My friend Ryan and I decided to head to Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach for a round of drinks and one last hoorah before spring break came to a close and it was time to treck back to cold Ohio.
Sporting sunburns and an air of relaxation, we headed to Celebrity Circle, a corner of the outdoor shopping plaza completely dedicated to drinking and dancing pleasures. We heard pianos pounding out familiar songs, accompanied by loud, out-of-tune vocals.
We poked our heads in. On stage were two pianos facing each other, two men dueling one another on the keyboards, and a huge crowd drinking and singing along. Ryan and I paid our cover charge and went to join in. What could be better than drinks and sing-a-longs?
The first hour was a riot. Sipping on Amaretto Sours, we watched drunk strangers pass up song requests on napkins and watched these same strangers slur the words and/or get up and dance to them awkwardly, while two talented pianists danced across keyboards, sang into microphones, occasionally played the harmonica or climbed onto their piano benches, their fingers never leaving the keyboard.
Unfortunately, the tune changed entirely when these first two piano players — charismatic, clean and charming entertainers — ended their shift and the next two pianists went on stage to take over.
After a few notable songs and loud collective singing from the customers, a bartender brought up two giant plastic syringe shaped holders for Jello shots. I immediately assumed that someone in the audience had bought them for the pianists. I was waiting to see the players consume their beverages, wondering if the Jello would get stuck in the tube as they pushed it forward.
Instead, they asked for two wild and willing women from the audience to ___. I didn’t hear the rest. Seconds later the two pianists were standing at the edge of the stage holding the syringes at their pelvic bones like penises. Two women approached and put their mouths over each as the pianists thrust their hips forward, the whole scene resembling the giving/getting of a blow job.
The entire room erupted in cheers and laughter. I sat stunned.
A handful of songs later, Larry and Laurie were called up onto stage for their birthdays. A middle-aged man, completely obliterated and unaware of personal boundaries, and a middle-aged woman, horrified and uncomfortable, walked to the center and faced the crowd.
Larry was uncontrollable and had to be (repeatedly) told to not touch Laurie. It was unclear if the two even knew each other. What was clear was that Laurie did not want to be touched.
They were instructed that they would dance to “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” for reasons I am unaware of. Since Larry couldn’t seem to manage touching his own body parts and preferred getting a grab at Laurie when he could, the pianists so nicely changed the words to “Head, Shoulders, Tits, and Ass.”
Larry got on his knees, and grabbing at Laurie’s butt, pulled her forward as he moved his head and wagged his tongue like a thirsty dog, pretending to give her head.The entire room erupted in cheers and laughter.
I wanted to yell and scream. I wanted to kick Larry in the nuts and save Laurie. I wanted Laurie’s friends to save her. I wanted Laurie to kick him in the nuts and save herself. I wanted the pianists to stop being so degrading and disgusting. I wanted to slam their faces into those shiny keys until they were red. I wanted the bar to wake up and stop being ignorant. I wanted someone to try and explain to me what was so fucking hilarious.
I didn’t have time to recover. The bartender brought up two extremely tall — maybe a couple of feet — red glasses filled to their brims with Margaritas. This time I knew they would be given away, but I was hoping for some kind of “who can be the loudest” challenge to determine the winner. Women were targeted again. These two glasses will go to the women with the perkiest breasts that are rubbed in our faces.”
I was shocked when four women, three middle-aged and one celebrating her last night of singlehood, rushed to the stage, grabbed the pianists’ faces, smothered them between their breasts, and then shook from side to side with all their might…over and over and over and over again. The entire room was louder than the times before.
I tossed back the remaining Amoretto Sour and looked at Ryan, who had been watching me the entire time, probably measuring the steam coming out of my ears.
I grabbed my clutch, threw back my chair, and felt eyes on me as I stormed out of the bar, the only person having a problem with the perky-breasted women waiting to claim their prize for objectifying their own bodies, the pianists initiating degrading and sexist behavior, and everyone else encouraging it without thought or care.