By Elaine Viets
"I lost my license now I don't drive."
For two days, that line from the Joe Walsh song, "Life's Been Good to Me So Far," rattled in my head like a clunker chugging down a gravel road. A dreaded earworm had burrowed into my brain. I couldn’t remember the rest of the song. That one line repeated itself in an endless loop.
I wanted to claw my hair off.
"I heard that if you sing all the lyrics, the earworm will go away," Don said.
So I found the song on YouTube and sang along with Joe. http://tinyurl.com/7om3gke
My vocal stylings are no threat to Joe Walsh’s career. But when I finished the song all the way through, my husband was right. That earworm curled up and died.
And another one crawled in to take its place.
I’m a big fan of the Red Rocker, not to mention fast cars and driving over the speed limit. In fact, not too long after Sammy first sang about his driving frustration, I was arrested for speeding in Litchfield, Illinois. I’d been going 120 in a 55-mile-an-hour zone. I managed to slow down to 95 when the highway patrol pulled me over. Unlike Sammy, I didn’t go to jail, but Don had to post bail and I went to court. I have since lived a slow, blameless and uncaught life.
I really had to quit singing that one line, so I watched the Sammy Hagar video http://tinyurl.com/y9jdbgw until the ear worm was driven away.
Researchers say 98 percent of people are afflicted by ear worms "but earworms are more likely to last longer for women and to irritate them more than they irritate men."
Jean Harris, the headmistress of the fancy Madeira School for girls, killed her lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of "The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet." Anyone who’s ever been on that diet would say Tarnower deserved killing. But not only was poor Jean in love with the scrawny diet doctor, she suffered from an earworm with the song, "Put the Blame on Mame." I read this in Wikipedia, so I know it must be true.
Once I read that, I didn’t feel so bad about my other earworm, "We Will Rock You" by
Queen. http://tinyurl.com/yzo3qc At least my earworms are rock classics.
That song is high on the earworm list. Other common earworms are "Who Let the Dogs Out," "YMCA," "Mission Impossible" theme, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and that insidious Disney ditty, "It’s a Small World After All."
One poor soul, driven to distraction by a (shudder) Barry Manilow earworm, pleaded for help on the Net. Someone called LunaClick posted The Manilow Cure. http://tinyurl.com/6ll932c
"It is Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens playing ‘A Study in Brown’ in the early 1940s, with crazy Frank DeNunzio Sr. on the double bass."