Rat Patrol

Henry and I drove down to San Diego to pick up a bookcase that a homeschooling family was selling for cheap. On the way he worked in his grammar book and we listened to a They Might Be Giants album called “They Got Lost” which I’d never heard before, though I know some of the songs from other albums. “Words Are Like” is lovely. We were admiring the solo in Rat Patrol, and I asked Henry if he knew how to make a guitar sound like that. He said, “It’s probably a vibrato bar, some distortion, very strong fingers, and maybe a little reverb.” I don’t know if that’s true, but it doesn’t matter — he knows the terminology and how to get started if he wants to replicate that sound. Neat.

In other rodent-based news, we were both sitting in the upstairs room that is known as The Sitting Room but is really more of a Project Room, when Karen the Cat started jumping around and acting all crazy. We watched her for a while, and pretty soon we noticed that she had caught a MOUSE and was batting it around, teasing it the way cats do. I let her keep it because I want to encourage her to rid our house of vermin. She played with it for an awful long time. I hope she finally ate it and didn’t leave it, or parts of it, under someone’s bed…

Here are the lyrics to “Words Are Like”:

Words are like
The middle class
A drinking glass
A mask

Words are like
A Spanish town
A wedding gown
A crown

Words are like
A happy dream
A racing team
A wooden beam
A seam

Words are like
A rusty nail
A minor scale
A snail

Words are like
A postcard stamp
A highway ramp
A cramp

Words are like
Kaleidoscopes
The taste of soap
A billy goat
A coat

Words are like
A teenage star
A prison guard
A faded scar
A car

It’s a demo with just acoustic guitar, a bit of simple percussion, and two voices in lovely harmony — Flansburgh and a woman, maybe the woman who sang “don’t cross the street in the middle…” I wonder if I can find tab for it. Henry and I could easily sing the harmony together.

Category: Blog One comment »

One Response to “Rat Patrol”

  1. Dan

    Karen the Cat left half of the mouse (the end with the head) in my room upstairs :)


Leave a Reply



Back to top