• S.B. Pearce

Earthworms & Ear Worms

If you had strolled by my old apartment building a few decades ago on a warm summer night, you may have seen a spectacle of epic proportions. I hope you laughed and went about your merry way with a bizarre story for your friends. I hope you haven't spent one iota of your brain space worried about it either.


What you saw was me, having a meltdown, about worms.


I have had a most outrageous fear of worms for as long as I can remember. I would even scream bloody murder if there was a rogue strand of hair in the bathtub because of it. I have no idea from where this soul jarring phobia stems but I do know that my lovely older sister probably contributed to it. She loved to chase me with dad's rubber fishing worms, causing me to run shrieking in terror around our yard. Thankfully, we are amazingly close today and I am over the trauma of those slimy tubes from the old tackle box. I still can't touch them though. If I do, I stifle a gag and am compelled to wash my hands until my skin peels.


Real worms trigger a much more visceral reaction. I love to putter in my garden but will run the moment one wiggles from the ground. The recent rains have strewn my backyard with these animated strands of dread, their ends flipping and twisting as their bodies roll about in freakish ways that make my stomach churn. I am grateful for the dozens of birds that gladly remove the offending creatures for my benefit.


Back to the epic spectacle. One evening, my friend and I were hanging out and we laid on the sidewalk that led to the door of my building. We stared at the sky and chatted about what we considered profound. We spoke of our fears and I told him of my aversion to worms. I can't recall what else we discussed that evening but I definitely remember that when we arose to go inside, the sidewalk around us was covered with dozens of them. I remember screaming maniacally and smacking at my clothing and hair, terrified that they were all over me.


He got me inside and helped me to calm down. It was one of those moments where the coincidence was simply too overwhelming to seem real. I know I didn't imagine them because he saw them too. I will never forget that night. It is seared into my memory for all time. If anyone saw that crazy girl on Lyndhurst around '97 or '98, just know it was me and I turned out relatively okay. I was simply having a worm moment and not a meth moment.


I've been thinking about worms this week simply because I have had an earworm digging around in my brain and it is making me crazy. We all get them. Annoying jingles and obnoxious songs have that effect on a lot of people. They cling to the grey matter inside your skull, interrupting your thoughts and making it difficult to focus. They are almost impossible to eradicate, at least for me anyway.


Sometimes, it may even be a song that doesn't truly exist in a world of music charts. It could be a farcical tune created for the benefit of a film. Such was the case for me.


My husband and I watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall last week. It is an utterly ridiculous movie that cracks us up every time we see it. I highly recommend it for those nights that you need a raunchy laugh. It has a stellar cast and is a perfect blend of comedy and romance without being formulaic.


One scene in particular is what has caused this week long assault on my internal monologue. Russell Brand plays the lead singer of a famous band called Infant Sorrow and he surprises Kristen Bell with a impromptu serenade of an innuendo laden song that make you laugh while your skin crawls. You can listen to it here if you haven't seen the movie though I highly recommend watching the film for the full effect. Russell Brand humping a Hawaiian stage is a vision. https://youtu.be/CNCHcge3B_g


Yes. I have had THAT song on repeat in my head for almost a solid week now. It was funny at first but I am not laughing anymore. It sounds just like worms feel at this point.












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