I love Halloween. I love karaoke. So, when I heard the two were joining forces as “scaraoke” at Kirk's Sports Grill after downtown Mesa's Second Friday in October, I was excited to see the result. According to Second Friday's Facebook, the deal was simple: Come to Kirk's in costume, get discounts on food and drinks. Oh, I love food and drinks, too.
With just that much encouragement, my girlfriend donned her sexy witch costume, and my buddy Ian gathered his gaudiest clothing possible to pull off a believable porn star (er, no pun intended). I dressed in my mother's old full body pumpkin costume, which is exactly as Oedipal as it sounds. The three of us were Halloween incarnate, and we excitedly entered Kirk's to join others presumably as enraptured by the spirit of the season as we were.
Turns out, “enraptured” is the wrong word, unless “biker” is the most popular Halloween costume this year.
Yes, we were the only ones in costume, but, undaunted, the witch, the pumpkin, and the porn star took a table and signed up to sing as readily as the rest of 'em. At that point, we had to. Fortunately, Kirk's is as open-minded and accepting as any other sports bar on Main Street in downtown Mesa. The crowd, with its wide age range and surprisingly even male/female ratio, sang along to my stirring rendition of “Piano Man,” at least until I obnoxiously slurred the classic chorus into, “Make us a pie, you're the Pumpkin Man . . .!”
Kirk's prices are probably the best in town; a pitcher of Amber Bock cost us five bucks, so ten bucks kept our glasses full for hours. Further, the karaoke jockey is a gracious host, and while I usually loathe k.j.s that invite themselves into a duet (this is MY fifteen minutes of fame, dammit!), his contributions were more supportive than selfish. Ian forgot to put his name on his song submission, which theoretically shouldn't have been a problem considering his distinguished porn star garb, but when we realized what was taking so long the k.j. quickly compensated, and my buddy's impression of Freddie Mercury was soon complete.
Granted, dressed as a pumpkin, I had a unique experience that probably doesn't reflect a regular Friday night at Kirk's Sports Grill. My girlfriend was afraid I'd get beaten up, but my theory stood true: Who's the bigger wuss, the guy dressed as the pumpkin, or the guy that picks on the guy dressed as the pumpkin? That I walked out of Kirk's safely, with a memorable night of karaoke to boot, definitely put a smile on this Jack O'Lantern's face.