Valentine's Day, an annual holiday celebrated on February 14, originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early martyred saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country. Now we Catholics are a strange bunch and have a thing for martyred saints. Growing up in Woodside in the late 50's I attended St. Sebastian Grammar School where the good nuns would continually implore us to emulate our school's namesake. The problem was that everywhere I looked throughout the school I would see a painting or statue of good old St. Sebastian tied to a tree in the throes of a violent death with several arrows sticking out of his torso. To be honest with you, he did not look like a happy camper!
Saintly martyrdom aside, I have always thought that Valentine's Day is a faux holiday celebration created by an insidious conspiracy on the part of our nation's candy, floral and greeting card industries. It's the one day of the year a young guy can walk into a flower shop and not be greeted with the "I wonder what he’s trying to apologize for?" sympathetic stares of staff. Of course, on the brighter side of this holiday, the candy, floral and greeting card moguls are only after my hard-earned cash and are not entertaining any thought of tying me to a tree as an archery target...at least I hope not!
Those of you who have followed this column since the get-go know that a few years back I sustained a rather egregious brain fart, which led me to believe it might be a good idea that, rather than spend my kid’s inheritance like a drunken sailor on candy, flowers, cards, etc., I would attempt to make Valentine’s Day more of an educational experience for the entire family. Needless to say, nothing good came from this horrendous brainstorm and, in fact, it turned out to be a very, very bad idea. The repercussions of my ill-fated attempt to thwart this commercialized "Holiday of Love" served little more than to immediately place me back in the conspiratorial camps of candy, cards and flowers forevermore...if for nothing more than my own personal safety.
This year, in addition to candy, cards and flowers, the Broad Channel VFW has added a terrific spin to the pending holiday with a Valentine’s Karaoke Party this Saturday evening (February 11) starting at 8 pm. A $10 per person donation at the door will include a cash bar accompanied by a free light buffet and the opportunity to saunter up to the stage and grab a mic to serenade the love of your life, and entertain your friends and neighbors with your very own rendition of a romantic ballad of your choosing. For a nominal fee, the VFW staff will video your karaoke performance for immediate posting to the entire social media spectrum. On the other hand, for a much greater fee, the VFW staff will ensure no videos of your performance are made whatsoever! Of course the evening will also include a 50/50 and other raffles. For reservations or additional information call or text the VFW's answer to Bobby Flay, our very own Chef Bob "Pro" at 917-817-6396.
Keeping in mind, it is said, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing." You might like to know that Karaoke is a word formed from putting two Japanese words together. "Kara" that comes from Karappo and means empty and "Oke," shortened from Okesutura meaning "orchestra." So Karaoke means "empty orchestra." Now armed with that little fact, go forth and be dangerous!
It's for a great cause and, as always, all donations and proceeds will go to support the Post’s activities in supporting our disabled veterans. So spread the word about this event and grab your best girl or guy and come on down to the VFW's Valentine's Karaoke party this Saturday evening.
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