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Drunken Rendition of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Dangerously Close to Morphing Into “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”

WILLISTON, N.D. — Participants of a weekly karaoke night cringed in disbelief as a local businessman’s booze-fueled “We Didn’t Start the Fire” teetered on the brink of turning into “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” at any second, sources confirmed as they placed bets.

“I mean, to pick ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ as your song is risky even when you’re stone sober, but you could tell the way this guy lurched for the microphone and kept trying to put his whiskey soda in his jacket pocket (when he didn’t have a pocket there) that it was going to go off the rails. Every line seemed more possible that he may mindlessly lapse into a ‘six o’ clock, tv hour’ or, God forbid, a ‘Leonard Bernstein’ garbled far too loudly,” said nervous onlooker Georgiana Brooks as she awaited her turn in the karaoke queue. “Don’t get me wrong, I love R.E.M., but I’ll admit I was concerned. Not only for the sake of the song, but for anyone in the front row who didn’t want potential vomit on their clothing.”

Kendall Thurber, the businessman in question, defended any potential possibility of switching to “End of the World” on a dime.

“I may be the one in the suit, but these people are the ones who are uptight! So what if I were to devolve into another song? I, for one, refuse to be shackled to the onscreen lyrics of whatever thing I might be singing,” ranted Thurber, as he poked the air as if it were an invisible aggressor. “Hell, they’re both classic tracks as far as I’m concerned, and fuck you if you think any different. If that song turned into ‘It’s the End of the World’ it’s not like it’s the end of the world…Well, I guess it would be the end of the world, but you know what I mean…Shit, I’m blitzed.”

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” composer Billy Joel expressed his empathy for the inebriated singer of the sloppy cover.

“Are you kidding me? If anyone can relate with this poor slob, it’s me! You ever try to sing that thing? There’s like a hundred thousand words in it! Sometimes I wonder what the hell I was thinking, especially when I’m stumbling through it at MSG, usually a few sheets to the wind, as well,” said a ruddy-faced Joel. “At least this fool was only threatening to confuse it for another wordy song, luckily! Usually when I screw it up I end up launching into the ‘Ducktales’ theme or the Pledge of Allegiance…once even a grocery list I was trying to remember. Hey, whatever, if anything it’s more bang for your buck: two songs for the price of one.”

At press time, the entire crowd breathed a sigh of relief when Thurber passed out, destroying two tables and a number of pint glasses, before coming to and accidentally singing the wrong song.