Our new neighborhood has four bars within a mile. Chuck calls this the West Duluth Entertainment District. While I have been to each of these bars at some point in my life, I've never had the opportunity to see how they are different. From a distance, they all look like a 30 year class reunion.
It was karaoke night at our first stop. Alert: any rumors you might have heard about the death of line dancing are premature! This place was all loud classic rock and grape vines. Also a curious mix: The Housewives of West Duluth, former VFW regulars who have been displaced since the place closed more than a year ago, and muscle heads.
"I put on 26 pounds in 21 days," I overheard a tight shirt ripped dude telling his friends. "She looked at me and called me a fat ass! It was all muscle! My BMI was way down. Obviously I know a thing or two about nutrition. It's my career. It's my area of expertise. It's what I do!"
"Beer is the great equalizer," Chuck said. "It's like an episode of 'Jersey Shore' in here."
I sang "Kiss Me Deadly" for an uninterested audience that didn't even notice when I busted out the solo on air guitar. If a karaoke singer plays air guitar and no one is watching ... did she ever play air guitar at all?
Muscle face sang "Tiny Dancer."
"Next time, I'm doing Blink 182," he said when he limped back to his table for a round of fist bumps and other variations on the common high five.
Two regulars performed a Hard Rock morning show-style of banter. The hottest girl in the bar was missing a pretty prominent tooth. And that is when we decided to explore our other options.
"Who the phuck is this guy?" a girl said, nodding to Chuck as we walked into the next place, where it was also karaoke night. The DJ was crooning a Weird Al-ian version of the song "Eyes Wide Open," with the lyrics cleverly changed to "Legs Wide Open." (This sort of comedy is one of my pet peeves). This place was filled with emo teams and fake label purses. My rendition of "Holding Out for a Hero," didn't go over so well. The off-key lazy cover of something by, oh, I don't know, Flyleaf was huge.
Late in the night, all these teens started busting out the same choreography to some song. All over the bar, everyone was clapping, hopping, doing the cha-cha. It was like we had walked into the video for "Thriller." Instead it was the "Cha Cha Slide." Obviously I'm not hanging out at the right bars, because I've never heard this song before.
"How do you know how to do this?" I asked a girl. "What song is this?"
"I don't know," she said. "But the song tells you what to do."
Later we walked back home, back to the Rumpus Room for Aftershock and Coke.