Banjos in my Belly


You know that feeling you get in the pit of your belly right before you laugh? Everything starts to warm up a little, and little giggles bounce around inside of you, trying to get out. This is how I feel when I listen to a banjo. I’m listening to some bluegrass music right now, and I am sitting here grinning like a person who is too polite to laugh out loud at the stranger she just saw walk into a closed door. Someday I’ll learn to play, oh, yes, oh, yes I will.

I have to admit, I was bored with the idea of sitting down to write today. Sometimes I reach a point where I am not sure why you would want to know what I have to say about anything anyway. I have lots I could share this week, too. There’s been tragedies in Boston and Texas, a touching Dove video circulating, and a challenging rebuttal to that same video. These things, among others, are leaving me feeling relentlessly sentimental and caught under the swinging pendulum of others’ opinions, mapping out in my mind just where I stand, or fall.

And you know what? I could use a good laugh. But in all of the ideas for topics I had moseying around in my noggin today, not one of them seemed to fit the bill.

I have a method of getting thoughts out of my head and onto paper, and that is to take some nice white printer paper and fill it up with ideas using magic marker. There is something magic about marker, isn’t there? I sat down with the paper and stared at it. Almost put on some music that generally evokes some thought when I write, but that music is rife with sentiment,and I was already bloated from too much of the stuff this week. Fresh, I needed fresh.

I looked at what I had written on the page so far. Some clever titles, but not a lot of substance. I started to think about what makes me laugh. I love clever and quick wit, and things my son says (“I don’t want to get rid of my wart. It’s where I have my secret superpower: the power of grossing people out.”) and my daughter when she busts out with a laugh of her own.  And I, on a consistent basis, make myself laugh, and others, if they are near and get to watch. Because I do and say funny things, not on purpose, in a class clown kind of way, but accidentally. Remember the stranger I mentioned at the start of the post, who walks into a door? I am that stranger. But I don’t try and hold it in. I laugh out loud at myself all the time. I’m sure it is unnerving if you happen to be standing near me in an aisle at the grocery store, and I start to chuckle because my hair is full of static electricity and I can feeling floating away from me.

It’s usually when I am trying something new that things really get good. This week I decided I would dye my hair in the new and fashionable “ombre” style. Oh, yeah. I am no stranger to dying my own hair. Only the addition of banjo music could have made this better. I put about ten ponytails all over my head, and started the process of dying just the ends of them. After forty-five minutes of sitting very still so as not to drip, I finally washed my hair to reveal the finished product. My hair looked….exactly the same. I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to take a picture to send to my sister, so the picture I sent made her laugh. I love to make other people laugh, and I don’t mind if the joke is unintentional.

And don’t you think a good giggle can cure so many ails? I wanted to make you laugh today, but I am afraid my wit isn’t so quick. So instead I am giving you an assignment. You have two choices, or, if you are an overachiever, you can do both.

One: Add banjo music to a stressful task, whether it’s trying something new (think ice skating, or cooking a complicated meal- Gordon Ramsey would be a different man if banjo music were played in his kitchen), or something you dread to do (I’m thinking of my parents and the raccoon they recently trapped in their yard, or changing a dirty diaper…)

Or, two: If you are a writer of any kind, the next time you sit to write, for fun, for work, anything, write to the tune of some banjos. You’ll type faster than you thought possible. And even better, if you have to delete something, just sit and hold your delete button down, to the tune of some down-home bluegrass music. It is way more amusing than you might realize. Trust me, I just did it with a good majority of this post.

Let me know what you do. We could all use a good laugh.

And now, let the hilarity ensue!!

(A quick P.S.: thanks to Randolin Music for letting me come in and take some pictures of their banjos!)



2 thoughts on “Banjos in my Belly”

  1. Have you heard “Banjo” by Rascal Flatts on their new album. When he has had enough of the concrete jungle, he heads out to where he can hear the banjo music and where he goes to get there> And lo and behold you hear great banjo music! I just recently bought the CD and loved the song after hearing, but not knowing the title. And, of course, it is just called “Banjo”. I know you have always wanted to learn how to play it, so come one girl! You can do it! Love ya, Mom

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