Thursday, March 3, 2011

"little redneck bars" (old myspace blogs pt 4)

this is the long winded version of the first time barb and i went 'on a date'

Mar 23, 2005
little redneck bars

So Barb and I went to this little redneck bar a couple weeks ago. I've always wanted to visit every tiny neighborhood bar in and around the city, and while it's still a goal of sorts, I think that this one gave me a good taste of about 75 percent of what's out there.

As soon as we enter the room, time stops for a second and the entire bar has to give us that who-the-fuck look. Apparently, Saturday nights are Karaoke night, brought to you by your host, the squat and corpulent Betty. She probably has some kids around my age, who were most likely off drinking heavily somewhere else. Betty likes her karaoke mic with a shit-ton of reverb too, so her slight southern drawl echoes like she's broadcasting from deep space.

I scanned the room as we sat down. There's a bar in the middle, a pool table on one side, and booths on the opposite side. The karaoke machine sat on a card table which Betty orbited like a satellite. We ordered our drinks as I noticed the gray haired guys to chubby ladies ratio was pretty even. One very denim clad patron kept giving Barb the eye. Well, some guys cant help it, but he was sitting straight to our left. Every time we looked over, he was staring right at her, like how a grizzly might focus into the river before he smacks a salmon into the air. He must have noticed us noticing him, because he finally moved to the other side of the bar, where he could face forward and glare, the way a hungry man might salivate over burgers on his grill. Betty took the mic back from some drunk guy and was slightly winded from dancing. "Even big girls deserve a dippin' now and then!" she squealed.

Pretty soon, a lady came up and asked us if we wanted cake. "no thanks." It was someone's birthday, and cake was going all around the room to all the lucky boozers. Not just one, but two cakes. One white, one black. Ebony and Ivory. Birthday heaven. The cake inspired many quotable quotes: "I'm chocolate!" "I don't like chocolate." "You did NOT touch my cake!"

Floyd got up and sang a song. His searing baritone filled the room with a tinge of drunken happiness as he ripped through Toby Keith's 'I Love This Bar':

We got winners, we got losers
Chain smokers and boozers
 got yuppies, we got bikers
yadda yadda thirsty hitchhikers
something something girls next door dress up like movie stars
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar

cowboys, truckers
Broken-hearted fools and suckers
hustlers,  fighters
Early birds and all-nighters
veterans talk about their battle scars
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar

I love this bar
something something my kind of place
Just walkin' through the front door
something something big smile on my face
something something ain't too far, come as you are
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar

I've seen short skirts, we got high-techs
Blue-collar boys and rednecks
something something lots of lookers
I've even seen dancing girls and hookers
And we like to drink our beer from a mason jar
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar
Yes I do

I like my truck (I like my truck)
I like my girlfriend (I like my girlfriend)
I like to take her out to dinner
I like a movie now and then

But I love this bar
It's my kind of place
Just trollin' around the dance floor
something something smile on my face
No cover charge, come as you are
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar

We got divorcees and a big bouncer man
An old jukebox and a real bad band
We got waitresses and we got barflies
A dumb-ass and a wise-guy
If you get too drunk just sleep out in your car

Reason number 672 why

Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar
Play it on out boys
Beer-thirty's over
something something take it on home

Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar
I just love it

Pretty touching, really. Soon it was time for Prince's 'Pussy Control'. No one was singing, but all the girls (a term I am using rather loosely) got up and shook their tushies in a fetching line dance. It reminded me of that California raisins commercial from my childhood, but with apples and pears.

Another woman walked up and was holding a 3 foot tall doll in a box. It was wearing a wedding dress. "Would you like a chance to win this doll? She's beautiful. We're doing a raffle tonight," she cooed while stroking it. Barb plunked down the $2 entry fee and I picked the ticket. God please let us win it, I thought. Later I swore I saw the woman whispering in the dolls ear.

The karaoke was really cooking by this point, and I flipped through the songbook. The first page of the karaoke songbook had some helpful Dos and Dont's.

Remember so sing to your audience.
Sing into the microphone, in a loud, clear voice.
Be courteous to all singers

Swing the microphone by the cord.
Tap on or scream into the microphone.
Sign up for more than 3 songs at a time.
Sing unfamiliar songs.

At the bottom, it came with a disclaimer:

No matter how you spell it, karaoke is one thing for sure LOTS OF FUN!

After soaking in these powerful words, I made my way through the rest of the songbook.

Being a 2001 Indiana state karaoke finalist (no, really), I felt that it was time to give the crowd what they've been waiting for. I was going to sing Billy Joel's 'Anthonys Song (Movin Out)' (cause I can belt out Billy Joel like nobody's business) but I decided against it and went with Garth Brook's 'Friends in Low Places'. I signed up as Steve-O, and by the time I sat back down at the bar, Betty bellowed "We've got a new singer here tonight-ight-ight lets give it up for Steve-O-O-O!" A cricket looked away. I grabbed my bud light, sauntered over, and took the mic. "Thanks Betty. Hows everybody doing tonight?!" There was a mild groan from the locals. Betty loaded the cd-r into the machine. My heart was racing, palms getting sweaty. The music started, I took three deep breaths and started in.

Blame it all on my roots
something something in boots
And ruined your black tie affair
The last one to know
The last one to show
I was the last one
You thought you'd see there
something something surprise
something something fear in his eyes
When I took his glass of champagne
And I toasted you
something, honey, we may be through
But you'll never hear me complain

Before I got to the first chorus, I noticed the music was ahead of the words on the screen. Something was wrong. No reason to panic, I told myself. Then the words on the tv started to pixelate, and Betty stopped the song. "Somebody tell Larry to stop gettin' fingerprints on the damn cds!" She pulled the cd-r out and rubbed it in a circle on her butt, then stuck it back in. The words were still pixelated. "I don't think its going to work, Betty" I mentioned she had four versions of the song in her cd list. "Usually the ones that start with 700 are the ones that work the best." "oh," I replied. As Betty dug through the cd-rs, I worked the crowd. "Were experiencing some technical difficulties... How is everyone doing now?!" An even less enthusiastic groan came from the disgruntled peeps. Betty popped in a different cd-r and the song started. It was a totally different key signature, so it was going to be lower than the first, and not the same as the real song. I made it past the first chorus and said "Feel free to sing along!" Someone yawned. By the time it was all over, there was a smattering of 10 claps and Betty thanked me. I walked back towards my seat, and someone reached out to grab my hand. "Good job dude." "Thanks, mang." I said sheepishly.

After a few more people sang, someone got up to do Devil Woman, but not Cliff Richards 70s hit, Marty Robbins country ballad. Bummer. But the lyrics were hot:

I told Mary about us, told her about our great sin
Mary just cried and forgave me, Mary took me back again
She said if I wanted my freedom, I could be free evermore
something something I don't want to be and I don't want to see Mary cry anymore.

Devil woman, devil woman, let go of me
Devil woman, let me be
Just leave me alone,
something something.

Mary is waiting and weeping alone in our shack by the sea
Even after I hurt her, Mary' still in love with me
Devil woman, it's over, trapped no more by your charms
I don't want to stay, I want to get away, Women let go of my arms.


Devil woman, you're evil like the dark coral reef
Like the winds that bring high tides, you bring sorrow and grief
something something made me so ashamed to face Mary, barely had the strength to tell
Skies are not so black, Mary took me back, Mary has broken your spell.


So yeah. Mary likes losers and cheats. What else can I say? Also Marty, coral reefs are NOT EVIL. So piss off. Someone got up later and did Charlie Daniel's 'South's Gonna Do It Again.' Which begs the question 'Do what? Start and lose another war?'

Barb got up and went to the bathroom. While she was in there, an older gal came in and told her "Yer husband sings REAL good." Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge. Well, now were married, I guess.

Some other woman got up and sang Gretchen Wilson's 'Here for the Party', which I had never heard before in my life. But let me say, despite the off-key rendition, it was a real hoot:

Well I'm an eight ball shooting double fisted drinking son of a gun
I wear My jeans a little tight
Just to watch the little boys come undone
I'm here for the beer and the ball busting band
something somethingget a little crazy just because I can


You know i'm here for the party
And i ain't leavin til they throw me out
Gonna have a little fun gonna get me some
You know i'm here, i'm here for the party

something something

I may not be a ten but the boys say i clean up good
And if i gave em half a chance for some rowdy romance you know they would

something something
Ive been waiting all week just to have a good time
So bring on them cowboys and their pick up lines

[Repeat chorus]

Don't want no purple hooter shooter just some jack on the rocks
Don't mind me if i start that trashy talk

[Repeat chorus twice]

Finally it was getting a bit late, and we needed to get the hell out of dodge, since the scene had slowly lost its charm. I walked up to Betty to ask her when they were going to announce the winner of the 3 foot tall wedding doll. 

"Oh, sorry hun, Margetta already won the doll, I announced it earlier." Bummer.

I came back and sat down and told Barb the crushing news. We weeped silently until I heard a voice. "Hey Steve." I looked around like someone was talking to me, as sort of a non-joke. "Steve." I looked to my right and a mustachioed man in a trucker hat pointed at me. "Come 'ere" I walked over looking perplexed. 

"I got a joke for ya, its not for the ladies." 
"Whats the difference between a bar and a clit-TOR-is?" 
"uh I dunno?" 
"Men can actually find the bar! Heheheheheh" 
"Thats a good one, mang."

I told Barb I was going to take a leak and we would leave. When I came back by, I shook the guy's hand and said "I think were taking off, it was good to meet you." 

"You too, my names Frank," he said, pointing to his nametag on his work jacket. 
"You should come here more often, its a good bar, good people."
"I hear you, mang. Its nice."

As we put on our jackets and turned around, I heard the best line of the night. Betty grabbed the mic and said "Margetta? Wheres Margetta? Somebody get Margetta some CHEESE! Eeheeheeheeheehee."

Maybe the karaoke book was right, karaoke does spell fun, and lots of it.

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