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2005-02-08 - 8:06 p.m.

Have you ever had one of those days where you get an earworm? I mean one of those songs that keeps floating through your head all day long, no matter what you try to do to dislodge it from your cerebral cortex.

For the past three days I have been haunted by the In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth album (Coheed and Cambria). I just cannot get these songs out of my head! I'm having to listen to it as I type this. Will. Not. Go. Away.

The upside to this particular round of earworms is that I really enjoy this album, so this is not horribly torturous. The really difficult ones, for me at least, are the days when I can't get an insipid pop song out of my head. Previous offenders of these unsavory earworms are: Avril Lavigne, Creed (fortunately now defunct), Britney Spears, Nelson (hey, they were on VH1's I Love The 90s - Part Deux recently - Af-ter the rain!), and the list goes on.

I've tried various methods to free myself of the pop banality, with varying degrees of success. Some of those methods include:

- Humming The Girl From Ipanema over and over. This usually dislodges the offending earworm, but then you wind up with another earworm, where The Girl From Ipanema keeps playing in your head. Not so effective if you really hate The Girl From Ipanema.

- Finding the song, and listening to it. I guess this is done in hopes that my brain, which so obviously wants to hear the song that it keeps playing it over and over in my head, will get it's fix and stop. Sometimes effective, sometimes not.

- Finding any other song and listening to it, in hopes of driving the other song out. This seems to be most effective when attacked with an oil vs. water song pairing. It seems to be easier to drive out a Christina Aguilera song with a Foo Fighters song than it is to drive out a Foo Fighters song with a Motorhead song. That usually just winds up with both Motorhead and the Foo Fighters taking turns in my head. And trying to drive out a Christina Aguilera song with a Jessica Simpson song is just asking for an aneurysm. You have been warned.

- Sharing the pain. This technique entails walking up to someone and saying "I cannot get this song out of my head! You know, that Cranberries song that goes 'zo-om-bie, zo-om-bie, zo-om-bi-AY-e-AY-e-AY-e-AY-e-AY". Guaranteed, if you can carry a tune at all, they will now also be stuck with the same earworm. Evil? Yes, but misery loves company.

- Sleep. Sometimes you can sleep them off, kind of like an aural hangover. The really persistent ones just go to sleep when you do, and wake up during your morning shower. These are UberWorms. I hate the UberWorms.

The worst earworms are the ones that are songs from artists that you really can't stand. You catch six seconds of it on the radio while changing stations, and you can't get rid of it for the entire day. I am routinely invaded by these buggers. I've spent entire days with Ace of Base, Hole, Limp Bizkit and Bob Seger earworms nestled in my ears. Fate worse than death? No. Fate worse than deaf? Possibly.

That's one thing that folks deaf at birth are blessed with - never having to know the pain of a System Of A Down earworm. Yes, that was sarcasm. Please deaf people, don't inundate me with emails. I love the deaf. I SAID, I LOVE THE DEAF! Never mind. Bad Saturday Night Live reference.

So, if you wind up with an earworm of your own, feel free to try some of my non-patented, non-guaranteed, completely free methods of earworm removal. If they don't work, tough bananas. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to work.

Tall and tan, and young and lovely / The girl from ipanema goes walking...


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