When I ride my bike by myself on country roads, I’ve started using my iPod Shuffle at low volume to keep myself motivated and entertained. My rear view mirror protects me from overtaking traffic and usually I can see a cow crossing the road from a mile away in the hinterlands.
But when I ride from home through downtown up Hermitage Avenue and the hooker/day laborer/hourly hotel/spooky cemetary/quonset hut tavern route that is my daily commute, no headphones for me. I need 100% attention on the road and my surroundings to have a chance to arrive intact.
Unfortunately, that means whatever silly-ass song that gets in my head will stay there for my 35 minute ride, often hummed and whistled in single stanza segments on both the inhale and exhale as I climb hills. Some recent brain-worms that have haunted me:
“Hot dogs. Armour hot dogs.What kind of kids eat Armour hot dogs?
Tough kids, sissy kids, kids who climb on rocks.
Tall kids, short kids, even kids with chickepox
Love hot dogs… Armour hot dogs…
“Mid-south bizness furniture. Mid-south bizness furniture. Mid-south bizness furniture.” (repeat x 1000. I’m not kidding. That’s all there is to the damn song)
“It’s the New Zoo Revue. Coming right at you. With three delightful animals. They have fun with what they do. They learn from their friend Doug. (Their friend Doug!) And his “helper” (quotes mine) Emmy Jo. (Emmy Jo!) With Charlie! Freddy! Henrietta! They have fun learning what they don’t know.”
“867-5309. 867-530 ni-ee-yine.”
On the rare occasion, I can force these brainworms from my head by singing a verse of “Mustang Sally,” but I doubt the performance is too convincing to the “thirsty-two ouncer lunchbox special” set sitting on the bus stop bench considering I’m wearing skintight spandex pants with a padded crotch pad and a clown-suit jersey with Italian written all over it.
The worst is when I happen to catch a snippet of a commercial just as I go out the door in the morning. I have a real fear that someday I will find myself in an emergency situation that is not necessarily life-threatening and I’ll end up on hold after dialing 1 (800) 588-2300.