When I first started going regularly to karaoke shows, my family and some of my friends weren’t thrilled.
“Why do you want to go to a bar? It’s just a place full of drunks!” they would say, as a gentle way to suggest I shouldn’t go every week.
“You could get hurt!” they would warn, as visions of barroom brawls straight out of Clint Eastwood films filled their heads.
“Don’t forget to wear sunblock!” they would add.
No, wait, that’s what they said when I went to the beach. The point is, they didn’t much like my hobby. I’m a tiny, tiny, woman (see previous articles), and they were convinced I would be beaten to a bloody pulp some Saturday night.
I went to the same bar every weekend for eighteen months, and I only witnessed two fights. Maybe I was just in a good neighborhood … maybe I was just lucky … maybe I have magical powers that promote peace and harmony … who knows? The first altercation was between two friends. She thought he was being a rude pig (he was). He thought she was overreacting (she was). A drink was hurled, a bottle was thrown … and it was over. Others stepped in, tempers were cooled, and it was over before I even had time to worry about whether I should run for my life.
The second was a bit more serious, but didn’t last much longer. There was no stage at this bar. Singers simply stood in an open area near the KJ equipment, with their backs to the front doors.
|One night, I was singing one of my favorite’s, Sarah McLachlan’s “Adia.” It’s a slow, sweet ballad, and has been known to bring a tear to the eye. Or, that could have been the ever-present cloud of cigarette smoke.|
As I began to sing, three large men stood behind me near the doors. I could only hear snatches of their conversation, but it was obvious by their tone and use of a few choice words that they were probably not declaring their undying love for one another.
I could tell things were about to get ugly. What to do? Because I’m so short, I couldn’t reach to put the mic back on the stand. I didn’t want to just drop it on the floor–the KJ would ban me forever if I broke his equipment! So, I did the only thing I knew how to do.