The Palace

I had a lovely and relaxing weekend after the longest week ever, but it was a weekend in which I probably drank more alcohol than I ever have in my entire life.  I also sang more karaoke this weekend than I have ever in a weekend, and for a Filipina that’s saying a lot.

Both are thanks to my favorite Kailua drinking establishment, called the Kailua Palace.  Longtime residents of Kailua have never dared to enter the place because of its highly sketchy appearance.  However, I would never let such a superficial qualification deter me from visiting a place, and so I went this weekend.  Twice.

Friday evening was strictly a girls’ night outing, and was lovely as the cousins, Maile and I ordered rather girly drinks and rocked out to power ballads like Bonnie Tyler and Madonna.  We sang, we drank, we chitchatted.  It was lovely and relaxing.

Sunday evening was somewhat different.  Following our luau, Tyler, Lauralynn, Gary, cousin Kate and I decided that we had not yet had enough partying, and so off to the Palace we went.  As we entered, sat down and asked for the book, we were greeted by two drunk patrons, our only prospective audience in the bar.  Patron 1, Kapu, inquired if we could actually sing.  Kate’s resounding and confident yes lifted his spirits and he sat expectantly waiting for us to begin.  Patron 2, Christopher, informed us he was deaf and could only read lips.  We later discovered he was lying.  Here’s how.

We began to sing a rather varied repertoire of musical selections, with occasional dance parties provoked by cousin Kate.  Christopher and Kapu would join in our dance parties, and latched on to Lauralynn as someone to convince to dance.  Kapu and Christopher both offered constructive criticism to our song selections (what is that?!  are you gay?)  and singing ability (haole girl, you CANNOT sing for @$*%!), proving a most interactive audience.

The most amusing point in the evening came when cousin Kate requested a Christmas song, but rather than waiting for music, Tyler and I sang a Christmas Carol a cappella.  I found a fan in Christopher, who proceeded to scream at Tyler to shut up.  Here’s the dialogue.

Tyler and Jennie:  “Chesnuts roasting on an open fire…”

Christopher:  “Shut up!  Shut up!  Dude, I will buy you a drink if you let her sing.”

Tyler and Jennie: “Jack Frost nippin at your nose…”

Christopher:  “I will buy you two drinks!”

Tyler and Jennie: “Yuletide carols being sung…”

Christopher: “I will give you $10 if you shut up!”

Tyler and Jennie: “And folks dressed up like eskimos…”

Christopher: “I will give you $20!  Shut up shut up!

Tyler and Jennie: “Everybody knows that turkey and some mistletoe…”


Tyler was awesome in his performer mode as he did not skip a beat.  Kate and Lauralynn were practically crying into their drinks.  My fan Christopher did tell me I have a bright future and offered a million dollar contract with Sony, whom he works for.

Alas, Christopher never made good on any of those promises and was kicked out of the Palace a while later.  We also deduced at this point that he wasn’t deaf, the liar.

The fact that karaoke is FREE at the palace on Sunday left us open to endless performances.  We actually had the mic for a solid few hours, with a few intermissions as random patrons and even the bartender sang a few.  But this is the joy of the palace.  We can sing what we like, get up and dance, all while enjoying the absolute lack of pretension and extreme causal-ness that is so appealing in dive bars.  Such is the beauty and wonder of the Palace, a magical place that will always offer an interesting adventure in the glow of its neon beer signs and the light of its karaoke screens.