Barbershop Harmony Gone Awry

C7853B58-CA47-4A44-AEE3-EE9307C6C634My buddies and I decided to go to a karaoke bar, have a few drinks, and show off our singing prowess. After all, the four of us regular performed as a barbershop quartet at various local carnivals. So why not strut our stuff in front of the karaoke crowd?

We arrived fairly early, maybe an hour or so before the singing was scheduled to start. So naturally we started out with tequila shooters and beer chasers. By the time bar got crowded and the karaoke performances were ready to commence, my buddies and I were all three sheets to the wind.

We had signed up to sing the Crosby Stills & Nash song, “Wooden Ships,” a great song for a group of four a cappella guys to beautifully harmonize. At least that was the plan.

When we got up to sing, each of us was drunk as a skunk, and rather than a beautiful harmony, our singing was rather more of a discordant cacophony. We were unused to being confronted by boos and very tactless jeers from our audiences. And quite frankly we were shocked. We decided that the best thing to do was to stop singing, to sit down, and to shut up.

As we left the stage, the audience members started applauding our departure, displaying a mean, sarcastic gratitude for our leaving the stage. “Another round of tequila shooters and beer chasers,” one of my buddies yelled to the server when we got back to our table.

I woke up the next morning with one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had. I walked to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and was shocked to see that I had a black eye and a cut and swollen upper lip. I had no recollection of getting into a fight or falling the night before. But I did come to the conclusion that excessive tequila shooters with beer chasers are not good for one’s health.


Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (karaoke), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (cacophony), Your Daily Word Prompt (tactless), Ragtag Daily Prompt (gratitude), and The Daily Spur (health).

The Initials

36B421D5-4BF1-4251-A100-52EBFB6D5436When I was in college, I started a barbershop quartet. We were known as “The Initials.”

There was me, Jerry, Alan, and Steve. We originally tried to name our group using our four initials, but with three consonants and only one vowel, it was close to impossible. So then one of the guys came up with just calling us “The Initials.”

We were not your typical barbershop quartet. I’d describe us more as an a cappella pop/R&B/folk quartet. Our repertoire consisted mostly of Motown, The Beach Boys, some Kingston Trio, and early Beatles songs.

The Initials did achieve a bit of notoriety singing at fraternity parties and the occasional charity event. We were never paid for our gigs, at least not in real dollars. All the beer we could drink at fraternity parties and a few pastries at the charity events.

After we graduated, the Initials disbanded. Honestly, we weren’t that good and we never made a cent. But Jerry, Alan, Steve, and I sure had a lot of fun.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “quartet.”