Let me begin by saying that the person who invented the karaoke machine should be drawn, quartered, hung by his toes, flogged, paper-cut, tarred-and-feathered, and forced to join the French Foreign Legion and be forever doomed to wearing those silly towels flapping from under his hat!!
We took the kids to see the fireworks at a nearby lake. It isn't easy loading lawn chairs, strollers, diaper bags, car seats, snack sacks, drinks, camera and of course, the kids, into our van, but we managed. The 20 minute drive went smoothly enough, but I should have known the minute I stepped out of the van that all was not well. One of the boys muttered to me "Mom, I don't know what kind of music these people are playing, but they need help!" - or something equally as frightening.
Apparently, there was a family reunion, or some such event taking place at the very public state park. This group of people had the bright idea to haul along The Singing Machine from Hell to "entertain" the unlucky attendees. We showed up as some poor sap was wailing "Crazy".
These people butchered everything from Patsy Cline to Elvis, Sara Evans to Gretchen Wilson. How can you butcher Gretchen Wilson??!!?? Most of her songs are already slaughtered and hung to dry!
Savannah's eyes couldn't have rolled much further back in her head. Preston and Bucky split with friends, without even pretending to sit with us for five seconds. The mosquitoes were pretty heavy, so I bundled the baby into her baby sling and Savannah and I set off to look for HER friends, leaving Tom to sit with Gabe and D. while darkness finished closing in.
Upon returning to our chosen location, I was surprised to hear the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth still happening. (I'm thinking that if the rich man asked God to send Abraham with ear plugs, instead of a drop of water, God might have had more mercy on him!) The mosquitoes were driving me insane, and the ...ahem...MUSIC...was pushing me right over the edge. I told Tom I would wait in the van.
The fireworks started a short time later, after the National Anthem was broadcast throughout the park. These people continued to sing during the explosions!! I could hear them with the windows shut! People were moving away; they weren't silently leaving - they were picking up chairs and stating their displeasure while they were going! Nothing deterred the crooners. They were giving it their all. I didn't see any alcohol sitting around, so they couldn't even attribute their indiscretions to the over consumption of libation!
I had managed to block out some of the concert, until I overheard someone screeching "I Miss Back Then" or something like that - This under-achieving, not-so-meaningful ballad had something to do with garden tools actually plucking out weeds, construction accessories actually being used to hold up dry wall, and how saying 'down with that' meant you'd been puking your guts out. Somewhere in the middle of this song, the noise stopped, but other than brilliantly stating 'thank you' to the back of the leather seat, I thought nothing of it. Until the fireworks were over, and Tom brought the kids and paraphernalia to the van to reload.
T - "Well, they know how I feel about their karaoke!"
D - "Oh? Why's that?"
T - "Because I jerked their orange extension cord out of the outlet!"
D - "Oh?"
T - "Yes! I'd had it!"
D - "What did you do?"
T - "They were singing some stupid song about a hoe; I walked over to the orange cord, followed it to the outlet, jerked it out and flung it across the yard. I heard one of them say, 'Well, that's it'."
D - falls off her chair, noting that Tom was wearing his Superman shirt when this went down...cackle...guffaw...choke...tells kids...they cackle...they ask Dad to re-enact the scene...
...the moral of the story? Obviously, Superman approves of Family Friendly activities.