far too much writing, far too many photos

Saturday it was muzak. Since then it’s been jingles, and commercials trashing rock ‘n’ roll.

Last night: the TV’s on, I’m in the kitchen during a commercial break getting some food ready to wolf down in front of an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’m working away, the TV spewing commercial b.s. Suddenly: the box emits the opening chords of Suzy Q. Not a bad tune, thinks I. Then some knucklehead pseudo-rock singer starts up, I hear the lyrics, “Oh, barbecue… oh, barbecue….” An ad for a chain restaurant (who will likely never get their Suzy-Q-distorting hands on any of my $$$$).

The ad ends, I stand in the kitchen smiling, shaking my head at the number of desecrated-song ambushes I seem to be experiencing lately. (Wishing, at the same time, that I could get some ad executive in a headlock.)

This morning, post-shower, I note that my hair’s gotten long and unruly. Long enough, unruly enough to warrant a warm-weather shearing. I grab the phone, give Acme Hair (Montpelier’s wackiest, most eccentric hair joint) a call. No one’s there, the shop’s answering machine picks up. The message, a three-stanza jingle sung by the owner — Tamsen, a madcap 58 or so year old woman with long sandy-colored (except where it’s died pink or blue) hair — plays in my left ear:

“At Acme hair we love you,

We really, really do.

Come see the live sea monkeys,

It’s kind of like a zoo.

So please leave us a message

And we’ll get back to you.”

After which Tamsen switches to a goofy, gruff voice: “Hiya, hiya, kiddios. No life stories, just your name and number. This is Froggy — bye-bye.” (Froggy – referring, I think, to a character named Froggy the Gremlin featured on a children’s show called Andy’s Gang from way the hell back there in television history.)

This afternoon, I’m cutting the lawn. Plodding along behind the mower, surrounded by beautiful Vermont countryside, beneath late-afternoon skies. At some point I realize “Oh, barbecue…” has been going through my head over and over. I manage to clear my thoughts. I look around at the scenery, being here now, experiencing the present moment. Much better. A minute later, At Acme Hair we love you starts up. I manage to abort it. Oh, barbecue starts back up. I clear it from my head. Acme Hair returns. I manage to clear both of them from my thoughts, pay a bit more attention to the work I’m doing. No barbecue. No Acme Hair. No music. No jingles. I am the master of my domain.

A short while later the Adams Family theme song gets going in that little brain of mine. It’s continued playing on and off since then, but quietly, politely. I am kind of the master of my domain. I have a quiet, polite illusion of mastery.

That will have to do.

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