Never Met a Karaoke Machine I Couldn’t Knock Over

I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I LOVE to sing. I feel sorry for the audience mind you, as they sit politely listening (at first), ears bleeding, tears running down their faces. Why didn’t they run when they had the chance?

My first experience with the Japanese art of Karaoke came at a late age. I was in my 20s tending bar at a popular nightclub that featured Karaoke Night every Tuesday. How I longed for Tuesdays. I’d finish my shift, apply fresh lip gloss, submit my name and song choice and wait with great anticipation. Nothing could stop me (outside of the be-muscled bouncers) from getting up on stage and belting out a tune in my most off-key voice. In my mind, I was Bette Midler circa 1979, singing the Rose with all the feelings.

Have you ever been booed and told, “You suck. Shut up!” I have. I even have the humiliation preserved on video tape.

After briefly dating the guy who ran the Karaoke operation (it ended on a sour note, so to speak) my microphone was silenced.

A few years later however, at teacher’s college in a small town in Maine, USA, I picked that microphone right back up again. It was Copper’s Hotel & Lounge, the song, I can’t remember since I was very, very drunk. But I do remember ending the number on a BIG note; a really long impressive one. I stepped forward to take a WELL EARNED bow and lost my balance. Lurching forward, I knocked over the stand that held the monitor displaying the song lyrics. I slid across the waxy dance floor on my stomach, microphone still clutched in hand. The speakers screeched and….the barkeep “suggested” I leave. It’s always better to leave them wanting more anyway. 

My next foray into this sacred vocal art was last summer. Did you know that you can rent karaoke rooms by the hour? Sort of like a brothel, but with more singing. I went with my tone-deaf girlfriends and we sang our hearts out. I think we were actually quite good. Maybe it was the acoustics? Perhaps the drinks? Or maybe, just maybe, we were actually really amazing. It’s possible!


This week, we’re having our end of the year staff party. And guess what we’re having for the entertainment?

Karaoke baby! How excited am I? How terrified are the rest of the party guests??

Any suggestions for “must sing songs” for my song card?

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  • ooh I'd love to go to one of those karaoke rooms and wail – I mean sing my heart out… Hilarious story, I love the bit where you went sliding along the stage on your stomach. Ah the good old days of drunken behaviour that made me cringe the morning after.

  • I always find Madonna easy to sing – Crazy for You.

    If you love Karaoke so much, you should treat you and DH to Rock Band (do you have PS3 or Wii or anything?) – it is awesome!!

    Me, I'm the drummer. You should see how ridiculous my family looks every weekend with me on the drum throne (yes it's really called that), my DH on the bass, DD on guitar, sister on the mic, belting out Roooooooxxxxaaaaaaannnnnne!

  • I think EVERYONE should be forced to do karaoke at least once in their lives. Breaking down barriers, overcoming insecurities — the benefits are endless. The first night I met my in-laws, I was forced to sing karaoke after dinner with them. It definitely got the relationship off to a good start!

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