I strutted out the front door, down the walkway, one foot crossing sharply over the other in my heels, shoulders shimmying, to where my ride to work was waiting at the curb.

My co-worker, holding open the passenger door, looked puzzled. It is not my usual walk.

But I have a song stuck in my head. It’s been four days now, and I can’t shake it.

He understood. He’s had the theme song to the TV show “The Facts of Life” stuck in his head since the news that Charlotte Rae, the actress who played Mrs. Garrett, had died.

You take the good/you take the bad ….

I sashayed from the parking garage to the newsroom with my shoulders back, chin up, one hand on my hip, singing in my head:

Don’t get strung out by the way I look/Don’t judge a book by it’s cover/

This song is affecting my attitude.

Let me show you around/maybe play you a sound/You look like you’re both pretty groovy/

How does this happen? Science calls this phenomenon an earworm, a fragment of a song, often from the chorus, that replays in a loop.

In one study, more than 91 percent of people reported having an earworm at least once a week. What triggers them is mostly a mystery.

They are hard to study because you can’t force anyone to get one. (Though now I’m hearing … you take them both and there you have/The facts of life, the facts of life in my other ear.)

Maybe the songs stick because they are repetitive or easy to sing. Maybe it’s from frequent listening.

My son is in the stage version of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” running in Scottsdale, so I saw it twice over the weekend. Now you know the cause and the symptom.

Maybe if I hum “Time Warp” over and over I can push this song out.  

I see you shiver with antici…

Got any ideas?

Reach Karina at [email protected] or 602-444-8614. Read more at karinabland.azcentral.com.


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