I have a Katy Perry song stuck in my head. It’s been stuck in my head for the past 24 hours and it will be stuck in my head for the next 24 hours. It is making me miserable. It is making me insane.
It is making me want to hurt Katy Perry.
I want to maim Katy Perry. I want to slap Katy Perry. I want to put a burlap sack over Katy Perry’s head, drive Katy Perry to Catfish Country and leave Katy Perry in a shotgun shack inhabited by live spiders, dead spiders and a quiet, flatulent man named “Spider.”
I want Katy Perry force-fed squirrel meat.
And yet, this agony of mine isn’t Katy Perry’s fault. Not really. After all, she’s not the one who rented a karaoke machine for our school’s carnival. She’s not the one who allowed every single little girl between the ages of three and twelve to stick their mouths directly on the microphone at the carnival. And she’s certainly not the one who then assaulted everyone within a half-mile radius of the carnival with her version of “Roar” over the loudspeakers. A version that went on for well over four hours and sounded like this:
What? Stop touching me it’s my turn, Ashleigh! Stop! Hi, Mom!
No, that total attack on the ear drums was nobody’s fault except a certain sadistic PTO volunteer. The same sadistic volunteer who happily set up a karaoke stage so kids could sing their hearts out for the enjoyment of everyone at the carnival. Only here’s the thing, PTO lady: Nobody enjoyed it. Not me, not my kids, not my friends. Not Weirdo Kitten Vest Mom who’s always on “a lil sumpthin sumpthin to takes mah edgesth off.” Even she hated it. And I once saw her laughing her ass off during a “Chipmunks” movie that she attended by herself.
Look, I’m not a monster. I know the little girls loved singing. And I know they were brave to get up on stage. However. Maybe their parents could have taken the mic out of their hands after their third or fourth round of Katy Perry? Bribed them off the stage with high-fructose corn syrup on a stick? Maybe their parents could have done what my parents did whenever I sang as a child: covered their ears and told me I was really good at reading books by myself in my room with the door shut.
Or what my junior high school music teacher, the Evil Mr. Banister, did: told me to just stand in the back and mouth the words to “Rocky Mountain High” during our choral performance so I wouldn’t “harsh the mellow of the harmony” with my “off-tune man voice.”
Or better yet, maybe they could have done what my mother and best friend Megan did when I was accompanying a singer on piano during a high school recital and missed every other note of “The Theme From Ice Castles”: turned pale and started uncontrollably giggling while ignoring my silent pleas for them to just yank the fire alarm and put the shit show to an end already.
It now occurs to me that I maybe have a little bitterness about my musical career.
However, that doesn’t mean I ever want to hear a child sing Katy Perry again. I don’t. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I DON’T. Or Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga or Britney Spears for that matter. (Note: I’d maybe give a little on Cher, but only if one of the other girls pretended to be The Ghost of Sonny Bono during the performance.) (Or 70’s Gregg Allman because that would be awesome even if she didn’t have time to grow blonde sideburns.)
Anyway, despite the agony in my head right now, I’m not saying that I want parents to pull their kids away from the karaoke machine and dash their singing dreams. Not at all. But maybe they could just push their singing dreams down on the ground a few times and stomp on them with kitten heels? Just enough to show a few light yellow bruises? Just enough to make these girls realize that a career as a librarian might be a better fit than diva? After hearing Katy Perry on a non-stop loop for the past few days, I really don’t think that’s asking too much.