Chuck: Will you clean the litter box as part of a Celebrity Litter Box Cleanse?
Me: (Involuntarily): Yes. Yes. A million times yes. Is now okay? CAN I DO IT RIGHT NOW?!
This is a ridiculous tic. I'm not a celebrity (obvs) and have no plans to be a celebrity. Though once I was at a stoplight and the mayor and I were stalled next to each other and he said through his open car window "I've been enjoying your blog!" Anyway, that was a whole blog ago and maybe he wasn't even mayor yet, but it felt famous-y, famous-like. Oh, and one time I touched Evan Dando.
A few weeks ago a woman called to ask me if I would sing in a Celebrity Karaoke Challenge, a fundraiser for the Red Cross. She used that voice people use when they think they might have to talk you into something. But she had me at celeb--.
For the record: They asked JCrew first and she redirected them to me. JCrew is more Celebrity Paso Doble.
There was a curveball last week, though, when the live band sent out its set list and asked us to pick something from it. My old standby, the Footloose-flavored security blanket "Let's Hear it for the Boy" was not on that list. This is probably for the best. Sometimes when that song starts I wonder if it has become the soundtrack to Chuck's nightmares. No joke: He's probably heard me sing it upward of 200 times. That's worse than the time "Copa Cabana" was stuck in my head for two years just because I knew someone who looked like Barry Manilow.
In fact none of my songs were on the list. No Belinda, no Madonna, no Fleetwood, no Lita, no Gladys. All but a single song by Tracy Chapman were for dudes, by dudes. The good thing is that a lot of songs by men can be re-imagined for my not-male voice. Not, it turns out, "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. Or, unfortunately, "Hey-Ya," by Outkast.
I poured through the list, listening to each song and, when applicable, listening to women cover the songs. And I gushed sweat. A lot. The kind of mustache-dew sweat that comes from the panic of potentially debuting my baritone on one of Duluth's finest stages. Having people pat me on the shoulder afterward and say: "Well, at least there was a pizza buffet."
I'm singing "Folsom Prison Blues." I'm hoping for a Johnny Cash-female country singer hybrid, a sound I can memorize well enough to not blank on stage. And the lyrics. Must learn the lyrics.
"What are you doing?" Chuck texted me from work tonight.
"Singing 'Folsom Prison' into the bathroom mirror," I texted back.
And that's probably where you'll find me for the next few days.
*Speaking of: I'm selling tickets to this thing. Except now I'm billing it as a PIZZA BUFFET FUNDRAISER for the Red Cross (where I'll be singing a 2 minute song). It's on Wednesday night at Grandma's Sports Garden. My parents will be there! If you want a $10 ticket, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. PIZZA!