We’ve all experienced it before: the overwhelming panic that covers you like a blanket when you realize the person stepping up to the podium in church to sing a “special” is about to inflict a form of auditory torture outlawed by the Geneva Convention. Three notes into the song, your worst fears are confirmed: she can’t sing. Absent a power outage or the Rapture, you’re about to endure four and a half minutes of off-key banshee-like chaos that would make even William Hung (of American Idol fame) cry for mercy. So, what do you do? Here are your options:
- Avoid eye contact. By all means, don’t make eye contact. That will only encourage her. Pretend like you’re deep in prayer. That’s believable enough.
- Repeat “bless her heart.” Almost like an ancient voodoo ritual, saying the words “bless her heart” gives you the option to say or think whatever else you’d like about her singing skills.
- Curse yourself for not sitting on the back row. That’s on you. That’s why the back row exists, for emergencies like these. You let your guard slip for one Sunday, and now you’re paying for it.
- Become incredibly interested in the church bulletin. Oh wow! Another bake sale!! Yes, please. Sister Martha is having surgery on her ingrown toe nail, that’s interesting. You’ll even pretend to care about what they’re going to play for the postlude, if it will only distract you for a few more seconds.
- Hum that highly addictive Taylor Swift song instead. Fight fire with fire. They want to bring ungodly harmonies and pitches into the church house? Two can play at that game. Hum that popular pop song, using it as an auditory shield to protect the hope that there is still good music in the world.
- Strap yourself in like Odysseus battling the sirens of ancient Greek mythology. Some people like the pain. It makes them feel alive. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, then strap yourself in to your pew, look that singer straight in the face, and smile for five minutes. It’s a test of endurance, the Mount Everest musical fortitude. Do it, I dare you.
QUESTION: What other suggestions do you have on how to deal with a bad church solo?
p.s. Don’t think this reality really exists? Watch this youtube example: http://youtu.be/JcC5KnS6eVQ