I’ve grown accustomed to the majority of weirdness that happens in my skull. It’s obvious at this point (more than halfway through my existence on Earth) that nothing can be done. As my analyst, Mr. Popeye, is fond of repeating, I yams what I yams and that’s all that I yams.
One of my most annoying brain stutters returned this week with abandon. Chances are, you too are afflicted and have suffered as I from “earworms”. Earworms is the delightful little title German psychiatrists have given to the inability of most people to get a song to stop repeating in their heads, over and over.
You know what I’m taking about?
You’re driving down the street, minding your own business, thinking about baseball statistics, how much money was in the pants you left on the dresser and why anyone would want to eat goat cheese when suddenly, from deep within your demented head comes the unmistakable sound of the Village People.
“Y…M C A! It’s fun to stay at the…”
Where’d that come from?
I don’t even like the Village People!
But there it is. It had burrowed in and will be with you throughout the rest of the day, perhaps into the night and if you’re extremely unfortunate, it will return at segmented intervals until the following Tuesday, when, for no reason, it will be replaced by “Whennnn the… moon hitsa you eye like a bigga pizza pie… that’s amore!”
That song you’ve had stuck in your head is a common occurrence, so commonplace, in fact, that it has been named by the psychiatric community. They call them “Earworms”.
For me, they orbit like comets. Some are so infuriating I’m driven to distraction. Others are almost comforting. This week, I’ve had the theme from the Muppets Show appearing now and again at some inopportune and frankly, embarrassing moments. Not to go into too much detail, but how would you feel, if, in a moment of passion, your head decided to sing to you.
“Dum dum dum dum… it’s time to put on makeup! It’s time to light the lights! It’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight!”
I don’t mind the Muppet Show and am not opposed to its theme song, but not right then, right there, at that instant.
Why does this happen?
Most times it’s not even a full song, or a full verse of a song, but just one small snippet. Another of those ever-returning earworm comets that flies by at unspecified times is Mr. Yuck. I may not have thought about that little green S.O.B. for a year, but while in full repose, nearly asleep after a stressful day of playing records and being a goofball, just as I am about to glide gracefully into Mr. Sandman’s chambers, my head will decide it’s a perfect time to concentrate on child poison control.
“Mr. Yuck is mean… Mr. Yuck… is GREEN!”
Oh, forget it.
There’s no point.
I’m not sleeping tonight.
The most confusing, confounding aspect of earworms is that anything, and I mean ANYTHING can trigger them. Once triggered and brought to life, an earworm can dig itself into my subconscious and pitch a pup tent. It’s got supplies. It’s got cable. It’s not going anywhere. When I mention that anything can trigger one, I’m not being facetious. While doing research to write this piece, I triggered one, one I had never, to my knowledge, had in my head before. It’s one that feels as though it could be in for the long haul, though.
The word “earworm”, the one used by German headshrinkers to describe my ailment, served as the trigger. For once my brain drank in the word earworm, it did its own version of a Google search until it came up with a snippet of a song.
Not the entire song, mind you. Not even the guitar part, which I could stand over and over. What I can’t stand over and over is whiny, self-absorbed Roger in my head as I’m shopping for tomatoes at Giant Eagle, singing, “And the worms ate into his brain.”
Pathetic. What a sick little passage to have repeating all day, all night, for days at a time. It’s been bubbling up to the surface of Magic 8-Ball over and over and over for nearly a week.
And the worms ate into his brain.
I’d almost rather have the Village People.
So that’s what my last several days have been: rain, constantly, and a subtle reminder that, as the psychiatrists describe it, I have a bad case of worms.
And the worms ate into his brain.
Y…M C A!
Mr. Yuck is mean….
And the worms at into his brain.