Last night was RC's work Christmas party. And yeah, it was held at a bar. So I'm surprised that CC and BC actually allowed the girls to go. I'm actually kind of surprised that RC invited me to come along, too.
I picked up SC in a discount-store parking lot and took her to the mall behind the bar. RC called to say she was on her way. That was a good sign. A few minutes later, RC pulled into the mall parking lot, and I noticed that her car was winking at me. I asked SC, "is her headlight burnt out?" Suddenly I had flashbacks of my own encounters with burned out bulbs and hoped RC didn't get stopped. I especially didn't want her to get a ticket. We all kind of figured we'd cross that bridge later, as in after the party.
Anyway, so we walked in and sat down in the regular bar part, and when some waitress came by to take our order, RC said, "Oh I'm with the nursing home Christmas party." The girl showed us to the back room.
I figured that the back room would be hopping. Instead, I found it full of middle-aged nursing home/day care employees who just looked like they were tired and really didn't want to be there. RC ran off to say hi to some of her friends, leaving SC and me behind at the entrance to the back room. I felt as though all conversations came to a screetching halt when SC and I walked into the room. I don't know if they all thought we were underage or if they viewed us as outsiders. It was as this moment that I wondered if RC had just made up the part about guests being allowed. Well, it was too late to turn back, so I tried to just follow her. The Christmas party bouncer didn't recognize us, so he called RC back to verify that I was actually allowed there (i.e. to pay for our admission, which I lovingly refer to as a cover charge). Thank you again, RC!
So, being a vegetarian, I had a plateful of chips and nacho cheese dip (rock on). However, RC and SC are carnivores, so they added taco meat to theirs. This will be important later.
We wandered around, trying to find a place to sit. It seemed as though there were always only one or two available seats together, and we really wanted to sit together. We would have gotten to the party earlier (like, perhaps when it started), except that, ironically, RC had to work until 6:00, so we got there about an hour and a half after the party had actually begun. Anyway, there was a lady (I still don't know her name) who said if we pulled up another barstool we could squeeze around the corner of the table she was sitting at. I'm sure she was trying to talk to me, but I have terrible hearing, so the best I could do was avoid eye contact and smile if I accidentally made eye contact with her or any of the other employees.
At some point, a karaoke book magically appeared at our table near me. I started looking at it while the employees were exchanging gifts. Side note: they really were exchanging too--each employee grabbed a gift and formed a large circle. A woman in the middle of the circle began reading a modified version of "The Night Before Christmas." The modifications mainly involved the insertion of the words "left" and "right," indicating the direction that the employees were to pass their gifts. RC wound up with a blanket. Not a bad gift for a chilly December, I'd say.
Finally, I got tired of waiting on karaoke. Not that I didn't enjoy the overwhelming number of AC/DC songs that the DJ was blaring, but I didn't want to be there all night. When I found out that there was going to be karaoke, I wanted to get my name in early so we could perhaps get out of there at a decent hour. I would have to take SC back to her car and then drive another 30+ minutes to get home.
RC and I found some songs we wanted to sing. I started with two, and she picked out three or four. I was kind of surprised because RC had never sung karaoke before, and I've never known sober first-time karaokers to be that enthuastic. I hopped off my barstool to take my songs up to the DJ--same old drill wherever you go, it seems. But RC was firmly planted in her barstool. She was going to chicken out. After an embarrassing amount of begging and pulling, I convinced RC to go up there with me. I thought we were just going to get a rotation started. Nope! The DJ was ready to hear some live music. So I opened up karaoke last night with...
"This thing, called love, well I just can't handle it..."
The crowd was not yet drunk, but they were still cheering me on, and I even lured a few folks onto the dance floor. This was a great start. Then RC followed with...
"Now the world don't move to the beat of just one drum..."
Yep. RC's first attempt at karaoke was the Diff'rent Strokes theme song. That girl's got guts! Then I followed up with, "Casey Jones," which somehow wasn't that much of a hit with the crowd. Darn it. I should have invited Robin who is the only other person I know who likes the Grateful Dead. Then I sat down for a while.
Somehow, I got the idea to start trying songs that I like, but have never karaoked before. I wound up singing "It Never Rains in Southern California" and botched the second verse. I did "Sunshine" by Johnathon Edwards. I am surprised that one turned out as well as it did. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (which wasn't a new song for me) didn't score many points for me. After ripping through that insanely fast song, I had to go to the bar and down a Mountain Dew. Why don't these people like Dylan?
I took a break from karaoke after that, but RC was still going strong. She pulled out "Jackie Blue," by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, and "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk the Line" by the Man in Black. How she did it, I'll never know. You have to have a better range than a keyboard to hit the high notes in "Jackie Blue" and then turn around and try to sing like Cash. When she pulled out Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World," I was truly shocked. I thought she was going to do the Christmas one. After all, it was a Christmas party. But nope, she surprised me, and she totally rocked the house with it! She also kicked butt with Brewer and Shipley's "One Toke Over the Line," and then finished her night, appropriately, with the Cheers theme song.
My last two songs were both by The Band. I tried my hand at "The Weight" and "Up on Cripple Creek." Most of the people had gone home by that point, and the ones that still lingered (minus R & SC) were too drunk to really care, so we decided it was time to get going. Also, it was about 10:40 at the time, and I still had to drive about 15 minutes across town to leave SC at her car and then take another 30-45 to get home. And for some crazy reason this party was on a Thursday night?!
Anyway, RC called me to let me know that she made it home okay, despite the one headlight (somehow the Wallflowers song has been in my head much of the day... hmm). She got it fixed this morning. Oh yeah, I get pulled over for a burned out license plate bulb, and she drives for like 45 minutes on one headlight and gets away with it. But... she got a little sick from the taco meat. See? Being a vegetarian isn't such as bad thing after all... ;)
40 minutes ago