We have a tradition. On Monday nights, my father (who shares the same name) goes to African dance class at the

, and I go swing dancing at the

. After, we—plus whichever of our friends decide to join us—mozy over to

for a late-night meal and what we have affectionately nicknamed “Bad Karaoke.”---

This is, of course,

Cowgirl Karaoke with Mich%uFFFDle Leidig

, SFR readers’ choice for

. The “Bad Karaoke” moniker is something of a running gag because none of us is actually sure what constitutes “good” karaoke, and since we go week after week, surely its endearing qualities must outweigh the horror of drunken cowboys singing Ricky Martin, right?

So we devised the following tequila scale:

Water

: Either you’re drinking water or getting all weepy but, gosh darn it, you’re stone-cold sober and you, like Adam West on that episode of

, love when amateurs sing this song.

1 tequila

: Maybe the singer missed a few notes or maybe you’re just getting into the spirit of things.

2 tequilas

: Really, all you wanted was a late meal. With some food and a pair of shots in you, you’re mostly still lucid, but it’s also true you’re not really listening to the music.

3 tequilas

: The dude doing Flock of Seagulls in the bar might be an unmitigated disaster, but you’re starting to feel warm and fuzzy, so it’s all good.

4 tequilas

: This is the best rendition of Journey you’ve ever heard. (Hint: It’s not.)

With that in mind, we asked our dinner-mates to help grade the karaoke. Bonus for those who could think of an amusing memory or association for the song.

"Love Stinks"—The J Geils Band

2 tequilas

"Fire and Rain"—James Taylor

2 tequilas

John: "This is like pouring my 19-year-old emotional energy into this song."

"Teddy Bear"—Elvis Presley

1 tequila


Kevin: "This reminds me of middle school dances."

Jen: "Is that a good thing?"

K: "Definitely not."

"Great Balls of Fire"—Jerry Lee Lewis

3 tequilas

"Gimme a Reason"—Tracy Chapman

3 tequilas

Ramón's father (also Ramón): "San Francisco childhood."

"I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" - Soggy Bottom Boys

2 tequilas

"With or Without You"—U2

4 tequilas


Ramón: "It's like the Bono episode of

—in my brain!"

"The Paranoid Android"—Radiohead

4 tequilas

Mich%uFFFDle: "Frickin' trippy, Andy."