Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Karaoke Chronicles: The Tenth Night of Russmas (or The Legend of Sherwood Inn)

The Tenth Night of Russmas requires a prologue. Back in June, Eric was in town, and he, our friend John, and I sought to rekindle old times by singing karaoke at Linbrook Bowling Alley's Kopa Room. At the same time, we sought something different, a new memory to cherish, so assuming Linbrook was still plagued by busy Saturday nights and thus a snail's pace rotation, we opted for the mysterious Sherwood Inn just a block or so down. Like Robin Hood and his merry men, Sherwood was destined to be a stretch of unexplored terrain rife with unexpected adventure for us, as well -- and come to think of it, Robin and I both had guys named John with us, too! And we both robbed from the rich -- ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, Eric, John, and I stroll into Sherwood, discovering a karaoke night, to our delight. When we saddled up at the bar, we quickly realized that we were the youngest guys in the room, in a room full of only guys, except the bartenders, one of whom was on us immediately. Now, when I say "on" us, I mean quite literally, as she, an older Asian woman, nearly sat on my lap. All of the bartenders were older Asian women, in their forties or fifties I presume, and all as scantily clad as can be. The only white server, a surprisingly fit woman named Angela, was hoola-hooping to some old-timer's crooning, when our lap-happy hostess asked us, "Are you guys singing tonight?" John was fast to reply, pointing at me, of course, "Oh, yeah, this guy's great! Wait 'til you hear him!"

"Oh, yeah! You sing good song, you get free drink!" she blurted. Excited at the prospect of a free brew, we were excited . . . and definitely could not have anticipated what happened in the next few moments. Our hostess suddenly pulled aside the top of her dress, exposing her full breast, and shouted, "Who want free milk?!" Unbelievable, hilarious, but in no way tempting, as (1.) I imagine many an old trucker taking her up on that offer, and (2.) I bet that milk is curdled. You have to consider the source, is all I'm sayin'.

To commemorate the night, Eric and I wanted to swipe something from the bar, an old tradition of ours tracing back to the days we crashed strangers' house parties, a harmless misdemeanor, at best (I hope). So, glancing around the room, we found an out-of-place Tweety Bird poster, framed, to boot. The Warner Brothers birdie hangs over my toilet to this day, because, although thankfully we didn't I'm sure we could've very easily seen a puddy tat that night.

So, six months later, John and I actually willingly bring our significant others to this place, this Sherwood Inn, because we're chivalrous. Robin Hood brought Maid Marian to his Sherwood hideaway, so who are we to deny our ladies the same pleasure? Surely, the joint didn't disappoint -- as divey as ever, our waitress wiped the top of our beer bottles before serving them, making us wonder where the brews had been. Again, the youngest people in the place, we were hounded by fellow patrons and servers alike; sometimes our ladies entertained comments on their beauty (not by any sleazeballs, mind, but the old Asian waitresses!), other times we engaged in conversations about Vietnam and hip surgery with an enthusiastic old-timer. Angela hoola-hooped, albeit briefly, and Mary picked up some of the slack during her performance of the Go-Go's classic "We Got the Beat."

(Wait . . . Mary . . . Maid Marian . . . the parallels are vivid!)

Without fail, we saw a breast. No offer of milk, though -- just a token of thanks for our two dollar tip. "One for each titty!" the waitress squealed. No wonder her manta for the night was the country tune "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw." Seemed like she took care of the first part easily herself. Meanwhile, John sang a Counting Crows favorite, "A Long December," changing a line to say, "One more night in Sherwood." Love it. I got in four sweet ditties:

"The Authority Song" -- John Mellancamp
"Livin' On A Prayer" -- Bon Jovi
"The Best I Ever Had" -- Vertical Horizon
"I'm an A$$hole" -- Dennis Leary

Yes, by night ten, I reserve the right to recycle some favorites -- including the venue. The Sherwood Inn is a gem in Orange County, a place, like its namesake, where even the most noble deeds are accomplished and shrouded through shady means. It's perpetually decorated for a birthday party, and everyone leaves that joint rich -- with a story you couldn't have anticipated, which in turn begs a nagging question that demands an answer as cyclical as the hoola-hoop around Ang's waist.

"So, would you go back there?"

"Sure would!"


johnny_justice said...

The Sherwood is best summed up by the first words out of Russ' mouth in greeting: "It smells like a stale fart in here".

That being said, who hasn't had a blast when they cut loose and threw caution to the wind? Sometimes, all you need to have a real gas is a musty old bar full of people singing tunes and playing ass-music.

KaraokeFanboy said...

I was trying to FORGET the smell in that place; we can only hope it was as INNOCENT as a fart. Good thing I'm not quick to judge others -- that, to such offenses, I turn the other cheek.