Stories from a life in progress.


Last weekend I got to visit Pigtail Girl's family for a day, and Pigtail Girl (who doesn't wear pigtails as often as she did, and who may need to have a new name soon to suit her almost-8-year-old dignity) introduced me to an iOS game which she has been enchanted with lately: My Muppets Show, produced by Disney.  The premise is you come into possession of a trashy old theater, and slowly clean it up and bring in muppets to form a stage show.

I had fun watching Pigtail Girl play and learning how it worked, and I was tickled by the quality of the music.  Muppets and music go together like peas in a pod, like slides in a trombone.  When I got home I downloaded the app to my own iPad so I could see how it started.  I like having simple games available for brain breaks, and this one is fitting the bill nicely.

There's just one problem.  The game's music is catchy.  Not merely catchy, but infectiously catchy.  Drastically catchy.  Catastrophically catchy.  I can't get it out of my head at all.  I'm constantly breaking out in different muppets' parts, from Sam Eagle's "whom ba dom dom" vocal base line to Zoot's saxophone riff to Rowlf's "Here we go now!" to that weird guy who only says "mahna mahna."  (Sorry, I know I just made some of you have that song stuck in your head.  I should feel bad about that.  But now you know how I feel about the catchy music.)

I was amused at first, shuffling around the house singing "Here we go now" or Floyd's "Put it all together now" or just "whom ba dom dom" in my best, sad approximation of Sam's bass voice.  It's getting a little old now.  I'd occasionally like to think about or hum other things, but I still have a head full of Muppet music.

Silly game music, I say to myself.  Why does it have to be so blasted catchy?

It's not the game's fault, though.  Sure, the designers gave it catchy music.  But it's not the game's fault the catchy music is stuck so hard against the inside of my skull.  My head is full of muppet music because I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO IT INCESSANTLY ALL WEEK.

The music wasn't stuck in my head on Sunday, when I listened to it with Pigtail Girl.  It was amusing on Monday, with the most familiar parts creeping into my head and occasionally getting sung.  It's not as amusing anymore.  But I'm the one who has been feeding my ears with it constantly, so what do I expect?

Do I possibly have the gall to blame the game designers for my musical soundtrack this week, when I'm the one listening to their work all the time?

Even worse, how often do I berate myself "why can't you remember this, Crispy?" when I spend practically zero time reading, listening, watching, and otherwise soaking myself in what I want to remember?  What do I expect to happen with information I pay very little attention to?

I like to think I'm serious about making good life-changes.  But in practice, sometimes what I soak myself in is the soundtrack from a silly, fun, pointless little game.  And then I thrash myself for not coming to grips with more important things. 

Time and attention matter.  A lot of the time, what sticks hardest to the inside of our skulls is what we work the most at putting there, whether or not it's intentional.  This week, a silly little game reminded me of that.  AND filled my head with catchy music.  Whom ba dom dom.  Here we go now!