The Biggest Traveling Tool Of 2010

Derek Personal Stuff 45 Comments

GoofyThat’s right. I’m the tool.

Two weeks ago, a few minutes into a breakfast I was having with a friend in Chiang Mai, Thailand, this said ‘friend’ suddenly looked up from her omlette and called me a ‘tool’. Actually, not only did she call me a tool, but she called me the ‘biggest traveling tool of 2010‘. I know, I know. At first, it sounds like quite the compliment and believe you me, I quickly offered my sincerest thanks to this friend for her kind words.

But as soon as my friend dropped her head into her hands in what appeared to be a moment of disbelief, or perhaps disgust, I realized that something was wrong. Well, it turns out that she was not actually labeling me as

something useful that can help one achieve an aim

but rather as a

person, typically male, who says or does things that cause you to give them a ‘what-are-you-even-doing-here’ look‘.

Needless to say, upon realizing that she was referring to the urban slang definition of the word, the smile immediately melted from my face.

This friend had her reasons though, most notably of which was my refusal, during a group karaoke session the night before, to give up the microphone when Bette Midler’s version of “Wind Beneath My Wings” was played. And not only did I refuse to hand over the microphone, but I was quite dedicated to singing this song as passionately as any other human being had ever sung it, which forced me to commit that grave karaoke faux pas of drowning out every other singer’s voice with my own out-of-tune, ghastly shouting. Apparently, it was an ugly sight, even though I must admit that I was completely oblivious at the time and upon finishing the song, thought I had really nailed the performance.

Anyway, my friend politely informed me that I had in fact destroyed that lovable 80s ballad and as a result, had gone on to solidify my place as the ‘biggest traveling tool of 2010‘.

Well done Earl.

On that note, I would like to wish you all a most enjoyable and safe New Years and an infinitely rewarding 2011!

And wherever your path takes you during this upcoming year, don’t forget to stop every now and then and enjoy the benefits of laughing at yourself. Although, if you have trouble laughing at yourself, feel free to laugh at me instead. Just let me know if you need some assistance and I’ll send you a photo of my webbed toes.

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Comments 45

  1. LOL! Nice, at least you’re embracing the term tool – my voice sounds about on par with yours. I’m sorry to have missed your performance, no doubt it will ring out forever in the ears of those present 😉 Happy New Year!

    1. Hey Shannon – Then it seems that we’d be the perfect match for a duet and I shall look forward to the day that it happens! Happy New Year to you as well and safe travels back to Asia!

  2. Can’t blame you Derek, Just thinking of Beaches puts a tear in my eye. Thank You, Thank You… Thank God for you

    1. Hey Brian – That’s quite an emotional line of the song! Perhaps we can sing it together next time you’re in Thailand!

    1. @retirebyforty: Luckily, karaoke in Thailand involves renting a small private karaoke room just for you and your friends. So it’s basically like singing at home!

  3. Ohh man, great story…really reminds me precisely about living in Thailand. I told soo many of my Thai English students to look up words in the urban dictionary (when they asked me a word, that I did not want to tell them the meaning of)! Hilarious!
    Happy New Years! Hope to bump into you sometime this year!

    1. Hey Mark – I know that feeling of not wanting to explain certain words to your students. I’ll never forget a student I had who kept saying ‘pleasure me’ instead of ‘my pleasure’ and it was quite awkward for me to try and correct her! Wishing you more incredible adventures for 2011!

  4. I’m called a tool all to often as well if that helps!
    I love your goofy hat though! Here is to a great year Earl, hopefully we’ll meet up along the way 🙂

    1. Hey Cailin – Thank you for admitting you’re a fellow tool. It does help quite a bit 🙂 And I look forward to perhaps meeting up with you somewhere out there as well in 2011!

  5. Were there “Adult Beverages” consumed? Would this explain your Kareoke Krash?

    Oh well, you can’t please everyone! I have loved reading your blog this past year, keep it up. Never know where you will be next!

    As for the word “tool”, well, just pretend you don’t understand the reference..

    1. Hey Randall – There were a few ‘adult beverages’ involved 🙂 Although, I’m willing to bet this actually, if you can believe it, helped my karaoke abilities. Without those drinks, I probably would have been escorted from the premises and never allowed to return!

      Thanks so much for all of your support of the past year and I hope that 2011 has started on a positive note for you!

  6. Oooh an Earl karaoke video would definitely start off the year wonderfully! I had the delight of having a karaoke machine at home for a whole day last year when I went to visit my brother in Manila. My brother and I had a blast, and our respective partners got to go hide away with earplugs… Loved it!

    Happy New Year 🙂

    1. Hey Rose – What’s all this talk about karaoke videos?? Haha…I really don’t think one exists. But given all this video talk, perhaps during my next karaoke session I will pull out the video camera and do a little filming 🙂

    1. Hey Caz – Yeah, I’m a pretty terrible karaoke singer. So feel free to enjoy the New Year at my expense 🙂
      Looking forward to catching up soon!

    1. Hey Michael – I tried to think of another answer to your question but I’ll just have to admit that I’m at my karaoke best whenever there are a lot of 80s love songs! I’m also quite a fan of singing along to Simon & Garfunkel, although Lady Gaga also grew on me during karaoke in Thailand a couple of weeks ago.

  7. What you are describing makes me think about personal perception. It does not matter how we express ourselves, but how the receiver perceives what you are saying. Thanks for the reminder! Happy New Year.

    1. @TurkeysForLife: I’m definitely not the king of karaoke, but whenever an 80s ballad comes on, hand me the microphone and get out of my way!

      Hope you enjoyed your stuffed king prawns last night!

    1. Glad to have provided that first laugh Ayngelina! And using the other definition of the word ‘tool’, I’d say the iPhone would probably be right near the top of that list 🙂

    1. Hey Priyank – I actually found that definition in this online urban dictionary: Tool

      But thank you for mentioning it in the comment as I probably should have linked to it in the post (which I will add right now)!

  8. I’m with Globetrottergirls; I think we need to see that video (if it exists). Thanks for the reminder to laugh at ourselves, and putting yourself up as an example. I also enjoyed the mislead with the title of this post. Well done, and happy New Year to you too, Earl.

    1. Hey Sam – Luckily (for me), I’m almost certain that no video exists. Of course, I was so into singing the song that I wouldn’t have noticed a camera being aimed in my direction but since I’ve yet to be blackmailed, I’m thinking there’s no video!

    1. Thanks Alan! I’ll be emailing you shortly about your traveling schedule for the first half of the year to see if we’ll be in the same region at all…

    1. Hey Kirsty – Round 2 indeed…actually, it would be Round 3 as you missed two sessions! And you now have a month to practice “Wind Beneath My Wings” so that when I arrive again, we can have a sing-off! Are you in?

  9. According to my friends living in Japan, obnoxious drunken karaoke is requirement for getting ahead at the work place. Maybe you were temporarily out of sync with the time zone. Head east a bit and try again. And yes, like Globetrottergirls said, next time make it YouTube-able! 😉

    1. @TourAbsurd: I think I need a karaoke break before giving it a shot in Japan as I’m quite sure it’s even more serious of an activity over there than in Thailand! As for the video…not quite sure I’m ready to embarrassed that much yet 🙂

  10. I hope there is a video of your karaoke performance and that it finds its way in the world wide web 😉 (Whoever has it, please send it our way!)

    Happy New Year to you too, and happy travels around Australia.

    1. @Globetrottergirls: Sorry to disappoint but I don’t believe there is any video out there 🙂

      Looking forward to catching up again somewhere in 2011…if you ever make it out of Central America!

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  12. One of the best things about the English language is it’s ambiguities!
    I love it… Go forth and ‘Tool’ away in 2011 Earl, I am sure you will have many laughs while you are at it!

    1. @JacStar: I have no plans of giving up being a ‘tool’ any time soon! I’ve been getting that ‘what on earth are you doing’ look for years 🙂

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