On Thursday, Amy and I were enjoying our new camping ritual of attending happy hour at the Sebago Lounge while all the kids were in day camp. There was a big crowd that day, maybe 60-plus. Two DJ's had set up a karaoke machine on the stage and started to cajole people to come up and do a little karaoke. There were no takers for a while, so they started threatening the crowd by claiming they would start singing their own karaoke songs if someone didn't start things off, and they emphasized that none of us would find such a scenario enjoyable. Sure enough, they made good on their threat and started singing the old cowboy song, Rawhide.
With a half-a-bottle of Sebago Boathouse Brown Ale and a handful of nacho's in my system I was feeling pretty loose and unusually bold. I then decided that I didn't want to listen to these clowns sing Rawhide for the rest of happy hour! So...despite Amy threatening to rip my kidneys out, I strolled up to the stage, filled out the form to indicate the song I'd like to sing and handed it to the DJ. I looked back at Amy to find that her head was down on the table, buried in her arms.
As I bounced up on stage the DJ started reading the form I filled out and announced, "Yup! Rawhide does it every time! OK...it looks like our first singer today will be Mike Keenan from South Glastonbury, Connecticut and he will be singing...oh good Lord!"
He then re-read the form. "Great. It appears that Mike here has decided to touch off a full-blown riot." He then looked up at me and noticed for the first time that I was wearing a Yankees cap.
"Hi everyone," I shouted. "By a show of hands, how many Yankee fans do we have in the house today?" Immediately, half the crowd stood up and started yelling at me while flashing thumbs-down signs and other inappropriate hand gestures. Please note that this was southern Maine, which is a whole lot closer to Boston than it is to the Bronx.
"Not one Yankees fan," I replied. "Perfect!" Then, right on cue, the music started and I launched into New York, New York by Frank Sinatra. It was hard to concentrate on the screen with all the profanity being screamed at me, but I managed to get through the whole song (I noticed, for the first time, that the song is mercifully short). I then took a long and dramatic bow, which only triggered even louder boo'ing, and then had a hard time finding my seat at the back of the room since Amy was now hiding under the table.
Sure enough, after I left the stage there was a surge of people who were suddenly interested in doing some karaoke. The next act was a pair of women who shouted, "Sit down, Mike!!!" into the microphone as soon as they got up on stage and then launched into some song about Boston and dirty water. Well, at least we didn't have to worry about hearing Rawhide again.
Did I mention that I recently started drinking beer?...