Earworms

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: pixabay.com.

Earworms

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘earworms’?

The first thing that came to my mind was those irritating advertising jangles that the television seems to be full of. There’s one particular one that somehow managed to lodge itself in my brain. Not mentioning the product, it goes: ‘Bang! And the dirt is gone!’ The strange thing about it is the way it pops up in my mind at the most random of times. And no, it never got me to buy the product, not even once.

It’s kind of like those songs that any sane person would hate to admit to liking. Often it’s the ones you dislike the most but can’t get away from that worm their way inside your brain. Recently, I’ve had this song running through my mind called ‘Smoking In The Boy’s Room’. I think it was released in the early 1970’s and was basically about breaking school rules and, you know, smoking in the boys room. Of course, the fact that I was a girl would have made it even more bad, and maybe that is why it has become so thoroughly stuck.

Anyway, back to earworms. There’s been a hissing in my ear lately. My left one. I had thought maybe it was blocked, but the Doc said no. If the symptoms persisted, he recommended seeing a psychotherapist.

You mean I’m imagining it?” I’d asked him.

No, but maybe you are feeling under pressure. You know, stress can manifest itself in a lot of different ways.”

I’d left his office, determined to look in to registering with a different general practitioner. There had to be loads of them around. But in the meantime, the hissing got worse.

I'd tried holding my head under water and letting my ears fill up then drain. That worked while my head was underwater, but once the draining began the hissing redoubled its volume.

Eventually, I'd resorted to smacking my ear. At first I had slapped it with the palm of my hand, but after a day of that failed to produce an improvement, I’d tried thumping it with my fist instead. Pointless! Useless! A waste of time.

Headphones! I'd drown out the sound with more sound. The music was nice and clear through my right ear, but there’s still a hissing there in my left one. I had noticed something though. The hissing seemed to change tune, almost like it was trying to sing along.

Weird or what?

I began to get used to it. If someone was talking to me and I did not want to listen, I just had to turn my left side towards them. So long as I remembered to nod and mumble occasionally the earworm could come in quite handy at times.

But last night I could not sleep. I tried pressing my ear against the pillow, turning so it was away from it; it made no difference. And I’m not kidding, but I could have sworn it was trying to communicate in its own sibilant way. It was no good though I simply didn’t understand wormish.

I can feel something moving. That stupid doctor! It had been blocked all along. If he’d just cleared it out he could have saved me so much aggravation and agony. There’s a definite popping noise and I can feel something on my earlobe. It tickles as it moves around.

The feeling is so irritating I reach up with my right hand and grip the substance that my ear is ejecting. There seems to be a lot of it. I pull and pull and it just keeps coming.

Finally, my hearing clears and with a lot of misgivings I look towards my hands. No wonder it had been hissing, for I never had an earworm at all, but an entire snake.

 

 


Submitted: May 11, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Donald Harry Roberts

good one

Mon, May 11th, 2020 6:36pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, DH!

Mon, May 11th, 2020 12:02pm

Mike S.

Scary deal; excellent, Hull!

Mon, May 11th, 2020 6:46pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Mike.

Mon, May 11th, 2020 12:02pm

Sue Harris

Ha, love this! Nice quirky style, it could have so easily been a horror story but, although it was genuinely shocking, it actually made me smile... was that your intention or is it just me?

Mon, May 11th, 2020 9:33pm

Author
Reply

Yes, it was meant to be kind of funny, Sue. I'm glad it worked, and thanks for giving it a read.

Wed, May 13th, 2020 11:52am

B Douglas Slack

Maybe it was all in your mind, Hully. I thought there weren't any snakes in Ireland. Me, I have a persistent ringing called tinnitus in both ears, plus a hearing loss of around 60%. All caused by my Morse code copying while in the navy.

Bill

Mon, May 11th, 2020 9:56pm

Author
Reply

Actually, I don't think I have any lurking snakes, a few of the more traditional earworms though.
Thanks, Bill.

Wed, May 13th, 2020 11:53am

Vance Currie

The best way to cure an ear-worm is to replace it with another less irritating one, but I guess a snake could work too. I am glad that everything came out alright at the end of this story.

Mon, May 11th, 2020 10:14pm

Author
Reply

Haha! Thanks, Joe!

Wed, May 13th, 2020 11:54am

moa rider

When I saw the title Mama Hullabaloo, I immediately thought about the Ceti eel put into Chokov's ear in Wrath of Khan. I have tinnitus from jackhammers, blasting, chainsaws... anyway, and sometimes something's loose in there, which apparently is feeling rather than fact. When I asked Albert to have a look he said he could see daylight! Usianguke

Mon, May 11th, 2020 11:19pm

Author
Reply

Haha! I just love the comments this story has brought. I can remember being told the exact same thing.
Thanks, Moa!

Wed, May 13th, 2020 11:55am

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