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Kevin’s Favorite New Game

I know you’ve read all the stories about the phenomenon known as the earworm, right? If not, click here, and you’ll be enlightened (also, please refer to the poem below, as Billy Collins continues to express it so much more eloquently than I ever could). Well, count on Kevin to exploit my predilection for bursting uncontrollably into song. Yes, I know I am indeed a freak, but please allow me to explain: I do this in an attempt to purge myself of the incessant annoying songs swirling around in my brain. At first, Kev thought it was amusing to “plant the seed”, because, you see, I have a horrible tendency to start singing the last song I heard. Then he took it a step further. He now purposely plants the most horrible songs in my head, and sure enough, five minutes later, I’m belting out “Blue Suede Shoes” or “The Pina Colada Song”. He’s slick about it, too. He very quietly hums the melody with which he wishes to torture me, and then sits smugly silent until my subconscious picks it up. Bastard. It even took me a while to figure out that he was doing this intentionally, and I probably never would have, except he didn’t quite hide his chuckle in time when I started up with “I Wanna Be A Cowboy (And You Can Be My Cowgirl)”. He claims to possess a vast arsenal of audio assault weapons, and I’m kinda nervous. I think I’ll just torture him with a barrage of Eminem while I plot my vicious revenge. Bwaaahaahaaa!

?More Than a Woman?
Ever since I woke up today,
a song has been playing uncontrollably
in my head?a tape looping
over the spools of the brain,
a rosary in the hands of a frenetic nun,
mad fan belt of a tune.
It must have escaped from the radio
last night on the drive home
and tunneled while I slept
from my ears to the center of my cortex.
It is a song so cloying and vapid
I won?t even bother mentioning the title,
but on it plays as if I were a turntable
covered with dancing children
and their spooky pantomimes,
as if everything I had ever learned
was being slowly replaced
by its slinky chords and the puffballs of its lyrics.
It played while I watered the plant
and continued when I brought in the mail
and fanned out the letters on a table.
It repeated itself when I took a walk
and watched from a bridge
brown leaves floating in the channels of a current.
In the late afternoon it seemed to fade,
but I heard it again at the restaurant
when I peered in at the lobsters
lying on the bottom of an illuminated
tank which was filled to the brim
with their copious tears.
And now at this dark window
in the middle of the night
I am beginning to think
I could be listening to music of the spheres,
the sound no one ever hears
because it has been playing forever,
only the spheres are colored pool balls,
and the music is oozing from a jukebox
whose lights I can just make out through the clouds.

Copyright 2002 by Billy Collins

An Ode To Earworms

5 Responses to “Kevin’s Favorite New Game”

  1. kim Says:

    Kevin is evil. I don’t know that “More Than A Woman” song, but when I read the title, “Three Times a Lady” started running through my brain. Thanks alot, Merrin. haha

    Once, twice, three times a lady….

  2. merrin Says:

    Let me refresh your memory so you are better able to share in my suffering: It’s by the BeeGees, and the lyrics are often misquoted as “Banana Woman”. But thanks for getting “Fee Times a Mady” stuck…

  3. kim Says:

    Aha! I know that song. Luckily not well enough for it to get stuck in my head.

    But it made me think of another Bee Gees song, “Nights on Broadway.”


  4. Camille Says:

    Kevin is mean!

1 Trackbacks

  1. Says:

    I’ll take “Torment My Wife” for 1,000, Alex

    Dude, I am so busted. Merrin has finally come clean on my extreme acts of marital terrorism. Yes, I admit




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