Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cease and desist

Dear Brain,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I would like to begin by thanking you for the excellent service you have thus far provided.  I have had little cause for dissatisfaction over these many years and have come to rely on you for everything from motor control to memory (although I must say your performance in the memory department has been rather spotty at times).  Whenever I have needed you, you were there. 

It is, therefore, with a heavy heart that I must register my current complaint.  It must seem to you a rather trivial matter, given your otherwise exemplary performance.  Indeed, I have tried my utmost to simply ignore the problem and hoped that you would resolve it spontaneously.  But my patience has been stretched to its breaking point.  I have reached the limits of my goodwill and cannot turn a blind eye to such egregious behavior on your part. 

I have endured more than a month of near-constant replay of the same tune.  It is more than I can bear.  True, there have been moments, even whole days, during which I was not plagued by the endlessly repeating musical loop.  But just when I think it is over, when I hope to be truly free of this torture, I find myself whistling the refrain under my breath.  I have done everything I know to end this cycle.  I can find nothing -- no other music, no mental trick  -- to successfully expunge this earworm.  I even attempted to replace one song loop with another to no avail.  I must, therefore, respectfully ask you to take immediate action to end your musical barrage.

It wouldn't be so bad if the music were more complex or varied.  There are some songs I could happily listen to every day.  Frankly, what bothers me most is the sheer inanity of your choice.  I ask you, honestly, who wouldn't be irritated by incessant replay of the theme song from I Dream of Jeannie -- a show I haven't seen for at least a decade, and one which at best is silly and might more accurately be described as puerile.  I mean, really -- I'm not asking for high-brow classical music, but this is just embarrassing. What are you trying to communicate to me?  Am I supposed to dress up in chiffon and live in a bottle, devote myself to servile submission to my "master" -- or are you just encouraging me to watch more television?  I cannot decode the message, if any, that is being conveyed, and I have had enough. 

As of receipt of this letter, I demand that you cease and desist your musical assault.  Prompt action on your part will ensure that no punitive action will be taken against you.  Should you fail to respond in a timely manner, I am prepared to settle this matter formally in court.  I deeply regret the necessity of this letter, but you have left me little recourse.  I hope that we can resolve this amicably and return to the mutually satisfactory relationship we have had in the past. 


Deborah C. Stearns, Ph.D.


  1. I'm voting for the chiffon thing.


    Your boyfriend's brain

  2. I'd be willing to wear chiffon if that would stop this interminable replay. Have your brain contact my brain and see if they can work out a deal. ;-)

  3. If this song gets stuck in my head you are in BIG trouble with me!

    Try listening to something else brainwormy, maybe?

  4. Shelley, this must be my brain's evil master plan. First, infect me and then the song goes viral and spreads to all who interact with me. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    I did try pushing the song out with the most persistent earworm I know: The Song that Never Ends. It didn't work. I may be stuck hearing this tune forever.