Occam’s Hairbrush

I’m going to tell you all a funny story, because I realized recently that it isn’t mortifying to me any more, but funny. Because I think that I have a rule to live by that is pretty much the opposite of Occam’s Razor. Occam’s Razor is basically that the simplest explanation is probably right.

So, if you come home and discover someone has eaten the last of the cookies, it probably was the person sitting on the couch covered in crumbs and not aliens who covered him in crumbs to cover their tracks.

I seem to believe in Occam’s hairbrush, a new maxim that is “the most convoluted, ridiculous thing must be the truth.”

So, here is my story. My friend Mary has a husband. A delightful guy who is the frontman in a band. Let us call this band “Pork Rinds.” Now I knew there was a well-known band called Pork Rinds. And I have known Mary for a long time. But I had it in my head that her husband, being an artsy creative person, was in a Pork Rinds cover band that, for the sake of humor, also went by the name Pork Rinds.

I know, even typing it out, it sounds incredibly stupid. But in my head, it made sense–like this incredibly avant-garde approach to having a cover band.

So, I’m explaining to the Butcher about Mary’s husband’s avant-garde cover band called Pork Rinds. And this is back in, like December. Just to give you an idea of how long I have been living with this fantasy and how long it’s taken for me to not be embarrassed about it.

And the Butcher is just dumbfounded. “Are you kidding?” and he sees I am not, so he just starts laughing. “B. people don’t have cover bands with the same name as the band they’re covering. And how big an audience could there possibly be for a Pork Rinds cover band?”

I try to defend myself by explaining that it’s not so much a cover band as it is a kind of performance art.

“So, it never occurred to you that this guy was actually in Pork Rinds? Did you not look them up on the internet to see if you, oh, recognized anyone in the band?!


“Oh. My. God. We cannot be related.”

Edited to add: I hope it’s obvious that Pork Rinds is a pseudonym for the band, because… well, shoot… even the dog gets a pseudonym.

14 thoughts on “Occam’s Hairbrush

  1. can I even convey to you how much I can’t wait to hear the actual details of this story, and the actual band to whom you are friends with the lead singer’s wife? Is that grammar anywhere near acceptable? Oh, there’s Aventinus on draft for the 100 Jahre. I’m not sober as I type this. Sorry. Still, can’t wait to talk tomorrow and have this all make sense and hear your laughter.

  2. oh yeah. and find out if the bass player in the band is 1) hot and 2) (hopefully) single

  3. NM, I think I live by Occams Hairbrush as an organizing principle in my life! Which is fine, I guess, but a little ridiculous.

    Beth, you could start an avant-garde bank called Pork Rinds that had no talent.

    Professor, I’m tickled by drunk commenting.

  4. Professor, not sure about the bass player, but there are/have been so many different people in Pork Rinds over the years that I’m confident at least one of them would be to your taste. Seriously, like every decent musician in Nashville has been a Rind at some point in their careers.

    And I’m totally going to start calling them The Rinds, cause that’s way too awesome for words.

  5. I think that Occam’s Hairbrush accounts for the unkempt look of so many conspiracy theorists. I haven’t really noticed you living by it, B, but maybe it does inform the way you speculate about some things.

  6. Not for a while … has she got conspiracy theorists lurking there, or is it just full of pork rinds?

  7. I work with someone who is a conspiracy theorist/nutjob and he gave a great demonstration of Occam’s Hairbrush this morning.

    It was nowhere as amusing and creative as Aunt B’s…..

  8. William of Ockham rocked a tonsure. That being said, the concept of Occam’s hairbrush is great. (Did you read the Brooks column in the NYT about how the humanities fits you for grappling with what he calls The Big Shaggy?)

  9. Wait, my driveway is now the source of a conspiracy theory? About how much nature hates me?

    Bridgett, I love that William had a tonsure. That makes his hairbrush even more ridiculous.

  10. Here is my only Occum’s Hairbrush story:

    Years ago, my best friend and I were sitting on the patio of Sunset Grill – it was a hot August night – we’d worked late on some design stuff and had stopped in for a quick bite.

    This was back in the days when The Trace was still a hotspot, circa 2002.

    So we’re sitting there eating our pizza. I was facing the street and The Trace when what appeared to be a woman, overly dressed, comes into my line of vision. Being late night, and familiar with the clientele of the area, I remarked to my friend “I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff out here but I think that’s the first drag queen I’ve ever seen walking this street.”

    The best friend turns around, adjusts her glasses and said “oh, that’s not a drag queen. That’s _______ _________”

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