In many places I’ve been so far, there’s been the bar drunk. Sometimes this person is a regular, sometimes not. Sometimes the person is sort of just slumped in the corner when I arrive (and often that person leaves when the singing starts) and, well, sometimes that person tries to sing.
In Portland, Maine, that person was a guy wearing a Tom Brady jersey. He was also wearing a sling, and I’m sure the beers he was drinking helped wash down some pain killers as well. He spent most of the night wandering around aimlessly, but then he eventually stumbled up to the KJ and put in a song. When it was his turn, he grabbed the mic and stared out into the crowd (there was a quite a large crowd for a Monday night), swaying to the beat, or perhaps just in general. The words he was supposed to sing started scrolling by as his mouth hung open. Occasionally he would try to mumble some words.
Then a woman from the bar, more than a bit tipsy herself, grabbed the mic and did her best to complete the song. She sang words which matched the beat; sometimes those words were the lyrics. The Tom Brady fan stood next to her and sang into his hand. I’m not sure he realized what was going on, and he didn’t seem to mind the takeover.
I did a brief search of my blog entries so far and only found one other time I mentioned someone specifically, and another where I talk about a general group of singers, but those women don’t represent what I’m writing about here, as they were highly functional, just having a good time. Before, I’ve seen a woman on drugs try to sing Elvis’ Don’t Be Cruel in Helena. I’ve seen a woman fall down during her rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart, and hand back the mic to the KJ in the middle of the song as her boyfriend helped her up and off the stage in Nebraska. The former was, according to the bartender, a regular and “harmless;” I found out when the KJ expressed concern about what to do with her. I asked the KJ in Nebraska about the second woman and he said he had never seen her before, and felt really bad about the situation – he isn’t really sure what to do when that happens. The guy in Wisconsin was a regular and the drunken inability to sing Elton John is a weekly event, accepted as just part of the general scene there.
There seems to be no one way to deal when the town drunk starts to sing, but for sure it will happen again in my past and future.
- Location: Old Port Tavern: Portland, ME (the other/original Portland!!)
- Miles traveled: 129
- Sings sung: Call Me (Blondie), I Want Your Sex (George Michael)