There are a lot of places I would never have expected myself to be in. A bar in Highland New York celebrating my friend’s Steve’s engagement whilst a stripper with track-marks flailed about and her boyfriend/bouncer asking patrons not to grab her extremities, was one of them. Eating all-you-can-eat buffet style chinese food on Long Island at ‘Kings Buffet’ with my girlfriends 70+ year old parents not only matching my appetite, but surpassing it, was another. But if, and this would have been a huge if, you had said I would be at the establishment I was in on Saturday night I would have called you crazy and might have even thought less of you for thinking it.
You have to understand the circumstances of how.
was getting ready to go out dancing, her friend Nikki had decided the night before that she wanted to go out ‘disco dancing’ and had said sure. was pulling out all the stops, she was wearing a shirt cut in half held unmodestly together by a set of safety-pins exposing just enough cleavage to make me not going dancing an impossibility. I was dreading the idea of a huge club filled with sweaty perfumed strangers and was trying to use mental telepathy to secretly attack Nikki’s immune system, but she called and said she wanted to party, and I hung my head in shame being unable to persuade her drift into a coma like sleep.
We headed out to Manhattan to meet up with some of ‘s coworkers at John’s Restaurant , an overly pricey old-school italian restaurant on the east side. I had accepted, by this time, the fact that I would have to dance at some point later in the evening. I’m not a dancer by nature, but like a cornered mongoose I will [lash out] if cornered, or threatened. We met up with ‘s friends and had a pleasant dinner, while edgy waiters barked questions to us like bread bearing Gestapo. At the end of dinner, with still no sign or phone call from Nikki, we headed with ‘s work friends to a bar nearby for drinks and some Hip-hop music.
Now dear friends, I will be the first to admit that I am not a party animal. I have, regrettably, never appeared in a ‘When Girls Go Wild’ video drinking a beverage off of a young lady’s nether-regions. I’m just not built for that kind of throw caution to the wind haberdasher lifestyle, but I can drink a 450 pound Rumanian woman under the table, no problem. I received part of this gift from my German Mother and owe part of it to shut-in roommates who drank too often in college. A bar, regardless of what music they may be playing, is like a second home for me.
That sounds worst that it actually is.
called her friend Nikki up and Nikki said she didn’t feel like going out disco dancing, I was so relived that… I felt like dancing. remarked, as a pissed does “Well, I don’t know what to tell you about that.” Which in language roughly translates as “Well, I spent 2 hours getting ready to out dancing, because you said you wanted to and you decide that now, at 11:30, that you don’t feel like it? Up yours sister.” (or something to that effect) We stayed at the little bar for an hour or two and I even danced, now that the pressure had gone and also to show that I wasn’t bothered by dancing anyway, and the phrase floated across the bar “Why don’t we go for Karaoke?”
God no. Karaoke? I mean that was like my staple determiner of a person’s detachment with reality. The only thing I ever shared with a Japanese businessman was a fondness for raw fish, and wasn’t ready to share ‘like a Virgin’ Tokyo style. If I went to a Karaoke bar, what would people say about me? But before the gong of reason could be rung, we were heading out to a Karaoke place on 2nd Ave.
I will not bore you about all the specifics leading up to the the singing, only to explain that I found myself singing backup to Chumbawamba’s ‘Tubthumping’ and my girlfriends cleavage shirt full aflutter screaming into the microphone. “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never going to keep me down.” and me singing “Don’t cry for me Danny boy”.
From shiqu to geek in 3 hours, from clubbing all night long to a small dingy blue room drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and giggling about the next song we would be delighting at, it dawned on me that maybe we’re not so different the Japanese businessman and I. Maybe we could learn something from other cultures and celebrate our differences…
What the hell am I talking about? The Japanese are still an insane culture that wears shoes too big and has cartoon characters with overly big eyes. Screw them and please help me track down my dignity!