Monday, January 21, 2008

Earworm Triggers

Two phrases trigger an autonomic response that forces me to sing songs, sometimes out loud. The first one is doubly nerdy. If I don't want to move the buttons on the bottom of my Windows screen accidently, I right-click the taskbar and choose "Lock the Taskbar": The shareef don't like it / Lock the taskbar, lock the taskbar. Clash and burn, every time.

The second one is even worse. Whenever anyone mentions Charles Dickens' epic novel Bleak House, I twitch and sing: Cause she's a bleak . . . house / Mighty, mighty just lettin' it all hang out.

I can't be the only person with a mild case of musical Tourette's. Got any?


  1. i'm more interested in why your friends talk about "bleak house" often enough for you to have notice a pattern in your response.

  2. whenever I pass the police I break out into some NWA.

    It is really unfortunate for me since I am a white CPA.

    Think Office Space car scene

  3. Andy, we recorded the PBS movie they created a few months ago, and some friends wanted to watch it with us. Only it wasn't like The Sopranos or Flight of the Conchords -- we were only mildly interested in it, so plans were put off. "Do you want to play Boggle or watch Bleak . . . House?"

    It also comes up at work with a woman who loves Victorian literature. She thinks Dickens' greatest novel is Bleak . . . House. It's mighty, mighty.

  4. In honor of the same ear worm, a lab-mate of mine changed the sound that plays whenever I log in our out of windows from the default to the apropos part of the chorus of "rock the casbah."

    In the lab I used to perform a technique called 'genome-wide chromatin immuno-precipitation on chip' or ChIP chip for short. Another lab mate and I made up a song to Devo's "whip it" called "ChIP it." I cite as an excuse the fact that the technique took over 50 hours of work spread over 3 days, hence there was often hilarity/hysteria involved due to nearly toxic levels of caffeine ingestion. So, when I think or hear about the technique I instantly hear “you’ve got to wash it; it’s not to late, to ChIP it; ChIP it good.”

  5. Like Botched, I have an earworm whenever I log out of Windows XP. The shutdown sound synchs with Gary Numan's "Cars"...specifically the notes that go with "Here in my car..."

    "I'm shutting down...I think I'll watch some Tee...Vee and may-be have a sna-a-a-ck, sna-a-a-aack..."

  6. Oh, and here's how it goes with "Bleak House":

    [Scene, Minette at home. Bob calls.]

    B: What are you doing?
    M: I'm watching Bleak...House. Me and Charles Dickens, lettin' it ALL hang auwwwwt.

  7. Earworms... never heard the term. I changed the title.

  8. I don't know if this counts, but when I was suffering morning sickness, when in the restroom doing my thing all I could hear in my head was Beck's "Nausea." I still sing it every time I brush my teeth, due to the unfortunate clash between pregnancy hormones and toothbrushing (oh, toothpaste, will we ever be friends again?)

  9. Everytime I see myself in a mirror, I start singing "I'm too sexy for my shirt" and I start dancing and rubbing my hands on my chest.

  10. This is going to totally g-hey, but when I get home at night, I'm greeted by our 4 cat's, all wanting attention. The song "Linger Fickin' Good" by the Revolting Cocks kicks in ala "who's your favorite cat?". Only sung in my voice instead of the Revco Pussy Girls' very sexy voices. Yes, I'm weird.