Twang-a twang TWANG twang

By Mir
November 10, 2011

I had noble intentions of putting together a deeply meaningful—but also hilarious, natch—post for your enjoyment, yesterday, but my day was derailed by a multitude of more pressing matters.

True, probably the least of my worries was the subcontractor who is out on the deck painting (did I mention that we replaced our siding while redoing the deck? because we did, because why not spend every last penny all at once!) and BLARING country music all freakin’ day long.

Part of me feels like: Hey, this is my house, and not only that, this is my OFFICE, and I am trying to work, and therefore I am well within my rights to ask him to please turn his music down (or off).

But the other part of me feels like: Dude is probably being paid minimum wage by the contractor, let him listen to some music while he spends hours and hours moving a paint brush back and forth, and P.S. don’t be a dick.

So I haven’t said anything. The music continues to blare. And the dog continues to bark. I guess she doesn’t like country music, either.

And the thing is, I don’t consider myself a terribly easily-distracted person. I can usually tune out what I need to. But the radio is RIGHT OUTSIDE MY DOOR and there’s just… just… SO MANY BANJOS. So much TWANG. So much “And Iiiiiii looooooove yooooouuuuuuuu” and other crooning that sounds a lot like the guy who’s singing is currently undergoing a vasectomy without benefit of anesthesia.

Even the commercials on that station make me stabby. Lots of extremely southern accents telling you to COME ON BACK NOW, Y’HEAR! and GOLLY GEE WE HAVE IT ALL and who knows what else. I can barely understand what they’re saying, so I have no idea what these commercials are even for. [I can’t seem to tune them out, though, so I mentally determine the product for each commercial based upon how utterly hicks-ville the announcers sound. 1 redneck = commercial for a bar. 2 rednecks = commercial for a bar with country line-dancing night. 3 rednecks = chewing tobacco. 4 rednecks = ammo shop. I could be wrong, but the sad part is that this is probably not too far off.]

Please do not deluge me with your comments about how great country music is and how stereotypical and dismissive I’m being. I know. There is even some country music I kind of enjoy. But I swear this dude is listening to the all-banjo channel. My brain has been subjected to the TWANG CHANNEL for about 10 hours already, which is—by my calculations—10 hours too many.

I’m hoping he finishes painting today. Please.

So, while the painting and the TWANG-TWANGing was going on here, yesterday, I tried to get some work done, fielded various phone calls and emails, dealt with one very angry child trying to pick a fight with me from school (say it with me now: “But it’s NOT FAIR!”) (no need for said situation to be unfair to use that one, by the way), read entirely too much about the latest Political Crisis Du Jour, and tried to finish up everything I’m putting together for our Big School Event that is finally almost here.

Then after school there was one child in trouble for behavior at school and one child in trouble for behavior at home and Deep Discussions and stomping and slamming and then later, some more School Event work with a colleague who brought alcohol (that was by far the most pleasant part of the day, actually) (uh, not because of the alcohol, per se, just because I like her and her style) and finally after The Day Of Twanging and Awful Events and General Mayhem it was time to collapse into bed.

I began poking Otto the moment he lay down. “Turn over.”


“TURN OVER. I had a miserable day. I REQUIRE BARNACLE-ING!”

And even though my poor husband would rather not, he obliged. He turned over, and I snuggled up to his back and fell right to sleep.

I dreamed that angry rednecks were chasing me with banjos.

And then this morning the painter wasn’t here, so I settled down to work, but then he showed up. And now the music’s blaring, again. “People’re craaaaazyyyyyy!”



  1. Fran

    My contractor listened to talk radio..there’s a certain annoying whiny twang to talk radio in itself but when I actually let the words enter my brain, well then, I was surely going to have gray matter all over the walls. Cleaning gray matter might have meant another week tacked on to the project timeline.

  2. Chuck

    But were the angry rednecks chasing you in a banjomobile?

    You might try playing classical music on your computer today and listening to it through headphones…don’t know if that’s a viable option for you or not. Or just ask the guy to move his radio a bit further away from your office. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.

  3. Little Bird

    You know what happens when you play a country song backwards?
    You get your truck back, your dog back, your wife back, your trailer back…….

  4. diane

    It sounds like country stations down there are different than those up here, which closely mimic the pop stations except for an occassional banjo to give them country cred.

    I’m not sure I’d be able to tolerate the noise without going outside, complimenting the guy on his work, then asking him if he was getting an IPOD for Christmas. No need to blast the music beyond any ears but his own, in this day and age.

  5. Aimee

    Ooh… banjos make me stabby, too! Frankly, I get stabby when I hear that Geico commercial with the redneck-y guy screaming about saving money on car insurance. I will actually turn off the radio when that comes on.

    Seems to me you could ask him to turn it down without feeling bad, though. You are working from home — does he need to have the banjos twanging at TOP volume? Perhaps medium-volume twangage would suffice?

  6. Tracy B

    I am a huge fan of country music but not so much banjos. I can NOT stand “old” country…just the newer artist. ;o) Blake Shelton is my buddy!

  7. Nelson's Mama

    I enjoy country, but in short doses and am most fond of the crying in your beer ballads! The stations we pick up here are out of Nashville and only play the current hits, which doesn’t really sound like “country”!

    True despair to me would have been 10 hours of Lil Wayne and Eminen ;-)

  8. Mom24

    I love people are crazy! I get your point though. I once had a worker here who blared Rush and Glen Beck nonstop. I thought my ears would bleed. Good luck. Coffee shop?

  9. Hally

    Did I ever mention that I love Otto posts? Because I do. I picture him with a deadpan face walking in the door tonight, ‘Mir – my students today @ University mentioned that I am NOT a barnacle sleeper. How do you think that they MAY or MAY NOT be privvy to such information?’ And just walking away. He has the patience of Job, no?

    Happy Almost Friday – and know that the teenage years, they are finite. One day Chickie will be at another Fancy University and you’ll be moaning about how much you miss the stomping and slamming…hang in there! Only….5-6 more years!

  10. Arnebya

    So much twang! I literally just laughed out loud at my desk (I wonder what my office mates think of me. No, actually, I don’t). But the barncale-ing. My husband obliges as he sighs too.

  11. Jackie

    Maybe you can wear head phones to drown out his music. Or ask him to do so.

    Sorry! Hopefully they will be finished and all will be worth the suffering.

  12. MichaelB

    HEY!!! No Hicksville jokes – I GREW UP IN HICKSVILLE!!!

    No really – Hicksville NY. It’s on Long Island – look it up!

    Ok so we moved away when I was 11 – but STILL!!!!

  13. Jenn

    Barnacle-ing? Heh heh, I thought you meant something else, but I finally figured it out. (Also-headphones! Didn’t they come with your iphone? Make use of them!)

  14. Megan

    I like some country music… it just depends on the country.

    Also, I sort of feel about public music the way I feel about smoking – it’s okay until it gets all up in my space at which point it’s an act of aggression and I’m allowed to be snarky. Granted, I’m too chicken to actually SAY anything, but I get to THINK it. Really, really loudly!

  15. Jen

    Totally agree on the Country music. We have contractors working on our roof that about 20 times a day will break out in expletive-laden diatribe against each other. No music, so that’s good, but … yeah. Sometimes there’s only one of them up there and they are ranting ABOUT the other one, instead of to him. And since this is a rental, I can’t say a word. I wouldn’t mind so much if they were a little creative, but it’s generally a lot of F-bombs and questioning the other’s intellect/parentage. Oh, and this is the second WEEK they’ve been here, and they haven’t even started the shingles yet, just the gutters and eaves. Sigh.

  16. Karen

    You do know that once you leave the northeast for down south, ya’ll ah suthun now. When in Rome…


  17. Sassy Apple

    I empathize. My husband watches a show that requires subtitles. Artsy Foreign Channel? Nope. American Hoggers, where the hick-billy accent is so thick, it needs interpretation. I leave the room and put in my ear buds.

  18. Therese

    Must be a construction thing. My husband’s a contractor, and his lead carpenter LOOVEESS his country musics. Listens all day and SINGS with all the songs and knows ALL THE WORDS. They were at my house one day. I told my husband if I had to work with the other guy all day, I would probably kill him before lunch!

  19. Susan

    I was going to say you should buy him an ipod with earphones in self defense and pre-load it with twang but then Therese’s comment made me realized he’d probably just sing along LOUDLY. Sorry. I feel your pain.

  20. JennyA

    So this would not be a good time to mention my deep desire to learn the banjo?

    I engage in the Preservationist Barnacle Maneuver, myself. Significant Other snores mightily when on his back but not while sleeping on his side. The only way to keep him on his side, though, is to wedge myself against his back in such a way that I’m -in the way- of him rolling back over. It’s either that or murder him in his sleep for the peace and quiet, and that seems a little drastic in the light of day.

  21. Nancy

    Um…do you know where the fuse box is?

    And when painter guy complains that he’s not getting power to his boom box, mention that IT”S NOT FAIR!

  22. elz

    Ah, ammo ads, I know those well. At one point this season, we had sixty boxes of ammo in our garage. They were for a charity shooting tournament. But still, SIXTY boxes of ammo. In. My. Garage.

    You need some good ole Alabama “If you’re gonna play in Texas” b/c you need some fiddlin’ to balance out the banjoes!

    P.S. Wanna come to Houston for the Livestock Show & Rodeo? ;)

    P.P.S. You’re pretty

  23. Angela

    Yep, you are definitely in Georgia, after all, isn’t that the Home of Twang? The further out in the country you are, they hickier the station. I’m in Houston and it’s mostly the pop-country stuff, which I’m not terribly fond of anyway, but if you drive out into the sticks it gets more twangy! :-P

  24. kdblya

    My dad used to play football games really loudly over the radio on the weekends while my mom was cleaning house. So I actually get kind of nostalgic for that cold air, the brightness of the sunlight bouncing off the snow outside and the vacuum whining whenever I hear the drone of the radio. It doesn’t have to be a football game, either. If I’m missing home, I turn on NPR or something.

  25. Kathy

    OMG! Just your post stressed me out!!

  26. my kids' mom

    My 6th grade teacher used to tell us “Life is not fair. Fair is where people throw cow chips for distance.” At the time we left our mouths hanging open in the “huh?” position, but now it entertains me.

  27. Little Bird

    Someone just HAD to make the Deliverance reference, didn’t they? My father forced me to watch that when I was 13 the night before leaving for a four day camping trip that included an excursion on a man-made lake. I STILL have occasional nightmares!

  28. Jessica

    JennyA, you’re doing it wrong. My husband is the same way, and I just whack him on the arm and say sternly, “Roll over!” And then he rolls over. He never remembers it in the morning either, although sometimes he mouths me before rolling over. Supposedly (ha!), he never remembers it when he mouths me either.

    Mir, I can’t even imagine how you’ve managed to not rip your ears off after over 10 hours of that stuff. My goodness…I think one of us (me or the contractor) would have ears by about hour three.

  29. Tenessa

    I don’t like country music at all, but mostly? I don’t like other people’s music. Headphones. Get some.

  30. Another Dawn

    Not a fan of country music, with a few exceptions, but I do have some favourite country music lyrics. I heard two of them while driving and laughed so hard it almost wasn’t safe.

    One was about a guy who was blue because his girl had gone and left him (surprising topic for a country song, I know) and he was singing about how he drinks to drown his sorrows and tries to tell himself it’ll all be okay… “… but I can’t talk to myself when I’m drinking…”

    The other was about a girl who’d been done wrong (another surprise topic) and the chorus began with, “… hell has no music like a woman playing second fiddle…”

    The third (and final, this is supposed to be a comment not a post) was at a showcase concert at the regional music awards – very intimate venue – performer on the same level as the tables for the audience. Friend and I are sitting right at the front, clearly visible to the performers as the “stage” lighting was spilling onto the front row of tables and this wonderful singer, who had performed two perfectly lovely songs starts into an uber-twangy number about (surprise!) a woman about to leave a man and she’s giving him one more chance to clean up his act and the chorus goes: “…I’m standing in a phone booth at the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk and the light’s about to change…” And we couldn’t laugh! The singer would have seen us! And she’d written the song herself (no kidding). It was murder.

    And that’s all I have to say about that. (Finally.)

  31. Cele

    I ended the read thinking, “Hey, I played that song before.” I received a phone call at work this morning…”Hey Cele, could your radio station quit playing all that Christmas music?”

    “Ugh, Christmas music? Which station are you listening to? We’re playing patriotic selections for Veterans day.”

    “I thougth I was listening to your station, who am I listening to?”

    Now really how the crap am I to know the answer to that? I do know the station is in my town.

  32. addy

    No – No – NO! Can’t listen to the stuff really. I will havetomakeitstop somehow. I get it. He needs his tunes to work. So, get yourself some frickin headphones dude. Gah!

  33. CherryLaneDiaries

    Your comment, “because why not spend every last penny all at once!” rang a familiar bell with me. Gee whiz. Why does life have to be like that sometimes?

    Lu Purcell

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