Hasn’t this been done before? (Singing South Dakota, #6)

The singing didn’t start until 10, which is late for an old bird like me (especially for a school night!). I got to Billy Froggs over an hour early to keep up my momentum. There, I met up with my friend’s nephew and his girlfriend on their second year dating anniversary. Sweet of them to share this time with me.The place was already full of 20 something, many of the women dressed to go out. Men, as has been my experience, put less effort into their look: The unkempt beard/ball cap/t-shirt look is alive and well here as it is in Portland. For all I know they worked hard and were more thoughtful in putting their look together than I give them credit for. The women, however, look completely different than they do back home. Lots of cleavage, short jean shorts, and skimpy floral dresses. Ball caps on the women, too. Enough neon colors to make me wonder whether or not the 80s have come back (have they?).

Much of the crowd is pretty drunk already and continues to progress down that path. The whole scene seems oddly familiar to me, but less from experience than from what I would expect if I watched a movie that featured a karaoke bar. Or a frat party. A woman in a bright orange-billed cap declared the bartender “the best human ever” for placing a lime in her drink. I felt sorry for such low expectations.

Every night here is two-fer, so ordering one beer means double-fisting for the night. I order one, and therefore get two, shandys. I feel like I crashed a college party, which is only further emphasized when a clean-cut dude gets up to sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in the style from the movie Old School, complete with profanity. He only has one beer in hand.

I knew enough to put my song in early and was called up to sing “Working for the Weekend” soon enough. The crowd was into the singing and appreciative, but it wasn’t my scene. Part of me wanted to leave, but I wasn’t done people watching, and my company was great. We talked about sports, dogs, and the differences between the US and Canada. So, I put in a second song not knowing if it would come up in time or not.

Great company, even if I was out of my element.

The stereotypical nature of the night continued as song choices included “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Picture,” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” A fight between two of the really drunk women broke out outside in the smoking area. I’m about to leave when they call my name and I get up to sing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” I can be stereotypical, too.

The basics:

  • Location: Billy Froggs, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Miles traveled: 290 (I took a more scenic route)
  • Songs sung: Working for the Weekend (Loverboy); Hit Me with Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar).
Off the beaten path.