For the record, I’m half Austrian so I’m pretty sure *I’m* the enemy.

Conversation I just had with Victor that just proves what a terrible idea it is that we both work from home:

Victor: Hey, could you find a way to turn up your music any louder when I’m on a conference call?  Can we get you an amplifier?

me: Dude.  I can’t help it that I don’t have any walls in my office.

Victor: Why don’t you see if there’s a music store nearby so we could pick you up a drum set and some cymbals.  And a klaxon.

me: A klaxon? The horn on a submarine?

Victor: Yeah.  You use them in music.  And on submarines.  When you’re diving.

me: I’m pretty sure people don’t use klaxons in music.

Victor: Sure they do.  That’s why you always see them in music stores by the cash register so you get it as an impulse buy on the way out.

me:  Those are batteries.

Victor:  Lots of people who are in submarines are into music.

me: What is wrong with you?

Victor: Like when you’re in a music store and Klaus is all “Ich vill ein Klaxon!  Un Klaxon!” and then the other guys are all “Calm down, Klaus.  We’ll get you the klaxon.”

me: And then they’re all “Awesome.  And now we don’t even have to make a side-trip to the Wal-Mart.  Time saver.”

Victor: It’s just “Wal-Mart”.  Not “the” Wal-Mart.

me: Well, I know that but they aren’t very good with English.  You know, they should install wind chimes on submarines because that way whenever they stop suddenly they get free music.

Victor: Except that the whole point of submarines is that they’re supposed to be quiet so they can’t be heard.

me: Oh you know someone brought their wind chime on board though.  And the captain was all “WHO BROUGHT THEIR FUCKING WINDCHIME ON THE SUBMARINE?” and the wind chime guy would be like “BUT THERE’S NO WIND HERE.  IT’S PERFECTLY SAFE” and then the enemy is all “Captain, I’m picking up something.  I think I hear…wind chimes?”

Victor: And then the captain of the enemy ship is all “Well it’s obviously not a sub because there’s no wind down here”.

me:  And then we lose the war.  Or win the war.  Depends on who has the wind chimes, I guess.

Victor: The CIA should have American spies sneak wind chimes into the closets of enemy submarines so we can always find them.

me:  And the Germans would be all “SHITSKI!  How do they keep finding us?  SOMETHING IS FUCKED WITH THIS SUBMARINE.”

Victor: Yeah.  We really need to get you some walls.

A chair would be nice too. Also, I have tape on the floor right now to mark where walls will go eventually. I just turned into Les Nessman, y'all.

Comment of the day: Um. If you only know one word in German it should be Scheisse. Shitski is Ukranian. ~ Betsy B.Honest

120 thoughts on “For the record, I’m half Austrian so I’m pretty sure *I’m* the enemy.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. At least you and Victor have amusingly bizarre conversations when you both work from home. That would SO not happen if my husband and I both worked from home. The advantage we have, of course, is that we each have our own separate rooms. Sadly, the walls do not diminish the sounds coming from his computer. Le sigh. So yeah… we go to other places every day to work, and it is good.

  2. plus then every now n again you can be all “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall!”
    oh the good times. Totally going to do that to my wife when she gets home.

  3. Just keep reminding yourself you’re a sexier, drunker-acting version of Les, so it’s all good 😉

  4. I hate to be the “reality repo girl” but the Germans aren’t the enemy anymore. I’m not sure who we need to implement the cunning wind chime caper on, but its not Germans.
    I think maybe China – but you don’t really hear a a lot about Chinese subs do you? And I don’t think Iraq or Afghanistan have them – but I could be wrong. If Hollywood would make an updated sub movie we would know who the new sub enemy is. They are so behind the times.

  5. I wish I could have conversations like that with coworkers without getting the side-eye. Also- your house is effing gorgeous even without furniture.

  6. Obviously you both need a wind chime, but have contest hide it somewhere and the other person has to seek it out and yell…


  7. People normally have to be drunk to have these kinds of conversations? Because this sounds like every conversation I’ve ever had.

    That wind chime thing is a pretty brilliant plan though. Next time you go visit the navy you should remember to bring that up. And then have them pay you for all of those brilliant ideas that you keep bringing them.

  8. Truly, it is my sincere hope that somebody will provide a dramatic reading of this transcript at your and Victor’s hundredth wedding anniversary gala. It will, for starters, explain exactly how y’all made it to a hundred years.

  9. SHITSKI! I just found a new favorite curse word.

    DH and I wouldn’t have this problem if we both worked from home because he wears a headset. Though if I had to listen to him eat while I worked I would probably end up in jail for manslaughter. I can’t handle listening to people eat while I’m trying to concentrate and get SHITSKI done.

  10. You know they have those miniature sets of wind chimes that I think would be the perfect size to sneak on an enemy submarine. If you had a midget sneak it it- bonus. I would think a midget would be more comfy on a submarine anyway.

  11. I just started working FOR my husband – at home – if he doesn’t stop trying to bend me the washing machine I am going to sue him for sexual harassment. So I guess there is the upside, at least Victor keeps his hands to himself. Unless he doesn’t of course.

  12. Ok, you’ve convinced of what I need to look for in future relationships. Someone I can have conversations LIKE THAT with.

  13. And suddenly your entire marriage makes perfect sense to me.

    Wait, that sounds like I doubted your marriage before. And I didn’t. Your marriage seems lovely.

  14. I’m sitting at the reception desk at work, reading this and in walk a German couple looking for the bank. And all I can think about is Klaus THE KLAXON! and then I’m giggling to myself with two short angry germans looking at me.
    It’s best if I don’t work near people or where strangers can stumble upon me.
    Or in Germany.

  15. Oh, see, now this is the first conversation with Victor that makes him sound like the PERFECT match for you. Previously, he sounded like a long-suffering sane person whose role was to contain the crazy. I’m so relieved that he actually participates in the crazy.

    (And by crazy, I mean perfectly normal. For Texas. I can say that, because I live in Texas.)

  16. ohmygawd…….. Les Nessman…….. BWAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! You need a tape door!!

    Do they knock before they enter?!?!? Oh man, I can Mr Carlson now, knocking on Les’ door!!


    Wind-chimes on a submarine!! Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

    Oh man, thanks for that laugh!!!


    ps- I love when you and Victor “chat”!!

  17. I just made a Dr. Johnny Fever reference in casual conversation less than 72 hours ago. Your reference to Les Nessman in such close proximity can only mean one thing: there’s a “WKRP” reunion on the way.

    I hope they can get Venus Flytrap to participate.

  18. My husband and I worked from home together for years. it fucking sucked.

    He paced around the house, bellowing while on conference calls. When not on conference calls, he had to have CNBC or the Weather Channel running on TV incessantly. He never showered, or got out of his boxers into something fit for the general public. Left dirty clothes, dirty dishes and {insert other dirty things} here.

    I rejoiced last year when he got an office job. Saved our marriage.

  19. A fucking Klaxon! Oh Victor. Does he has a sinlge younger brother? I hang out with a broad who shows their ass cheek to all of Boston.

  20. I have wind chimes…. and I hear them….my being on a German sub would explain a lot. Why I get ordered around loudly by people in a language I don’t understand most of the time. And here I thought I was just home with my kids! Dude, I’m Jason fucking Bourne, WHO KNEW?!

  21. My brother and I used to “shit ski”. You go out to the pen after a rain and grab the tail of a young steer. It will take off running and you slide behind. Really good way to get kicked in the rocks and fall in slime.

  22. Just stepping out of lurkdom to say I hope you know how much joy you bring to the world! Love your blog:)

  23. Would it not just be easier to get headphones? Of course the problem I have with headphones, at least the ones that are not uncomfortable, is I am always misplacing them. As far as I know, I have never misplaced a wall.

  24. Hmm. I no longer see Victor as Samantha’s husband in Bewitched. It’s now going to be really hard picturing him when you talk about him. I think we need some photos.
    Also no longer convinced you can wiggle your nose.

  25. I was going to say I wish I had conversations like this, and then I realized I totally do. My husband and I go off on super random and nonsensical tangents all the time. But I don’t think they are near as funny as yours. Though they are as expletive-filled. Awesome.

    You should get those ‘pretend walls’ like they have in China that are made of paper or something. Then technically you’ll have walls but can still be just as loud outside of them. Then what would Victor do? (Oh, get *that* on a pin! WWVD?)

  26. What does it say about my wasted youth that I recognized the reference to WKRP in Cincinnati, which made me hear the music, which made me remember the episode where Herb had to wear the carp suit and got stuck trying to get under a pay toilet? Now I want to gouge out my mind’s eye to make it stop. So Thanks for that.

    You don’t like me do you? I’m hurt. Becasue I am big fan of your blog and you shouldn’t treat fans this way.

  27. Hm…. just last night my boyfriend told me I had to find and steal an angry peacock of doom for him. But It’s ok, I managed to convince him that godzilla was the angriest peacock ever, just in an earlier evolutionary form, so I dodged that bullet.

  28. My husband is on pain killers (after surgery last week) and we’ve been having interesting conversations. Or really, just the same conversation four times. Thanks to vicodin, he’s become alarmingly concerned about our possession of dish soap, and it’s phosphate content. I’m thinking of upping his pills just to talk about something else. Like my lack of Coke Zero.

  29. I can’t tell you how I know any of this, but klaxons are not used on US submarines any more. An “electronic representation” of a klaxon is broadcast over the PA system. Wind chimes are not allowed on US submarines because fans constantly circulate the air making breezes that make wind chimes make noise and noise is bad. On a submarine. I don’t know if they’re allowed on any other country’s submarines, although I’m thinking not. I can’t recall any musical use of klaxons but I do know of music that uses whistles and cowbells. Whistles and cowbells aren’t allowed on US submarines, either. OK – they’re allowed but they’re not allowed to be used because of the “seen but not heard” rule. No, I can’t tell you about that rule, either. Take my word for it. Les Nessman might be allowed on a submarine.

    Iran and North Korea have submarines. So do Germany and Japan – again. Afghanistan and Iraq don’t.(

  30. I’m pretty sure “SHITSKI” would be Russian or Polish. I’m not sure. But I am fairly sure it’s not German.. they don’t ass “-ski” on the end. Because they don’t ski, I guess. And the Polish and Russian do. That’s probably a fact. That, and also that you’ve pissed off some Germans by assuming they all ski.

  31. For a moment there I was so worried you went so far off topic you’d never get walls! I can sleep now.

  32. I always do the Les Nessman when I’m working in an office. Which might be why I no longer work in an office.

    My husband and I also worked from home for many a year: he on his goddammed PhD, me with a business. It almost cost us our marriage, which, come to think of it, may not have been such a bad thing.

  33. I love that in your world, even the walls aren’t simply straight, perpendicular things but rather meander all over the place like your thoughts.

  34. Know what I think? I think you should just have curtains where walls would be. Yep, floor to ceiling curtains…Only Victor couldn’t knock on curtains. But that’s cool because you owuld just have a friggin’ KLAXON where the curtains seperate and he would have to use THAT to let you know when he needs you. And if he tries to talk to you through the curtain you can say, “PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE WOMAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!” Just sayin’.

  35. This sounds exactly like conversation that my husband and I have. Minus the Fuck-bombs. Aaron (husband) says that “mother’s don’t use the word fuck.” I fucking beg to differ.

  36. As a PhD candidate in music composition, I’m fairly certain that somebody plays the klaxon as an instrument. I mean, Ballet Mechanique has airplane propellors in it.

    Fortunately, Google leads me to a professional klaxon player:
    And to a composer for the klaxon:
    “In addition to writing for traditional orchestral forces Montague has also written numerous more ‘experimental’ works such as his Horn Concerto for klaxon horn soloist and an orchestra of automobiles.”

    The player is Argentinian (but lots of Germans fled there before, during and after the war) and the Composer is American, but living in Europe. I didn’t dig further to find car players, but they must also exist. I once played two wine glasses in a short opera, so I suspect it’s more casual labor, like that. I doubt there are full-time automobilists, but if there were, it would be kind of awesome.

    You’re welcome!

  37. I love the conversation you have with Victor. He usually seems clueless to your genius, but this time he totally got it, which is awesome!

    I did feel slightly lame when I had no clue who Les Nessman was and it seemed like everyone else who commented did…So I googled him and found out he was the WKRP in Cincinnati guy and seeing as that show went off in 1982 (when I was only 1) it would make sense that I don’t know him…so i’m not lame, i’m just young (arguably those could be one in the same, but i’m not lame I promise)

  38. Hey, the von Trapp family was Austrian and the dad married a nun. I mean come on, not all Austrians are bad guys. A nun wouldn’t marry a bad guy. Especially since her ex husband was the big man himself.

    And they gave us a wonderful movie sing-a-long. Y’all should come up with a musical too.

  39. Okay, w-e-i-r-d, but my husband and I just had a conversation about who we would be if we were characters from WKRP. I think I’m Jennifer because I’m blond, but with the sweetness of Bailey. He said I was Johnny Fever. End of conversation. 🙂

  40. How long before you use that tape to divide the house in half, and you take one side and Victor takes the other?

    I’m just asking because me and the Novelist already did that once, and I accidentally end up on the side without access to the front door… It was a lonely week.

  41. Army Boy just suggested we watch “Band of Brothers,” and we did. But it was FUCKING SAD.

    Now I know why. There were no windchimes on the German submarines. And no Klauses. I’m going to email Steven Spielberg and let him know that CHANGES MUST BE MADE.

  42. can’t fool me, I know the tape is the outline of Victor’s body after you killed him. He’s was a giant among men.

  43. Headphones?…

    Forget it, if you used headphones to listen to music this would have been a boring post.

  44. I would be wary if you come home one day and Victor has built walls and mentions that he has a lovely cask of Amontillado in your new office that perhaps you’d enjoy trying.

  45. I really hate when I don’t get cultural references. So, I googled Les Nessman and found out that there is a reason I didn’t get it. I was only 2 went it off the air and that watching a couple of re-funs on Nick at Nite didn’t help much here.

    Also, I typed re-funs and decided to leave it because it was funny, not because I don’t know wtf a re-run is.

  46. I’m so jealous. My husband doesn’t “get” me like that. Last night we were watching Mananswers which is totally demeaning towards women but let’s face it, it’s reality. So one of the questions was “What is the most harmful illegal drug” The answer was C4. Me: “C4, WTF, who the hell would try to get high on C fucking 4!!
    Him: “Footbal training camp is underway.” Me: *blink
    Next question was something about the most bodily fluids a man expells in their lifetime. Snot wins with something like an average of over 29,000 gallons in an average mans lifetime (hork). Me: Holy shit that’s really disgusting, your body is completely lined in snot.” Him: *looks down at his stomach “I don’t wear this shirt very often, I like it.”

    *heavy fucking sigh

  47. I spit out a pecan at Les Nessman. I always had a thing for Les Nessman, actually. I may have been too young for it to actually be sexual, but it was a definite attraction. He was important, damn it. He deserved those walls.

  48. I’m pretty sure you guys are both wrong. Klaxons are those aliens on Star Trek with the giant foreheads. They’re a very war-like people, you know. I’m pretty sure the submarine with the Klaxons would beat a wind chime submarine any day.

  49. Do you get a bandaid with the Les Nessman walls? You could totally jazz it up in ways he never could by having a hello Kitty bandaid one day, or a bacon bandaid!
    Also, if it’s not THE walmart, it’s pronounced wal-MARK, at least here in the midwest.

  50. elly lou – i think you mean klingons. HOW COULD YOU EVEN MIX THOSE TWO UP????? do you even watch star trek!?! a band of angry nerds is on their way to your house right now.

  51. I could NEVER work at home with my husband…hell…I can barely stand to NOT work at home with him… My MIL calls it Wal Mark…and K Mark…she’s got her own language. Cripes…I can’t even bring myself to correct her.

  52. That’d be a great scam- wind chime music lessons. Do you think that stupid emo kid next door with the hair that looks like he just got a swirly would pay me to teach him how to play wind chimes? I mean, he paid someone for that haircut.

  53. I dated a German sub once. She used to like it when I’d tie her ….. Wait…sorry… wrong ‘blog.

  54. The Klaxons are a popular band in the UK; not sure if they play actual klaxons or not tho. Also, German for “shit” is “sheiser” (not sure of spelling). You’re welcome

  55. That post just shattered every misguided opinion I had of Victor.

    Is there hope for *My* husband?

    Wouldn’t they pronounce Walmart “ze Valmart”? Or would that be Germans?

    Why would you want a four foot square office?

    Obviously, both of you working from home has finally caused your husband to suffer a psychotic break. I know this, because it happened to me six months ago.

    No. Really.

  56. at least victor participates in such conversations–instigates even! my husband just sighs and leaves the room and i end up talking to myself because i either haven’t realized he’s left OR because i’m hoping he hears me, feels bad, comes back and then i can laugh and say ‘sucka!’

    i’m pretty sure we’ll be divorced soon.

  57. And what will you do when they drop the live turkeys out of the helicopter on Thanksgiving?

  58. Well, that is interesting. I just now received an email from someone claiming to be half Austrian. Was it from you? Because that would be SO COOL. Except for the part where you try to steal all of my money. BOO!

  59. I think that’s the first time you got to record saying “What is wrong with you?” to Victor. I’m proud of you. I hope you’re proud of you, too.

  60. Doug and I worked together for 25 years til he got a 9-5 at the end of March. Overall, we did fine. But when things were bad, they were REALLY bad, because no matter how pissed off you were, you still had to be there, in the same room, talking to clients and working together.

  61. You and Victor are pretty funny. You should start a comedy double act one night when you’re both horrendously drunk.
    Also? It’s funny that you thought about installing walls before considering getting headphones, a temporary (and much more awesome) set of office walls made out of cardboard or those foldy change-behind=them things, getting a hearing check or swapping Victor for somebody who appreciates your loud music.
    That’s what I would have done.
    That might have something to do with why I’m single.

  62. geez…we should really meet…my hubby and I have conversations like this all the time. His name is Victor too!! I love your blog!

  63. Less Nessman! You need to have a band-aid someowhere on your face to truly pull that off. Why didn’t the spellchecker accept someowhere? STOP JUDGING ME! It is too early. Oh great, now spellchecker is misspelled. 4″30 am is too early for this shit.

  64. Just build the wall with odds and ends from around the house…like tissue boxes. As long as you get the windows and the shelves, you win! Then you can get some wind chimes, hang them next to the open window, buy a Klaxon and crank up the music! Why? Because you have walls! It’s totally fair. And totally awesome.

    Victor will be renting office space in no time.

  65. Less Nessman! Yeah, I’m that old to remember that show.

    Victor, if you’re reading this , its is too THE Walmart. Assimilate already, would ya?

  66. I just emailed a friend about this because she shares my love of posts that include discussions about whether it is better to say “the wal-mart” or just “wal-mart”. Also, she says “I will bring snack to the meeting”. Not “the snack” just “snack”, which makes me love her more.

  67. Man you guys are fucking awesome…. I need to start writing down some of my convos with GF. Especially late at night after 16 hours of working. I start saying some weird ass shit.

  68. You and Victor have fantastic conversations.
    Most of the time my boyfriend just looks at me strangely when I talk about something as awesome as windchimes on submarines, never contributes to the discussion at all. Unless it’s to say if he knew he was dating such a crazy person he would’ve ran a long time ago.

    There was that one time he got really drunk and proposed to me at 2am, wanting to get married right that second. Then he got mad at me the next day when I tried to convince him that drunk or not, a proposal’s a proposal and he owes me a diamond ring. And he didn’t get too worried when I threatened to leave him if he didn’t provide me with sparkly jewellery immediately….in fact he looked kinda relieved….

    You know, maybe I should reevaluate this relationship……

  69. This is my first time here. At your blog. And I’m a little in love with you in a less-creepy-girl-crush kind of way…more like friends-who-are-cooler-than-you crush kind of way. If you get my gist.

  70. My Mom calls it “Wal-Mart’s.” “I’m going to stop by Wal-Mart’s after I drop Nana at her hair appointment to get some Lysol.” Like people used to call stores by their owners’ names in the 50s. Donehower’s Sporting Goods Store. Miller’s Pharmacy. Wal-Mart’s huge store full of cheap shit made in China . That type of thing.

  71. Love the Les Nessman reference AND that someone else brought up the bandaid thing. With all your various concussions, stabbings, etc., you were on your way to Nessmanness a long time ago. 🙂

  72. Awwww. You guys are so cute! Walls are overrated. Just tell Victor to MIME opening the door and crossing the threshold whenever he goes into your office. And remember, when he rubs his naked body on the “wall” outside of your office? You are NOT supposed to be able to see him. k?

  73. UGH, i HATE you!! you gave me a laughing headache! my head HURTS, and it took me half an hour to read this post because Klaus freaking out in line almost killed me. i took a sip of coffee while reading this (stupid stupid stupid!) and spent about 20 seconds IN MY OFFICE WITH SOMEONE ELSE IN THE SAME ROOM giggling with scalding hot coffee in my mouth. i mean, i was giggling with it in my mouth. they weren’t giggling in my mouth.

    KLAUS! we’ll get you a klaxon!

    if i have a stroke, i’m blaming you. i’ll write on my hand right now… jenny, bloggess did this to me.

    HAHAHAHAHAAA!!!! KLAUS!!! ow, my HEAD, jenny!!! i read an article about how taking pain relievers actually gives you headaches, so i’m trying not to take any advil or excedrin. your headache is the first headache i’m trying it with.

    i think i’m having a stroke right now.

    i hate you.

  74. Are you kidding?? Oh please don’t put walls up!! Why put up walls when I can read more random conversations like that one 🙂 Awesome!!
    I bet you thought I was concerned about interior design. Gotcha 🙂

  75. I personally would LOVE to hear your reaction to a mall being bombed by live turkeys. However, make sure you take refuge in a turkey proof bubble because an attack by a group of angry turkeys is no laughing matter.

  76. also i now feel weird as there are several people who don’t get the reference to WKRP because they were “too young”….i wasn’t even born when that went off the air (i was born in ’83 so not too long after it was cancelled). Fortunately for me I had parents who recognized the importance of exposing their daughter to television shows of great social significance like M*A*S*H*, WKRP in Cincinnati, CHiP’s, and The A-team. My preschool classmates really didn’t know what they were missing.

  77. Like, OMG! I was just talking about taping off my corner of our teensy 4 desk office, and was going crazy trying to remember what show that was from—WKRP! Yay!

  78. I always say THE Wal-Mart because it is it’s own entity. Shit Victor, get it right.

  79. Do you make these conversations up, or do you record them, because there is fucking no way anyone could remember that whole thing word for word.

  80. My Victor is a musician and vehemently objects to the use of klaxon in music.
    Sadly it is the only instrument I can play … *sigh*

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