I played the real guitar for a couple of years, but when I realized how much effort I had put in and how few screaming female fans I had, I gave up.
Enter Rock Band. A brilliant way to dumb down even the hardest of songs into a far less complicated series of notes to bang on the drums, press on the plastic guitar, or even to sing into the microphone. As someone who has grown up as a big classic rock fan, I usually play classic rock songs, but sometimes I throw in some other genres.
Enter my cousin, Eric. This dashing young gentleman you see below is the one who so kindly introduced me to the instantly classic “Rick-roll.” For those of you who do not know, a Rick-roll occurs when you sit down to watch the latest hilarious cat video or something of the sort, and partway through the video, your viewing pleasure is interrupted by the one and only Rick Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up.” While I do apologize for getting this tune stuck in your heads for the next few weeks, I think you will forgive me in just a few paragraphs.
The original Rick-roller.
It is Wednesday night at around 9:45 PM, and I am absolutely exhausted from working, and the thought of waking up early again the next day to go have another piece of my soul sucked out my body by corporate America. I have my mom make me a nice bowl of angel-hair pasta, with some red sauce and a salad. A tall glass of pretty good water rounds off this delectable meal.
My phone lights up. Ahhhh! Perhaps one of my highly-underrated Tweets or Facebook comments has received a Like, I think to myself. Alas, it is just a few of my friends inviting me out to go to a sushi bar that does karaoke. Ugh, people and activities. Just a few of my least favorite things.
I make this abundantly clear in my text messages back, but nobody cares about my life/happiness/lack of sleep, so, as usual, I am peer-pressured into going. Isn’t it funny how the nights when you don’t want to do anything at all and end up doing stuff anyway usually make the best stories?
So I’m cruising in my Volvo with no one but a few dead bees for company. I spend the car ride thinking about how badly I need to vacuum my car and what song I could possibly sing at this karaoke bar. I immediately decide against going with something gangster because I am very much aware of just how white I am. I consider singing a little classic rock, but realize that no one would enjoy listening to me fail to replicate the glory of Eddie Van Halen’s voice.
I enter the restaurant and head to the back room where the bar is. I say hello to my friends, sit down, and am told that no one from our group has gone up to sing in the past hour they have been sitting there. Wonderful. Just fucking magnificent. Now, the pressure’s on me, the “new guy” to get up there and entertain all of these drunken fools like some sort of gladiator with a way-too-bright-green t-shirt instead of armor and a microphone instead of a trident and that cool net gladiators used.
I grab the song book and begin to peruse the bar’s selection. I wish I was 21, because there’s nothing like a little liquid confidence to make yourself oblivious to the fact that you’re embarrassing yourself and your entire family lineage.
After dozens of pages, and hundreds of songs, I find it. The perfect song. The ideal blend of humor and straight-up sexiness. A smile spreads across my face as I realize what a unicorn of a karaoke song I have found.
The song, of course, is by our good friend, Rick Astley. “Never Gonna Give You Up” has foiled so many of my YouTube video-watching sprees, I have the entire song memorized. On a side-note, I was also required to serenade a particular young woman with this song as part of a particular process that I will say nothing more about.
I write down the song’s name and my own on a little slip of paper, and place it in front of the DJ’s. He looks down, reads it, and smiles.This man has obviously either been Rick-rolled several times before, or was just reminded of a romantic evening with a lady friend, a few wine coolers, low standards, and Rick Astley on the radio. This is a good sign.
After a few minutes of waiting, I hear my name called. “Yaaaayyyyy, Adam!” A few of my friends cry as we all stand up to move to the front. I feel like some sort of celebrity. Maybe the requisite sex scandal and ridiculously large contract would follow immediately after my Rick Astley impersonation in a sushi bar with eighteen people in it.
I usually don’t brag unless I want to feel good about making someone feel awful about themselves, but I need to say that I fucking murdered that song. I was on an Olympic team from the country of Adam, and I won every single goddamn medal there was to win in exactly three minutes and thirty-three seconds.
As I lowered my voice to match that of Rick’s, I couldn’t help but notice two ladies who appeared to be in their mid-thirties miming dance moves for me while they laughed. Being the good-natured, fun-loving person I am, I obliged their incessant requests to “Grab [my] crotch!” among other things that I do not remember as well as the crotch-grab. They ate that shit right up.
My friends congratulated me on a job well done, but I was saddened by the fact that this was the best thing to happen to me since I found a heads-up penny weeks before. As I was headed back to our table, I felt someone kind of tap my back, and saw a woman turn around right as I did the same. I thought nothing of it.
Later on in the night, one of our other friends got up to go sing some Miley Cyrus with some of her friends. I was in the back of the group, and as I was walking, a friend of the “Tapper” as I will call the previously-mentioned girl said something to me.
“What?” I asked, unsure of what she had just said. She had kind of a mean face, and I thought she might have been making fun of me. I quickly prepared a verbal assault in retaliation.
“You were really good up there,” She said. Oh. Guess I better save that soul-crushing retort, then.
“Thanks,” I replied, “I appreciate it!” A very normal, very nice compliment for one Rick Astley enthusiast to hand out to another, right? That’s what I thought too. Until she said this:
“Yeah, you made me absolutely sopping wet with that performance.”
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK DID SHE JUST SAY? DID I JUST HEAR ANOTHER PERSON USE ‘SOPPING’ IN A SENTENCE?
I couldn’t believe my now bright-red ears. “Um, haha, thanks,” I stammered, looking for an exit. I can honestly say that I have never been left more confused in my entire life. She was not my type- especially now that I knew that she was apparently SOPPING WET. I turned to go tell all of my friends exactly what just happened, when I was blocked by Ms. Sopping’s friend, the Tapper.
“HEY, YEAH,” Tapper screamed over the music. “I HAD TO HOLD A BUCKET AND COLLECT IT ALL.”
Then, and I shit you not, the Tapper proceeded to mime holding a bucket under her friend’s vagina and collecting all of the sopping. She even pretended like it was splashing up out of the bucket and into her face.
If you are very queasy right now, I know exactly how you feel. I almost puked all over the two sopping creatures in front of me, but was too shocked for my stomach to properly transform my angel-hair pasta into a vomit projectile.
I looked around for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from behind the bar and tell me I had just been Punk!d, but this was apparently real life, and not a fucked-up dream or show on MTV.
I said absolutely nothing to the Tapper and Ms. Sopping, and rejoined my friends, utterly speechless. I felt as though I had witnessed a brutal triple homicide involving a family of raccoons and a rage-fueled moose. If someone had asked me what my name was, I honestly don’t think I would have been able to answer them.
In any case, I spent the rest of the night with my friends, trying to forget all about how I was almost just drowned in a sushi bar by some sopping girl with no shame.
At one point, I went up to the bartender and told him to put down one of those “CAUTION: WET FLOOR” signs next to her, but he didn’t get my joke. Nobody ever does.
God bless you all, and have yourselves a sopping-wet day.