Posts Tagged ‘irony’

Topeka, Kansas (API) Karaoke night was almost ruined Friday as two revelers in the local karaoke bar The Rubber Hose chose a song from Broadway musical “Avenue Q” for the night’s 11th number, a choice that sent many of the bar’s patron’s into befuddlement, grousing and ultimately acts of violence.

The two singers, Liz Miller and Melissa Snow, chose the song from the hit Broadway parody of Sesame Street because they had seen it on a recent trip to New York, but the number nearly brought the festivities to a screeching halt when several of the flummoxed patrons stood dead silent.

“I don’t know what those girls were singing,” said Ross McAdams, a middle manager at a nearby natural gas refining plant. “I was just coming off feeling real good about my “Hotel California” vocal and then these two girls come up with this shit.”

What made it worse, said local tax attorney Florence Halberstadt, is that the two girls picked a song called “Schadenfreude,” a word many of the patrons were unfamiliar with.

“I just don’t get what those two girls are singing,” said Halberstadt. “I came here to have fun. If I knew this was going to turn into some German song night I would have stayed home.”

“I don’t get it,” said Ed Chalmers, a plumber. “Are those two making fun of us?”

The crowd became increasingly pouty and dejected as the lyrics scrolled across the screen. Even though the song offers much helpful explication of the word “Schaudenfreude,” mainly through humorous contexts, the wit was largely lost on the crowd, many of whom turned angry and sour.

“It’s my birthday,” said Holly Knoxall, a local gym teacher. “It’s totally ruined now, all because a couple of no-goodniks think they’re better than we are.”

A winner of several Tony Awards, Avenue Q uses parodies of several Sesame Street characters to address mature themes like adult sexuality, racism and intolerance, mostly by having its characters espouse extreme viewpoints at odds with those of the artist’s true feelings.

“Specifically it’s called ‘irony,’” Liz Miller said to the crowd. “Get a clue, jerk-offs!”

But yet again, tackling of subject matter by having a character embrace the very viewpoint being satirized was something poorly understood by the crowd, many of whom were drinking Rolling Rock and smoking Camels and singing mostly songs by the Beach Boys, the Eagles and U2 and many of whom showed they were in absolutely no mood to be made to feel inferior.

“These two little ho bags are pissing me off,” said Harold Osprey, who ended the night yelling at his girlfriend and telling her, “Get in the car, bitch. If I stay, somebody’s going to get hurt.”

Having almost ended one of the song’s signature lines, “Fuck you lady, that’s what stairs are for,” Miller and Snow hoped the song might finally inspire a few belly laughs, but by that point, several of the patrons had started pushing each other at the bar and were no longer in any mood to laugh. Instead, it seemed blood sport would be the night’s game, and as the lone karaoke machine played “Schadenfreude, making the world a better place …” the atmosphere in the bar finally descended into shouts, flying beer bottles and fire.

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