Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mik-n-Mac's Karaoke

Mik-n-Mac's Lounge
408 N. 4th St.
Coeur d'Alene

The Wild and Weird World of Karaoke Night at Mik-n-Mac’s

“Oh. My. Heck.” I stuttered in amazement. “Where is John Waters when you need him?” I wondered out loud, for the woman seemed to have crawled right out of the notorious film director’s cult classic “Desperate Living.”

I’d noticed the mysterious, hunched-over figure descending into Mik-n-Mac’s a while earlier hidden under a drab green blanket and looking like the old crone in Sleeping Beauty, the one who morphed into the evil witch. It was Karaoke night, and oddball things always seem to occur on Karaoke night, but that night there was an especially peculiar vibe in the air.

The crowd was vivacious as Billy and Sue sang the final hoots and hollers of another rousing rendition of their trademark tune “Dixieland Delight.” The hunched figure shuffled out to the middle of the dance floor and blurted out to anyone listening something along the lines of “Hey! I’m not gonna be disrespected anymore!” followed by a string of curse words shocking even in the context of the bar.

Suddenly, the ugly blanket was tossed away, revealing a polyester jacket and skirt, which also came flying off, revealing a Britney-style schoolgirl outfit, which took quite a bit of effort to remove actually, revealing a rather large and angry looking woman in her early forties, standing there in nothing but black skivvies, her various body parts unraveling themselves in every direction. It was a kamikaze karaoke striptease.

Hesitantly, I looked closer and realized that her arms, chest, and face were covered in handwritten rants and obscenities, self-graffiti done in multicolored permanent markers. Her head was shaved arbitrarily in the style of a slightly diseased Pekinese. Her undergarments gasped for life against the strain of her jelly dance, the disco pulse of a Donna Summer karaoke track causing her to twist her ample body into a frenzied flesh tornado. First, the jaws around the room started dropping in shock as half the crowd struggled to avert their gaze and the other half began cheering wildly, including me.

Outrageous! The bartender flew out from behind me, pointing and snapping her fingers, “Sweetie, you need to put your clothes back on and cool it, right now.” I had to know exactly what on Earth this toothless tyrant’s depraved fit of performance art was all about. Just what made her tick? I’ve always been a loony magnet anyway, so it didn’t surprise me when she emerged from the restroom dressed again in the schoolgirl garb and cornered me directly.

“What planet are you from?” I asked and she proceeded to rattle off a very loosely coherent story which involved getting permanently kicked off the City Link bus system and how since the Sherriff’s Department ignored her cries of injustice she decided to go from bar to bar as a one-woman act of civil disobedience, a lunatic stripper gyrating wildly in the hope of salvation for all those who’ve been banished from buses.

“Interesting,” I replied.”You’re kind of a cross between Courtney Love and Rosa Parks.” She stared at me blankly for a moment then carried on ranting. I do seem to have endless patience for those with funky mind chemistry, those who’s thought patterns run entertainingly out of the norm, those perhaps touched a bit by the freak stick. However, even I was having a hard time pinning this madwoman down as she prattled on conspiratorially, dousing me with saliva droplets and hot vodka breath.

Mercifully, the KJ called my name, and by the time I’d finished singing “Take Me to the River”, the bartender had booted her out the door for going from table to table and soliciting beer money. That’s a tragedy because surely she deserved a tall frosty one for her efforts. I doubt anyone had been so entertained or frightened in ages.

Karaoke Night is never very dull, especially not at Mik-n-Mac’s where longtime host Jerry is the tie-dyed ring master for all the regulars that frequent that particular circus. In addition to having one of the largest song selections I’ve ever seen, Jerry’s also been known to act like Tom Cruise in “Risky Business” and perform ”Old Time Rock and Roll” wearing nothing but Ray-Bans, a dress shirt and underwear. In addition to Karaoke, Tuesdays is for cups of bottomless domestic beer for $5.

The combo of endless Pabst Blue Ribbon and wireless microphones has been known to result in some very unusual performances. Certain regulars are truly fantastic, with most singers at least ranging from not terrible to mostly tolerable.

Some of the performances will make you glad the beer is bottomless. I really root for anyone who chooses to turn in a slip and sing, who’s not afraid to get up there and at least give it a try. No one’s paying attention anyway.

This fact I learned the hard way after delivering show-stopping versions of “Copacabana” or “Fernando” only to land one or two lonely handclaps amid the crowd’s conversational din. To make myself feel better, I invented the convoluted theory that I must be such a good singer that people get busy talking and forget they’re not listening to the radio.

In addition to traditional karaoke each Tuesday, which runs from 8 to midnight, Mik-n-Mac’s has plans to take the idea to the next level on Wednesdays when they’ll be having Rock Band contests. Teams will compete and be eliminated during a series of weekly battles, with the winning band taking home some kind of dazzling prize.

I finally got a chance to play this mega-popular interactive video game with some friends recently and I had a complete blast. The drums were pretty rough for me, but I sang a 96% on “I Wanna Be Sedated” and managed to work the guitar without causing the music to crash and fail. It’s a perfectly logical step up from karaoke and will be a terrific challenge, especially for those who enjoy frequent nips of gin with their juice.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a night-and-a-half!

She should've gotten that beer :)

Anonymous said...

Question: Have you ever sung a Karaoke song in a bar? Which song? Are you a good singer?

Bob on January 17 at 6:21 a.m.
OTV, your stuff is getting quite a bit better. This one and the hamburger one I read recently definitely mark an elevation in your style. Nice work, dude.

Bob on January 17 at 6:24 a.m.
Oops! As always I missed DFO's patented comment-generating question! Under Federal Noise Pollution (EPA and Dept of Labor) statutes I am banned from public singing in 49 states and two territories. I am allowed, in South Dakota only, to sing “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath in a controlled karaoke setting in which there are a minimum of two (2) easily accessed exits.
Dennis on January 17 at 8:47 a.m.
Bob,,, I thought it was N. Dakota and N. Korea where they are trying to harness that horrid sound to use against the Imperialist pigs??? I got the same memo!!!! ;-O
OrangeTV on January 17 at 8:52 a.m.
Thanks, Bob. I take that as quite a high compliment indeed since you so rarely have nice things to say about us local columnist types. It's much better than being on the receiving end of one of your mean (but usually accurate) critique/rants.
It was a fun one to write, and a true story.I was sure my darling editors were going to edit out a lot of this one, but I think it's intact they way I wrote it. I'm just hoping that if the hefty stripper reads it, I'll end up sat upon, and not gently.
Bob on January 17 at 9:28 a.m.
You did a nice job with it OTV, and you're getting close to a mature and original style that should get you some better gigs than Rathdrum IGA free stand pull-outs in the Review. Think big, man.
Bob on January 17 at 9:36 a.m.
Dennis, one time while camping, full of the ethereal joy of the forest and fresh air and the freedom of the wilderness, I stood outside my tent in the bright morning air and began singing Stairway to Heaven and as my voice rose to a falsetto hammer of the Gods wail, a raccoon and her little kit, standing on the edge of my campsite watching me cook bacon, fell right over dead. Both of them.
If there's some mustard on your corn row
Don't be too long now,
it's just a twinkling for the gay queen!
Cindy H on January 17 at 9:38 a.m.
Great work OTV. It was chilling, sad and entertaining all at the same time.
I have never Karaoked, but every year my New Year's Resolution is to try at least three new things.
Last year it was X-Country skiing, golf and a Silent Retreat.
Perhaps this year it's time to try Karaoke, Jello shooters and…
Truly on January 17 at 9:45 a.m.
Obviously I so need to get out more:) Truly OTV this was good and I can see it all in my mind - scary as hell:) Almost started having flashbacks oh um I mean ya well …
Sparky on January 17 at 10:42 a.m.
I have never drank enough that getting up in front of crowd of people by myself and sing a popular or known tune has happened. However, if you want to catch my live singing performances, I will be at several local kindergartens leading them in a loud rendition of ring around the rosies. They appreciate me and think that I am the best singer ever….that all I need.
Dennis on January 17 at 10:47 a.m.
I know the feeling Bob. I had similar experience when I tried that. Two grizzlies tried to chew each others ears off!!!! ;-P
KevinTaylor on January 17 at 2:24 p.m.
Wow. I doubt I'll be able to close my eyes tonight lest uraveling body parts and flesh tornadoes haunt my dreams. Great story!
Bob on January 17 at 5:18 p.m.
Unraveling body parts, flesh tornadoes, and your own personal nightmarish image of a *scarred carapace,* Kevin Taylor.
This is like some horrfying HP Lovecraft story!
Escapee on January 17 at 7:00 p.m.
I like Karaoke and I would always try to pick songs no one else knew…like,l for instance, “Don't Bother Me”, which is an old obscure George Harrison-Beatles song…What kind of singer am I? Well, I wish I was better than I know I actually am. I play guitar and record myself occasionally; sometimes I like what I hear and other times, well, YIKES. Ackthptf.
One of my more ill-famed Karaoke performances was one night back in the '90s, when I drank so much beer that even though I could read the words on the Karaoke screen, I couldn't make my mouth actually form the words, so my singing that night sounded something like “flbbb thlfzjeckkk oofaglib urlgthptffff….”
JamesBond on January 17 at 8:02 p.m.
I have two karaoke specialties: (1) Prince's Little Red Corvette; and (2) Looking Glass' Brandy (You're a Fine Girl). I have been able to bring bar patrons to their knees with my ability to belt these songs out in way that redefines the original genres. I can't tell you how many compliments I've received.

Anonymous said...

I am a karaoke singer, also. I enjoyed your article on Mik-N-Mack especially about the weirdo lady. What you may not know, is that the hot spot for karaoke is Rusty's in Hayden. Centered between Gov't Way and Hwy 95, and tucked in just next to the new Holiday Inn Express, is a movin' joint. Karaoke is on Wednesday nights 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. It usually is packed on Wednesdays.

If you give me a heads up as to when you will be there, I'll show up as well. Kim Gittel, an old friend owns the place. He has established many neighborhood markets in the area and has become rather wealthy at this.

Anonymous said...

Hi, fun article about the blanket dancer. Kinda wish I had been there for that one. Patrick your writing is great. So glad you are taking advantage of your talent to write such informative and never boring articles. Also appreciate the quality of the photos you often include.
I expect you are thawing out, Wonder when winter will show up again. It will. It has been almost 70 degrees here this past week. Windows open warm. We do need more rain and snow however, so hope it returns.
Just wanted to say hello and let you know I always read your articles in Get Out North Idaho. Also kudos for the fantastic endeavor of Remember The Roxy. I try to let any one can think of from CDA area about it. It is really a service that I hope you get a lot of credit for it.
Take care of you will see you this summer.

ps. I think I will send you a picture of grandson Jake (Jenny"s). He reminds me of you sometimes. He is enthralled with the vacuum like you used to be. The carpet cleaner sends him over the top. He has the red hair too. He can pitch one as he is very strong willed but he does not compete with the fits you could pitch. However, he has the real potential of getting there. He is only 2yr 4mo.. Have a grand weekend

Misty said...

OMG! I wish I had been there! Are you certain it wasn't somebody from my family?? HA!

Anonymous said...

Wheither or not the person was in the right frame of mind this lady probably embaresd her friends or family members by acting like a child.. Never the less it must have been a great show. Crazy's son Just reminding you that there is a such thing as too much fun at the bar. Lol

Anonymous said...

Some could say that others could say she had enough if only you knew....

Anonymous said...

I for one am pretty sure that you aren't related but no one can be truly certain.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.a night I will never forget.

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