Friday, September 30, 2005

Karaoke Heartbreak

We were all in the process of thoroughly enjoying our evening down at the local karaoke bar when suddenly a desperate man burst through the front door.

"I can't live without her!"
He bellowed.

"Join the club!"
We hollered back and offered him a beer. He produced a handgun the size of howitzer and rammed it to his temple. "I'm not fuckin' around here you tone-deaf booze hounds--I truly can't live without her."

Well the 'tone-deaf' bit kind of hurt our feelings... rather pissed us off in fact. Some of us happen to have quite lovely singing voices. (Myself included and very much so.) But how are you supposed to threaten a suicidal man?

All eyes turned expectantly to me; I guess 'cause I'm the resident squinty-eyed gunslinger.
"Me?" I whispered. "What the hell do you expect me to do? Shoot him before he can shoot himself?!" They all made the 'lower-lip-out-face with shrug' and then pretended they had to answer their cell phones. I cursed them under my breath and turned to face the desperate man.

"Howdy friend." I said with a smile and a welcoming wave. "I'm Latigo Flint and this is the local karaoke bar. Everyone here is everyone else's occasional drinking buddy. We sing the words that appear on that screen. Some of us, chiefly me, have quite lovely singing voices. That man over there gives us beer when we ask for it. This is a good place you have come to. Now, how can we be of assistance?"

He stared up at me, his eyes vacant and dull. The gun barrel stayed at his temple as if glued. He gestured to the karaoke installation with a sideways nod.
"You're gonna cue up every Van Morrison song in the playlist. I'm gonna sing along to all of them without stopping while you all listen. Then I'm going to blow my head off. I don't really care what you do after that."

I stared back at the guy for a long time, then slowly turned to face the other patrons. "Hey 'yall... you know, I think this fella has come up with best way to deal with heartbreak I've ever heard. If you want him talked out of it, one of you had better try. Frankly, I'm thinking about joining him."


The stranger and I had gone through eighteen Van Morrison songs and something like a hundred Coors Long Necks when Hungry for Your Love came up. I should have known that song would wreck us. Hell, it staggers people with intact hearts. The stranger became so distraught that he completely forgot he had a gun and started trying to beat himself to death with the fuzzy end of the microphone. I shrieked my anguish to a water-stained ceiling and ran out of the bar into traffic.

We both survived. And apparently set a world record for the longest shared-microphone duet... This is actually a rather embarrassing record to have set, seeing as we're both male, and relatively straight.

It's enough to make a guy feel like karaokeing a bunch of Van Morrison songs and offing himself. But then he'd be right back where he started, wouldn't he?

I think this is a mean world. Sure, it's funny also. But under that it's mean, always mean.


At 6:47 AM, Blogger Lance Manion said...

That's beautiful. Truly beautiful. I wouldn't have made it past "Into the Mystic" without disolving into a sobbing mass.

I hope you and your new friend engaged in a hearty man-hug before you ran our into traffic.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Any "Madame George"? After listening to that, he'd have to get a sex change operation before blastng his brain matter out.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

Good thing he wasn't bent on Dwight Yoakam. You'd both be dead.

I could just see you both simultaneously taking your lives about midway through those Coors long-necks and "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere," you know... the line about tear stains on my hands.

That song always kicks my ass. Or worse yet, "King of Fools." Shit, just put a bullet in MY head.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

You made karaoke into a gerund. I dern near puked. Very sad. The quality of your tale-spinning has been quietly diminished.

At 8:23 PM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

Dude, I sang Into The Mystic last Monday when we went out for Terra's birthday. I'm so into you, Latigo.

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Iconoclast Zach said...

Latigo, you need to go see Serenity. At the earliest opportunity. It's amazing. Swordsman's oath.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger greta said...

Lovely story sir.

And I wish I had such choice musical accompaniment to my misery. I once bawled a small swimming pool while belting out Together in Electric Dreams after one Asti Spumante too many.

At 1:02 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

That's great. Who's Van Morrison?

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Ari said...

What else is karaoke for but going to when your other option is suicide?

If I recall correctly, karaoke (under the previous name of drunken caterwauling) was invented back in the mists of time by jilted Vikings or samurai or something. And I would know, for I, too, have a lovely singing voice.

(And I think Dave is wrong. I think "You're the One" is the biggest heart ripper.)

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Thank you Lance. Yeah, we nearly didn't make it through that one either. There was no time for a man-hug--we'll get it next time.

Songs about transvestites and moving on always get me Steve. There ought to be more.

Yeah Dave... "To a lost little town there that's often remembered, so many times that my memories are worn."

These things happen Old Hoss... and I've been diminishing and diminishing for quite some time now.

I remember that you like that one Cindy-Lou. I do too. I bet you sang it well.

On your recommendation Zach, perhaps I will. (I'm looking for a theater in Southern California where you can smoke and drink... I'm probably better off looking for unicorns.)

That is a sloppy one Greta, made doubly so, I can only imagine, after too much Italian wine.

He was that actor who stared in Posse, Badassss and was in New Jack City... he also had a brief singing career LBB.

I think you're absolutely right Ari, probably emerged around the same time in both the Viking and Samurai cultures. I like that thought.

(Two Doors Down wrecks me every time I sing along.)

At 7:01 AM, Blogger Ithiel said...

"You're gonna cue up every Van Morrison song in the playlist. I'm gonna sing along to all of them without stopping while you all listen. Then I'm going to blow my head off. I don't really care what you do after that."

You slay me yet again, Latigo. I hope to be a squinty eyed gunslinger when I grow up.


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