I just sent off my new column to Country Standard Time magazine. It's either very late or editor Jeff Remz knows he needs to give me a hard deadline a little in advance of when he actually needs the piece. At any rate, here it is:
HOW I WISH DALLAS WAS IN TENNESSEE
I doubt this will surprise you, but musing on all things country here in CST doesn't put bread on the table much less pay the mortgage, so until Jeff Remz loosens up the purse strings in a BIG way, I'll have a day job.
Which means I'll have co-workers – or co-worker, since where I work is basically a two-man print shop. My previous co-worker was a young man named Bubba – (That's right, Bubba; and yes, I do live in the South, why do you ask?) – and we got along fine except that we couldn't agree on what radio station to listen to. I like country, and he liked 90s hip-hop, the Beastie Boys and other causes of cochlear-bleeding.
Bubba has moved on now. When I heard that my new co-worker was a man with the first name Dallas and the middle name Tex, I thought that maybe this was a guy who appreciated country music and there would be no more arguments over the radio. When during our first conversation he mentioned how much he liked Conway Twitty, I knew I had found the perfect co-worker.
But the honeymoon was a brief one. The first sign of trouble was when Dallas made a disparaging remark about an upcoming Merle Haggard concert. Then he insulted Dwight Yoakam. I guess I've always known that there are two types of country fans. I've made a vow to be less disparaging of divergent opinions, so I'll just say Dallas is one of the other kind. After Conway Twitty we don't have much in common. His second favorite country singer is Travis Tritt, who has always seemed so outlaw-manqué that he represents to me the time when country lost its authenticity. And he also loves Rascal Flatts, who I don't hate, but they're just another part of the bubble-gum-ization of country and I resent them for that.
So we don't agree on what radio to listen to either. He wants it on the mainstream country station, I want it on classic country or on the Braves games when they're playing.
But it doesn't really matter. Print shops are loud places and you can't hear much anyway. But Dallas shuts everything down whenever Tritt or some song he likes comes on – even if it's coming on for the 10th time today. And I've told him if I hear that damn "I'm your buckaroo, Dad, ain't that cool" song one more time I'm going to fling the radio into the river. I mean it too. Tolerance of divergent opinions be damned.
You know, I never thought I'd say this, but I kinda miss Bubba and the Beastie Boys.