Sunday, March 18, 2007

Repost Sunday: The Greatest Game You’ve Never Played

I rerun some of my older posts on Sundays as a way to highlight stories that you may have missed. Just think of it as 'thought recycling' and a day off, or that I am incredibly, incredibly lazy.

Karaoke might just be the grown up’s equivalent of the bounce house. Actually I’m convinced of it. It’s the perfect party time killer and attraction. It’s this generation’s fondue party or our version of every couple putting their car keys in a bowl. Oh, that’s what ‘swinger’ means? Ewwwww. Well anyway, I think Karaoke as a must-have party item is here to stay and I was recently introduced to a slight twist on the amateur singing way of life.

The female coworker of mine (who has often been my muse) was telling me about a game that she and her family often play. It’s a karaoke game for the Play Station 2. Apparently it is a lot of fun and keeps score, so you get to sing and compete. The game is sophisticated enough to alert you when you need to raise or lower your pitch as well as play sound effects of a crowd cheering you on or booing you off stage, whichever is most appropriate. Perhaps it’s not a good idea for the little ones to participate though. Especially since getting booed by a fake computer generated audience while singing is exactly the type of negative reinforcement a child doesn’t need. Can you imagine having to go to a psychiatrist when you are older only to be told that your horribly low self-esteem is due to the Play Station’s logarithms determining that you weren’t a good singer at ten years of age? Hey, you might actually have a valid reason to seek punitive damages in court. You just didn’t hear it from me.

At any rate, the Play Station’s Karaoke game sounds like a lot of fun and would surely beat Monopoly or Pictionary at your next game night. Of course not everyone can draw well, but it’s a lot funnier when someone doesn’t sing well. I should know because I’ve dipped my feet into the deep, cold dark waters that is karaoke a few times. I don’t know that the phrase golden throat would apply to me, but it hasn’t been for lack of trying.

I hit the karaoke circuit a few times back in college. Fortunately since I will probably never meet my blog friends, I can share the details of my karaoke past with you. I will begin by admitting that a good friend and I often performed Barry Manilow’s ‘Copacabana’ and yes, we actually had choreography, especially for the climatic ‘who shot who’ verse. Sadly, the audience wasn’t entertained by our telling of Rico and Lola’s passionate disco romance, or something like that. The only award I ever won for performing was thanks to a karaoke rendition of Alan Jackson’s ‘Chattahoochee.’ Of course when I tell you that I won, I should also tell you that it was only a free pizza and half of our performing ‘group’ were of Asian descent. Yes, I do think our victory was certainly helped by the curiosity factor of performers and choice of country song, but I can also tell you that on that particular night, free pizza never tasted so good.

I almost had the Clay Aiken beat out of me one night (whatever the heck that means) for singing George Strait’s ‘All My Exes Live In Texas.’ Every Saturday night, the same cowboy would lumber up on stage and do that song. I wasn’t thinking one night and got up there before he did to sing the same song. About 3 words into the second verse was when I saw him and realized what I was doing. Needless to say, it wasn’t a very inspired performance and we got out of there pretty quickly. In a strange way, it was kind of like the Blue Brothers escaping from the honky tonk after singing ‘Rawhide.’ I’ve always felt that my best karaoke performance was with a friend on a duet of ‘To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before.’ That duet is not to be mistaken for the time rather recently when I was driving to visit a client with a work buddy of mine while listening to classic country on the radio. Let me assure you that it’s a very sobering moment when you realize that you and another man have been singing Barbara Mandrell’s ‘Sleeping Single In A Double Bed’ at the same time without either one of you being aware of it. Although I don’t think I have to tell you this, I will say that it was most definitely a very quiet several minutes before either one of us spoke again. We got to our client, went to lunch and forbade each other from ever bringing it up again. But please let me get back to the ‘To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before’ duet. I got to sing Julio’s part. Ahh the memories… A flock of dying geese never did sound so sweet. Yes, I know how confusing that last statement is.

Like a former high school athlete that whishes to lace ‘em up and get into a pickup game past his prime, this new Play Station 2 game has me intrigued and itching to belt one out for the crowd again. My vocal chords are a little out of shape, but maybe with a lot of practice I can karaoke in Play Station competition. The fire still burns inside but I hope the flesh is able. Yes, I think it’s time to grab that old Michael Jackson sequined glove, my copy of Frank Sinatra doing Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs. Robinson’ and my Wayne Newton mix tape. Danke Schoen baby, Danke Schoen!


Odat said...

Oh wow..I have to get one of them...(if only to sing by self, in the shower, where no one will hear, in the sound proof walls), poor me.


ShadowFalcon said...

I love Kareoke - I'm rubbish at it but I love it all the same and fail to understand why everyone doesn't!

Go on post some of your singning

CSL said...

Copacabana! Just the other day I heard that (while dropping my trash off at the dump, appropriately enough) and was thinking about how "she lost her youth and she lost her Tony, now she's lost her mind" was probably the worst bit of lyrics ever. But funny in an incredibly campy way,

Monica said...

Why was I unaware of "Karaoke: The game" before reading this? I am such a karaoke freak that I watch it on Comcast onDemand singing my little heart out, go out to karaoke whenever anyone invites me, forsaking all previous engagements etc. Now I have to go out and get both a PS2 and this game.