On Monday a co-worker at my school died after a long, valiant fight with brain cancer. I will not be able to attend his life celebration this afternoon, or his memorial service tomorrow due some family scheduling problems. So I thought that I would honor his memory with a story about Mr. Quinn that I will always treasure.
Warning- if you are easily offended you should stop reading now and visit these cute little puppies instead.
I have known Mr. Quinn for a long time, about 18 years. Throughout all that time, one incident stands out above all the others- the day he introduced me to Karaoke Roulette.
Karaoke Roulette is the name I came up with for a game that you can play with or without your friends' knowledge. You usually just need a Karaoke machine, a group of friends, some alcohol, and a variety of songs.
For the longest time, my school used to have end of the year parties. One year an assistant principal let use her house way out in Pungo, which is a place in Virginia Beach that is basically a farming area. Houses are spread out with fields in between and you can get a little loud, if you are into that.
This particular year we had a tent set up with food, a volleyball court, and a DJ that had a Karaoke machine. If you can imagine, after a few hours at the cookout people started to get a little loose.
Then it was Karaoke time. Karaoke always begins with one or two brave people who think they can sing, and then everyone else realizes that it is ok to try because no one else can really sing either. People began to enjoy themselves and roll with it.
This was when Mr. Quinn made his move. Karaoke DJs always pass around the big notebooks full of songs and slips of paper. If you want a song, you write down the number of the song and your name. No one ever says you can’t pick songs for other people. Mr. Quinn picked out a song and wrote my name down.
It is at this time that I am feeling pretty good, standing off to the side running my mouth about something stupid (I am guessing because that is what I usually do at parties) when the DJ announces it is my turn to come up and sing. This threw me into confusion because I knew that I did not put my name in to sing anything.
I protest but the crowd is ignoring me and pushing me up to the microphone. Suddenly, I find myself in front of the monitor when the title and artist rolls across the screen, Big Balls, by ACDC (youtube). Of course this cracked me up, and I look over and Mr. Quinn is rolling around in his beach chair laughing. I know I have been had. No matter what I do at this point I look like an idiot. If I sing the song I will I look stupid, or I can refuse and look like a party pooper.
Never being one to back down from a challenge, I sang my song proudly- "I've got the biggest balls of them all!" -in front of my assistant principals and the rest of the staff that were still hanging out at the party. Luckily, people have short memories when everyone is misbehaving, and the incident was forgotten by everyone- but me.