Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just Another Night on the Town

Dating isn't just about going on actual dates. The whole single scene can be just as ridiculous and entertaining as the dates it produces.

I was dating this guy for a little while who was a karaoke DJ, also known as a KJ. He knew my girlfriends and I loved karaoke (that's how he and I met in fact), so he told me about a bar where they had just started karaoke and asked him to KJ. He asked me to get my girls together, said he and his partner could really use the added support since it was the bar's karaoke debut, and he'd make sure we would all sing alot. Well you don't have to ask me twice about karaoke! Only one of my girls was available that night, so the two of us headed out for the bar.

Karaoke started at 9:00, but we weren't sure how crowded it would be so we got there at 8:30. The bar itself was really a sports bar kind of place, and it was hopping, but we didn't see karaoke anywhere. We asked the bartender and he pointed us to a room in the back. We walked in and it was like an old dance hall. The whole floor was hardwood, perfect for dancing. There was a stage at the front, a bar at the back, and along the sides were little elevated areas with a couple of tables and chairs all blocked in with metal railings. It seemed like the stage would be a great place to karaoke, but they had set up all the tables and chairs on the dance floor to face one of the little elevated, railed-off areas. My friend and I got our drinks and sat at one of the tables. There were maybe 5-10 other people in the whole room, so I guess there was no need to get there early! The guy I was seeing wasn't there yet, but his partner KJ was up on the "stage" setting everything up. I went up to get a karaoke song list, said hi, and he told me my guy was out getting some cord that broke and he'd be here later. OK, no prob.

As my girl and I are checking out the song list book, this older man, probably in his late fifties walks up to us. He looked like a homeless man in a 3 piece suit. He was either really unhealthy, was mentally disabled, or maybe Los Angeles just rode him hard and put him away wet. Maybe all of the above. Who's to say? Regardless, I knew we were both hoping this conversation wouldn't last very long. He walked up to us and started rambling about how he really likes his suit and how pretty we were and how he was glad the weather was nice today and what pretty girls we were and he likes karaoke and oh yeah, did he forget to say he thought we were really pretty? No? Oh, well just in case you forgot you girls are pretty. Thanks crazy dude. He asked if he could sit down with us, to which we politely said no. He wasn't even looking at us some of the time. Just staring off to god knows where, maybe entertaining himself in his own head. Then he randomly just wondered off in the same manner he'd arrived.

My friend and I giggle about the strangeness of the crazy guys and think, this is going to be a funny night! The music then kicks in, and it's so loud, you'd think there were 100 people in the joint. I look around and, nope, still just about 10. After the music kicks in, another man approaches the table. He's probably in his early forties, and dressed very conservatively. Sweater vest, button-down white shirt, khakis. Textbook conservative. He walks right up to us very eagerly and says with a huge, excited smile, "Hey, are you guys here from Beatup.com?" We just stare at him and say excuse me, what? "Beatup.com. Are you guys here from Beatup.com?" I look at my friend and I can tell she has no earthly idea what he's asking us either, so I say, "What is Beatup.com?" He tells us it's a website where people post where they're going to karaoke that night and anyone can join them. I say, "Oh, that sounds interesting, but no, we're not a part of that." His shoulders sink and he loses his smile and says, "Oh, ok," and slowly wanders away from our table. I tell my friend I'm so glad he explained what Beatup.com meant because I was thinking he was trying to tell us we looked beat up or something. She clarified for me that he was actually saying MEETup.com, not BEATup.com, but either way, weirdness.

We look around the room and now there are about 20 or so people there, and we are two of only four girls in the entire place. As we're discussing the math and what the means for the evening, a third guy comes up. This one is young, probably early twenties, and drunk as a skunk. It's only about 9:15 at this point, and this dude is LIT. He slurs something at us, almost knocks a drink off our table and then just stumbles away. Wow. We scan over to the other two girls to see if they're getting this same treatment, and they're talking with Mr. Beatup.com, shaking his hand. Ok, well at least mister internet guy found his posse. That's nice. The girls are dressed a little slutty, especially for a sports/karaoke bar, and they certainly look funny sitting with Mr. Sweater vest Beatup.com, but at least he's got some people to sit with.

Karaoke didn't start until about 9:30, and when it did, we thought we might get a break from the weirdos in the room. No such luck. Wave after wave of guys would walk up to us, creep us out, and then leave. Homeless guy in a suit came back 3 times. An what's funny is each time he walked up, I don't even think he remembered hitting on us before. The last time as he was walking up to us I just repeated out loud, "Please no please no please no." He waited for me to finish and then asked me if I wanted to dance with him. I looked at my friend in disbelief, looked back at him and said, "No." We looked at the other two girls again to see what ridiculousness they were going through, and it seemed their Meetup.com group was growing in size. They were still the only girls, but they had quite a few more guys. The one girl was awkwardly trying to sit on the other's lap in an attempt to be sexy or something, but it just looked uncomfortable. They were both way too drunk for it being so early, and Meetup.com was looking a little Beatup.com.

The guy I was dating finally showed up around 10:00pm. He got things situated up on the stage with the other KJ, and came over to say hi to me. He gave me a kiss, and then my friend and I quickly recapped our evening for him. As we're telling him, Homeless guy walks up to us again. My guy has just given me a kiss and is holding my hand as we're talking, and homeless guy asks me again if I want to dance with him. Again. Without flinching my guy cuts him off and says, "Are you trying to pick up my wife in front of me?" My first thought was to cover my left hand so he wouldn't see I wasn't wearing a ring, and then I realized this guy was so out of it, he wouldn't even think to look anyway. Homeless guy then all the sudden realizes that there's a man there now too and decided he needs to be best friends with my guy. My guy tells him that both the ladies at our table are spoken for, so leave us both alone. Thanks My Guy! I knew I was dating you for a reason! When Homeless guy leaves, my guy asks us how many times we've sung. None, we tell him. Still waiting. Which is weird because there are still only like 25 people in the whole room. Once my guy gets up to the stage, we finally get to sing, which is after all why we're there! While each of us is up, the one of us left at the table got hit with a constant wave of sub-par, beyond drunk, or mentally unstable suitors. As much as we liked singing, it was nice to be back sitting with each other so we didn't feel like lone prey in the wild. We check out the other two girls in the place and they are now standing in the middle of the group of guys, dancing with each other. The circle of guys around them are all glued to the girls and haven't noticed another thing around them. All we can think is, Awesome! That's like 10 guys that won't be hitting on us! Thanks trashy girls!

Around 10:30, we started talking about just leaving when Seth MacFarlane walks in. Seth MacFarlane is the guy who writes, produces, and does the voices for, among other things, Family Guy. Now we're in LA, so seeing someone famous isn't necessarily unusual, but seeing one of them karaoke is kind of a treat. Seth and his friend walk right up to the make-shift stage, say hi to the two KJs, and sit down at one of the tables that's on the stage. No one really seems to notice because the other two girls that were dancing together are now making out with each other, so why would anyone notice some guys walking in? We decide that seeing Seth sing in person might be worth hanging out just a little longer.

We keep waiting and waiting for Seth to sing. And nothing. His friend sang. Seth did not. Then it's our turn to get up and sing, and let me tell you how weird that was. Singing a song with a famous person about 5 feet away from you, staring at your back. Also, all the drunk guys were getting really bold now that they'd watched the girls make out, and it was getting more and more difficult to fight off the onslaught of slurring come-ons, so my friend and I pretty much kinda stayed on the stage with the other while we were singing for our own personal safety. After our songs, we knew it was time to go. If the entire cast of Family Guy showed up and did a full on choreographed production, it STILL wouldn't have been worth the constant harassment.

I say good night to my guy, and as we're leaving, some of the guys from the Beatup.com group stop us and ask where we're going. We're just going, we say. "Don't you want to get in on this?" one of them asks and points to the two girls still making out. "I think we're ok," is all I can say as we power walk away.

As soon as we leave the karaoke room, we're in the normal bar, and it is full of normal people. People just hanging out, eating nachos, drinking beers, laughing. We look back into the karaoke room and we suddenly feel like we somehow just escaped some alternate universe where all that was once good in the world has gone to die.

Later we found out that karaoke didn't take off at that bar. My friend and I just can't imagine why.

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