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Publication: The Stranger
Author: Brissey, Grant
Date published: November 18, 2010




Fri Nov 12


This party is a celebration and/or protest of three separate things: (1) the three-year relationship of two of the hosts (they're currently engaged), (2) the impending ban of Four Loko in Washington State, and (3) karaoke. But crouched less than a 100-yard dash from I-5, this house does not meet the recommended safety distance requirements for Four Loko consumption.

Inside, about a dozen people populate the living room, all surrounding a big-screen television equipped with the offending karaoke apparatus. I am immediately handed an almost-empty can of Four Loko and a microphone, and told it is obligatory to sing something. After a stirring rendition of "House of the Rising Sun," I escape to the kitchen, which proves futile, as the host proudly displays a refrigerator stocked to the door with Four Loko. I am handed "grape" fl avor and told it is obligatory to fi nish it.

Out back, refugees from the karaoke/Four Loko confl ict are chainsmoking to calm their nerves. As the toxic purple concoction works its way into the bloodstream, the call of the freeway sounds alternately terrifying and alluring. The call of karaoke from inside is all terror, though. The now-depraved shrieking completely masks the tinny, Muzak versions of the selected songs. One rather gratuitously inebriated crooner changes the chorus of "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" ("We gotta get out of this place/If it's the last thing we ever do") to "We gotta get out of this place/Because [the guy walking into the kitchen] is a ped-o-phile," and I stumble out into the night under a completely overriding haze of malted energy drink. GRANT BRISSEY

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