Friday, September 4, 2015

The Conquering Earworm

You know what an earworm is, right? It's a song that gets into your head and will not vacate the promises, not even after to listen to it, over and over and over.

I have an entire playlist of earworms, it seems. And a disturbing number of them come from the shows my kids watched.

Some of them aren't so bad. The Scooby Doo movies usually had good tunes--like The Witch's Ghost (I'm a hex girl and I'm gonna put a spell on you...) And Josie and the Pussycats never did anything but rock.

But some shows had downright evil songs. Not only were they full of earworms, they were scary clown earworms. Ever watch The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald? Please don't, I'm warning you. They will break you.

And every once in a while, there came along shows that had music that seemed so innocuous, so innocent, that I thought "No earworms here. I'm too cool to keep these songs perpetually in my head, long after my kids are too old to remember the shows."

And in classic Ash Krafton style I was, of course, blaringly and devastatingly wrong.

I speak of Veggie Tales.

I know, I know. You're thinking: Huh. Weird. Why is that Poe-obsessed fantasy and horror writer talking about Veggie Tales?

But know this, gentle reader: Veggie Tales is the cruelest earworm generator of them all. And the whole family is afflicted with them.

Each morning, you're likely to hear someone sing out "Oh, where is my hairbrush?" And walking past a fruit stand someone is bound to remark upon the Grapes of Wrath (or at least make the sound effects). I almost sang the Cheeseburger Song at my friend's wedding (until I realized it would actually affect our friendship. But that is an AWESOME song and I sing it in my heart every time I see her.)

But one song has been burrowed through our heads these days. One song so relevant that it's inevitable. The mere mention of our upcoming vacation inspires an immediate chorus followed by shoulders slumped and heads hung in defeat because, once again, the Conquering Earworm emerged victorious.

veggie tales
He's never sniffed a stink bug.
I'm speaking about The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.

This is Elliot the pirate. He's really just Larry the Cucumber in a pirate suit but DIG THAT FACE HAIR. Inappropriate hawtness for a contemporary gospel figure, if you ask me. But, hey. That's why I'm here--to take good and innocent things and point out all the inappropriate stuff so that you can never look at them the same way again. (I'm a spec fic writer. I took an oath.)

Besides looking Van Dyke hawt, Larry sings the best verses.

Larry: "Well, I've never plucked a rooster and I'm not too good at
ping-pong, and I've never thrown my mashed potatoes up against the wall,
and I've never kissed a chipmunk and I've never gotten head lice, and
I've never been to Boston in the fall!"

Pa: "Huh? What are you talking about? What's a rooster and mashed
potatoes have to do with being a pirate??"

Mr. Lunt: "Hey, that's right! We're supposed to sing about pirate-y
This particular earworm has been infesting me for years. It's not only crept into my's in my heart, too. (Awwwww.) That's why I'm eulogizing it. In a few weeks, we'll be in Boston for the first time, in the Fall, no less.
And part of me thinks that once  we're there, my favorite earworm will perish and descend into the oblivion of the past.
Not that I'm planning on plucking roosters or kissing chipmunks because those things are stupid. Boston in the Fall is the whole catch phrase. And I'm going there. It will murder my earworm.
Where better to do it than the birthplace of Edgar Allan Poe? (You knew that this was where it was going, right? I dropped a big hint back there.)
I will go to the corner of Boylston and Charles Street South where stands the statue of the Master and his Raven, and I will lean close to his ear, and I'll darkly whisper the words to that song one last time, exorcising it, forever.
In pace requiescat.
Then Edgar will have his own earworm to bear. Hope it won't drive him to madness.


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