My friend Scott and I met at 9. He stood on the street, near the large "arrow" sign by the entrance, talking on his cell phone, wearing shorts, broken glasses, and his plantation hat. We embraced as old friends sometimes do, and he took me to the table near the open microphone. He proceeded to look through the 3-ring binders for a some selections as he explained that he had recently found this venue useful for developing his confidence as a public speaker. Apparently, he had been singing for several years, unbeknownst to me. The emcee chose the first song for Scott, who offered to warm up the crowd: I'm Just a Gigolo. I laughed at first, thinking that it was some jibe about Scott's past escapades, not really expecting Louis Prima, much less any facsimile. But then, quite soon, quickly, I stopped, stunned. He was so good that I did not know what to say; eventually, I was applauding. That was during our first pitcher of beer; they have several good beers and a full bar. I know that we had only talked about 'a glass', and when the second pitcher arrived, I knew that I might be making a long night of it, but I didn't mind. Scott had done a very good job of rousing the crowd with his first couple of songs. The duet who followed him did not have his vocal skills, but compensated through their brashness and beauty. I decided that they should sing with Scott, and proceeded to hook them up -- fortunately, they were sitting next to us. These women weren't newcomers, and soon revealed themselves as seasoned barhopping gals. As we finished the second pitcher, we danced and sang with the others bold enough to let 150 people hear their voices as they drank and attempted to sing the classics of our culture. When the third pitcher arrived, I realized I felt concerned. It didn't take Rocket Science (by the way, we were about a block from that large rocket attached to a building in Fremont) to know that the combination of movement (dancing) and over a gallon of beer could result in a bender. Wisely, I asked our server to bring a pitcher of water, to go with the pint I'd just finished. I drank the water straight out of the pitcher. As I continued to lure the girls up on stage with Scott, I filled their half filled glasses with our pitcher. After filling Scott's empty glass, I proceeded to drink the remainder of this third pitcher that we'd been working on, straight out of the pitcher. One of the ladies did join Scott. She had selected a song about a woman with the same name as her own, and from the lyrics, one might gather that Scott was expressing some sort of long-term devotion to her. However, they left with some men who had probably known them from before, which wasn't a bad thing. My advanced state of inebriation brought me back to the dance area by the mic, with some beautiful bold blond lady who obviously loved Karaoke. Eventually, after talking and dancing for quite a while, interspersed with conversation with Scott, I thanked her and shook her hand as she parted. I confided that I felt concern regarding with whom we might awaken in the morning if we drank
any more. But soon pitcher #4 arrived. Oh well, he did have a lot of interesting things to say, though for some reason some of the details seem fuzzy at the moment, but it seemed important. Intense inebriation sometimes requires centering. I had reached the point of 'flexibility' sometime during the second pitcher, and in fact starting at that time would sit atop my stool in the Lotus position. But as we emptied the fourth pitcher, I suspected the large amounts of water that I ingested might not be enough, and I would need divine intervention to see the next day without having a stroke. At about 2:00 am, the bar staff herded us out like cattle. My conversation with Scott turned to the Spiritual, and he shared some personal feelings about how he saw the nature of his life; this was sort of a 'Pulp Fiction-esque' moment that seemed to tie the evening to everything that has meaning. Our server was kind enough to retrieve his bag from inside as we spoke. Promising to contact eachother soon, we parted in opposite directions. As I walked away, I pondered a feeling that had been welling up within me near the end of the evening. Fortunately, I managed to get a block away before experiencing what might be regarded as divine grace; I expelled (in 4 fell swoops) much of the toxins that I had ingested over the previous hours. I found the experience quite refreshing. The next morning, I awoke still feeling refreshed, and the world seemed right, but took some prescription strength vitamin B-12 drops under my tongue as a precaution. That was a while ago and I can probably safely show my face there again; I'd like to do something like this again some time soon.