Spare Me, Celine

The world needs a lot more singers who suck

Customers: Heather, a blond in an electric-green top, and her skinny, dark-haired friend Darcy requested a song by David Allan Coe — so after singing along with them to "You Never Even Call Me By My Name" (they didn't compete in the bad singing contest, but probably would have fared decently), I moseyed over to their table. Heather was scribbling a drunken signature on her credit card receipt when a dark-haired waitress, clad in sexy black polka-dot shorts, slid another drink in front of her.

"I've already closed my tab," Heather said, goggling at the waitress.

"This drink is on your tab," the waitress said, leaning down and dispensing an eyeful of cleavage.

"But I'd already closed my tab before you brought me that drink," Heather insisted.

"I know, but you ordered it before you closed out... You've already paid for it."

Heather stared at the drink, which had a cherry in it. It looked fruity and very alcoholic. "I guess I'll just open a new tab to pay for this one drink."

The waitress looked wildly at me. "Could you please explain to her?"

I picked up the check and waved it in Heather's face. "You bought that drink," I said slowly, "before you closed your tab. So that drink... is on this tab."

"Ohhhh," Heather punctuated that thought by taking a big sip of her drink but somehow ended up with a stream of it trickling down her leg.

After Heather and Darcy left, I figured I should wait long enough to ensure my car wouldn't cross paths with either one of them who might be driving. I noticed Harry and his compatriots getting ready to leave.

"Congratulations, you suck at singing," I said. "Are you really 12?"

"I'm 16," he said defiantly.

"And where'd you get that bra?" I pointed to an off-white bra lying on their table, freshly plucked from the ceiling.

"Oh, um, it's mine," he said.

If anything, I learned it pays to suck, and sucky singing creates an environment pretty conducive to getting shitfaced. Good singers demand an audience — but bad singers don't mind performing for a drunken mob. The world has enough Celine Dions — but don't we need more William Hungs?

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