I’ve picked up a nasty virus. It is just getting started, but already I am fuzzy headed and can’t think straight.
This is the worst case of Songfluenza I have ever had. It’s an especially virulent strain involving “The Lonely Goatherd”.
One rarely knows how these things are contracted. The latent virus may be lying dormant for weeks or months. Something triggers it, and without warning you’re breaking out in “lay-ee-odl-lay-ee-odl-loo”.
But I can pinpoint the precise moment I caught The Goatherd. A co-worker passed it on as he walked down the hallway whistling the infecting tune. Bill is known to be a chronic carrier. You would think our employer would do something, but their hands are tied. They are afraid of a lawsuit. I am not blaming Bill, poor guy. But why don’t these people just stay home when the virus is active?
At first, I didn’t even know I had been infected. Another co-worker noticed the symptoms. I was at the copier and she said, not quite meeting my eyes “Um, did you know you’ve been kind of humming that song from the Sound of Music? Like, all morning?”
If I had just the melodic strain, it wouldn’t be so bad. But I always get hammered with both the music and lyrics. I cannot concentrate. It is like having a hole in a tooth that your tongue will not leave alone. My brain feverishly puzzles; is it “Soon her mama with a pale pink coat heard”, or “Soon her mama with a gleaming gloat heard”?
The fear, of course, is that the strain will mutate, a process known as genetic drift. Then it is just a short hop to the rest of Soundus Musicus.
What if it crosses over to the dreaded Yodelus family? Granted, such cases are rare nowadays. But it wasn’t that many years ago that sufferers were institutionalized, poor bastards. This was both to prevent contagion and to protect them from angry mobs.
Now that the weather has forced people indoors, we are going to see more outbreaks.
The Centers for Disease Control reports the Lady Gagus variant is nearly a pandemic. But they say there is no cause for concern. That strain, although annoying, is short-lived. As with most of the Pop Musicus genus, it runs its course in about 15 minutes. This is not to minimize the danger. Serious cases have been reported. Some sufferers are left with the lingering inability to tell fashion accessories from road kill.
Modern science cannot truly eradicate this menace. There are, however, steps we can take to lessen the spread. The most effective way is to just avoid others when contagious. If you have to go out, be doubly careful. When I feel an “odl-lay-ee-hoo” coming on, I cover my mouth with the crook of my arm.
Prevention is especially important when dealing with the most vulnerable in our society – those whose immunity has been compromised by participation in musical theater.
I am trying to look on the bright side. This bout should boost my immunity to Soundus Musicus, and possibly the entire Rodgers & Hammersteinus order.
For now, there’s nothing I can do but let it run its course. Maybe I should just go home. I’m sure in a few days I will be as right as rain. Raindrops. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens….