Whatever I do this day must start with a sigh of gratitude.
I wake. I reach for the iPad (to see if the orange-haired one has gone thermo-nuclear yet) and expect to find the e-mail morning briefings, which invariably come with tortuously-punned headlines.
Much of the time Stephen Bush, for the New Statesman, delivers the most groan-worthy. Paul Waugh, batting for HuffPo’s Waugh Zone, is always a worthy contender, and seems lately to have upped his always-fine game.
Today, though, Waugh rescued me (don’t even try, Fontella!) from a continued irritant-verging-on-agony. Hence the gratitude.
The story starts here:
As I became progressively hard-of-hearing, I compensated with internalised sound. That and ever-more-expensive headphones (currently a pair of Sony MD-R noise-cancellers).
By Monday morning I had a severe dose of the ever-threatening ear-worm. This was Cast Your Fate to the Wind.
That was OK by me in itself. Except I kept trying to keep on the proper channel to the authentic Vince Guaraldi original:
However much I tried to keep on track with Guaraldi, it kept jumping to that soft-core version, done in a London studio by studio musicians, and — even then — far, far too good for the pop market:
Desperate measures needed. So I tried to switch to Quincy Jones having a bash:
That almost worked, until I arrived at the insistent Dum-Dum-Dum riff. Unless it is done as subtly as Guaraldi did, I hear morse-code Dah-dah-dah (the letter “O”) — and I’m back with Sounds Orchestral.
Ta-rah! Waugh to the rescue!
There matters rested, repetitively until this Wednesday morning. Here comes Paul Waugh’s opener: he’s speculating on PMQs, and a possible response to the Chancellor:
Philip Hammond’s new Times article in which the Chancellor warns Brexiteers he won’t necessarily dole out huge sums on ‘no deal’ preparations. “We will only spend it when it’s responsible to do so,” he says. No.10 sees this as a statement of typical Treasury caution ahead of a Budget, but others see Hammond smacking down Cabinet colleagues who told the Sun yesterday they wanted billions to spend on things like new port facilities at Dover. Boris allies will want to know why Hammond’s been allowed to stir things up again, while their man is sat on.
That didn’t sort out the acoustics, until Waugh cracked it:
Hammond sounds like he’s egging on the PM to face down the no-dealers, while simultaneously offering them the illusion of preparations. Indeed, Brexit sometimes reminds me of the Beatles’ song ‘Yesterday’, the melody of which appeared to Paul McCartney one night in a dream. He had no lyrics, so came up with the working opening of ‘Scrambled eggs/Oh my baby how I love your legs/’. Brexit is currently a tune without lyrics. But the words are going to have be written soon if it’s to become an enduring British classic.
Which has caused the new ear-worm problem.