June 1st, 2006
It's a fun spectator sport. In between
Of course, I know exactly which category I'd be in if I got up there. I have no musical ability whatsoever. I can't carry a tune with handles, and the only musical instrument I can play with any skill is the FM radio. Still, one doesn't need ability to be a critic – Roger Ebert wrote the screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, for instance.¹ Since my singing voice (or lack thereof) qualifies as a WMD (and I've got the UN resolutions to prove it), I just sat and watched.
This isn't normally a problem. No sane person wants me to get up on stage and sing. I've had friends physically prevent me from entering bars where karaoke was occurring, when all I wanted was a drink.² I was also in a bar once in Ocean City when the clock struck nine, the TV programs were turned off, and the karaoke equipment was set up. Without a word, I was dragged outside and taken to another bar.
She did get me to perform once (and only once) a couple of years ago (Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon) and yet still thinks it's a good idea to try to get me to do it again. She even picked out a song more-or-less in my exceedingly limited range (they actually had They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha by Napolean XIV); but no dice – being a responsible parent,³ I hadn't had nearly enough to drink in order to get up there and boost the self-esteem of all the other singers.
And that's why Ohio is not currently quarantined by the Department of Homeland Security. Or just being nuked from orbit, which is the only way to be sure.
¹ I know I'll be stoned as a blasphemer by some of my friends (and my wife) for that comment.
² That's a lie. I never want just a drink.
³ Richard was, at the time, with his grandparents.