The World As Mare Sees It...
The No-Plan Plan 2003-07-15










Days to B.E.E.R.: 9
Excitement level because I'm going to Montreal to see a whole bunch of people from all over North America whom I've not seen in 5 years: Sky Freaking High.

Think of it, poppets! She'll be there, and so will she, and that alone is enough to make me plotz! And let's not even mention the other dozen people that are going to be there that, as a group, are capable of so much fun and damage to public property, I can't even explain!

* * *

Right, so in the middle of telling you all about the Martini Debacle, I completely forgot to relay what went on later on that evening.

A bunch of us, Sleye and her Little Sister and Teacher and Conspiracy Theorist; Frankie, and my cousins Zoolander and Cheech and Cheech's girlfriend Blondie... we all sort of congregated in my kitchen with no plan in mind. The No-Plan Plan is pretty much the only way to go if you want to have a good time, because that evening turned into one that I will remember for a lo-ooong time. We ended up in an absolute dive in one of the less savoury neighbourhoods of my fair city. Like moths to a flame, it was the karaoke that drew us in. Karaoke! Karaoke in a dive bar! Me! It's all a strange and disconcerting combination.

So, we saunter in, and it was like we'd walked into someone's home without permission. Everybody knew each other's name, and nobody knew us. Plus, the bar was in a Polish neighbourhood, so I kept expecting a rotund guy to walk in and say, "Evenin' everybody!" and then everybody else would cry out, "Stanislau!" One woman actually said, rather cheerily, "Well, come on in, new people that we don't know! Make yourselves at home!" Ok? Ok? Strangers in a strange land.

Anyway, although I'm quite sure the bar was full of kind souls and good hearts and generous natures... and we have good hearts and kind souls and generous natures... our souls have labels on the pockets, while their souls were clad in Wal-Martís 2002 spring line. Ok? There goes my kind soul, right down the drain. Now, there's nothing wrong with Wal-Mart. Oh, forget I said that. There's a lot wrong with Wal-Mart. But that's not my point. My point is that we stuck out. We stuck out like sore thumbs, or perhaps, an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 in the middle of a Rosanne marathon.

Poppets? I kid you not... any one of the girls at the table next to us could have taken our whole table out. I know this, not because they sang Eminem while we sang Abba; I know this not because we looked relatively preppy, while they were advertising what I like to call 'Ghetto So-Totally-Not Fabulous'. Maybe it was the sheer, unabashed-in-spaghetti straps size of a couple of the young ladies in question. (Look, darlings, you know that with the struggles I've had with my weight, I'm not a sizist. But damn it all, at my largest, I would have appeared willowy next to one of these girls, but I still had the sense to dress appropriately! Wear a bra, dammit! Don't wear leather pants if it makes your ass look like an oil spill! Is that so hard? If you've got thighs that are larger than you'd want them to be, don't wear a dress with a hem that dangles just under your bottom! It's all rather... unbecoming. I'm not suggesting they shroud themselves from head to foot... but Lordy... dressing to accentuate one's good parts and camouflaging one's faults is just plain old common sense. Isn't it? Isn't it?)

Maybe it was just the wet-look pony tails they all had, pulled so tight as to produce a beady-eyed look of anger and... meanness? Was that it? I don't know. I just know they all had it... and some of them didn't have ponytails. I caught sight of their disparaging glances when Sleye and Little Sister (who in that setting looked like nothing but prep school princesses!) went up to sing. The moment of note for the evening had to be when Little Sister did Avril's Sk8er Boi, and there's this line about being home and taking care of the baby alone. I kid you not; the whole half dozen of them or so raised a fist and gave a war cry! It was like the lyric was an anthem for them! The snob in all of us slipped out as we direct covert and horrified glances at each other. Aaannnddd... there goes my generous nature, straight down the tubes.

Something really charming happened, though. Frankie insisted upon going up to sing. My deaf brother, who can't hear a tune, much less carry it, wanted to rock the mike. And, for reasons of his own, he wanted to belt out Bryan Adams's Everything I Do, I Do It For You. Let me tell you, poppets, the Karaoke Guy who was heading the show had to be the most diplomatic guy on earth. Seriously. I noticed that for the weaker singers, he adjusted the levels so that the music was a little louder, and their voice, while still heard, wasn't fantastically Loud And Bad and Offensive To The Ears. They still got to go up there and enjoy themselves, knowing that they could have fun and not make a horrible fool of themselves. Furthermore, for those who needed a little help staying in tune, Karaoke Guy, very unobtrusively, from his hidden seat behind his gear, sang along. Our whole table also helped out by singing loud and clear with him. My brother got to go up, sing out of tune, miss out on some words, and keep his dignity. Then, Karaoke Guy made a big production out of giving Frankie a big hand, and saying that he did a fabulous job.

Of course, the dignity in question was marred a little when he was joined by a 40-year-old barfly named Kat. Kat, who had a 30-year, 3-pack a day smoking habit where her larynx should have been. After she tried to steal Frankie's thunder - and he was having none of that - she croaked out, like a bullfrog with a sore throat, Nothing But a Heartache.... and we felt her pain. Hell, we felt it reverberating in our seats!

The whole night was fabulous, and we all got up to sing, either solos or in groups. There was more good-hearted laughter than we expected, and really, one can't ask for more than that, can one? The No-Plan Plan? Totally the way to go.

Love to you all, poppets.

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