Archives for the month of: October, 2017

If you have ever had an earworm, you know how irritating it can be. If you have not had that experience, you should be grateful.

The lion Sleeps Tonight | Animals Memes

No, an earworm is not a creepy crawly creature that enters your body. The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “a song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind.” Another source says it “works (itself or its way) into a person’s mind.”

Six Flags Great Escape!!!

Let me give you an example. The other day as I was driving a commercial aired with the following jingle: “1-877-KARS-4-KIDS. K-A-R-S Kars 4 Kids. 1-877-KARS-4-KIDS. Donate your car today.” It has been called the most hated (and best) jingle of all times. By the time it replayed in my head dozens of time I was ready to pull off the highway and find a way to give my car to this charity right then.

Photo of The Pink Plumber - Tampa, FL, United States. The Pink Plumber

Another radio commercial that has become ingrained in my head is for the Pink Plumber. This company has chosen the name to identify with the fight against breast cancer. All you have to do according to the radio jingle “Call the Pink plumber. He’ll fix your sink. Call 404-222-PINK.” My sink does not need fixing but if it takes a call to erase this earworm, I am ready to do it.

Remember the Chili’s Restaurant, “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs” jingle of a few years ago? How can you resist?

In an interview with John Donovan of NPR, psychologist Vicky Williamson says, “(Earworms are) an interesting everyday phenomenon. It happens to at least 90 percent of people once a week, [they] get a tune stuck in their head.” She and others are studying the reasons some songs get stuck in our heads and the implications for understanding human memory.

Williamson has been collecting earworms for about three years and she is also accumulating cures that people have found. “Magic songs” are among the methods she has discovered that people use to erase the earworm. According to her research, “the songs used to combat earworms tend to be slow… Some people think that the British national anthem sung quite slow is good for getting rid of earworms.”

I don’t know the British national anthem but I am thinking about learning it.

Although I have just trashed earworms, like many things, there is also value to some. One of the blessings of my life is the songs of the Church. It is not uncommon for a hymn we sing or a choral anthem sung in worship will linger in my head. Over and over it rolls around in my brain and I am strengthened and encouraged.

Almost every Sunday at the church I attend, after the Children’s Moment the congregation sings: “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all. Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, God made their glowing colors and made their tiny wings.”

That little song sticks in my head and I am reminded that “For only a penny you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted.” (Matthew 10:29-30, Good News Translation).

Jamie Jenkins

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Happy Birthday

I celebrated another birthday last week. No big deal. But it is a big deal. Every year is a gift from God and I am grateful.

There was no party (didn’t want one) but there were a lot of birthday greetings from friends and family. A good morning hug and kiss from my wife of almost 49 years. Phone call from my daughter in California. A webcam with my oldest son and his family (especially the grandchildren). A trip to Mercedes Benz Stadium for an Atlanta United soccer match with my younger son. Dinner, compliments of a very dear friend. Nothing is better than to know that you are loved and appreciated by the folks who are closest to you.

family and friends

I remember years ago when one of my nephews asked me how old I was. “I replied that I was thirty. By the look on his teenaged face I must have appeared to be ancient. 30! His expression indicated that he thought I was surely on my last leg. He probably could not imagine that I would still be alive 44 years later.

I can remember when I thought persons my age were “old.” I still catch myself referring to people just a few years my senior as “old” or “elderly” although I don’t feel that way about myself. You are probably thinking, “He is out of touch with reality,” and you may be right.

There are many benefits to aging especially if one enjoys good health, and I do. I am alright with getting older. I just don’t ever want to get “old.” In thinking about the aging process I came across the following “Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess” by Margot Benary-Isbert.

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so. Amen.” (Margot Benary-Isbert)

Life is good but another birthday brings with it the realization that life on earth is not forever and I am reminded of the psalmist words: “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a wise heart.” (Psalm 90:12)

Jamie Jenkins