“Hey there, amigo!”
“Did you just say ‘Hey there, amigo?’ You were joking right?”
“Well, the lyrics are ‘Hey, where did we go.’ ”
This funny exchange actually happened my senior year of high school. A friend and I were car karaoking on the way to a get together and he belted out what he thought was the first line of “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison. I decided to let him know in the only way a friend could (razzing him and leaving him slightly embarrassed) that he was mistaken. We never car karaoke’d again.
Although the moment is one I like to think about when diving back to my high school days and thinking about how close-knit our large group of friends were, it might be one of the few times that I wasn’t on the receiving end. I tend to sing out loud (I know that I don’t have a particularly amazing voice, but I did have a solo in freshmen choir) and not really care what people think. This usually leaves me fumbling over words on occasion, or being in the odd predicament where I thought the lyrics were one thing and they actually were another.
I have been called out a couple of times and other times, when looking up the lyrics online, I discover that I have been making a slight error for several years. It usually leaves me a little red in the face and stops my singing for a time. Although I don’t like looking like a fool, I do appreciate knowledge (especially the unuseful-unless-on-“Jeopardy” kind) to fix the error.
But on the flip side, there has been times that people actually (yes, really) want me to sing. I can remember several road trips with football coaches where they asked me to rap out the lyrics to a song because I knew them front to back. They would badger me to death to get me to do the song and I had to restrain myself from wanting to sing the lyrics a few times just because I was trying to focus on other things.
The thing I take out of each experience like this is that flubbing up or making a mistake are temporary (unless you are dealing with explosives. I have no answer for that) and will not have long lasting effects. Feeling embarassment will go away and things will get back to normal. Those around you are willing to give you a second, third, 12th chance (unless you are apart of that above scenario).
In the story from the beginning of the column, I don’t believe I mentioned it to any of our friends and there is nothing about that story that would clearly identify who I am talking about. It is a moment that both of us can go back and laugh at. That is what friends do, protect each other from embarrassment (except when having fun together). The shared experienced is one of the many things that made our friendship strong.
Now, I better get back into the zone while I listen to music singing “Hold me closer Tony Danza” and “See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen.”
Zach Stich is the managing editor at The Fergus Falls Daily Journal. His column appears each Thursday.