileen,” Dexy’s Midnight Runners (good for weird retro Fraternity crowds)

“Mean,” Taylor Swift (good for crowds with Bachelorette parties in attendance)

“Dancing Queen,” ABBA (who doesn’t love a good Scandinavian Disco song?!)

“Red, Red Wine,” Neil Diamond (I don’t think that I should have to explain this)

“Livin’ on a Prayer,” Bon Jovi (works anywhere, anytime, always)

Here is a list of awful karaoke songs to sing:

“Love Shack,” The B-52s (this, really, is just never a good idea)

“Ice Ice Baby,” Vanilla Ice (only works if you’re actually rockin’ the shaved eyebrow)

“My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion (what’s wrong with you?)

“Folsom Prison Blues”, Johnny Cash (if you aren’t the Man in Black, you’re an asshole)

“Your Song,” Elton John (keep reading … )

“My Favorite Mistake,” Sheryl Crow (no real human person can actually sing this)

“Bohemian Rapsody,” Queen (Freddie Mercury just rolled over in his grave)

So, one time in Boston, years and years away from my Karaoke Whore days, I found myself in a bar with The Guy.  And it was Karaoke night.  And if memory serves, I had sought out this kind of adventure.  Purposely.  It had something to do with being able to legally drink in public establishments, I’m sure.

“But I wanna sing you a soonnng!”

He just looked at me, smiled. “Okay, go sing then,” he said.

“OK!!  I will!  I will sing you a song so you won’t be grumpy!” I shouted in between sips of my delicious Boston cocktail.

And you can tell everybody that this is your song …

How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.

So, yeah, I did that.  It was like I had never put the microphone down, never stepped off the stage, never wiped the glittery discoball madness out of my eyes.  But I seemed to have forgotten that I wasn’t that 10 years old anymore.  Or even that early 20-something anymore.  I was pushing 40.  And I was pushing ridiculousness.

For a quick moment, I thought I could pull it off.  I was Glinda once upon a time, after all.  And I could Karaoke it up with the best of ’em back in the late 90s.  In my mind, I was incredible: no other Karaoke-r could match me that night.  I was the best Boston had seen in ages!  In reality, I sounded like a broken bassoon.  I know this because The Guy iPhoned it and put that video all up in the iCloud.

Which was both cruel and unusual.

Why do you have that?!” I demanded, the morning after, pointing ferociously at his iPhone video of me karaoke-ing.

“Baby, no one ever sang to me before,” he said, smiling.

“But it’s so awful and embarrassing!” I shouted.

“Baby, no on ever sang to me before,” he said again, laughing this time.

And sitting in the dental chair tonight, the Hygienist asked me why I don’t sing anymore.

“Because my voice is gone.”

“Why?” she asked.

“So many reasons, probably,” I said.

“But, what happened?”

“I just can’t hit those notes anymore,” I said.  “I sound terrible singing what I used to sing.”

“So, you’re lower now?”

“Maybe?” I asked.

“Well, that’s okay!  You can still sing then!  Just a bit lower, this time ’round” she said.

And I looked up toward that Hygienist’s light, as she looked down into my teeth, and I could see nothing else, and it felt much like my memory of being Glinda.

“So, you’re saying there’s still a chance?”

Glinda

One thought on “Karaoke Whore

  1. But I love to sing Bohemian Rapsody…really loudly… over and over and over. Didn’t know you were so in to Tay Swif. Love it.

    Like

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