Monday, June 2, 2008
Memorial Day Weekend Update, Part 7: Ending It
At the bar, there is no DJ. The only music is provided by an evil karaoke machine and a gratingly cheerful hostess. The thin crowd cringes as a horrific rendition of Etta James' At Last bounces off the walls and threatens to shatter every glass in the bar.
"You have got to be fucking kidding me," I say when the karaoke hostess announces that she'll be there until 1:00 a.m.
It is only 11:30.
A sideshow of sorts begins when a creepy old man comes up to Keith and starts singing old show tunes from the 1930s - inches from his face. Surprisingly, Keith is neither disgusted nor freaked out. He is entertained by this, so he eggs him on.
"What else do you know?" he asks, as the rest of us shake our heads in disbelief.
"I wrote a letter to Daddy..." sings a guy at the bar, a reference to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
The old man opens up, spilling all sorts of factoids about his life.
"I used to be on Broadway. I was a hoofer."
"A what?" asks Keith.
"A hoofer. You know, a dancer."
"I knew that," I say.
"You did?" asks Keith.
Instead of feeling knowledgeable, I just feel old.
The overabundance of karaoke is taking it's toll on me. I turn around to Joe ask, "You look strong. Snap my neck?" I'm not kidding.
Larry gets the urge for a cigarette and I follow him outside, Keith and Joe not far behind. On the balcony, a group of bar employees sit on a cigarette break. We gang up on the girl and tell her that if she values her life, she will go back inside and complain to management about the lame never ending karaoke.
When she goes inside, I assume that she is doing so just to get away from us.
"Do you wanna hear something funny?" asks Keith.
"If Mama Cass had shared her sandwich with Karen Carpenter, they'd both be alive today."
I silently repeat this in my head in order to memorize it, for it is the most brilliant thing I have ever heard.
Fast forward to 1:00. The karaoke finally ends. The oblivious woman thanks the crowd of ten and hopes that this will be a "new tradition" at the Nevermore.
Nevermind Vinnie, this bitch is going in the pool right now.
I've decided to wear khaki cargo pants and a white polo shirt for the ride home. Larry walks in, fresh from a morning cigarette break.
"Is that the shirt you're wearing?" asks Larry.
"You'll spill coffee on it."
"Oh, what am I, five? I'll be fine."
At Wawa's coffee station, I am trying not to scald myself at the coffee counter. Larry is at the condiment counter, pouring milk. I turn around to see a lid on the counter where Larry was just standing. I use this lid for my cup, assuming that Larry left it there for me.
In the car, I peel back the lid on my cup as I notice that Larry has one of those spill-proof lids on his coffee cup.
"Hey, how come I didn't get a lid like that?"
"I don't know where you got that from."
"You mean you didn't leave it out for me?"
"No...and probably some bum licked the underside and left it there for some idiot like you."
"Son of a bitch..."
Larry starts backing out of the parking space just as I am bringing the cup to my mouth. Suddenly, he slams on the brakes, sending a huge slosh of scalding hot coffee onto my white shirt. He swears he only did so to avoid hitting another car.
I think he did it on purpose.
I blot the massive stain with a stack of Starbucks napkins. "Something else for the blog," I mumble to myself.