This past Wednesday, students gathered in hordes at Guacamole’s Mexican Grill in Mishawaka, as they do nearly every Wednesday night. Per usual, the night was filled with “IDs” and limitless cheap margaritas. Naturally, once a bit of liquid courage started to surge through the building, the infamous karaoke machine at Guacamole’s began getting some usage.
Karaoke got off to a great start, as sophomores Izzy Rutiglio and Shannon Jones sang their hearts out to “California Gurls” by Katy Perry, despite both girls being from New Jersey. Then, junior Gavin Simpson stepped up to the mic and belted out “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper, thinking that everyone would find him singing that song really funny since he, in fact, is not a girl. Nobody laughed, but two people did cry. Unfortunately, Gavin’s performance would be the end of the fun, as next up was freshman Sylvester Palkewick.
Sylvester had come to Guacamole’s alone that night. He wore an oversized trench coat, white crocs, and a teal bucket hat. Standing at a whopping 6’7”, it was hard not to notice as he waltzed around the restaurant, making intense eye contact with people until they blinked or looked away. He had not ordered a single drink, and it seemed as though he did not even have a table. Once Gavin Simpson finished butchering his performance, Sylvester lumbered up the staircase to the karaoke machine. There were a few people ahead of him on the waiting list, but nobody was going to stop the determined Sylvester from singing karaoke at that very moment.
“I warned him that this was a bad idea,” stated Reggie, who runs the karaoke machine at Guacamole’s, “but he kept murmuring, ‘This is my destiny’ under his breath.”
Sylvester grabbed the microphone, and the sound of the opening piano in Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” met the ears of every customer in the Mexican restaurant. Immediately, the room fell silent, and an overwhelming sense of dread filled the air.
Freshman Allan Chambers, who was scheduled to sing “Love Story” by Taylor Swift later that night, walked us through the panic he was experiencing as “Candle in the Wind” began to play. “All I could think to myself was please let it be the Marilyn Monroe version and not the Princess Diana version.”
But much to Allan’s chagrin, it was absolutely the Princess Diana version. For three minutes and 48 seconds, Guacamole’s was frozen in fear as Sylvester’s deep voice sang an intense ballad mourning the death of the Princess of Wales. Several families were still in the restaurant, all of whom got up and left before Sylvester could get to the second verse. However, students felt compelled to stick around as there were still many cheap margaritas to be had. Several audience members attempted to relieve some of the tension in the room, albeit unsuccessfully.
“In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have turned my phone flashlight on and waved my phone in the air,” reflected senior John Gifford, “I thought it kind of fit the mood, but I guess people are still pretty upset about Princess Diana.”
In addition to John’s failed attempt, junior Amelia Bryce attempted to drown out Sylvester by yelling “Margarita in the Wind” during the chorus, but Sylvester started singing even louder. Sophomore Zachary Lucas started rapping Hamilton songs for some reason, but when he sang “I’m only nineteen but my mind is older” with a marg in his hand, he was kicked out of the restaurant. Senior Keely McAllister joked that the performance was “a royal pain,” but when nobody acknowledged her joke, she repeated it, to which one of her friends replied, “Why did you say that twice?”
After Sylvester’s performance, the owner of Guacamole’s emerged and destroyed the karaoke machine with a sledgehammer. That was pretty much the end of the night at Guacamole’s, as people quickly began to trickle out without the excitement of karaoke to hold their attention. Sylvester was spotted leaving the restaurant soon after his performance with a look of somber satisfaction painted across his face. As for the karaoke machine, its candle burned out long before its legend ever will.