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Karaoke vs. Popped Collars: A Cultural Debate

Here’s a little Saturday morning SAT logic problem for all you brainiacs out there:

Costa Rica : Karioke :: America : _________

A. Popped collars

B. Justin Bieber

C. Bicycle shorts worn by anyone not presently competing in the Tour de France.

D. Metrosexuality

E. The Deep-Fried Twinkie

Here’s a hint:  It’s a trick question.

The answer is F: All of the above.  They are all awful, disturbingly rampant phenomena in the U.S. from which there is literally no possible escape.  Just as karioke is in Costa Rica.

Every weekend, all the hardworking Ticos and Ticas of Bagaces flood the five bars in our small town to take turns belting out played-out 80’s ballads and mournful Spanish songs about lost loves and painful memories and, for some inexplicable reason, cats.

Yeah, we couldn’t figure that one out, either.

And these people don’t just sing.  They sing.  They shut their eyes tightly, clutch the microphone and sway their hips.  They pump their fists and lean into the high notes like they are possessed by the vengeful ghost of Celine Dion.

My bad, Celine.  I hadn’t seen you since the early 90s, so I just assumed you were dead.

They have absolutely zero qualms about publicly displaying a level of raw, unharnessed emotion that most Americans would be embarrassed to show in the privacy of their own closets.

And while it’s not always pretty—okay, 95% of the time it sounds like this:

–even then, Costa Rica’s love affair with karioke is still far less offensive than any of the above-mentioned phenomena we’re forced to bear helpless, silently screaming witness to in America.

Allow me to elaborate:

… I rest my case.

And you can’t really blame the Ticos because it’s not like they’re out blowing off a week’s worth of steam by crushing 15 beers, getting into violent fisticuffs with traffic signs and puking in the backs of cop cars.

They’re just happy to be here, peacefully doin’ their thang.

And if their thang is belting out an off-key rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to a crowd of strangers every Friday and Saturday night, so be it.

Just pass me a beer and the mike.




Haha, this is too funny. I love karaoke though. My go to song is I Saw The Sign by Ace of Base. And there is nothing better than seeing someone REALLY get into a good round of karaoke.

Now Celine Dion, I can’t sing her music anymore. I’ve gotten into two separate car accidents because I was so busy belting out her music that I couldn’t see the road. But damn, there is nothing better than throwing your head back and singing “My Heart Will Go On” in traffic. Just be ready to hit the breaks, is all I’m saying. Whenever she comes on the radio when I’m in the car, I must change the channel. I think she’s cursed.


Ahh, Ace of Base is SO classic! So many times have I treated whatever poor schmuck stuck in my passenger seat to my unique vocal rendition of “All That She Wants”.

And I 100% agree with you that driving while singing Celine Dion songs is a dangerous practice that requires prohibitive federal legislation in order to protect America’s youth. Distracted driving is the predominant cause of single-vehicle accidents, and I firmly believe that “The Power of Love” and “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” are the key culprits. I applaud you for raising your voice and leading the fight. :)


All That She Wants … another very good karaoke song. Don’t Turn Around is good too. Damn, I think Ace of Base is just one of my karaoke faves!

Now that you mention it, I actually think that It’s All Coming Back To Me Now was the direct cause of one of my accidents. The point where I should have kept my eyes on the road was when she’s like “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww” Incredibly long, and then whispers the rest. To sing that part, you gotta be really dedicated, and not distracted by driving or working or any such unimportant matter. What’s most important is to hit that note – at all costs.

Perhaps we should start a petition to prohibit Celine Dion music in America’s cars? I think this might be something our Congress could get on board with…. it’s not like they are busy with anything else :)

Dennis Hong

Dude, Catherine. Way to f***********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ck up the formatting on the entire blog.


Dennis Hong

Yikes! I actually added a scroll bar to the page. Someone should report this glitch to WordPress.

Hehe. Okay, I won’t take it personally if my previous post annoys y’all enough to delete it.

Mom and Pop McDermott

You think deep fried Twinkies are bad? Well let me tell you what they are offering up at the North Carolina State Fair this year (you know that NC is the Deep Fat Fried Food Capital of the World). This year’s menu includes the Krispy Kreme Burger (it’s true; a Donut sliced in two with a hamburger stuck in between), along with the usual assortment of deep fried pickles, melons, apples, squash and other leftovers from the fall harvest. That’s why NC also has the best Cardiac Care units in the world.


Isn’t NC one of the fattest states too? Hmmm, if only we could figure out why…


LOL Dennis. I didn’t realize my comment would do that. Sorry guys!

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