Sunday, March 24, 2013

I know a song that gets on everybody's nerves

In the tenth grade, my Great Books teacher mentioned that she enjoyed telling ridiculous stories to extremely gullible people.

Hoping to provide her with more material, I promptly explained why songs get stuck in your head: Certain radio frequencies resonate well with human tissue, and those snippets of music get trapped inside your skull and bounce around on their way through the air from the local soft rock station.

My teacher was so enthralled with this new piece of scientific knowledge that I felt bad having to suggest that maybe she should reconsider throwing around the phrase “gullible people.”

I can hardly blame her, though. The mysterious force of song-head-sticking is not to be trifled with. My roommate recognized its devastating contagious properties and finally declared that I am not allowed to tell her what’s lodged in my head if there is a chance she knows the tune. One of my friends at work is bound by a similar domestic edict, so she and I started inflicting the brain virus on each other instead.

Of course, music carries other dangers aside from relentless repetitions of “Hey Mickey.”

A few months ago, just before the office radio rolled over to non-stop Christmas music, the awesome power of classic hits suddenly moved me to dance while sitting at my keyboard.

The woman at the next desk did not heed the call of the same muse. She did, however, notice my arrhythmic jerks and strained humming and spring into action.

Next time, though, I know just how to explain the situation:

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