Trauma Llama – Red Tash Karaokes

trauma-llama-featureFellow Hoosier author Red Tash stopped today to tell us a story of her college days and the importance of “always go for the funny”. But first let’s look at her book TROLL OR DERBY.


Here’s the blurb:

Troll Or DerbyIn TROLL OR DERBY, fifteen year old Roller Deb is singled out by town bullies for both her skates, and for being different.  When her popular homecoming queen of a sister is kidnapped by a scuzzy drug dealer, Deb must flee the trailer park in which she’s grown up, and rescue her.  Along the way, Deb becomes enmeshed in the magical realm of trolls and fairies, and the blood-thirsty version of roller derby at which these beings excel.  But spending too much time among the fairies comes with a price.  Will Deb choose to save her sister, with the aid of a mysterious troll?  Or will she be lost to the lures of roller derby, and the blonde temptress April, forever?

Purchase on AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsiTunesKobo or check out her page for more ways to get the book (and a SWEET photo of this bonafide roller derby gal)

Here is Red’s Trauma Llama tale:

It was the early 90s, and I was a student at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. Like many other collegians, I had to sing for my supper, so to speak. I did my performances as part of the “lunch lady” glove-wearing crew of Kroger J-928’s Salad Bar team. One of my best friends from my IU days was a girl who, like me, was way too cool to cut up fruit at a salad bar. This could be observed by the way she taught a goofy 19-year-old such as myself to rap along with TLC’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” or House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” I grew up on Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. This personal introduction to what would eventually become “hip hop” was changing my life, yo. Not that I could actually sing—but it was fun to sing with her.

Another thing my friend taught me was to “always go for the funny.” I’d always been witty–at least in my own mind–but I didn’t always have the courage to make the jokes aloud. She assured me that when I saw the window for making a joke, I had to take it—that it was okay to fail at being funny, but since I had a good sense of humor, I should trust my instincts. It was great advice and it changed my life, most definitely. I think “always go for the funny” would have been one of my marriage vows, had my husband and I stopped to write any down. It’s right up there with “always be my friend,” and “always tell me I look beautiful/handsome, no matter what fresh hell I’ve been through.”

But back to college. One night after work I joined my friend and her roommates at their apartment to have a few drinks and hang out. At the time, it wasn’t common for people to own karaoke machines, but my friend’s roommate had one. Enchanted by the novelty and bolstered by the booze, I grabbed the microphone and launched into the next song: “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston.

Always go for the funny, I told myself, and when it got to the chorus, I inserted a lyric. “The greatest love…of all…is my ‘GINA!” What followed were a series of lewd gestures that I would be mortified to ever repeat, but at the time, they really slew my drunken college girl audience!

A few moments later, as the entire apartment complex beat down the girls’ door, doubled over in laughter and bringing their own booze, the party was on. For the rest of the night, quiet mousy me was red-faced, trying to avoid the question “So which one of you was the one who sang “My ‘GINA!” on the karaoke machine?” Evidently my drunken caterwaul about masturbation was interpreted as an invitation to party, and about 30 strangers showed up for an encore performance.

I don’t think I ever hung out at their apartment again.

LOL! I think this calls for comments on what other songs could use ‘GINA in the lyrics!

Do you have a Trauma Llama story you’d like to share? Prod me on Twitter (@AnyaBreton) or e-mail me anya at 🙂

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