I was with some friends in their apartment watching TV and drinking, when someone said they wanted pizza. Being sort of drunk with two women, I volunteered to find pizza before I was involuntarily volunteered to go find pizza. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find pizza in New York uptown around midnight on a weekday.
So I start walking to all of the pizza places I know, and either they’re not open or they won’t take an order. So I decide to look on my phone for a place that’s open, but I don’t want to stand around on the sidewalk like a doofus, so I decide I’ll find a bar and get a beer and do it. So I’m walking down Amsterdam and I hear karaoke. I. Fucking. Love. Karaoke.
So I get a beer and start searching Yelp. I find a place and decide I’ll use the bathroom then leave then call.
I was wearing a t-shirt from my alma mater. I’m not that sort of douchebag, but I intended to spend the night watching 30 Rock and getting drunk, so I was dressed appropriately. On my way to the restroom, I pass these kids and they’re like, hey, you went there? And I’m like, “yeah!” And they’re like “come drink with us!” And I’m like “yeah!”
So, these students were all from Cooper Union. I didn’t go to Cooper Union, but I like people who did, because they had that zero tuition thing, and that’s legit, even if they’re all engineers and architects.
So we’re drinking. And this one guy, who was Scandinavian seems really into me. I’m straight, but I’m also very comfortable about being straight and I like attention, especially from people who are significantly better looking than me. And he’s like “WE SHOULD SING A DUET” and I’m like “YES” and he’s like “DO YOU KNOW MR. BRIGHTSIDE!?” And I’m like “I LOVE THAT SONG.”
Now here’s the thing. I have heard of that song’s existence. My knowledge of that song is that a band called The Killers recorded that song and it was popular around the same time as Feel Good Inc. I love everything Damon Albarn, so I knew Feel Good Inc., but I only knew this song because it was around at that same time.
I did not know the lyrics. I was also in denial about having very poor eyesight, so I could not even read the lyrics. As we walked up to request it, I told myself that either the lyrics would be obvious, or I would be completely hilarious and fuck them up ostensibly on purpose.
But there was this guy singing. He was, apparently, an opera singer with the Met Opera. And he’s doing this thing with “Don’t You Want Me Baby” and he’s purposely screwing up the lyrics, but not in an “I’m too drunk to not fuck this up way,” but in a “I’m a professionally trained singer and isn’t this cute?” way. So, of course he brings down the house. And of course people are asking him to do something else.
And I’m like this fucker, I can’t go on after this, and he stole my fucking up the lyrics to a song thing. So I say I’m going out for a cigarette.
So I go outside and there’s this old woman there. Apparently karaoke at this bar is her thing. I don’t know. She’s with some guy who’s like 20 and the whole thing seems like the world’s shittiest version of Sunset Boulevard, but Gloria Swanson was an elderly karaoke singer and this 20 year old is a much less charming William Holden. I think she was from Romania, so we talked about Romania, because I have a vague understanding of Romania.
She goes in to sing a song.
So I’m there and this very pretty girl, who is fresh off of the boat from, I think, Nigeria, asks me for a cigarette. I tell her I’m out, which I was, but I need to buy more, so let’s go across the street to the bodega and I’ll buy a pack and give her one. So we do that.
Then her brother comes around. He’s less off of the boat and apparently a grad student at Columbia, but he’s not awful, because he looks at my shirt and says we went to the same school. He’s like, “so, I want to go to another bar with some people, can you look after my sister?”
And I immediately go all yenta and go “you literally just met me, this is the first time your sister has visited the U.S., and you’re going to leave her with some stranger? And yes, we went to the same school, but you know damn well that that’s the opposite of an endorsement of character. No. You do NOT leave your sister in the care of some stranger. That is NOT COOL, man. Not cool.”
Then I went home and woke up to 1) a terrible hangover. 2) two very pissed off women who spent hours waiting for a pizza that never materialized. 3) the realization that I was old.
It will happen to you someday, Oppo.