Apparently It’s Genetic

Sorry I disappeared without a warning, although I do think I mentioned last time I was getting ready for Part One of my two summer road trips.

The “getting to” part of Part One went well. I stopped by the library before we left and checked out a few audiobooks, which is unusual for me. I like to read out loud, but have never been a big fan of having others read to me. I’m not sure if I enjoyed it as a child or not. I’ll ask my mom when she gets home and let you know.

Because I’m sure all of you will be unable to go about your normal life routines until you have that missing piece from my childhood.

UPDATE: I just asked my mom. She said I liked having books read to me before I learned to read. She said I learned to read when I was three and after that point, I didn’t like when people read aloud to me. She also reminded me that I don’t like for people to read over my shoulder or to read what I’m reading while I’m reading it. I may have some control issues when it comes to reading.

My family gave me XM Radio for Christmas so I can almost always find music I want to hear on the road, but if it’s a song I really like, I feel compelled to sing along, and after several hours of driving, my throat gets sore and my kids’ nerves get worn by my singing. I thought I’d give us all a break and give the books a try.

I checked out a few nonfiction books because that’s not a genre I like to read as much. I have several nonfiction books on my list of Books I Really Want to Read so I thought maybe I could scratch a few of them off this way. But then I wondered if I could count them on my Books I’ve Read list if I listened to someone else read them instead of read them myself. Most people wouldn’t think much about this decision, but these are the kind of things that keep me up at night. What do you think? Should I count them?

I wasn’t sure how long I’d last listening to the books. Kelly always has an audiobook to listen to on trips and I usually lug around my bag of books to read. I bring whatever book I’m currently reading, a follow-up book in case I finish the first one, and a backup book in case my follow-up book isn’t very good. I usually also have three or four magazines that I haven’t had a chance to read and maybe a few other books thrown in for good measure. This may explain why I have back issues.

I was listening to Malcolm Gladwell read his book Outliers. I remember a few years ago it seems like everyone was reading his book The Tipping Point. The library didn’t have that one so I thought I might try a couple of his other books. So far, this book is really interesting and I may have changed my mind about audiobooks! Of course, I was also thinking about trying to find the book at the used book store so I can read it…which defeats the whole purpose of listening to it. Apparently my control and back issues are not my only ones.

I think one of the reason I like this audiobook is that it is read by the author. I’m not sure why I thought I would like the book better if the author read it, but I think all of the audiobooks I chose were read by the author.

Actually, I may know why I like author-read books. They remind me of the time my friend Alison and listened to  E.B. White read Charlotte’s Web. I don’t remember how old we were, but I know we were still in elementary school. I had gone over to her house to play and her mom had brought home Charlotte’s Web from the library for Alison to hear. We must have grown tired of irritating her older brother because we decided to give it a listen. Mr. White was a wonderful author, but his audio delivery of his book was dry at best. I don’t think he ever meant for the recording to be funny, but Alison and I found it hysterical.

“No,” Fern shrieked,”you can’t kill Wilbur” as voiced by Mr. Robato gets me every time.

Before I started listening to the books, the kids indulged me in a little sing-along time. It was during our “jam session” that I realized that I may have inadvertently passed along my mondegreen gene. Have you all heard the song “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People? It’s really catchy. And there’s whistling. I almost always like songs that including whistling or banjos. And if there’s whistling and banjos? Pure bliss.

“Pumped Up Kicks” doesn’t have banjos, but it’s fun all the same. Well, I thought it was, but I didn’t really know what the words of the song were. Neither did my kids. So of course, I Googled them.

They are not happy lyrics. I like our versions better.

For example, the actual lyric in the chorus is:

“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”

I thought they were saying, “You’d better run, better run, faster than my puppet.”

My youngest son thought it was, “You’d better run, better run, faster than my cousin.”

My oldest son thought it was, “You’d better run, better run, faster than my bunny.

I’m not going to tell them any different and we’ll just continue to sing it our way. And whistle. Because you can’t mess up the lyrics of a whistle.

I may be on the road Friday and I’ll be out of town next week, too, I think, so my posting may be a little spotty until I get back home. But I’ll try to check in with other updates on my issues and songs I misunderstood.

Happy Wednesday!


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11 responses to “Apparently It’s Genetic

  1. I grew up listening to country music. When I was a kid, some song hit the charts in which some guy sang about hiding a transistor radio from his parents. The line was: “Under my pillow I kept it hid.” I was CONVINCED the words were: “Under my pillow I kept a kid.” My family has yet to let me forget this.

    • whimzie

      I wouldn’t let you forget it either! The mental picture of that gives me a little giggle.

      I need to head over to your blog and see how Zach is doing! I feel so out of touch!!

  2. Are we the same person? seriously. Your description of your travel books sounds just like me. Do you stick them in a bag and put it under your feet while your husband looks at you and rolls his eyes??

    And–the pumped up kicks song: we thought it was bunny too. And then we googled. And, like you, realized: not a happy song.

    My only son told me the other day that he wanted to sing that “I am the Tiger” song on Rock Band. yep. genetic.

    • whimzie

      Well, we are related.

      Yes, I stick them in a bag…if I can limit them to one. And my husband sighs AND rolls his eyes. I’m doubly blessed. I build myself a little cocoon on my side of the car and he REALLY loves it if he gets too tired to drive and he has to sit on the passenger side. Apparently he can not ride unless his feet are unencumbered. Encumbered feet twist his insides.
      They’re just feet! Unless you’re Fred Astaire practicing your moves how much room do they need over there? And he doesn’t even wear pumped up kicks!

  3. Gretchen

    Too much goodness for one post, Mrs. Snoodle! I, too, have the “I don’t care for you to read over my shoulder” gene. And many other control issues over reading, which make me realized that we were separated at birth & by 9 months. Just read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet.Charming, charming book.

    Listened to Pumped Up Kicks just yesterday, on the road w/the fam. Yeah…lurve it all but the lyrics. I’ll be happy to adopt either of your family’s mondegrenes, if available to the public. Also, we lurve CeLo’s “Forget You”, for it’s updated, yet vintage Motown sound. We just sing along w/all the 1/2 words & pauses. Because, of course, we require the clean version. 🙂

    • whimzie

      Sweet and charming are the very words I’d use to describe that book. Truly enjoyed it.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one with reading issues.

      And weren’t you going to tell me another Pumped Up Kicks story? Don’t tease me, Gretchen!

  4. I’m so glad you mentioned our experience with Charlotte’s Web. To this day, I can’t watch/read ANY version of that story without “Mr. Roboto’s” voice resonating in my head! I can’t remember how old we were either…glad I’m not the only one!! I do still love Charlotte’s Web, though and I can’t wait to read it with my sweet little girl…she will definitely NOT be hearing E.B White’s rendition – I think I’ll stick to Mommy’s version!

    Update: I just read your blog to Rae (my sweet little girl) and we had a couple of good laughs – not only about your misunderstood lyrics – but a couple of our own, as well!! She and I both like the bunny version, too!!

    • whimzie

      I am so glad you remember that! I always had so much fun hanging out at your house. I could write many posts about our adventures. Do you remember the programs we used to make your parents and brother watch? And Mrs. Tig? And our inventions of stuff we made using cleaning products from under the sink? That probably wasn’t very safe.

  5. oh we are so much alike.

    I could have written this post..Ha

  6. Becky Brumley Smith

    I like the Pumped Up Kicks song, but I thought he was saying run faster than my brother. I had this image in my head of his big brother chasing people that were picking on him . My son doesn’t like the song. He became a teenager in May and any song mom likes is not cool.

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