The night before I had my Very Scary Hospital Experience was, in fact, full of frolic and amusement that DID NOT GET BLOGGED, which within the parameters of this particular trip is not to be tolerated. Especially when that frolic takes place at the FREAKING MOOSE LODGE. Of which my mother is a proud member. Shown above is a photo of the three youngsters in our party posing in front of the Moose Lodge's Bingo board. The Moose Lodge was not featuring Bingo on the evening of our visit, but EVEN BETTER it was both Taco Night and Karaoke Night. Nobody has to twist my arm to perform karaoke; afterwards, the audience may wish to perform hara-kiri. My niece Eileen and I signed up for two songs apiece and after essentially no arm-twisting whatsoever, both of my boys put their names in as well. Little did I know that karaoke at the Moose Lodge is a no-messing-around type of event. Every last person sang. The notion of a second song was just a silly fantasy, which is a crying shame since my second song would have been "Private Eyes" by Hall & Oates. Eileen performed the Carrie Underwood revenge-ballad "Before He Cheats;" Ike warbled "Eye of the Tiger" and brought the house down. Oscar's initial pick, "Seven Nation Army," was rejected by the karaoke dj as being "too hard rock," so he performed "Enjoy The Silence" by Depeche Mode to a somewhat baffled elderly audience who clearly did not get how extremely emo Oscar is.
I had no idea how much retired people dig their karaoke. People brought their own CDs. Country-western music was heavily represented, both old (George Jones, Patsy Cline) and new (American Idol C&W). This was perhaps the only karaoke sesh ever held where "Sweet Caroline" would have constituted a bold choice. At nine o'clock, all action in the Lodge came to a screeching halt so that a small xylophone could be sounded to herald a special prayer, accompanied by the illumination of a dangling star above the stage: "Let the little children come to me. Do not turn them away." And so on. After which a Moose approached our table and informed us that, because it was nine o'clock, the kids were going to have to leave. Seriously.
Yesterday was Oscar's ninth birthday. I was feeling a bit low-key, so while Oscar spent his special day watching a meticulously-crafted roster of videos, I flopped around on the couch, read an appallingly stupid book and ate foods high in potassium. Above you see Osk with his birthday cake, made by grandma, and the fireworks with which we marked the event out in the driveway. Little boys + fireworks = true love 4ever. Also, he was subjected to the traditional Bedford family ukulele serenade of "Happy Birthday." Today we are back on the road, heading north to Gainesville and then on to Nashville in our trek home, hoping to encounter cooler temperatures and fewer medical emergencies.