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How much damage did Carrie Underwood do to that guy’s truck in that song?

Filed in Gossip ,Ideas
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We travel a lot, rent a lot of cars, drive around in far flung corners of the USA, and correspondingly, hear a lot of country music.

One song we’ve heard quite a few times goes:

I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive,
Carved my name into his leather seats.
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
Slashed a hole in all four tires.
Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.

It’s a Carrie Underwood song called “Before He Cheats” and is also featured in the movie Pitch Perfect 2.

Anyway, the last time we heard this song, we couldn’t help but think, “Darn, that’s a lot of damage she does to his truck. But how much?”

Then we thought, “Estimation is a vital skill in decision science. We should really estimate this.”

Then we thought, “blog post.”

Let’s break it down

Lyric: “I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive”
Corresponding repair: Fixed a “keyed” truck door
Estimate: $650

Lyric: “Carved my name into his leather seats”
Corresponding repair: Two front seats professionally reupholstered
Estimate: $750

Lyric: “I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights”
Corresponding repair: Replacing two headlight assemblies
Cost: $950

Lyric: “Slashed a hole in all four tires”
Corresponding repair: Replacing four truck tires
Cost: $800

What’s the total damage? $3,150.

Is that a big crime? Is is! It’s a felony offense with a potentially lengthy prison sentence in Carrie Underwood’s native Oklahoma.

So, when you hear that song, maybe imagine it’s being sung from prison.

(Yes, we’re assuming she got caught, but come on, she carved her name into the leather seats).


  1. Daniel Reeves says:

    Maybe next time she’ll think before acting out her revenge fantasies. 🙂 Or maybe if this is in Texas it’s considered justifiable property damage.

    But seriously, as decision scientists we should abhor this behavior. So socially inefficient! She should just steal the truck or sell it for cash.

    July 24, 2015 @ 9:17 pm

  2. dan says:

    Note that with her saying “maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats,” she sees herself as a commitment device. It would be more efficient to make a contract for a cash transfer of $3,150 upon the event of another transgression. Or they could just use Beeminder.

    July 27, 2015 @ 8:53 am

  3. Mike Raia says:

    I would have expected the reupholstering to cost more. In any event I appreciate the breakdown. I suspect there are more songs out there that could use such analysis.

    July 27, 2015 @ 8:43 am

  4. Cliff says:

    A small pile of aluminum and iron powder on the hood lit with a birthday candle would have done a better job. Aihtsat.

    May 18, 2018 @ 11:45 am

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