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Slumming in at number two are songs that try to pass off "na nas," "la las," and "doot doos" as legit lyrics.
Strong Bad's bottom 10, Homestar Runner

So you're listening to a new song, and really like it! Not only is the melody awesome, but the lyrics seem really deep and poignant. But is he talking about shoes there? You're not sure, so you go to the Internet, pull up a lyrics site, and look up to the words to the song.

And they end up looking something like this:

Uhh.

While song lyrics are a form of poetry, there's one simple fact about songs that sets them apart from poems: They're meant to be sung. So lines that make no sense on paper--such as run-on or fragmented sentences, strange contrivances of grammar, and outright nonsense--are not only accepted in songs, but they can actually make them better, since it flows better with the music. Whether the words are written to fit the music, or the music written after the words are down, a song and its lyrics have to fit together--and if the words have to be "squeezed" a little to make them fit, well, that might just happen.

See also Word Salad Lyrics, when the words don't even attempt to make sense (or occasionally, even be grammatical), and Singing Simlish, for songs that are just gibberish. Lyrical Tic is for particular shoehorns that become a certain artist's Catch Phrase.

See also Scatting.

Examples of Lyrical Shoehorn include:


  • Pick any Brian Eno song. He does this intentionally because he doesn't like writing lyrics and doesn't think that lyrics should be read as poetry.
    • Or much of Talking Heads' output during his time as their producer. As a matter of fact, "I Zimbra" is based on an actual sound-poem, specifically one by Dadaist Hugo Ball.
  • Those Fabulous Sixties!:
    • Brenton Wood's "Oogum Boogum Song": "Oogum, boogum, boogum, boogum now baby, now cast your spell on me."
    • Manfred Mann's "Doo Wah Diddy": "There she was, just a-walkin' down the street, singin' 'doo wah diddy, diddy dum, diddy dum'".
    • Bo Diddley by way of the Remains, "Diddy Wah Diddy": "She don't come from no town, she don't come from no city, she lives way down in Diddy Wah Diddy".
    • The Chipmunks' "Witch Doctor": "Oo ee, oo ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang..."
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has wacky phrasing and rhyme scheme to fit the tempo of the song. Witness "Slipping", where the verse ends in the middle of a sentence and the continuing sentence starts the next verse.

 Now that your savior

Is still as the grave, you're

Beginning to fear me

 Like cavemen fear thunder

I still have to wonder

Can you really hear me?

    • Same is true for Captain Hammer's intro, "A Man's Gotta Do":

 Stand back everyone, nothing here to see.

Just imminent danger; in the middle of it, me!

Yes, Captain Hammer's here, hair blowing in he breeze,

The day needs my saving expertise!

  • Most songs written by Benjamin Gibbard subvert this trope. He writes long, grammatically correct(Or sometimes run-on) sentences that have to squeeze themselves awkwardly into the rhythms and often don't even rhyme.
    • The lines in "Such Great Heights" are so long they overlap at the ends and it's difficult to mark breaks in the phrases:

 I am thinking it's a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate that God himself did make us into corresponding shapes like puzzle pieces from the clay

 The tune don't have to be clever,

And it don't matter if you put a couple extra syllables into a line.

It sounds more ethnic if it ain't good English

And it don't even gotta rhyme... (excuse me: rhyne!)

    • Even more shoehorned is We Will All Go Together When We Go":

 And you may have thought it tragic

Not to mention other adjec-

...tives to think of all the weeping they will do

      • It's only the one line that's shoehorned though. The song actually has a meaning unlike the one in the introduction of this article.
  • "All I Want To Do" by Sugarland is a rather notorious example. Just look it up on Youtube and take a listen.
  • "Bop bop she bop" appears in Rammstein's Adios
  • Bono's infamous Spanish counting at the beginning of U2's "Vertigo:" "Unos! Dos! Tres! Catorce!" That's "Some! Two! Three! Fourteen!" for the non-fluent among you.
  • Billy Joel was prone to these. From "Tell Her About It":

 Listen, boy, it's good information from a man who's made mistakes:

Just the word or two that she gets from you could be the difference that it makes.

  • As for examples, there's "Froggy Went a Courtin'":

 Froggy went a-courtin' and he did ride, uh huh

He had a nick-nack-nack by his side, uh-huh

    • It's traditionally "with a sword and pistol by his side." Apparently, they tried to shield little kids from the mention of weapons, and resorted to this atrocity instead.
  • There's Celine Dion's "With This Tear" (written by Prince):

 With this tear, I thee want

I long for you to talk me like you did that night in the restaurant.

  • Who could forget the memetic part of Ievan Polkka as performed by Loituma? Traditionally, that part is ad-libbed in random, interesting-sounding scatting.
  • One that particularly kills me is "I Wonder As I Wander":

 I wonder as I wander out under the sky

How Jesus the Savior did come for to die

For poor ornery creatures like you and like I

I wonder as I wander out under the sky

  • In the much-covered "Umbrella," there's a lyric that goes "When the war has took its part..." Irritating, but "taken its part" wouldn't scan, so...
  • Soulja Boy.
  • "Land Of A Thousand Dances" opens up with one long strand of "Na nas."
    • Speaking of "nah nahs," Train's "Drops of Jupiter" has a fair few of those as well as "yeahs/heys" at the end of some lines.
    • My Chemical Romance actually named a song "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)". Its chorus is three lines of 16 "na"s each.
    • Also speaking of "Na"s, Xkcd gives you this.
  • "Hey Jude" is composed of about 3 minutes of regular song... and four minutes of "Nah nahs."
  • In Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs Dave calls out "Baby I'm-a Want You" by Bread. "Baby, I'm-a too lazy to write lyrics that scan, so I'm-a just add an extra 'a' whenever I'm-a need a syllable."
  • "And so castles made of sand fall/melts/slips in/into/into the sea, eventually". On one hand, I want to apply the Grammar Nazi Headbutt. On the other hand, it's fuckin' Jimi Hendrix.
  • Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah": "Even more in love with me you'd fall", clearly phrased in that borderline nonsensical manner to both fit the meter and rhyme with "all".
  • Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, BANANNA PHONE!
  • A bit of They Might Be Giants' song "Don't Let's Start", transcribed as closely as I could, and showing off this trope nicely:

 "They want what they're not/and I wish they would stop/ saying: "Debbity dog dog a ding dang doobie doobie debbity dog dog a ding dang doobie doobie" D: World Destruction/ O-ver an overture/N: do I need/Apostrophe T: need this torture?

    • Linnell has stated that the music for Don't Let's Start was written before the lyrics, and the lyrics were mostly chosen because they fit the number of syllables for the melody. When asked about the song's meaning, Linnell simply answered that it was about "not let's starting."
  • Timbaland's "The Way I Are":

 I ain't got no money. I ain't got no car to take you on a date.

  • Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" subverts this by having perfectly intelligible lyrics at some points, at the expense of rhythm.

 Oh 4,5,6

C'mon and get your kicks

Now you don't need money

When you look like that do ya honey?

  • "Running Through the Back Brain" (which is to be fair a comic song) written by Michael Moorcock and performed by him with Hawkwind:

 Killers on the street are wearing striped pants

They are interfering with my larynx

  • There's an Oscar Meyer Lunchables Commercial:

 Girl: WRAPZ are a taste you can't deny.

Boy: I know you're gonna love 'em just like I.

  • Hubba hubba zoot zoot / Deba uba zat zat / A-num-num.
  • Na Na Na Na Naa is the name of a song by Kaiser Chiefs, as well as a great deal of the lyric. It verges on being the band's Lyrical Tic.
  • Live and Let Die, anyone? "this ever-changing world in which we live in"?
    • Word of God claims the line is "...this ever-changing world in which we're living", which, though a bit formal for rock 'n' roll, is grammatically correct and non-redundant.
  • From early in Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War of the Worlds:
    "The chances of anything coming from Mars
    Are a million to one," he said.
    (In the original novel, it's "The chances against anything...")
  • Similar to the Jets subversion above, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People fits the words "unless you're a lady, then you're cordially invited to have a giant slice of my style" into a space of five seconds.
  • Brendon Small's songs in Home Movies and Metalocalypse have "doodley-doo" in the lyrics, a lot.
  • Frequently averted by the Minutemen: Since the words often came first and sometimes were scraps of poetry that weren't even originally intended to be sung, there would frequently be an excess of syllables. For example, "My Heart And The Real World" finds D Boone having to rapidly sing lines like "And if I was a word, could my letters number a hundred? More likely coarse and guttural one syllable Anglo-Saxon" in order to stay on beat.
  • Vagiant's FTK, a Bowdlerization of one of their songs for Guitar Hero 2, has to fall into this at one point to match a rhyming scheme and meter that was originally intended for more... colorful lyrics, inserting the bizarre nonsequitur "Take this car and fill it up with tons of gas".
  • Harry Chapin's hit- Cat's in the Cradle: "It's been sure nice talking to you."
    • From the same song: "What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys/ see you later, can I have them please?"
  • Carl Newman of The New Pornographers takes this trope and just runs with it. He's admitted that a lot of his lyrics don't really mean anything, that he just uses whatever sounds best in the song, or will use certain words because their vowels and consonants go well with a melody.
  • Don't listen too closely to "World Without Logos" (the opening theme of Hellsing TV). The lyrics are so full of this and Gratuitous English that it's practically scat-singing.
  • Peter Schickele's annotations to the lyrics of PDQ Bach's madrigal "My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth" insist that the second line in this couplet is absolutely meaningless:

 My bonnie lass liketh to dance a lot;

She's Guinevere and I'm Sir Lancelot.

    • Of course, given the parodic nature of the Anti-Love Song as a whole, and given the illicit nature of Lancelot and Guinevere's affair...
  • In the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, the main character is demoing one of his songs to a producer, and expresses his dissatisfaction with the line, "They're always popping their cork."
  • "Do Re Mi" from The Sound of Music has the irritatingly shoehorned line, "La: a note to follow so." It's probably because there just isn't a good pun on "la."
    • The line is the subject of a Douglas Adams essay, as he uses it as an example of "Unfinished Business of the 20th Century", things that really should be sorted out before the digits change. He even tries to repair it himself before conceding that perhaps it's not as easy a problem as it first appears.
  • Cracker's "Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)" plays with this trope:

 'Cause what the world needs now

Is some true words of wisdom

Like la la la la, la la, la la la

  • The Gorillaz song Rock It consists mostly of the word "blah." People have variously interpreted this as incredibly deep or incredibly lazy. It might be Word of God, or just a commonly accepted interpretation that it's about rock stars who pump out a few good albums and then start cranking out lazy shit (hence: "I'm walking to the something, blah blah blah blah blah", among other lines).
  • Nine Inch Nails is usually better about this, but the beginning of "Terrible Lie" makes me cringe a little.

 Why are you doing this to me

Am I not living up to what I'm supposed to be

Why am I seething with this animosity

I think you owe me a great big apology

    • It also doesn't help the creepiness factor that the barely intelligible phrase between each of those lines is "Hey God!"
  • Nickelback songs should only be listened to and never analyzed on paper for this very reason. The lyrics come off as a bit sing-songy and childish when they're just read through. Hearing it with the music is different enough so I don't notice.
    • No, you can still notice. And it's painful. The song "Photograph" is particularly grating.

 Kim's the first girl I kissed

I was so nervous that I nearly missed

She's had a couple of kids since then

I haven't seen her since God knows when

  • Jules Shear's "If She Knew What She Wants". Grammatically, it should be "If She Knew What She Wanted", but that would really mess up the meter.
  • An infamous example is Paul McCartney's "My Love," whose lyrics are copiously padded with the syllable "wo."
  • Almost anything written by John Rich. One particularly painful example is "New York City town" from "Shuttin' Detroit Down". Not to mention that he uses the town/down rhyme twice in the chorus.
  • The Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to Make Nice" somehow manages to use "mad as hell" twice in the chorus just because they couldn't think of another line.
  • "8.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu" from Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying".
  • "She got it goin' on like Donkey Kong" from Trace Adkins' "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" ( see also Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks).
  • Endemic in Starflyer 59's music. Jason Martin always writes the music first and the lyrics last, and he admits to padding songs with lyrics that sound good and mean nothing--and for the fans, it's usually impossible to tell the difference.
  • From James Blunt's "You're Beautiful": "There must be an angel with a smile on her face/When she thought up that I should be with you."
  • "In The Garage" by Weezer has "garage" repeatedly pronounced as "grodge" to better fit the meter of the chorus. It works in a Narm Charm sort of way though.
  • Bruce Springsteen has a bad habit of adding "mister" to lines when he needs a couple of extra syllables to fill out the meter.
  • The Killers' "Human": In order to rhyme with "answer," the egregiously grammatically incorrect "Are we human or are we dancer?" was made the focal point of the chorus.
    • There are times when such nouns are treated as adjectives (if you were asking about a group's nationality, both "Are they German?" and "Are they Germans?" would be accepted), so the lyrics are only asking us to start considering 'dancer' to be a biological classification mutually exclusive with 'human'.
      • Then again, they credit the line-as-written to Hunter S. Thompson, so make of that what you will.
  • Interpol's "Obstacle 1" (This line makes me cringe every time):

 "Her stories are boring and stuff,

She's always calling my bluff"

    • From the same band, "PDA":

 Sleep tight, grim rite

We have two hundred couches where you can

Sleep tight, grim rite...

 "She isn't a Cadillac, and she isn't a Rolls, but there isn't anything wrong with the radio."

"It's well, it's soundin' uh, real good, but replacing "ain't" with "isn't" ain't cuttin' it for me, pal.

  • Do you know where you're going to?
  • The Chemical Brothers song "Let Forever Be" starts 85% of the lines by asking the listener the question "How does it feel like?" Fits the meter, but is a grammatical train wreck that just keeps going.
  • A lot of The Protomen's lyrics look quite strange on paper, and it doesn't help that their lyric sheets are interspersed with things happening during the song that are not actually sung, resulting in instrumental songs with three paragraphs of "lyrics".

 "Send your armies. There's no man or machine who can stop me, and you'll soon see.

I come for vengeance for the first Son of Light. I'm ready, I'm willing, I'm prepared to--"

    • It should be noted that that particular part is interrupted, and the closing word is 'fight'.
  • "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" with its mentions of "marshmallows for toasting" and "scary ghost stories," which are about as far from Christmas imagery as you can get (you could count A Christmas Carol but that's a stretch).
  • The chorus of Everclear's "I Will Buy You A New Life" includes the line "I will buy you a new car, perfect shiny and new". The second "new" does need to be there to slant rhyme with "bloom", but plenty of other one syllable adjectives could have come before "car" while still fitting the meter.
  • "Concrete jungle where dreams are made of" in Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State Of Mind", though "Concrete jungle that dreams are made of" would have made more sense and still fit in.
  • The Residents album "Duck Stab" was built entirely around this concept often with unusual results...

 A red, red rose saw a big pig pose

On the edge of a silver dollar

The end of his tail was a long-necked nail

And in place of his face was the scholar

  • King Crimson's song "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With" is an intentional stab at this trope, with such lyrics as:

 And when I have some words

This is the way I'll sing

Through a distortion box

To make them menacing.

Yeah, then I'm gonna have to write a chorus

We're gonna need to have a chorus

And this seems to be as good as any other place

To sing until I'm blue in the face.

  • Akon's "Dangerous" has the twitchworthy first line "I can't notice but to notice you, noticing me."
  • In the chorus of "Disturbia," Rihanna informs us that the titular state of mind "ain't used to what you like." That should probably be the other way around, in order to make any sense at all.
    • Probably intentional, considering what the song is about.
  • Frou Frou has a song, Flicks, which is basically this trope.
  • The Cranberries do this sometimes, for instance:

People are strangers

People in danger

People are strangers

People deranged are
Loud And Clear
  • Carrie Underwood's "Undo It" has a couple, most notably "you stole my happy" (which one reviewer said made the song sound like she was singing in LOLcat speak) and "uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it."
  • "Mack the Knife," as it appears in the Marc Blitzstein translation of The Threepenny Opera, has about every other line ending with a gratuitous "dear". It should be observed that some of the most famous covers of the song use Blitzstein's English version of the lyrics but with that word changed.
  • Canadian band Big Wreck may have the worst example of all with "That Song"- they changed the pronounciation of a word to make it fit better into the song! "Dumb" becomes "doom", simply so that it will rhyme with "room". Seriously, could no other word have been used there?:

 and it might sound doom,

so just leave the room

 Wha-wha-what did you say, huh? You're break-ing up on me.

Sor-ry I ca-NOT hear you, I'm kin-da bu-sy.

...

Just a sec-ond, it's my fav-rite song they gon-na play

And I ca-NOT text you with a drink in my hand, eh?

  • Paula Cole's "I Don't Want To Wait":

 So open up your morning light

And say a little prayer for I

  • Rascal Flatts's "Feels Like Today" has "The last sacred blessing and, hey / Feels like today." Really? That was the best rhyme the writers could come up with?
  • Faith Hill's "The Way You Love Me" features a completely avoidable pronoun flub:

 If I could grant you one wish

I wish you could see the way you kiss.

    • So she'll grant him a wish, but she gets to pick it. Yeah, that makes sense. And the next lines are hardly any better:

 Ooh, I love watching you, ooh, baby

When you're drivin' me, ooh, crazy

Ooh, I love the way you, love the way you love me…

  • "Twenty years have came and went" from "Angry All the Time" by Tim McGraw. "Have come and gone" would have scanned, you know.
    • From another one of Tim's songs, "My Old Friend": "They laugh and they cry me / And somehow sanctify me".
  • Andy Partridge admitted he was forced to butcher the line "Please don't pull me out/I'm relax in the undertow" in XTC's "Summer's Cauldron" simply because that extra syllable from the correct grammar would screw up the meter.
  • Does Van Halen's "Why Can't This Be Love?" count? "Only time will tell if we stand the test of time".
  • Bob Dylan does this a lot, most famously adding the word "babe" at the end of lines. Other examples from his early work: "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" (rhyming "knowed" with "road"); "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" ("there's beauty in the sunrise in the sky"--where else would the sunrise be?)
    • "If it works, why not?" is perhaps the closest Bob has to a philosophy. Consider--in these stanzas from "Motorpsycho Nitemare"--the elegant division of lines:

 Rita mumbled something

'Bout her mother on the hill

As his fist hit the icebox

He said he's going to kill

Me if I don't get out of the door

In two seconds flat

"You unpatriotic

Rotten doctor commie rat"

    • Dylan also loves squeezing way too many syllables into a line. "Summer Days", for instance, has a standard AAB blues pattern, where he somehow manages to sing

 She looks into my eyes, she's a-holdin' my hand

She looks into my eyes, she's a-holdin' my hand

She says "You can't repeat the past." I say "You can't? What do you mean you can't? Of course you can!"

  • Pretty much the second half of Alan Jackson's "Where I Come From". Besides having Painful Rhymes out the wazoo, it tries to pass off "use my finger" as a synonym for hitchhiking, and… well, it's anyone guess what the second half is trying to even say:

 I was chasin' sun on 101

Somewhere around Ventura

I lost a universal joint

nd I had to use my finger

This tall lady stopped and asked

If I had plans for dinner

Said, "No thanks ma'am, back home

We like the girls that sing soprano"

    • And the fourth verse is hardly any better:

 Well, I was headed home on 65

Somewhere around Kentucky

The CB rang for a bobtail rig

That's rollin' on like thunder

Well, I answered him and he asked me

"Aren't you from out in Tulsa?"

No, but you might've seen me there

Just dropped a load of salsa

  • John Conlee's "Old School" has a rather shoehorned word: "We both made it to our graduation / You chose a college, I chose a vocation / Driving 18 wheels."
  • "That's Enough of That" by country singer Mila Mason: "That's enough of this crying, enough of this whining, enough of this over-react".
  • The larga majority of the lyrics of Yes are picked for sound over anything else.
  • The Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the UK opens with the following couplet, with the second line mispronounced to rhyme with the first (anarkaist):

 I am an antichrist

And I am an anarchist

  • Neil Diamond: "Songs that she sang to me, songs that she brang to me". No, the verb "to bring" does not work that way...
  • Tears For Fears' song "The Hurting" opens with the line "Is it an 'orrific dream" which should be "Is it a horrific dream?" but this would not fit in with the song".
  • Many songs by Frank Zappa, but one that comes to mind is "I Have Been In You", which features the painful lines:

 "I have been in you, baby

And you

Have been in me

And we

Have be

So intimately

Entwined

And it sure was fine

I have been in you, baby

And you

Have been in me

And so you see

We

Have be so together

I thought that we would never

Return from forever

Return from forever

Return from forever..."

  • Steely Dan's "Soul Ram", where every line seems to have been written purely to give the song lyrics, making no sense at all. In particular, the line "Just pretends knows the score" which omits "she" twice in order to fit with the meter of the song.
  • A substantial amount of Goth music fits this trope and Word Salad Lyrics. Artists are divided between those who freely admit that they choose lyrics strictly for sound and cadence, and those who insist that there is a deeper symbolism, only critics are too stupid or superficial to understand them. Andrew Eldritch of Sisters of Mercy, and Valor Kand of Christian Death are classic examples of the latter.
    • Example of the former, Bauhaus' "In The Flat Field"

 Yin and yang lumber punch

Go taste a tart, then eat my lunch

And force my slender thin and lean

In this solemn place of fill wetting dreams

Of black matted lace of pregnant cows

As life maps out onto my brow

The card is lowered in index turn

Into my filing cabinet hemispheres spurn.

  • Edwin McCain's "I'll Be" has "I'll be your crying shoulder". It's not grammatically incorrect or anything, but it sounds a little odd because no one really phrases "a shoulder to cry on" that way.
  • Diamond Rio's "How Your Love Makes Me Feel":

 It's like just before dark, jump in the car

Buy an ice cream and see how far

We can drive before it melts

Kind of easy

(That's how your love makes me feel)

Then there's a cow in the road and you swerve to the left

Fate skips a beat and it scares you to death

And you laugh until you cry

That's how your love makes me feel inside.

  • Steam's "Nah Nah, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye", ends in an extended chorus of the refrain, "Na-na-na-nah, Na-na-na-nah, Hey-hey-hey, goodbye", because the band realized that the track was a bit short without it.
  • Dave Barnes' "God Gave Me You" (Covered Up by Blake Shelton) has "That you, an angel lovely, could somehow fall for me." This is particularly baffling, as the particular line could've been the much better-sounding "a lovely angel" since it's mid-line and doesn't have to rhyme with anything.
  • Ed Sheeran's "The A-Team" (a song about a woman addicted to drugs) has some seriously Painful Rhymes because of this:

 But lately

her face seems

Slowly sinking, wasting

Crumbling like pastries

  • The Beatles' "In My Life": "But of all these friends and lovers, there is no one compares with you". It should probably be "...there is no one who compares with you", but that would throw off the meter a bit.
  • The chorus of REM's "Leaving New York" has the grammatically odd line "leaving was never my proud" (probably meaning "pride", but that wouldn't slant-rhyme with "around" and "down"). Like the Carrie Underwood example, it can be read as being in Lolcat speak.
  • Reba McEntire's "You're Gonna Be" contains a particularly Yoda-esque lyric:

 Life has no guarantees

But always loved by me

You're gonna be

  • Jessi Colter's "I'm Not Lisa" gets a mention for having "I'm not Lisa, my name is Julie." First of all, "Jessi" would've fit, and second of all, there isn't a single rhyme in the whole song, so there was really no reason to use "Julie" instead. (And even if there were a rhyme, "Jessi" could still slant-rhyme with nearly anything else ending in a long E sound.)
  • Krispy Kreme's "The Baddest" has "I have four hundred houses / I have four hundred mouses and four hundred houses". It's not just the improper plural of "mouse", but also the fact that mice themselves are an unlikely thing to brag about having in a Boastful Rap unless you just really need something that rhymes with "house". Though it's possible he means computer mouses - "mouses" is considered an acceptable plural in that context, and it'd be a slightly more logical thing to brag about than having a rodent problem.
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