Monday, September 20, 2010

My Night Out

I went to a local bar last night because it was karaoke night and my brother was singing. I was probably the oldest person there. Most of the crowd was "Generation X," with a few younguns in the generation after that, the Millennial generation.

I noticed that many of the people, including me, were overweight. America is a chubby nation. Capitalism has made food so plentiful and cheap that without regular exercise and some discipline on what you stuff into your piehole, you'll get fat. You can't eat cheeseburgers, burritos and pizza every day and stay slim. It's a real problem for some of us. I hope I don't sound whiny, but there are Jack In the Boxes and Del Tacos and so on everywhere. I mean, everywhere you turn -- temptation!

Of course, the problem is not capitalism -- it's that people must pay more attention to diet and exercise. No, we don't need Obama to come up with some ghastly agency to monitor what people eat. Free individuals need to find a free solution. And there is only one solution, the only solution there has ever been: consume fewer calories than you use over a long period of time.

It was a fun evening listening, with a few notable exceptions, to amateurs butcher songs. I'll never be able to listen to Led Zeppelin's "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" again without thinking of one fellow's, er, exuberant performance.

I bought a Hanger 24 Orange Wheat beer and a shot of Jameson's, $11. I gave a $4 tip, which will send shivers of dread through Inspector and Gus Van Horn, anti-tippers both. Then I had another round. The total of two beers and two shots cost me 30 bucks. Yes, I thought the obvious when I got home: I could have bought a bottle of Jameson's and a case of beer for that much. But then I would have sat at home in my lonely living room with my three cats watching me as I drank too much.

By the way, I heard on the radio that any single man who owns more than one cat is creepy. I guess I'm creepy.

I also heard or read someplace one of these relationship experts say that men should only drink scotch. Is that not idiotic? Apparently to this woman if a man drinks vodka or Kentucky bourbon or tequila -- or even beer and Jameson's -- that's a deal breaker.

Also by the way, the word creepy is a current fad. I pay attention to these little catch phrases and words that become popular because I want to keep them out of my fiction. Current offenders are creepy and How's that working out for you or some variant. Rule of thumb: if you hear any catch phrase in a commercial, it's a cliche. Mises wrote in Human Action, as I recall, that advertising is for informing the slowest among us about a product. Don't let the stuff you hear in ads near your fiction.

If you're wondering, no I did not sing. It would take more than two beers and two shots of Irish Whiskey to make me sing, copper. I know that if I did sing, I would be as awful as most of the howling I heard last night. Yes, the point of karaoke is not to be good but to have fun. Being a drunken fool in front of an audience is not my idea of fun. Call me a stick in the mud. But I can watch others be a fool... for about as long as it takes to drink two beers and two shots. Then I've had enough. Then I start thinking, "Hm, I could be at home right now reading David Harriman's The Logical Leap..."

I've never been a real party animal.