That one time I ruined an Eminem song ...

Do not invite me out to karaoke night. Just don’t. I will probably tell you no. If I do go, it will only be as an observer, not a participant. Why? Simple: I don’t karaoke. For reasons.

In its most basic form, karaoke is designed for people who are terrible at singing but are not aware of their awfulness. I know I am not capable of carrying a tune. As much as I love singing, I’m more of a joyful noise than a pleasant noise. So, I choose to abstain from karaoke. Always.

Well, almost always.

There is a park next to the campgrounds where we camped for the Fourth of July weekend with a bandstand for concerts and other special events. On that Thursday, they hosted a karaoke night; Annie and I took the kids down to enjoy the evening. We told Christian we’d reward him if he sang Katy Perry’s Firework. Lucky for him, the karaoke DJ didn’t have that song. We found an alternative: Missy Elliott’s Work It. He declined. Annie and I offered to pay him $50 to perform it. He still refused. I even said I would sing an equally embarrassing song if he did Work It. Still no.

Then JJ found a song in the DJ’s songbook, and his eyes lit up like fireworks. I made a decision in that moment to defy my normal objections to karaoke. I walked over to the DJ’s booth, wrote my name on a slip of paper with the sing number, returned to our spot in the park and awaited my turn. When my turn came, I stepped on stage, grabbed the microphone, and performed. I even violated rules six and eight of the Rules for Karaoke that are totally made up but actually exist.

Since I am cognizant of my feeble singing skills, I chose a rap song – an Oscar winner. Eminem’s Lose Yourself. And I killed it. Not in a “did an amazing job” kind of way, but more like experiencing a disturbing crime scene from the movie Se7en. Christian told me I ruined the song forever.

So why did I break away from my karaoke-free tradition?

1. JJ really wanted me to do that one song.
2. I wanted to prove to my kids that it’s OK to make a fool of yourself.
3. Christian needed to see me brave enough to do something potentially embarrassing.

Just like that, I participated in karaoke. Just don't ask me to do it again. I'll probably say no. Side note: I didn't hear the cheering. I wasn't aware it happened until I watched the video later.


  1. At one point in this, I swear I heard a Humpty influence.

    1. There will be no humpty dance.