A lot of people follow astrology, numerology, runes, bones, or the grounds at the bottom of a coffee cup. Some say your name’s meaning is your blessing and your curse. Other folks believe that the Number One song on the charts (US/UK) on the day you were born determines your destiny.
On January 11, 1976, the number one song on the US Billboard charts was Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs.” Cheesetacular as it is, I’d say that’s a pretty damn musically apt description of the path I took in life. Lord knows I write stuff that makes girls cry — it was my original mark of excellence, dontcha know. Every time my mother read something of mine and cried, I knew it was good.
On January 11, 1976, the number one song in the UK was Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Which is just friggin’ awesome.
I had one request on my birthday Skate Night (other than Tracy’s monkey bread in lieu of cake), and that was for them to play “Bohemian Rhapsody” in my honor. Mike, the DJ, promised me he would. But we ended up pooping out and leaving early (three hours of skating is a lot of skating) — turns out he had planned it to be the special, very last song of the night, and I went and ruined it. I gave Mike some monkey bread anyway, and assured him there were no hard feelings. Much. (The other Sk8er Girls were madder than I was.)
So there I was at Millennicon, two months later, and John Scalzi is Double-Dog-Daring us all to sing karaoke way past our bedtimes on Saturday night. To raise the bar, he jumped right out there and tackled the first song with zero hesitation whatsoever. Ramon, our lovely DJ that night, followed him, because everybody was sober and nobody was quite sure what to do with themselves. Tim Waggoner had been teasing me all day about singing a duet with him…but we all know how awesomely craptastically nervewracking my first-and-only karaoke-esque experience to date turned out. I was more than a little apprehensive about the whole idea.
This was also a non-traditional karaoke setting — at the high school reunion Casey & I had a live back-up band; Ramon didn’t even have lyrics. (Which turned out to be okay, because most people have cool tekkie phones). And the songs he played for us were the original songs, with the original lead singer, so it was less like karaoke and more like what we all do in the car on the way to work every day. I had done it myself for five hours just that Friday, so I’d certainly had enough practice.
I glanced at the two pages of songs to pick from, but my nerves made me a bit blind, so I passed the sheet along to Anne and Mary and Cheryl. I joined the crowd and sang along with Ramon and Scalzi and didn’t think much of it. If I didn’t get up in front of everybody and sing, no one would hold it against me.
And then, as Ramon’s song came to a close, Anne leaned over and said, “Come on!” She and Mary and Cheryl all jumped to their feet. “We’re going to do Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The nervous was instantly gone. Are you kidding? I didn’t even want to say no.
Somewhere out there on the interwebs is a picture of us girls all posing before we sang — if you find it, please let me know. If you’re brave enough, you can even watch a few YouTube videos from that night. It was two hours of energy, laughter, and insanity, including a massive “Time Warp” dance at midnight.
The pictures and the video don’t do it justice, though. You really did just have to be there. I’m so glad I was.
Monday, on the way home from work, JACK fm played “Bohemian Rhapsody” in its entirety, and I remembered just how awesome I’m capable of being. Barry Manilow may be my inevitable destiny, but my theme song is definitely Queen.
Fitting for a princess, don’t you agree?
Mary & Lee, Rhapsodizing Bohemianly
Time Warp or Snoopy Dance? You decide.
(pictures appropriated from Hugh Staples.)
[Tomorrow’s Entry: The Pumpkin Predicament]