Friday, 08 January 2021 19:00
Estonian Life No. 1 2021 - Otepää Slim
Some Christmases ago the slender one bemoaned the state of musical affairs. Seasonal music was the bane of his existence, leading to the dreaded earworms. Which generally show up only in December. Of course, being cloistered, removed from the world as we were in 2020, it was not, thankfully, a recent issue. So grateful for not being subjected to Muzak versions of Frosty, Rudolph and Jack Frost, other chestnuts, heard ad nauseam while shopping or skating (on a rink, not the sidewalks).
But the hermit life cannot be borne in silence. That darn YouTube – after having listened to everything in the record collection (the one large reality in an otherwise lean life) the temptation to listen to songs from the distant past was too great to resist. YouTube has been great, by the way, for accessing Estonian music not available otherwise these days. Or not in the slimster’s collection. Such as Raimond Valgre, Silvi Vrait and John Pori, for whom these ears have a soft spot. Soothing and a balm in these troubled times. But there is only so much that one desires to listen to. For there is a lot of lousy music out there.
But there is also something beyond recorded music whether on CD or YouTube that is known as the memory bank. Something that is both good, and bad. For while isolating from the outside viral world the earworms have returned big time. Pernicious little things. And the gracile guy has the significant other to blame for this. While preparing for the daily and vital constitutional in the park, so as to maintain some mental stability a fatal utterance escaped these lips. I love these boots was overheard. In dulcet tones the response was – those boots were made for walking. Boom! All of a sudden the Nancy Sinatra song entered that curious maze that is the brainpan. Be as hardheaded as one is, it was nigh impossible to shake that song during that solitary stroll through our bleak world.
The solution seemed obvious. Listen to something else on the computer. But once again the mouth was faster than the brain. The skinny is as follows. After shedding said boots the culprit was told danke schön!
for that earworm. Which of course led to a soprano version of that oh-so-bad Wayne Newton song. He of the androgynous high voice and who cannot pronounce German. For Mr. Las Vegas it was danke schein. Well, try as the Jack Sprat look-alike tried, he could not say auf wiedersehn
to that joy and pain. Even googling him and seeing how botoxed he is now was not sufficient.
Think the torture ended there? Cohabitation is a nice thing. But not when you are together with someone 24-7. In a bubble. Yup. You guessed it. Sweetcheeks complained, and unprompted Don Ho sprang to the fore. It is a tiny bubble after all. Man, the competition for aural space. Even trying to vocalize in the shower did not help, for what cropped up? Singing in the Rain. Or worse, the Burt Bacharach classic (for some) of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. Try as the spare singer did, these songs – and aural associations were as ever-present as the soap scum on the shower walls. Egads. Could it get worse?
As the saying goes, it always can. There is no nadir to this affliction. Once there, it is almost impossible to banish. For when there is silence – such as on the necessary perambulation – a new otic nematode slithers in. And for whatever reason the lyrics are usually not great. But the melody is catchy. That is why the biggest hits are known for being infectious in a good way, for having a hook. (Come to think of it, fishing for a solution, the slimster could bait his hook with an earworm. But what might the catch be? Probably a largemouth bass. Which for a while led to the blessed entry of the classic Fishin’ Blues, best version by Taj Mahal, into the subconscious. That, at least, is a good number to amble along to and with.)
So taking a line from a classic children’s verse the Nuustaku lad can only say the following. Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I’m going to eat some worms. (Although, a Diet of Worms might lead a Lutheran elsewhere…)Otepää Slim