In this edition of “Orange is the New Remodeling,” I cover music the human brain needs to survive a world of DIY home renovations amidst the Whip Cracker herself. Strap on your father’s 1987 radial arm saw and your most valued curse words and join me for your first day of remodel prison while you enjoy the music I’ve selected as my soundtrack. – Red Shahan
The Doors – “Riders on the Storm”
Today’s the day. Your hand is outstretched to the handle of the front door and the only thought you’re clinging to is, “What the hell have I done and who the hell do I think I am?”
Faron Young – “Hello Walls”
You’ve entered the home after nearly losing your life to the wasps that were conveniently located above the door jamb. It’s time to assess the damage you’re about to create. This is the calm before the storm.
Eddy Arnold – “Make the World Go Away”
Imagine yourself flung into a Quentin Tarantino-esque version of This Old Fuc$#%* House as the chorus and the head of your sledgehammer synch up perfectly in a slow-motion battle with the wall you will later regret removing.
Glen Campbell – “Wichita Lineman”
Despite the chaos you’ve just created, the Hiroshima-like living room leaves you with a slight feeling of accomplishment and the thought, “Hell, sing it to me, Glen. I know your pain.”
Melanie – “Brand New Key”
Your first taste of the midday crazies has ensued. Out of the drywall dust appears the neighbor’s dog who lets himself into your home and relieves himself on the ‘70s shag carpet your MeeMee once adorned; but you say nothing and stare in envy as it’s what you’ve wanted to do all morning.
LeAnn Rimes – “Blue”
LUNCH TIME. But this is no enjoyable burger as the only thing in your area is Johnny Wang’s “Sushi, Burgers, and More” while LeAnn plays in the background reminding you of that faded, computer-blue house you just bought.
Seal – “Kiss From a Rose”
Back to work, tough guy! With mustard on your shirt and hate in your heart, the Whip Cracker gives you a sign of approval and a sensual tap on the rear as if to say, “Keep it up and I might let you rub my back tonight….shirtless.”
Tom Waits – “Heartattack and Vine”
If a remodeled house could grow a salty swagger and sing to you while you work, old Computer Blue would have a raspy voice and abundant smell of cigarettes, just like Tom. But this place has the smell of a nasty wax ring under the toilet you just removed. Not even the bubonic plague came close to that stench.
Al Green – “I’m Glad You’re Mine”
Time for the first of many, many return trips to Home Depot. Strap on your gas station-purchased measuring tape, load your freshly-sharpened pencil in its fleshy holding device otherwise known as an ear, and walk into that Home Depot like it’s covered in neon lights and you’re an eligible bachelor ready to peel paint with your swanky presence. Strut your stuff, handy man. (*Needle scratches record) but then Whip Cracker calls to say she’ll meet you there. *leaves suspenders in the Subaru.
The Notorious B.I.G. – “Hypnotize”
You walk back into Computer Blue with your sacks of suggested tools and materials from “Leonard,” the 17-year-old pimple-faced smart-aleck that acts like he hung the handyman’s moon, when in all reality he goes to a school that doesn’t teach cursive and believes in trophies for everyone…. Anyways, with an attitude and a second wind you’re ready to pull up the urine-soaked carpet. *curses loudly* “I forgot to get gloves.”
Michael Jackson – “Smooth Criminal”
The sun is setting and your mind is telling you to go home but it’s winter solstice and only 5 p.m. You know Whip Cracker expects a solid 22 hours of labor or you can bet she’ll overcook Rachael Ray’s “Peach Bellini Chicken Thighs” because she’s too busy pacing the house with outlandish ideas. So suck it up, buddy, and let Michael moonwalk you into that kitchen you’ve been turning a blind eye to.
Joe Cocker – “With a Little Help From My Friends”
There comes a time in a man’s life when he deciphers the difference between his friends and his brothers. Just imagine peering out the window after hearing three car doors shut. To your amazement while shedding a slow tear, the “Regulators” show up with some Keystone tall boys and some judgments like slander to help you finish the day. Despite the endeavor you blindly took on and the lies you told the Whip Cracker, where there’s a will there’s a way. And when your light switch turns on the refrigerator and you’re slinging nachos at the Cowboys when they don’t make the playoffs, just remember the music that got you to that point. But for now, it’s just day one, sucka.