Karaoke Oakley

Waitressing at a popular Irish corner Pubb, Kim often got to wait on a particular Monday night group that fequented the bar. Ten-cent Monday night wings always brought in the guys after a game of softball. Although being part of a particularly younger age group, they seemed to know 70’s rock music pretty well. About half way during a pitcher of beer, one of the fellas always whipped out an acoustic guitar. Without hesitation or permission, he usuallly opened with “American Pie”. The mood was often half- buzzed, with a few after work patrons hanging around before going home. Maybe there were usually about 20 customers, but many of them hung out on Monday nights, just to observe the lively group of players. It wouldn’t even take the first few notes, and a few people would start singing the song with the amateur musician. Just because we all know the words. It was intersting to watch this youngin’ know all the words by heart, for he did obviously not grow up in the 70’s. More like he was probably born in the 70’s.
The waitresses usually started the “show” by humming along to wake themselves up from the long shift of hustling food and drinks back and forth to the tables. Then the girls would get louder. In particular, the popular and seemingly reserved waitress would often suddenly come alive and raise the volume of the singing. They called her Karaoke Oakley. And was she as fiery as that red hair! This is the perfect show of someone who lives and thinks “outside the box”. No manager ever stopped her; ;they could see happiness in her eyes and patrons joining in.
This Monday night ritual was never advertised, no signs on college town poles, or radio snippets. Just the locals coming in to gather and ending up leaving happy, laryngitic, and warm from a cheerful toast of their glasses. They all understood that each was finding comfort in their surroundings. The atmosphere was that of a cover of a Harry Chapin album, but the feeling was that of a cowboy saloon. Karaoke Oakley really gets them roused!

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