You just never know what talents people have.
So when I was invited to a party to celebrate the third anniversary of Amour in Carytown, the last thing I expected was a mirror ball.
But there it was, spinning and casting a moving pattern of light along the walls, while Freddy Mercury danced across the big screen on the bar and a smoke machine filled the room with hazy fog.
What alternate universe Amour was this?
Oh, you know, just celebrating another year of mercantile success in a diametrically opposed way to business as usual.
If you've ever been to Amour, you wouldn't have recognized it tonight.
Guests barely walked in before a glass of fruity and floral La Vielle Ferme Rose found its way into their hand.
Everybody recognized everybody, at least on some level, because everybody was a long-time customer.
The Queen concert on the big screen was merely a talking point as people mingled and sipped.
A favorite couple came over to marvel with me over owner Paul's inner disco DJ.
I heard a great story from the '70s about a new guy at work wearing his white bell-bottoms to work until his supervisor gently suggested he stop that.
Apparently, the white pants showed through what was underneath.
Ah, the '70s, when that was what we worried about.
Just about the time everyone was becoming lubricated, Queen gave way to karaoke.
Oh, yes, serious entertainment.
There were multiple microphones, a wide catalog of songs available and Paul mixing each song into the next seamlessly.
Very quickly, those with a desire to sing became masters of the mics, while the less bold sang nearby, slightly off-mic.
A-ha's "Take On Me."
Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff."
No Doubt's "Don't Speak."
While I was over at the bar with my orange-dressed associate, "Like a Virgin" began playing and the bartender looked wistful.
Addressing the two of us, she said, "This song always reminds me of "Moulin Rouge."
Pause while the woman next to me and I digested that.
She continues, "I picture a red-headed man with a mustache singing this."
We look at each other in wonder.
"Is it a generational thing?" she asks sincerely.
Yes, my dear, if you hear "Like a Virgin" and don't picture Madonna writhing on stage, it probably is a generational thing.
The never-shy owner of a nearby Mexican restaurant was the karaoke ringleader, encouraging others to sing along to the words on the screen.
And wouldn't you just know that we made our way back to more Queen?
Fact: in the case of many songs, the contingent singing along was everyone who had not yet been born when the song came out.
Funny how that works.
DJ Paul was a smiling multi-tasker, putting music on, running to the back to hit the smoke machine and singing along to all his personal favorites.
At one point, a restaurant owner tapped my knee, telling me to come dance with him (insisting "I know you're a dancer") but I preferred to hang in the back, where there were prime observation spots.
It also put me in the thick of the smoke when that got going, making for a fuller anniversary experience.
I love the nightlife
I've got to boogie
On the disco round, oh, yea
I have to appreciate a man willing to let his inner disco out, even just for one evening.
But who would have guessed?