As the day wore on, more and more of the participants became rowdy. Perhaps, the introduction of the local coconut wine at the table was to be blamed. However, to some who exhibited earlier inhibitions, it was a boost to dispel any fears of losing the beat at midstream.
I could not say if I was lucky with the scores I got. The lowest I received was 80 which to my personal expectation was my best effort with a better rendition of a local ballad. Even I suspected that the machine was biased to reward so-so performances.
“You’re good with English songs,” one of the uncles praised me, his language sounded a slang of the vernacular. He was a bit tipsy, drinking wine as if it was ordinary water.
“That’s not true,” I humbly replied. “I am just trying to sound faithful to the original.”
“No, you are good!” he insisted, putting his arms around my neck. In a way, his action kept him in an upright position. “That was a good Bon Jovi song.”
Well, he was drunk all right. I sang a John Lennon ballad.
“Do you want to sing?” I asked, eyeing where the microphone was. “I know you are good, too.”
“Do you think so?” he looked at me, his eyes twinkling due to intoxication. “I cannot read the lyrics.”
“I’ll coach you,” I said, giving him confidence. “A local song you know.”
“Okay!” he agreed. “Order them to keep quiet.”
Relatives knew of his romance with the bottle but since he was a harmless fellow, they left him alone unless he became too noisy. When he reached his limit, he would simply sit and sleep.
I forewarned the others of my plan, to which they readily acceded to. We needed him calmed to continue the proceedings without any untoward incident to sour the celebration.
“Ready?” I sat him on a chair facing the TV screen: he kept bowing as if signaling me to begin.
It was a no contest. Even before the long intro was played out, he had dozed off. Relief was on everybody’s faces.
“You do have the ability to get along with the most problematic of people.” The remark was nice to hear, especially from the man’s wife. “He does not listen to me. I am glad you’re around.”
“I don’t argue with a drunk,” I confessed. “I will give him options to lie low and rest.”
“By singing?” she asked, shaking her head as if doubting my idea.
“He’s dizzy, right?” I explained. “Moving images will make his spell worse. Once he closes his eyes, there’s a greater chance he would not open them again until he wakes up. That’s good for all of us, isn’t it?”
She smiled, the idea favorable for her. “Now, I know how to make him sleep next time.”
I asked two other men to help me carry him while he sat on the chair. He looked like a royalty, intoxicated after celebrating a magnificent victory from the battlefields.
“The party continues,” shouted someone.
Yeah, I sighed. I wished it would end soon so I could go online. 🙂