The Case For Karaoke

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There are a lot of great drunk activities that get the motor running. Intramurals are the typical go-to for any self-respecting fraternity man, but they require prior scheduling and come with the chance of utter failure and ACL tears. There’s always the old standby of drinking games, but greats like beer ball require plenty of space and beer pong loses its luster after a few too many drunken misses. Contrary to popular opinion, all of those things quickly fall apart once you’re too deep. Sloppy drunks can’t even throw a ping pong ball, let alone snag a game winning pass. That’s when you need to call an audible and go for every inebriated bastard’s favorite pastime: Karaoke.

Name an activity that brings people together more than getting blasted and belting out hit songs. You don’t even need great pipes or a buttload of cash to enjoy it, either. Any joker with ten bucks can throw back some dollar beers and get on stage to butcher the works of Journey, Garth Brooks, and Neil Diamond. You’ll feel like a rock star, and everyone in the vicinity will respect you for your confidence. Will you get laughed at? Maybe, but that doesn’t even matter because the sheer rush that comes with inebriation and the spotlight will turn it into raucous applause in your own fucked up mind. You’re a damn superstar and the crowd of 30-50 strangers is there to see you, missed notes and all.

With that tinge of self-deprecation also comes potential for the deprecation of others. Want to give the sober pledges something new to do? Make them get on stage and belt out “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” to each other, or crank it up a notch and have them do a group rendition of Sisqo’s “Thong Song.” There are plenty of ways to mess with a guy, but having him perform songs of that nature with a group of dudes can show you a lot about who they are. If nothing else, at least five of them are going to be so cripplingly uncomfortable from it that they’ll just mumble around. You’ll be able to bring that up later.

Of course, there are people that are lights-out singers. Those guys and girls can turn a humdrum outing into an all-night show. When you’re bombed and expecting to hear someone fold under the pressure of following your killer take on “Frien’s in Looow *Belch* Placers”, you’re going to get absolutely hyped as he crushes “Still of the Night” in a way that Whitesnake couldn’t. If it’s one of your boys, expect him to go from a casual nighthawk to King of the Barstool Fingerblasters by night’s end. Or, you could get the treat of some dime with the voice of an angel flaunting what they’ve got in front of a crowded bar. That’s what we call a win-win.

Maybe you’re a little hesitant to go out and be a star. It could be that pledging didn’t strip you of the shame it was supposed to, or you could be the asshole that thinks karaoke is for pussies with low self-esteem and talent. Regardless of which doubter you are, it’s time to give something new a try. You’ll be shocked at how much fun you’ll have with it no matter your skill level. Either that, or you’ll get to witness other people bool out and make complete asses of themselves. When it comes down to it, there are far worse ways to spend a weeknight.

Karl Karlson is TFM's self-proclaimed cartoon expert and your best buddy. He resides in the mountains of NC where he wrestles black bears and attempts to grow a beard. Karl gave up liquor following an unfortunate incident involving tequila and a vacuum cleaner, but he isn't above a nice stout on the porch.

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