Crete Petite part 3
Friday, September 15, 2006 3:22:26 PM
Yes, all right, I admit it, I participated in a karaoke evening. These things are only enjoyable if the people doing the singing are either very bad or passably good and almost everyone at this particular event was extremely bad, and knew it. Particularly excruciating was a bloke called Tony who droned his way through numerous Sinatra standards. By sticking to the same note all the way through each song he had a 1 in 8 chance of hitting the right one occasionally, but let’s give the guy some credit for being the first one up there to break the ice.
Particularly entertaining were the lunatic Dutch contingent, whose first song was a very sad one about a boy who lost his kite (I only know this because although the song was in Dutch, it was accompanied by a video), which was delivered with exactly the right sense of pathos by the slightly beered-up gaggle of wife-swappers and jazz-cigarette smoking Nederlanders – i.e. none whatsoever!
They excelled themselves on their next song. I can’t recall what this was called but the video had lots of farm animals; I think it was a Dutch version of a cross between “Old MacDonald’s Farm” and “I’ve Got A Brand New Combine Harvester”. Bizarrely, most of the Brits tried to join in on the chorus, despite not having a clue how most of the words were pronounced.
The kids (not mine) had a shot at it too, choosing an Eminem song each time. Personally, I don’t mind Eminem, though I am no great fan of rap music. However, his songs do contain a lot of words – most of them gibberish, judging by the teleprompter, though the gibberish is leavened by some well-turned phrases – and they are not big on singalongability, so with the kids mumbling their way through Eminem’s self-righteous anthems, it was an excellent opportunity to get up the bar and order some more unspeakably bland Greek lager.
After sufficient amounts of said lager, I was persuaded to get up and have a go myself. I was two lines into “Stand By Me” when I heard a voice behind me say something to the effect of “Ey up, this one can sing”. I must have done all right because the bloke doing the karaoke made a CD of all my performances, so if you want to hear me butchering “Walking In Memphis”, get in touch.
If memory serves, I did 5 songs, and by the fifth, my voice was shot. This came as a surprise to me, as did cocking up my breathing on one of the songs. I had no idea the mechanics of my singing technique had deteriorated so much. A bit depressing really, when your skills start to decline in the one area of your life where you have always been above average. Still, if Michael Schumacher can come to terms with it, I am sure I can.
The second week’s intake seemed to have a higher proportion of kids with the result that our offspring went from being a bit tiresome in the first week (“Dad, come and play pool with me”) to being largely absent (“Piss off, Dad, can’t you see I am busy?”) in the second.
Number 2 son (aged 13) became very friendly with a pretty girl (aged 15 but looked 18, especially in a bikini – if you will forgive my “dirty old man” moment) from Southampton. Now, that’s just not right, is it? It’s one of the immutable laws of the world that teenaged girls are only interested in older blokes. Having said that, number one son always has older girls calling round for him as well. Maybe it is because my sons are all devilishly handsome?
Mrs. Fiendish and I still didn’t make any friends, though I was on speaking terms with quite a few people after my karaoke exploits. Still, it left us plenty of time to get on with our holiday reading. I managed to read 8 books and was halfway through my ninth by the time we touched down at Gatwick. Six of these books were by James Lee Burke from his Dave Robicheaux series, and it might have been a mistake to read so many of them in quick succession as even these relatively complex examples of the private eye novel started to seem formulaic. Still, at least the Robicheaux character gets older as the series goes on, whereas the likes of Robert Parker’s Spenser just wouldn’t cut it as a sixty something gym rat work-out freak. For Robicheaux, his experiences in Vietnam influence his behaviour so much that it would be difficult for James Lee Burke to ignore the march of time. In contrast, Spenser’s past is restricted to an unsuccessful boxing career in his youth which included a defeat to Jersey Joe Walcott – and you’d need to be a boxing fan to know that Walcott retired in 1953 after losing to Rocky Marciano in a title fight, which would make Spenser at least 69 years old now.
I haven’t got round to downloading the holiday photos yet but rest assured that when I do, they’ll be posted to the web site. I’ve not listened to my karaoke CD either but if it is either terrible or good I’ll put some files on the web site too.