The Other “F” Bomb, or, Seeking Enlightenment in a Karaoke Bar

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by  sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who knows the great  enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never tasted victory or defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt

“Who’s the black private dick who’s a sex machine with all the chicks? Um, some loud white guy. Can you dig it?”

I love karaoke. It is my greatest vice and the occasion for 90% of the alcohol I ingest in any given year. I crave the warmth only the spotlight can provide.My signature tune at this stage in my career would have to be Strokin’ by Clarence Carter. It is a psuedo-seductive 70’s R&B classic (?), and I like to give it a suitably over the top treatment. It’s a show stopper. I ain’t gonna lie.

What I love about karaoke is that it truly doesn’t matter how good a singer you are, as long as you sell it. Rachel is a perfect example of this (sorry Honey). While her singing can best be described as experimental, in the Yoko Ono vein, that never stops her from getting up and belting one out. In truth, she has become one of my favorite singers. Rachel, not Yoko.

Fly (Yoko Ono album)

“All we are saaaaaaying… is give instrumental music a chance.” Fly (Yoko Ono album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

True, sometimes a ringer will lay low, and all inconspicuous-like they’ll get up and blow the roof of the joint with professional quality chops. We have a couple of those at our regular spot. And that’s great. But anybody who can sort of carry, or not really carry, or absolutely butcher a tune can still be a Rock Star. The key is to get up and not care what anyone else might think, and belt it out. Have fun with it. And for most people who have never tried it, the thought of being in the spotlight for 3 minutes is a little too much. Totally understandable.


“This post was a little schmaltzy, a little too ‘cruise ship’ for my tastes.” DSC08039 (Photo credit: Ann Althouse)

Even worse, sometimes amateur Simon Cowell‘s eagerly cast aspersions upon amateur performers with biting critiques. Never mind that they themselves do not possess the Courage or Intestinal Fortitude to endure the 180 second gauntlet on the stage (420 seconds if you are singing Free Bird, Hey Jude, Stairway to Heaven, or American Pie).

That is why today we are celebrating the first timers who got up, put on their metaphorical leather pants and feather boa, and rocked out with their… that is, they had fun. In our group, we had a couple of guys who had never sung live in front of an audience, but jumped at the chance. Bully, Chris and Miguel. And I give them all the credit in the world, at a very competitive interest rate. It’s not easy to try New Things, especially when your experiment is so public, and the Greek Chorus of critics is watching. Most people succumb to Fear, or as we aspiring Heroes call it, the other “F” bomb.

The main reason I love karaoke, besides the… you know, adulation of literally tens of people, each as drunk or drunker that I am, is the feeling that anything can happen at that moment. Everything is Possible, and Possibility is the path to realizing your Dreams. I am striving to make every part of my day, from the breakfast dishes to family time to writing, feel like Karaoke. Without the hangover and sore throat.


Thanks to all who responded to the last post. Your Dreams are an inspiration, hold on to them with a kung-fu grip.

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8 Responses to The Other “F” Bomb, or, Seeking Enlightenment in a Karaoke Bar

  1. tom says:

    Another fantastic and inspiring post by a man who makes it all look so easy…husband, father, writer, baller, homie….i am regretful singing and being obnoxious while drinking doesn’t have a bigger place in my life of late…but one can get caught up in the civilian lifestyle ..

    • Our Hero says:

      Nothing that I do is ever easy, but I appreciate the sentiment, thanks nephew.

      Civilian lifestyle? No need to fret, you are busy taking care of business. The mic will always be waiting for you when you are ready to pick it back up. You are a born entertainer.

  2. Colleen Scherrer says:

    Coming from a family of karaokers (I dont know if you have met my dad) I learned at a young age to belt out that beatles song or sit your butt down and don’t judge! Wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m feeling another night out soon! Party in the USA!

    • Our Hero says:

      Your dad did this to me, too! Um, thanks brother.

      Yes, you and your siblings are always game. That’s a good thing. Putting yourself out there is an essential skill.

  3. Treta says:

    You forgot the time you got B out there for the first time too…. I guess you’re just good at handing out confidence! (Probably more so in the the form of alcohol) But if you got it, it’s easy to give some away. Thanks for that D-dog! ;)

  4. rachel says:

    Are you sure I don’t sound exactly like Tina Turner when I sing “Proud Mary”? I demand a recount!

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