26 May 2004

The amoeba melody principle

Tired of me writing about Vegas yet? 

While I did not bring back any extra money from Vegas, I did bring back something else-noise.  Vegas is loud, noisy and humming all the time.  When you sit in a casino there is a constant buzz that emanates from all directions.  It never goes away.  It peaks at times, with the roar from a table where someone just did something good, or a machine that plays a jingle trying to get someone to play it. 

I noticed that the Mirage plays music in the background of their casino no matter what time it is, and that despite the other racket that goes on, you can always hear it.  I worked for years in a retail environment that played music over a satellite system all the time, and as a result I know the lyrics to a lot of bad songs thanks to mindless repetition, but more often than not I was able to ignore it. 

Not so at the Mirage, and I'm not sure why.  I do know, however, that four days after returning home I am still having fits of hearing bells, whistles, jingles, and bad music.  There are two that I can't seem to purge from my mind: a Britney Spears song that has a screeching intro that plays over and over and over again, and the jingle of a slot machine that was located not far from a bank of keno machines that my group set up as a meeting place. 

I was on an airplane at three in the morning Sunday somewhere over the Midwest wide awake because these two "melodies" kept repeating in my mind.  And thinking about how to make it stop only seemed to make it worse. 

I'm sure that if I gave it time, this problem would fade and eventually disappear.  However as I struggled to sleep on the flight home I came up with a concept that I like to call the "amoeba melody principle."  Simply put, when a song or jingle enters into my head and I can't shake it, I start thinking of a song that I like instead and let it engulf my thoughts.  In a few moments that song takes over and eliminates the offending noise pollutant in my head.

Currently, my amoeba melody of choice is "Shiver" by Coldplay from the "Parachutes" CD.  It has a great opening guitar riff, followed by some cool lyrics and blends well together to form a great song.  I find that I never quite make it through the song entirely-either my mind resets to the beginning, or it goes blank for a while.  The important thing is that for the moment, there's no bells, whistles, or Britney in my head. 

They'll be back.  Gotta keep the amoeba at the ready.


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