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Humor: Rock lyrics have taken over my brain

More evidence of Creationism. How else to explain how the slightest exposure to the most inane lyrics produces a flawless memory?
Dare you to get me out of your memory!

Dare you to get me out of your memory!

I can’t find my car keys, but I remember the lyrics to The Witch Doctor:

I told the witch doctor I was in love with you
I told the witch doctor you didn't love me too
And then the witch doctor, he told me what to do
He said that ....

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla Walla, bing bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla Walla, bing bang...

Rock lyrics occupy 83.6 percent of my memory capacity. Last month I read a biography of Ivar Kreuger, a history of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign, and a book on probability. I can’t recall a thing about any of them. But I’m a whiz on Short Shorts. Try me:

Question: Who wears short shorts?

Answer: We wear short shorts

"Short Shorts," by the Royal Teens, challenged "The Witch Doctor," by David Seville, for the accolade of Most Inane and Loathsome Song of the Twentieth Century. I immediately switched stations when either was played. In their entirety, I heard them maybe than four times. Yet I still remember every word of both:

They're such short shorts
We like short shorts
Who wears short shorts
We wear short shorts

And:

I told the witch doctor you didn't love me true
I told the witch doctor you didn't love me nice
And then the witch doctor, he game me this advice
He said to ...

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla Walla, bing bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla Walla, bing bang...

Memory of rock lyrics may be proof of creationism. A Creator may have wanted to bless us with the ability to memorize interminable verses of hymns. Evolution, alone, could not produce a superb memory for rock lyrics.

Perhaps the capacity to remember “Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang Walla Walla, bing bang” was useful to ancestors who lacked language and swung from trees. But what is gained, today, by allocating precious memory cells to the knowledge that one of the Shangri-La's met the Leader of the Pack at the candy store? Or that Teen Angel was grasping a High School ring when hit by a train? Or that all the cats and chicks can get their kicks at the hop?

In the last three days alone, I have forgotten:

  • The name of that couple, you know the one I mean, he used to work for Microsoft and she’s a lawyer.
  • Over a takeout double, cue bid the opponents' suit with 11 or more points.
  • To take boiling eggs off the stove before watching the seventh game of the NBA finals.
  • To mail an estimated tax payment already four days late.
  • The purpose for which I entered a room. This happened often. I can’t remember how many times.
  • The correct pronunciation of “neologism” is nee-AHL-uh-jiz’m, not nee-uh-LOH-jiz’m.
  • Whether Spring Street is north or south of Seneca Street.
  • Innumerable requests by my wife.
  • A dental appointment (though I may have repressed rather than forgotten this).
  • How long the Thirty Years' War lasted.

Why do I forget? Because I am out of disc space. My brain is filled with more important facts, such as:

  • Old New York was once New Amsterdam.
  • If you’ve a date in Constantinople, she’ll be waiting in Istanbul.
  • Why did Constantinople get the works? That's nobody's business but the Turks.

It is very frustrating. Sometimes, I want to holler, “Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang Walla Walla, bing bang. Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang Walla Walla, bing bang. Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang Walla Walla, bing bang. Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang Walla Walla, bing bang....”

Steve Clifford writes humor for Crosscut. He is the author of the recently published political satire, Fools and Knaves. In his unhumorous life, he was CEO of King Broadcasting and once played a role in saving New York City from bankruptcy.


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Comments:

Posted Sun, Jun 20, 5:02 p.m. Inappropriate

Steve, I laughed until it hurt. That's because I know, unfortunately, just what you mean (as well as all those should-be-forgettable lyrics).

Posted Mon, Jun 21, 10:11 a.m. Inappropriate

Ah, David Seville — AKA Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., cousin of William Saroyan, co-writer of "Come on-a My House," and — sadly, this may be his most enduring legacy — creator of the Chipmunks!

Regarding Spring and Seneca, that is the problem with the Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest mnemonic. It helps you remember that Madison is north of Cherry, but doesn't do a thing for differentiating between the pairs. (And if you're trying to order the "tree" streets south of James or Belltown streets north of Stewart, you're completely out of luck.)

Posted Tue, Jun 22, 8:03 a.m. Inappropriate

Indeed, Steve Clifford gets it right. We are, as we get older, more religious, more likely to believe in an eternal afterlife. Disagree? How often have we gone into a room and asking ourselves, "What did I come in Hereafter?"

Posted Tue, Jun 29, 1:01 p.m. Inappropriate

I'd like to thank the guy who wrote the song
that made my baby fall in love with me...
Who put the bomp in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp
Who put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong
Who put the bop in the bop-she-bop-she-bop
Who put the dip in the dip-de-dip-de-dip
Who was that man, I'd like to shake his hand
He made my baby fall in love with me (yeah!)
When my baby heard bomp-bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp-bo-bomp-bomp
Every word went right into her heart
And when she heard them singing ram-a-lama-lama-lama-lama-ding-dong
She said we'd never have to part

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