Somehow it has become a tradition, a ritual; Sunday Night Karaoke in the Paddock Pub. I can’t remember how it started, or when, but it was sometime around the time Wendy arrived in town. Last night, I actually worried that nobody was going, and I had even managed a shower on my evening break, but, locking up the store at the end of the night, the true Karaoke Queens stood on the opposite side of the road, shouting Red Rover, Run Over, and another Sunday night began.
I’m not sure if it’s Banff or the Karaoke Queens’ influence, but Karaoke is different here. They don’t need to be drunk, or have everyone else drunk first. From the moment we arrive, we are there. A note to the wise, I don’t sing, I cannot sing and have known that since my teacher stopped me singing Away In The Manger when I was around 11 years old. I dance, even when nobody else dances, I dance by the stage. I’m not good at that either, but at least people can look away. But they sing, a wide array of songs, last night including the most wonderful renditions of Santa Baby and Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. They sing smiling, laughing, and we dance along. Sometimes our group is bigger, sometimes smaller, but we are always hardy and always singing. The secret to good karaoke is play to your strength. If you cannot sing brilliantly, don’t belt out a ballad, make it upbeat and dance along. Some of the best crowd movers are people who can’t sing but can entertain. The secret is knowing you can’t sing. There is one baby-faced soul who pumps out a wicked Eminem: I’ve no idea if he can sing, but that white boy raps good.
Alcohol is optional; there are nights one of us will stick to soda, and that is always ok here. There are nights we drink bottle tops, a Canadian delicacy I ask you over 18 to try. There are nights we get pizza on the way home, perhaps via a club. It doesn’t matter if we’ve had breakfast together, at Karaoke the truth will out. We’ll know everything by Hey Jude right down to whether you are wearing (new) underwear.
You never know when you walk into Karaoke what kind of night it will be, but you do know that you will be dancing, you will be laughing you will be grabbing life by the balls.