After enduring years of almost unbearable and squirm-inducing irritation, I have finally learned what is at the bottom of my aggravating affliction: it’s something insidious, unstoppable and un-killable – I’ve got worms.
I’m suffering from a chronic case of Melodius infuriatus, otherwise known as earworms and if you’ve ever found yourself inexplicably singing the chorus of ‘Ooom-Pah-Pah, Ooom-Pah-Pah’ then you needn’t laugh because you’ve got them too. Tough. ‘That’s how it goes..’, sometimes.
The Urban Dictionary website describes an earworm as ‘A song that sticks in your mind, and will not leave no matter how much you try’. Unfortunately Urban Dictionary offers no advice on how to deal with the earworm other than: ‘The best way to get rid of an earworm is to replace it with another. Be prepared to become a jukebox.’
I was disheartened to think that I might never be able to tackle last night’s washing up without repeatedly humming either the opening bars from ‘Crimewatch’ or the first bit of ‘The Avengers’ theme tune, so it was with hope that I turned to this link for guidance on ridding myself of my earworms once and for all.
It appears that as many as 9 out of 10 of us may know what it is to have an earworm lodged in our headspace, torturing us with its baffling choice of early ‘70’s advert jingle or TV theme tune and driving us to such distraction that we may be forced to abandon whatever it is that we are doing in order to break the loop. In my case, I only have to lift a lavatory brush and I warble a bit of ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’; if I force myself to tackle the mildewed-grouting there’s every likelihood that, though I clutch in my paw a bleach-soaked rag, my inner-self can only repeatedly lament that ‘My Boomerang Won’t Come Back’; on the rare occasions I’ve attempted to lift a duster I have found myself imploring someone called Sport to ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down’, at which point I have to drop the duster before my ears begin to bleed and I lose the will to live.
It appears that there is, after all, no way to kill an earworm and not much comfort to be drawn from the prospect of merely replacing one unwanted ditty with another. I suspect that any activities (such as housework) found to trigger earworms should simply be avoided at all costs. Therefore, in the name of scientific research, I’m prepared to abandon my slap-dash domestic-maintenance programme entirely and ignore all un-flushed toilets, all scummy-sinks and all muddy floors until I have driven out my earworms with repeated and infuriating renditions of something loosely based on the ‘Inchworm’ song. You never know, it might work ….
Once I’m in my Marigolds*
Doing last night’s washing up
It’s ‘Bang!’ and there you are;
When I’m in my Marigolds
There’s “The Avengers” theme –
But just the first few bars.
You can have my Marigolds
But where is my boomerang?
(I didn’t throw it far);
I won’t wear my Marigolds
‘Cause then I won’t hear you
And your bloody Ooom-Pah-Pah!
*Some other brands of rubber gloves have also been linked to earworms