Alex Stephenson What the fuck, karaoke!?

Karaoke rooms terrify me. I always feel like I’m in some version of the Saw movies, mostly because those video screens tend to exclusively play Korean terrorist messages to CNN. When your friends are singing along to Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), the video will cut between people on a white water rafting excursion and a group of children playing at a water park. When they’re singing along to Don’t Stop Believin’ (and they always do), there’s a video of some woman riding a bike in the snow until she explodes for no fucking reason. There are no reasons for these confusing acts of voyeurism and violence, but this is what karaoke rooms are. I’m not crying in a corner because you’re singing Journey again (well, kind of), I’m crying in a corner because I always feel like I’m just about to die.

I don’t know when karaoke rooms became popular in my neck of the woods, but they did, and I hate this trend. It’s those Adidas tearaways all over again. Lost in Translation made it seem kind of fun, but that’s maybe because that movie always told me I would get to sing Roxy Music for Scarlett Johansson, not fucking Whitesnake for friends I’ve known for a decade.

And Bill ghostbustin’ ass Murray never told me that I would have to watch a video of some Korean gang war while my friends drunkenly belted and belched in my direction. Sometimes you’ll get a welcome respite through a shitty tape dub of a music video off television (according to the karaoke room I was at last night, VH1 says Lose Yourself is the fourth greatest song of the 2000s), but even that will turn into weird cutaway shots of Carson Daly before you get to the third verse anyway.

I suppose I should be happy my friends are venturing out from a pot smoke-filled basement and into some other tiny room filled with smoke. Except a karaoke room is kind of the same thing, but minus the Xbox. That being said, the looks on the faces of the servers as they come in to drop off Alexander Keith’s while a 25 year old is dry humping a couch while singing a Kelly Clarkson song are priceless. Maybe I’ll just make sure we turn off those weird, creepy monitors next time.

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