Circling Your Dotage

It’s a horrifying thought. That you might wind up in your dotage with the theme to the Banana Splits in your head. 

But it happens, say the psychologist-types. 

Some tune you heard in your youth, 

You don’t even need to have heard it more than once, 

Will stick in your head, 

Will worm its way into your ear, 

And, depending on your neurological health,  

Will repeat and repeat and repeat, 

As you sit there in the home, 

Wanting to watch Jeopardy

Being driven mad by the Tra-la-las

Not knowing how to make them Stop. 

And you might only have heard it once, they say. 

Just the once. 

It just needs to be settled in there, somewhere,  

in your hippocampus. 

Which makes me think, for our lot, the online generation, 

The Windows, Apple, “something went wrong,” social media, FaceFruit, Twitter generation, 

Perhaps it won’t be a song that encircles them, ouroboros-like, 

Perhaps it’ll be an image. 

Something seen. 

Far too often. 

That blue circle, for example, seen thousands of times a week, 

Whenever the computer has to think about anything, 

Will become all some poor dear sees all day as they rest in their anti-macassared armchair. 

But then I remember, of course. 

Just the once, the psychologists say. 

You might be haunted by something you have only experienced the once. 

In your whole lifetime. 

And we know how annoying he is. 

Those of us just old enough to have encountered him every day, 

Know that we’re not getting him out of our heads. 

So, I am telling you now, 

Out there in the future, 

In some poor sod’s dotage, 

Despite only having seen him the once, 

Waving, perhaps, as a Gif in someone’s tweet, 

Or on an unironic/ironic TV compilation show, 

There, in their mind’s eye, repeating on a loop forever, 

There is something worse than any number of Tra-la-las

Because that’s how Clippy gets his revenge. 

Mike Hickman (@MikeHicWriter) is a writer from York, England. He has written for Off the Rock Productions (stage and audio), including 2018’s “Not So Funny Now” about Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming. He has recently been published in EllipsisZine, Dwelling Literary, Bandit Fiction, Nymphs, Flash Fiction Magazine, Brown Bag, and Safe and Sound Press. His co-written, completed six-part BBC radio sit com remains frustratingly as unproduced as it was the last time he updated this biography. He’s writing the second series anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *