Friday, June 26, 2015

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 26: A Song That Is An Earworm

Earworms are funny creatures, really. When you find yourself infected with one, it can be either a blessing or a curse. Earworms feed on our obsessive-compulsive tendencies, they activate whatever tacit proclivity for addiction lies deep within us, and the only cure for bad ones is to replace them with good ones. It's kind of like the former heroin addict who becomes a marathon runner: the behavioral impulse being indulged is the same, it's just transferred its energies to the service of something healthy rather than unhealthy. But even healthy obsessive-compulsions are still, in the end, obsessive-compulsions.

I'm going to err on the side of positivity today and choose an earworm-experience that was not a miserable one, though it was a protracted one. It happens to be an earworm with which I was infected for a full-- and I counted-- ten days back in the Fall of 2013. Unfortunately, I can't remember what finally broke the spell, though I am sure that it must've been some other earworm.  That's just how these things work.  Here's the story:

A couple of years ago, my ears got infected with Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal."  This is one of my favorite songs of all time, so don't feel sorry for me.  But still.... earworm.  It was probably four or five days into the infection before I realized the severity of my condition. I remember the exact moment when it bubbled up into my fully-aware consciousness that a visitor had taken up residence in my subconscious: I was walking to class and realized that the pace of my steps were exactly in sync with the part of "Smooth Criminal" that goes Annie, are you okay, are you okay, are you okay, Annie.  It wasn't a long walk from my office to my classroom, but it was far enough to give me opportunity to make a deliberate effort at trying to change my pace, and I couldn't do it.

Just. Could. Not.

When I got to class, I decided to tell my students about my earworm, and I solicited their help in replacing it or ridding me of it.  They offered several really good suggestions, including what was at that time the very popular and equally infectious earwormy-track "Get Lucky"(by Daft Punk), to no avail.  In fact, I think I did more harm to them in our classroom exchange that day than they did help for me, since a number of students came back to class the next period complaining of a newly-acquired "Smooth Criminal" infection.  Eventually, I rid myself of my earworm, but it took almost two weeks to do so. For those familiar with "Smooth Criminal," that's a helluva lot of bloodstains on the carpet.

Anyway, apologies in advance, here it is:

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