Last night I went to Willy D’s piano bar with the ladies of the choirlet.

Actually, first I went to rehearse this morning’s duet with Elkhorn and CD. Then we went to Mellow Mushroom pizza. We had a lot of people at a long table, so general conversation was largely impossible. We had good pizza, though, and nice conversation at our end of the table.

We moved on to the piano bar. It was way too loud, they were serving drinks with names like “Lion’s Piss” and “Bar Slut,” and the set kicked off with a song based on unprintable knock-knock jokes. The pianists instructed the group to shout out obscenities in chorus. They lured drunken people up and humiliated them, or helped them to humiliate themselves, and they were pretty bossy overall.

On the other hand, the pianists were quite good. We had a table right by one of the pianos, and one of the rotating pianists played so fast on “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” that his hands were a blur. They even sang well. And it was nice to see lots of people happily singing along together. I enjoyed singing along.

One of the women of the choirlet told me that later on “It gets vulgar.” I’m not the ideal audience member.

In fact, there’s something about the phenomenon that interests me. See, I’m a person for whom hanging around a couple of pianos singing is always going to be an example of fun. But I know that many people don’t have this on their list of fun activities. So is it the swearing that makes it fun for all the folks who crowded in there last night? The possibility of public humiliation? The drunkenness? Do those aspects add a frisson of danger that singing in church or school just doesn’t offer?

Following that, we went down to a coffee bar. It was quiet there, so we had all the conversations we couldn’t have while we were at the incredibly loud piano bar.

Honestly, it was fun to begin with, but went on too long for me.

CD is moving back to the Northwest. We’ll miss her. We have a new pastor coming in, too, so we don’t know what the future of the choirlet may be.

This morning, we’re singing “Beautiful One” by Tim Hughes, Elkhorn and I, and CD is playing the piano one last time. There’s also a farewell reception for the pastor. So there’ll be an overall sense of transition and goodbyes.