Looking like a pair of gonks from a fairground claw machine. From Issue 48- Islands

Nothing freezes moments like sounds, and these memories are instantly reheated when we return to certain places.

You might be the type who’s moved to tears by Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’, bumping it on the car stereo on lonely nights … Or maybe you’re the more cultured music fan who gets the piss-shivers every time you pull Bach’s 5th Concerto from its sleeve.

Such pleasurable music is rarely on your side when it comes to your memories though. You can curate your Ipod playlist in the hope that you will erase anything painful or embarrassing – but you can’t curate your memories.

Whenever I get on a bus, the Vengaboys – forgotten by all bar me  – and their “The Vengabus is coooming” song come roaring into my head. Google that one, and your next adventure will be to Bunnings, where you will immediately remove both ears with an orbital sander.

For reasons still unclear, whenever I mow the lawn I get ‘Agga Do’ inside my head, loose like a screeching bat, banging into the walls inside my skull.

The one that rushes into my head when I drive onto any barge, to Straddie, Fraser or wherever, is Kenny Rogers’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘Islands in the Stream’.

On a recent trip to Moreton it got so bad I went full chimp mode and ripped up the kiosk on the barge, hurling beer cans, Bubble-O-Bills, and postcards at the other passengers who were suspended in bliss and not pained by the hairspray and rhinestone ballad that tormented me so.

When working on this special Islands issue, its been on constant loop, but these days I’m working through my brain hiccup with the help of a cognitive psychologist and I finally believe I’m getting somewhere with it .

“Imagine everyone else on the barge is—“

“Nude. Yup, already do.”

“No, tormented by the same sound … Look, It’s understandable, it’s a helluva catchy duet, you’re just unlucky that someone planted it in your head.

“Yes,” I said. “But what kind of monster would do something like that?” …

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ah
From one lover to another, ah-ah.

Good luck with the rest of your day.

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