TED WILSON REVIEWS THE WORLD: KARAOKE
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing karaoke.
My neighbor Brittini invited me to a karaoke party which I agreed to because I thought she said it was a carrot cake party. There was no carrot cake or any cake of any kind. I felt uncomfortable, being the only person who showed up with a fork in hand and a napkin tucked into my collar.
I also felt uncomfortable being the only person in his eighties since everyone else was a teenager. Normally I wouldn’t hang out with so many young people but I agreed to attend in order to ease the tension between us — ever since Brittini accidentally got spraypaint on my car and her parents grounded her.
If you’re unfamiliar with karaoke, it’s a game where everyone stands up one at a time and sings along to music into a microphone. If you don’t know the words, they are provided for you on a TV screen. There are no points awarded in this game and there are no judges. It’s kind of like an amateur version of American Idol except there is no clear winner.
The song selected for me to sing was called “Problem” by a woman named Ariana Grande. For some reason I was also told to dance while I sang even though no one else had to. So I danced the only dance I’m good at — the fox trot.
One of the teenagers filmed me and put the video on U-Tube. I guess I did a pretty good job singing karaoke because the video got over 200k views in one day! If the video had not been removed for copyright infringement, I bet it would have gotten even more. I hope Ariana Grande doesn’t sue me.
Despite my success, I didn’t really care for karaoke. There’s a lot of pressure to do a good job, especially with everyone staring at you. I often crack under pressure. If I had known I was being filmed I probably would have frozen completely. I should have just assumed I was being filmed. Everything is filmed these days. I bet I’m being filmed right now. I better put on some pants and comb my hair.
Another thing I don’t like about karaoke is how there’s no way to pause the song and rewind if you mess up. I didn’t have my glasses with me either, so it was hard to see the words as they zoomed past. I had to mumble my way through a lot of it or just make up my own words. I was pretty happy with a lot of the words I made up but the audience didn’t seem to care for them. Apparently there’s not a lot of room for creativity in karaoke.
BEST FEATURE: I learned some of the words to a new song!
WORST FEATURE: There’s a bouncy ball that goes from word to word. It filled me with anxiety as I tried to keep up, leaving me a sweaty mess.
Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing a fern.