The Family Funbox

About a year ago, we went to a family friend’s place to celebrate Christmas. They had a karaoke machine which was the hit of the party. The adults spent the entire night nostalgically warbling away on old Chinese songs while the kids tried in vain to block out the out-of-tune, out-of-sync din. I never realized how much my parents loved karaoke until that night.

A couple of weeks ago, my dad went grocery shopping as he always does. This time he came back with something extra. Yea, you guessed it – a karaoke machine, which I like to call the family funbox. He envisioned the four of us on the couch in front of the TV, joyously caroling to various pop songs, new and old – kind of like the image of the happy family (grandparents included) plastered with fake smiles on the cover of the songbook.

To me, however, this little gadgetry has become a nightmare. No longer can I enjoy peaceful weekend afternoons of mindless internet prowling, nonproductive hours of pointless weekend afternoon TV shows, or even just curling up with a good book. No, I must be submitted to doing the above with mind-numbingly painful “musical” accompaniment in the background. Either I suffer through this calamity at home, or I find myself begging my friends to get me out of my house.

Some of them have asked me why I don’t bust a few tunes myself. I have a feeling that if I try, I’m just going to get really frustrated with my parents’ tone deafness and lack of rhythm. Depending on the length of my fuse, microphone-throwing or head-banging may ensue.

On the plus side, they are now in better spirits on the weekends and it creates somewhat of a diversion which means less nagging. Also I think they are finally starting to improve… sort of…

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