Author Topic: Mindworm  (Read 482 times)  

Offline stormhawk

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Mindworm
« on: November 02, 2010, 11:42:56 pm »
Okay, so an "earworm" is a song that gets into your head and gets stuck and you can't get rid of it until you replace it with another, less annoying song, right?

Well, I have a mindworm right now. The earworm's more insidious cousin.

See, tonight at work, it was pretty slow, and one of the guys was reading aloud from The Onion. It was something about the King of the Cockroaches, Leonard Blattidae, being very upset over the challenge to Cockroach Primacy that's being mounted by the bedbugs lately.

We're on bedbug precautions at work, so this was even vaguely relevant.

So what happens to me on hearing this very funny story?

My brain locks onto a phrase with all the power of an obscurity-seeking Sidewinder missile.

I blurt out, "Blatt, Blatt, Blatt go the Blattidae!"

One other person on the whole wide internet posted this exact sentence in response to some inane blog post, but without providing any sort of credit for the line. Since the blog post was six years old, I don't hold  out much hope for a reply to my query.

Now I'm stuck. Where the heck did I come up with this??

I have some thoughts in that regard, but I don't want to taint the knowledge pool now that I've decided to use my Ask the Audience Lifeline.

I have narrowed things down to a couple of probably very wrong choices: Some Harlan Ellison Short Story (unlikely), a Lenny Bruce routine from sometime before he got obsessed with his obscenity trial and heroin, or a Woody Allen Parody from one of his books of short fiction, maybe Without Feathers, or that other one with the white print on the black cover. There is also the outside possibility that this arose from a Norman Corwin radioplay, but I really doubt it, as I'm pretty sure I read this more than once. I have also discarded the final segment from Stephen King's Creepshow from consideration, despite the plethora of roaches.

I have searched using Google, Hotbot, Yahoo, and Bing. The posts on e-cuneiform.blogspot.com and drhoz.livejournal.com are not useful. I posted the request earlier tonight on cellar.org in hopes that someone there would be a master of sufficiently obscure knowledge to come up with the source. Usually I am the mistress of sufficiently obscure knowledge, so this is quite frustrating.
[Spiritalists and Shamans] do the same job psychiatrists and psychologists do, using the same tools and obtaining about the same results.

--- E. Fuller Torrey, MD Mind Games

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    Offline theaatkinson

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    Re: Mindworm
    « Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 03:44:55 am »
    can't help ya, but enjoyed the story!

    i've never heard the line myself...but there's something familiar about it...maybe different words. children's book, maybe?


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    Offline stormhawk

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    Re: Mindworm
    « Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 08:20:55 am »
    Another friend nailed the familiarity factor. It scans the same as "Clang, Clang, Clang Goes the Trolley" from Meet Me in Saint Louis.

    Which doesn't help at all.
    [Spiritalists and Shamans] do the same job psychiatrists and psychologists do, using the same tools and obtaining about the same results.

    --- E. Fuller Torrey, MD Mind Games

    Offline stormhawk

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    Re: Mindworm
    « Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 07:48:15 pm »
    One of my vast army of online friends has been successful in identifying the source.

    It's from a Fritz Lieber short story, Mysterious Doings in the Metropolitan Museum.

    Now I can sleep again.

    Thanks to everyone who gave finding this a shot!
    [Spiritalists and Shamans] do the same job psychiatrists and psychologists do, using the same tools and obtaining about the same results.

    --- E. Fuller Torrey, MD Mind Games

    Offline BTackitt

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    Re: Mindworm
    « Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 07:54:43 pm »
    ok... good to know I would NEVER have gotten it!
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    Offline theaatkinson

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    Re: Mindworm
    « Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 03:45:08 am »
    well that doesn't explain why *I* found it familiar...never heard of it. but thanks for filling us in.


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