The doctor’s schedule was full, I was told, but after some pleading the doctor agreed to see me on his lunch hour.
“So what seems to be the problem?” the doctor asked me, taking a bite of his tuna fish sandwich.
“Doctor, I have a serious problem,” I said. “I can’t get that ‘Boom Clap’ song out of my head.”
“Hmm,” he said. He wiped his mouth and got up and looked at me. He felt all around my head. The smell of tuna fish on his breath was so strong I thought I was going to faint.
He ordered tests, and an MRI revealed that in fact a pop song was stuck in the left-back quadrant of my cereberum. Surgery was too risky, I was told, but left untreated the song would spread to other parts of my brain, and soon I’d be singing the song uncontrollably. The only way to eliminate the song was to replace it with another song.
“You can choose any song you like. Just think of one song or musical piece you would want stuck in your head.”
For reasons of both taste and insurance coverage I chose Mozart’s Oboe Concerto No. 5 in C. I’ve always enjoyed its felicitous phrasing. But someone mixed up the tapes at the outpatient clinic, and I ended up receiving treatment with the 1980s hit ‘Safety Dance’ by Men Without Hats. By the time they realized the error it was too late, and my insurance company said any subsequent treatments would have to be out-of-pocket.
So I’m going to have ‘Safety Dance’ stuck in my head for the rest of my life. There are days I wish I’d just left it alone. But at least I qualify for disability now.