The Misbehavin’ Maidens are a nerd-folk comedy quartet based in Maryland, known for NSFW parodies and originals about fandoms, feminism, and LGBTQIAP+ inclusivity. The Kickstarter for their third album, “Swearing is Caring,” went live April 11-May 10, 2019.
* * *
Three of us, plus our designated Booth Minion, were piled into a car, on our way to perform at a fandom convention in Virginia. We’d hit the point in the journey where fatigue had set in and the conversation had stopped flowing. Our driver, Saber, grew restless as the passengers became increasingly absorbed in their phones.
I was one of those passengers, idly scrolling through some online news, when I stopped and said, “What the FUCK.”
“What is it?” Saber asked, eager for a distraction from the tedium of I-95.
“I just found an article on… Christian swingers?”
“WHAT.” (Saber was raised a conservative Christian and now teaches sexual education at an adult toy store.)
“Some Christians are using swinging as an… evangelism tool, apparently.” (See for youself.)
“How would that even work? That is the WORST pillowtalk ever,” Saber said.
The other passengers, Flint and Maggie, snapped out of their phone hypnosis.
“‘Wow, that sex was amazing, but you know what’s better? JESUS,’” somebody chimed in. We started giggling. And then we started riffing on other terrible things to say after sex. We looped in our fourth band member, Rouge (who was stuck at work), via the group chat, and began tossing ideas back and forth.
“Like, ‘Oh, baby, I can’t wait for my wife to meet you!’”
“‘Have I got a timeshare deal for YOU.’”
“‘Mmmm, won’t you back my Kickstarter, sweet thang?’”
“‘Now, get comfortable as I set up my PowerPoint projector…’”
The laughter built, and before five minutes had gone by, Saber said, “OK, OK, I am writing this song when I get home.” And that song, “Pillowtalk,” is on our soon-to-be-released third album. (Psst, you can back the Kickstarter here!)
Our best song ideas seem to come from random, goofy banter. I was hanging out with my boyfriend and getting ready to volunteer at the library one day. As I gathered my purse and coat, the conversation became a very silly flirting sesh in which we kept trying to one-up each other with terrible, library-themed sex puns.
“My pleasure’s feeling overdue…”
“My bits are Dewey…”
“Let’s make the graphic novel section even more graphic…”
A few months later, the lyrics and music for “Bibliophilia” were finalized.
One of our lyrics is even the result of a Mad Lib we were doing in the car during an exhausting 11-hour drive home from a convention in Massachusetts. After filling in an adjective and a body part (plural), the phrase “sandpapery balls” was coined, cringed at, and eventually worked into our “Pump Shanty” parody, which is all about the importance of using lubricant.
A lot of our songs would not exist if it weren’t for us paying attention to silly conversational tangents; and writing down potential song fodder, even if it’s half-baked, can be a lifesaver during periods of writer’s block. (Side note: I recently blanked on the term “writer’s block” and said “creativity oubliette” instead, which I actually like much better. Feel free to steal that if you want.)
People writing stories and songs can find inspiration from the strangest of places – the key is to practice being open to it. When something strikes an emotional chord with you – that funny thing you saw on the subway, the nonsensical word combination stuck in your head for no reason, the Creamed Corn Incident – jot it down. You never know when it’ll come in handy.
Where are some unexpected places you’ve found inspiration?