“You have to sing it a lot higher than that,” Heather said. By the time I got to the part where I had to screech “mamma mia” at the pitch of a man whose balls are in a vise and then immediately repeat the words four octaves lower, Heather was doubled over with laughter.
“All right, fu—.” Remembering the children, I reformulated my statement mid-word, “fu-orget this.” Poorly animated Paula was glaring at me for missing so many notes. “I want to do a different one next.” Heather agreed that I deserved another chance, but first, she wanted the mic back. We both gently shushed Liam when he asked if he could have another turn. I became giddy when Heather chose “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, and I couldn’t keep myself from singing along to the chorus. Heather scored a diamond. “Okay, now me,” I said. I selected “Glamorous,” as I had just listened to it on the drive up. I was surprised that, having heard it only a few times on the radio, I’d somehow memorized every word of Fergie’s hit. After Heather sang “Copacabana,” Liam gave up trying to get another turn, as I had eagerly snatched back the microphone to attempt Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”
I was about to go for “Black Velvet” when, glancing at my nephews playing with their trucks and Legos, it occurred to me I’d overlooked something very important. How could I have forgotten one of the main reasons for my visit? I set down the microphone and the wiimote. “Heather,” I said, meeting my sister’s gaze, “I’m hungry. Weren’t we going to do lunch?”
“There’s a place called NYPD Pizza up the street; they sell it by the slice,” Heather said.
“I’m in,” I said. “And when we get back, I’m singing ‘Heart of Glass.’ Paula’s gonna love it.”