Kentucky Stories and Tips

Week 08 - One Song Too Far! (USA)

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member

Well, another interesting week, although it seems that events this time centred on both drunkenness and freebies!

The actual week was a quiet affair, the highlight was managing to do my girlfriends Birthday and Xmas shopping in just over an hour—not bad going at all. I have to say that I shop like the typical male and normally buy the first thing that I see, although it always happens to be the perfect present(s) I see first. It must just be good luck!

Friday night was an interesting affair, as Lexington was holding something called a 'Gallery Hop', where all the art exhibits and art centres opened their doors for 3 hours allowing people to view all the art at the same time, while offering unlimited free food and drink. Obviously I managed to get my money's worth of both the food and the drink. I did also take in a lot of the art, which I thought was very hit and miss, but I wasn't expecting the variety and quantity on offer for such a small town.

The weekend included more eating and drinking (although no art viewing!!), with a drive to Cincinnati to see a one of my girlfriend's friends and her husband. After trips to the aquarium, a traditional German bar (including table dancing and litre glasses of beer), a pool hall and a bowling complex, it was decided that we would end the night doing some karaoke at a local bar. Having never done karaoke before, I wasn't too thrilled at the idea, but after arriving and seeing bottles of beer were only $1 each, it didn't take long to be convinced of breaking my karaoke virginity! I suppose I really should have chosen a better first song than Grease's Summer Loving, which I sang as a duet with my girlfriend's friend, but as it was well received, I thought a solo rendition of The Beatles Let it Be was in order. Even through my horrendous singing abilities I somehow managed to go down well, but I should have left it at this and walked away while the going was good. Unfortunately I thought I could sing anything with my English accent and have the crowd hanging off my every word, but I couldn't have been further from the truth as I found out when I chose Morrissey's, First of the Gang to Die as my next song. It was definitely one song too far!!

Not only did I lose the background singing from the crowd, but one redneck in the front row (and I only use this term, as he was the epitome of a stereotypical redneck!) started to freak out and go mental as he didn't know any of the words! I can say it was one of the worst 4 minute periods of my life—I have never felt so alone. I don't know if my singing was a direct cause of the events that happened moments after I finished, but as I sat back down a guy sitting next to us decided to punch his 55-year-old father in the face. Obviously he wasn't too happy about this fact, and neither were the rest of the 15 strong family members present, and in the space of a few seconds a full on brawl had developed. I found this highly entertaining although my drunken shouts of 'keep it down, keep it down, I'm a local, I'm a local' fell on deaf ears and it was only through the brave interruption by one of the bar girls that stopped it spiraling completely out of control. Once these had all been thrown out to continue there brawling in the parking lot, I redeemed part of my karaoke humiliation by singing Take Me Out, by Franz Ferdianand with my new best American friend Jeff, which even had a couple of ladies coming to the front to dance along to! I thought this would be a perfect time to call a swift retirement to my karaoke career (for the time being!). I'm sure my girlfriend is more than happy with this decision!!

Other than that, I have also accepted a job (although a months pay wouldn't even pay for a night out in London!) for next August, as a core teacher in the Ecuadorian town of Lasso. This will be for a period of one year. I wasn't expecting to get a job sorted for my South American travels so quickly, but this seems perfect, as they also have a vacancy at their day care centre, where my girlfriend is going to work. There may also be the chance of helping out in the local community on food security issues as well, which would be very useful work experience wise for future jobs I would be interested in. The one problem with this opportunity, is that it's a month later than I was hoping for starting work, but all this means is that we will travel through South America before going to Ecuador rather than the other way round! I'm already getting excited!!!!

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