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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Singing on the Mountain

S is for Singing on the Mountain
Last night we went to a birthday party on the mountain, with real life mountain folk in attendance and it was an excellent opportunity for us to make some friends up here.

Scotto’s business colleague, Drew, invited us to celebrate his wife’s birthday at the local bowls club.

“It’s karaoke,” Scotto added cautiously when he told me about the invitation.

This immediately set off a piercing siren of panic in my head. Flashbacks of remorseful mornings after disastrous karaoke nights flickered across my field of vision.

“It sounds great,” I tentatively commented. “But under no circumstances allow me to get up and sing because you know that will ensure we never have any friends on the mountain and I will be so regretful and embarrassed after I sober up I won’t be able to leave the house for months.”

“Absolutely,” Scotto agreed.

There’s only one cab driver on the mountain and we met him last night. Walking into a party where you don’t know anyone at all necessitates the guzzling of fizzy-feel-good beverages for Dutch courage so we needed to be chauffeured.

We sneaked in and Scotto went straight to the bar whilst I loitered in a corner and scanned the room. We were the only people wearing coats. The locals were getting around in summer frocks and short sleeved shirts while Scotto and I looked like Roald Amundsen and his dodgy sidekick setting off for the South Pole.

I slithered out of my jacket unobtrusively. No need to look like a weirdo at the outset.

Scotto returned grasping two glasses and sporting a huge grin. “Ten dollars fifty a shout!” he beamed. “I bloody love the mountain!”

Before long we were mingling with the lovely birthday girl, Nic, and her guests.

Normally, back in Townsville, whenever we’d go to a karaoke night I’d end up with a headache from listening to drunken pisspots screaming out the lyrics to Jimmy Barnes songs. 

People would only sing in groups of five or ten because no one could actually sing a note in tune. In the same way that ducks fly in flocks and wildebeest travel in herds for safety reasons, I suppose if there are a lot of people singing off key you’re less likely to be singled out and booed off the stage.

When the first mountain person stood up to sing, I desperately hoped they’d be terrible just in case my steely resolve not to sing was smashed by fizzy-feel-good beverages.

“Don’t be intimidated by her,” Drew said to us as we looked on incredulously at a girl performing a gutsy, perfect rendition of a Pink song. “She used to sing professionally.”

But as each mountain person took to the stage, the standard seemed to get higher and higher until eventually even the girl serving drinks behind the bar slid up on stage and belted out a couple of numbers garnering herself a standing fudging ovation.

Clearly, mountain air is good for the lungs and vocal cords.

“Are you guys all punking us?” I asked Drew. “Do all of you belong to a bloody choral society or something?”
“What’s a choral society?” he frowned.

Suddenly, like a horrifying dream, our names flashed up on the screen and we were being shepherded on to the stage. Thank God for fizzy-feel-good beverages which dulled the humiliation to a bearable level. 

Neither of us can sing at all but I think we made up for it with Scotto’s air guitar and my interpretive dancing.

People cheered us. Well, one person did. And somebody wrote on Facebook that we really are part of the mountain now. Wooohhhooooo!

There is video evidence of our performance but it's best we don't watch it, eh.

What's your favourite song to sing at Karaoke?