I'm a hard workin' man
I wear a steel hard hat
I can ride, rope, hammer and paint
Do things with my hands that most men can't
I can't get ahead no matter how hard I try
I'm gettin' really good at barely gettin' by
Brooks and Dunn
Hard Workin' Man
I remember this song, not for its catchy lyrics or insane danceable beats... of which it has neither, but rather for some uncomfortable one-sided conversation I had with my dad once. Or I guess, that he had with me, but only because I was present at the time. If someone else had been there, he probably would have had it with them instead.
This song was on the radio, which was weird, because I don't listen to country music, and my dad doesn't either. He's stuck in this perpetual timwarp where Buddy Holly never died "a long long time ago." That's basically all he listens to. Pepper his audio routine with some Eagles and that's his symphonic smorgasboard. So, what I'm saying is that he doesn't listen to country music either. So I'm not sure why this song was on the radio, and why both of us happened to be in the same room at the same time that this song (that belongs to a genre neither of us enjoy) was playing. Call it fate or destiny or schadenfreude. Whatev.
And so the song is playing and he looks at me square in the eyes and says, "You can tell that this song wasn't written by a real working man. Nobody wears steel hard hats anymore. If anything ever fell and hit you while you were wearing a steel hard hat you'd be killed. They're unsafe and heavy. They also cause neck problems. That's why all hard hats now are polycarbon and plastic." Then he turned away and went back to whatever he was doing -- reading about cars he couldn't afford probably. Something like that. And so there I am with this new piece of knowledge that not only can I not respond to, but does me absolutely no good when applied to the real world of people who don't work around constructions sites or power turbines.
This little nugget of trivia has been lodged in my brain for years now, and it serves me no purpose. I could have memorized something important with that synaptic space, but instead I have the lyrics of a country song and my dad being... well, my dad.