Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ear Worm cures . . . don't.

I’ve had ‘All Night Long’ playing in my head since early last evening. Okay, already. It’s mid-afternoon of the next day – why are you still here, I ask?

Well, according to the Great They who ‘say’ all the pithy things, a song stuck in your mind that way is called an Ear Worm. I’m thinking this is definitely one of life’s little vicissitudes, since it’s a change way beyond my control.

Now some people tackle Ear Worms by fighting fire with fire. This ‘cure’ consists of picking a different tune in an attempt to drive out the offending one. The Ear Worms are on to this. They simply call in the reinforcements, and voila! A new Ear Worm takes over.

I’ve been through the whole repertoire with that one. I went from ‘It’s a Small World’ to ‘Annie’s Song’ and through the entire, irritating score of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ in one epic session that lasted for days.

(Let’s not mention the Numa Numa era.)

You can try to distract yourself from the Ear Worm. Nothing rhythmic, though. Too slow an Ear Worm and it will take hours to clean a window. Too zippy and your morning jog could be a killer.

Then there’s the ‘foist it off on the next guy’ cure. Pick a sensitive, caring friend – one of the good listeners – and confide your problem. If you do it right, the Ear Worm will see the benefits of a welcome ear, and jump ship.

Ah, but just as nature abhors a vacuum, so do Ear Worms. Another will be along shortly.

Some say if you just sing the song through once all the way, it will give up. I tried that once. Although I didn’t get all the way through, I think it worked because I was certainly distracted and I shared with others. I’m just not sure I want to repeat the experience.

If you must break into a rousing chorus of “Drink! Drink! Drink!” from the Student Prince, a word to the wise. At your best friend’s wedding, it’s probably better to hold off until the reception . . . they didn’t seem to like it much in the middle of the Invocation.

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