Sunday, June 26, 2011

IT's PAT! The Birth -- and Near-Death -- of a Superstar

I don't remember all the details. My mind was pretty foggy at the time. Lots of booze and probably some dope mixed in too. I'd been a fan ever since Matt & I had a run-in with a machine at Fry's Electronics down in Silicon Valley, USA. Man, I loved Fry's...all those themes: Egypt, Maya, Amazon. Big-box stores, take note!!

Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, Pat. Ok, this is in Before Pat (B.P.) times, we're talking. Just me, Dan, Matt, and a karaoke machine at the end of an aisle. Not long after we got back -- this was back circa the year 2000 (or, "3 B.P.") -- karaoke outings became a regular gig for myself and my buddies.

No big deal. Drinking, some weed, and heading out for good times. I much preferred the karaoke lounge than the nightclubs. Could never get anywhere with "the game" that everyone but me seemed to know how to play. Even a dozen gin-and-tonics later, I would make out no better than playing grab-ass on the dance floor. That got tiring and depressing pretty fast (though I still kept trying for years).

Luckily, there were a few local gems that turned on the tunes and let people screech and scratch sounds at the mike while their friends cheered and wooed. A little Paul Simon here, some Elton John there. Like I said at the start of this piece, I don't remember many specifics of when and how Pat was born. A few scraps of memory, some stories from those who were around. There are probably more facts known about the birth of Jesus than of Pat, to be honest. (No three wise men in this story, that's for sure.)

I'll do my best, though. A major karaoke hangout in Victoria was -- and still is -- Sopranos. Guaranteed action 7 nights a week, baby! Nice. I'm guessing it was 2003; probably springtime, appropriately enough. I was a lot of drinks in. I remember being on fire. A maniac on stage, couldn't wait to belt out the next tune and go wild.

Unfortunately, I couldn't write very well as the evening melted away and pitchers of beer came and went. No matter how drunk one is, though, you've GOT TO have it legible for the DJ, or else you aren't going on stage!

I wrote the next slip to give the DJ -- I believe a song to be sung by"Dan and Matt". It might have been the tune, "Bad to the Bone". Matt says I "threatened to kill people" in the audience while performing. Lucky he was there cooling things down to make sure people got the joke. (Yah, I was pretty intense and sometimes perhaps the "absurdity" part may not have been understood by some. It would have been pretty disturbing in that case. Oops.)

As the DJ read the slip aloud, he sounded confused, "What, huh, is that...'Pat and Matt'?"

And there you have it. Pat was born, in the drunken written ramblings of a madman begging for an audience that would pay attention to him. Not exactly a Christ-like birth with frankincense and myrrh, though on the other hand about as messy as childbirth.

Still, though, birth is only the beginning. It's what a person makes of their life that matters, no matter how pathological the outset might be. In the next couple of years Pat would go on to much karaoke infamy at Sopranos (including being kicked out one time for being too drunk -- I remember feeling pretty ashamed; and getting a stern warning for moving the mike stand around during the performance of "Eye of the Tiger") and a few other places that had karaoke nights.

Pat had his eye on the prize right from the early infancy. He had a few winners already like "She Bangs" and "Bad Touch". A local karaoke contest was announced, and you better believe he would be there!

As most karaoke contests go, I gather, it wasn't really about talent but about having enough friends to sway the judges. In this contest, it was all about ordering drinks, where you'd get a paper to vote on -- and Pat had a lot of friends to support him! He destroyed Queen's "Bicycle" (perhaps literally) and finished up with a strong performance of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs". Things were looking awesome. By this time he was several months old and had learned to chill down his booze just enough to not get thrown out of places...but still enough to fuel his performances.

Unfortunately, others had lots of friends to support them; apparently ordering water would get you a vote slip. So, alas, he lost. A terrible feeling of defeat.

Near-death Experience
Though Pat did not die that day, he was wounded. Only the desperate times of late-2003 would see him on stage in "full form", but the outings became fewer after that. Life changes meant alcohol would no longer be his fuel of choice. Karaoke outings with his buddies would no longer be the happening thing. Life moved on.

And yet, the superstar had been born. The rest will be history.

AFTERWARD: There are no known photos of Pat. The closest -- pretty damn close, actually -- is Dan wearing Pat's outfit at his 2003 eviction party (photo shown at start of article). Video footage is rumoured to have been taken of at least one of his performances circa 2003/04, however its location and integrity are unknown.
MANY THANKS: To all the friends who supported the birth of Pat. And Matt for making sure Pat only minorly disturbed the audience during his virgin song. If anyone who witnessed Pat version 1.0, and especially his birth, read this, I would love to read your eyewitness account...only then will the foggy picture I have created with this story become more clear. The accuracy of history is at stake!

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