Them There Eyes February 14, 2006Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
So I go into my booth. I flick through the songs available on the Bontempi Karaokatron Instamatic. I press the big red button when I’ve aligned the green arrow alongside Them There Eyes, as previously evinced by Billie Holiday. I rid my throat. Look out to my public of twelve drunk, almost naked 17-year-old girls and a couple of earnest-looking folk clearly from the music industry smoking thoughtfully, checking their mobiles for messages and biting their nails. I brace myself.
“I fell in love with you the first time I looked into them there eyes,” I start, with less than a flourish. The ill-clad girls whoop supportively. The overweight gentleman of the serious twosome mops his brow and looks around as if expecting the police to come in and arrest him. He then looks back, catches my eye and gives me a knowing grin and chuckles to himself. “Fuck, I’m in there,” I think. “You’ve got a certain lil’ cute way of flirtin’ with them there eyes,” I bellow on, settling into my task and sensing an involuntary wiggle of hip and a clicking of the fingers on my left hand set in. I’m belting it out now. “They make me feel happy, They make me feel blue, No stallin’, I’m fallin’.” I can tell they’re loving it. The girls have called in some of their mates from the drink-as-much-bacardi-as-you-like-for-a-tenner bar next door and the overweight gent has exchanged a whisper with the strict-looking woman with stiff hair and too much lipstick who makes up the other half of the non-teenage contingent. “They sparkle, They bubble, They’re gonna get you in a whole lot of trouble.” My shoulders are going. I’ve raised an arm in the air. I’ve even closed an eye. I’m beginning to feel regret that I’m drawing to a close. I want more. They want more. I’ve spotted the first homosexual in the crowd, out on a girls’ night out with his mates. He’s suppressed the bitchy gene and is whooping supportively too. “Maybe you think I’m just flirtin’, Maybe you think I’m all lies, Just because I get romantic when I gaze in, Them there eyes.”
I feel a rush and a shudder when I’m done. I feel I’ve poured my heart out to a group of strangers, that I’ve just stripped on stage, that I’ve let folk into my inner sanctum and they’ve come in and accepted me with open hearts. What a great feeling. I close the booth behind me and make way for a plain, portly girl thundering mikewards with an inane grin on her face and intent on doing damage. I smile embarrassedly to those who’d so generously applauded. “You were great,” I hear shouted in a Lancashire accent from under a springy, yellow perm. I decide I’ll get me a Weissbier.
But the two non-teenagers are blocking my path. “Hallo, I’m Martin von Steckelbrücker. Here is my card. I work in music. I liked your voice, your way. I think we could maybe do something.” “Oh, Martin, please, this is so not for the German market,” interrupts the stiff-haired, belipsticked woman. A hand is thrust towards me. “The name’s Matilda Steinthorpe Fernandez III. You need to gimme a call when you get the chance, OK? I don’t do this for just anyone. You need to gimme that call. Martin’s good, but he’s not what you need,” she says confidently, coldly and perfectly happy to ignore Martin’s continued generous physical presence. I look sympathetically at Martin. He is sweaty, but unswayed, and already gazing lovingly at his mobile again. Matilda’s won this fight hands down. “Honey, I can’t stick around, but listen to what I say. You gimme that call. What’s your name, by the way?” “Oh, yes, it’s Broke. Inberlin.” “OK, Mr. Inberlin, here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna walk over to that bar, we’re gonna get you a drink, then I’m gonna give you a few words of advice, then I’m gonna get me a cab outta here and you’re gonna ring me tomorrow but not too early. I don’t like too early.”
It’s all happening so quickly I don’t even have the chance to think how odd this all is. And what luck I’ve had. But, hang on a sec, isn’t that Brad Pitt over there? What, and now the whole All Black squad too, without shirts and running towards me with flirtatious intent? Oh not a dream. Not a fucking dream. How fucking boring. Oh bugger. I should have known when the bacardi was being sold in pounds, not euros. And why were there Lancashire accents in Berlin? And no-one’s called Steinthorpe. Much less the third. And no wonder the Weissbier was shit.
Oh god, and here comes my mother…