Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Karaoke Part II

This is a long one, so get settled in. I'm rather proud of it. I think it may be my best post yet. I'll begin it with a declaration, if that's okay with you.

I love going to karaoke, I really do.

Maybe it's a reflection on my level of popularity, that despite this fact, I haven't gone in over a year. After Friday's excursion (see last post), another opportunity to test my pipes arose last night. Unlike the other, which was an 'event' (non-event was more like it), this was purely serendipitous.

After watching The Aristocrats at the Paramount downtown (not bad, but more a curiosity than entertainment) Bertmos, Heavy D, Beer and myself were left to choose our next course of action. Immediately across the street from the theatre was some sort of very happening looking club. Metro, I think it was called. Despite my distain for clubs, I was leaning towards waiting in the long line-up, in hopes that we'd get in (Bertmos and Heavy-D were a touch underdressed). It was probably the constant stream of impossibly hot girls entering the club that caught my attention, making me willing to brave the line and the sure to be steep cover charge, not to mention my hatred of noisy, crowded places. The others were less than keen at this prospect, owing to the fact that half our party was likely not going to get past the dress code and an (understandable) unwillingness to pay the cover, not to mention what were sure to be extravagant drink prices. Besides, Heavy D called my bluff: I wouldn't have actually done it. The whole prospect rather terrified me. As if I would actually be able to pick up women in a club anyway. In such a loud and crowded atmosphere, one's only hope in picking-up is the use of sheer sex-appeal and perhaps some dancing ability (both of which I have very little) as opposed to the application of one's personality, of which I at least have some. I'm just not sexy enough to get a girl just by dancing next to her or walking into her line of vision (no one is going to fall in love with me at first site, sadly). I instead have to hope that someone might actually find me interesting or fun or whatever. There must be someone out there who might find me interesting and at least somewhat attractive. I'm just not very likely to find them at a dance club. As an fun side note, Kanye West and Ludacris may have been in the club. I'm not really a fan of either, but that's still pretty cool.

So, with my nightclub dreams quashed, we decided to take a walk up to Queen Street and see what was shaking thereabouts. We settled upon The Rivoli Pool Hall, a nice bar / restaurant / pool hall. I had last been there as part of Everett's (rather dull) bachelor party weekend. The crowd skewed a bit older than us, but I remembered it as a nice place. Upon our arrival upstairs, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was karaoke night! Score! If I couldn't have the change to attempt (and fail) to pick up hot club chicks, at least I could have a few drinks and get a couple of songs in. Upon seating ourselves near the back of the bar area and fetching a round of drinks (I had rather well made Manhattan), I made the run to grab the song list.

Immediately upon beginning to leaf through it, the young lady sitting next to me asked if I was going to sing. She was GORGEOUS. Tall, slender, nicely tanned skin and golden blonde hair, she was instantly the most attractive random woman to ever just start talking to me in a bar. I replied that yes, I was going to sing and had settled on U2's "One". She said that she was doing "Why" by Annie Lennox and hopefully "Gloria" afterwards (The Laura Brannigan version). I asked her some particulars on the karaoke night (amounting to "Come here often?") and she replied that no, she was actually in town visiting from Rochester N.Y. I asked if she had taken the ferry in and indeed she had. Wow. I'm actually having a real conversation with a very interesting and attractive young lady I just met. She went up to sing her song (and did quite well) and I was informed my turn was fast approaching. As an aside, the overall quality of the singers was refreshingly high. It's fun to see the tone-deaf people here and there, but it grows wearisome very quickly.

Anyhow, a couple of singers later and my name was called. It's a wonder I can sing in front of a group of people (whilst completely sober) and yet have so much trouble dealing with an individual, one on one. Strange. "One" started up and I think I nailed it. My voice was powerful, I probably could have done it without the mic. Once I got to the falsetto part at the end, I knew I had done a great job. The crowd agreed, I got a hearty applause and numerous handshakes and high fives. Upon my triumphant return to our table in the back I was warmly congratulated by the beautiful stranger and asked if I knew Bryan Ferry. While not a huge fan, I did know a few of his songs and admired him as a vocalist. She thought I had the perfect voice to do "Jealous Guy" (actually a John Lennon cover). I was familiar with the song (though not Ferry's version) and agreed to do it, despite the fact I didn't know all the words (and wanted something a bit more challenging). But who am I to turn down a request from the stunning young lady, especially one who's obviously a fan of my vocal stylings?

We had a few more rounds and turns were taken by all the members of our party (Beer did "Atomic Dog" though he didn't know the words, Bertmos tackled the feminist empowerment anthem, "Bitch" after someone else did his first choice of 'White Rabbit' and D-Roc surprised me with a pretty good rendition of "She Don't Use Jelly"). The lady and I chatted some more (her name was Sarah, she likes to visit Toronto several times a year, was in town until Tuesday and worked as an esthetician) and turns for both of us approached again. By this time we had all moved right next to the stage (they closed off the back section). She went up and did her spirited version of "Gloria" and I was to follow. Upon finishing her song I stood to applaud and was rewarded with a kiss on the cheek for my efforts. Wow, I'd better not mess "Jealous Guy" up! I took to the stage ("Gloria" was still winding up and I falsettoed my way through the last little bit) and then "Jealous Guy" hit. She enjoyed it so much, I could see her imploring the fellow running the show to make sure and snap a picture of my performance (for their website, I guess). Despite my relative unfamiliarity with the song, it went as smooth as silk and was rewarded for my efforts with a congratulatory kiss and was told that I should sing that song every time. I think she really liked it.

At this point it was getting late. Last call was sounded, the bar, half as empty as it was when we arrived. Sarah stood up to leave, giving me a third kiss on the cheek (as well as one to each of the other members of the party). She and Rico then disappeared into the night, likely never to be seen by my eyes again. Rico is of course, her boyfriend. He sang "Give It Away", is originally from Boston, runs his own catering company and will share a bed with her that night, while I’ll be alone, as I always am. You see, I never had a chance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I wasn't about to die from lack of sleep, I would say that that story was amazing, and you articulately broke my heart at the end.

(heart) Dave

August 16, 2005 11:42 AM  
Blogger Daphne said...

But doesn't that evening show that things aren't as bad as they seem? I mean, you always say that no girls ever just come up to you or talk to you unprovoked. Boyfriend or not, this girl went out of her way, no?

And karaoke rocks my world.

August 16, 2005 12:44 PM  
Blogger King Hippo said...

Had she not had a boyfriend, she would not have approached me, I assure you. She had that buffer and had it not been there, I'd have been ignored.

August 16, 2005 2:29 PM  
Blogger Daphne said...

Whatever. Pardon me for being an optimist.

August 16, 2005 4:47 PM  
Blogger King Hippo said...

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be jerky, it's just that it's never happened with single girl...so therefore, any interest she had was just in the name of being friendly, nothing more.


August 16, 2005 9:48 PM  

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