Whitney Brown Does Asia Town

It’s Whitney’s 25th birthday. The plan is and goes as follows: meet the ladies at Bario Chino, eat copious amounts of guacamole and cheese (independently), get drunk, squeal obnoxiously, be forgiveness by restaurant patrons once a candlelit cake is delivered to our table, eat cake out of hands because we are not given plates, pay the check, delicately stumble onto street.
Twenty minutes later we are in a room drowning in red vinyl and multi-colored Christmas tree lights. Karaoke. It’s like the Cha Cha Lounge and the Chinese New Year had a baby and the baby’s name was “Fuck Yes.” We take residence in the first jumbo booth off the entrance. Whitney distributes her Chinese takeout boxes filled with candy hearts, AstroGlide, chocolate flavored condoms, and stickers. The gesture is simultaneously reminiscent of childhood Easter celebrations and my seventh grade human sexuality class.
The night tallies away. Songs are sung. Whitney gets more beveraged per the celebration requisites. Friends start to leave due to impending next-day responsibilities and alarm clock settings. By midnight, each song equals one more empty booth. By one o’clock, only the die hards and our party remain.
The three people in the booth adjacent to ours are nonplussed by Whitney & Co’s rendition of various unremembered tunes. A small blonde gentleman’s boos come in with greater frequency and volume and when the time comes for his duet, he rips the mic out of Morgan’s hand midway through “Happy Birthday to yo…”
Blondie and his chubby accomplice begin butchering “There is Always Something There to Remind Me.” Our crew boos. “Fuck you assholes,” yells Blondie. Blondie’s accomplice remains awkwardly silent. Our crew boos some more. Blondie proceeds to mimic jerking himself off, replacing the microphone with his…well, I’ll let your imaginations run wild.
The owners put the cabash on the brouhaha citing “disorderly conduct” – one of the rules taped to the projection TV circa 1991. Blondie sits back down in his booth with two lady friend and after a few malicious yet factual comments regarding their small stature from our camp, they finish their beers and leave. Whitney bribes the bartender with $5 for three more songs. The violence has ended but I am now subjected to “Sexual Healing” by a man who admits his throat is dry and mutters something about echinacea or emphysema into the microphone.


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