A Shot in the Dark: Karaoke, a New Puppy, and the Rickshaw

Some things are better done sober.

The Rickshaw Restaurant & Lounge serves greasy Chinese and American fare, along with potent well drinks, 16 hours a day. Happy hour starts at 10 a.m. But the establishment is actually best known for satisfying folks who've got an insatiable appetite for karaoke. It's packed with singers until closing every night of the week. I'm accosted by the off-key sound of a drunken couple wailing Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" when I walk in around 11 p.m. on a Tuesday. A few feet away, a guy in a kilt with a '70s-style porn 'stache nods along empathetically to the melody. The mood in the room shifts just minutes later when a creepy dude wearing a puka-shell necklace—an accessory that should have been illegal to wear after 1996 unless you're a tourist in Hawaii—starts eyefucking the women in the room while growling the lyrics to Nine Inch Nails' "Closer." All walks of life step up to the mike at the Rickshaw, an endearingly tacky joint decorated with both Asian-style paper lanterns and silver disco balls. The restaurant's owner spends her time off finding homes for dogs on "death row," so the back wall is plastered with photographs of straggly, sad-eyed pups. I'm sober enough to know my apartment doesn't have room for another pet. But that isn't the case with everybody. The Phil Collins–crooning duo discuss the matter on their way out the door. And the drunk schmuck makes a sweet promise to his girlfriend that he's likely going to regret immensely in the morning. 

 
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