Early Sunday afternoon, we stop by one of our favorite antique co-ops. This time, something is gravely different.
It seems, in order to promote their new karaoke venture at the town pub, two of the owners have set up an enormous karaoke machine amongst the porcelain creamers and table runners.
We halt just inside the front door to stare as they whoop their way through Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” Then we realize that we are the only customers, and that eye contact is a serious mistake. We become absorbed in the rusty egg beaters and depression-glass juicers, but it’s too late.
“Hello!” the woman calls out. “Do you Karaoke?”
We are unsure of how to respond. We look at each other uneasily.
“Do you want to sing ‘Respect’?” she asks me.
“Me?” I say. “Oh no. No thank you.”
“Oh, why not!”
“Wellâ€¦ well, I suppose it’s because I’m not drunk.”
“Ahhh. Is that what it takes?”
“Yes.” I say. “That, and relative darkness.”
“Maybe a different song?”
“Maybe free coffee and a jug of Baileys would help your cause.”
“What about ‘I Got You Babe?” she asks. “You could sing it together.”
“No,” I say. “No thank you.”
“Can I get your email for our mailing list?” she asks.
We wander into the next room.
As she belts “These Boots are Made for Walkin’,” I buy a very nice illustration of a quail’s egg, and a lovely beveled mirror.