At my veterinary clinic, we often keep a radio on for background music. Usually it’s tuned in to a rock station, which is okay, even if I would prefer elevator music or oldies. But since I work with mostly young people, I can’t afford to come across as totally obsolete. Even if my “use by” date is getting closer and closer to expiration. But occasionally someone will switch the station to country western. Suffice it to say that country western music is not my cup of tea. Not only is it not my cup of tea, it’s downright offensive to my delicate sense of what should and should not be classified as “musical.” Now before anyone reading this blog gets their knickers in a knot (and you rednecks know who you are) about my honest revelation, let me just say that being offended is quite in vogue these days, so we’re all perfectly within our rights to be offended by each other.

It’s not just the twang of the so-called music and the nasal, whiney delivered lyrics, but have you ever truly listened to some of these songs? They’re mostly downers. Girl (or boy) breaks up with you, your dog runs away, your pickup truck gets repossessed, your beloved Aunt Edna gets hit by a train, and Cousin Dwayne gets drunk and lands in jail. And the titles—Queen of My Doublewide, Bubba Shot the Jukebox, Red Solo Cup, Did I Shave My Legs for This. I ask you, can anyone truly take this as a serious art form?

Everyone at work knows about my aversion to country western music. But every so often, I hear the unmistakable sound of said genre jarring against my sensitive eardrums which are trying ineffectively to keep from having to deliver the message to my soon-to-be offended brain.

“Okay, who turned on the goat-roping music?” I’ll challenge.

There will be a sudden flutter of activity as everyone assures me THEY didn’t do it and a move to change the station.

But then, one day, as I was perusing the appointment schedule, I got to thinking. It seems we get some pretty innovative descriptions for the medical conditions we are to encounter that day. Some of these would make excellent titles for country western songs. Let me run a few by you and see what you think:

1. Red skin and diarrhea.

2. Sneezing, sex, and nail trim. (To clarify, the owner wanted to know if the rabbit was male or female.)

3. Dog may be pregnant by her brother.

4. ADR (Ain’t doin’ right.)

5. Sick and only has fifty dollars.

6. Sore that won’t heal.

7. Got into the trash.

8. Neighbor poisoned the dog.

9. Losing hair and teeth.

10. Hissing and hiding under the bed.

So, what do you think? If I could get some good music and lyrics to go along with these titles, is there a possibility I could be onto something? Personally, I think they’re a lot better than “Take a Drunk Girl Home.” These titles convey all the pathos and angst required for C and W music, while being completely new and fresh. If you know of someone who would be willing to team up with me, I think the sky’s the limit. Look out Nashville!


Award winning author, Ellen Fannon, is a practicing veterinarian, former missionary, and church pianist/organist. She originated and wrote the Pet Peeves column for the Northwest Florida Daily News before taking a two-year assignment with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. She and her husband have also been foster parents for more than 40 children, and the adoptive parents of two sons.  Her first novel, Other People’s Children, the humorous account of the life of a foster parent, was released last November and is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the trunk of her car. She lives in Valparaiso with her husband, son, and assorted pets.

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