I’m going to attempt a magic trick.
I want you to think of an animal. Could be any animal. I’ll wait. But, whatever you do…don’t think of a purple manatee in a hat.
Ta da! Now, if your brain is anything like mine, the first thing you think of is a violet, bonnet donned sea cow. Unfortunately, this is how my moments of silence dissolve into the inevitable infestation of the all mighty ear worm. “Pumped Up Kicks,” from Foster the People, “Somebody that I Used to Know,” from the amazing Tyleresque mouth of Gotye, the lyrical lamentation of Adele’s “Someone Like You,” and a complete air-grab: Ludacris’ ditty, “Shake Your Money Maker,” was mind looping this morning. They get in my head and just run around like a wheeled hamster training for a marathon. I’ll very innocently be reflecting on something benign and completely unrelated, one of these gems will flutter to the top, and I think – stop. Stop right now, whatever you do, don’t think about (fill in the flavor of the day) and just like that: purple manatee.
As of late, I helplessly welcomed a new addition to the Plagueables. A real doozy. Season five of Mad Men premiered last Sunday and the “Zou Bisou Bisou” ear worm was hatched and took hold like the leeches in Stephen King’s “The Body”. Didn’t even need two bars of the lilty beat before I knew I was doomed. The song catches like pink eye in a preschool. First thing I thought of was tooth brushing. I defend this seemingly random jump of logic by presenting you with my mom’s go-to childhood nighttime routine reminder of “clean your ‘zoobies'”. So, my rough internal translation (using a background completely devoid of the french language) was “gotta brush your teeth, gotta brush your teeth”.
Since I’ve recently been introduced to the wonders of easy linkage, do me a favor and watch this scene. If you really are averse to a little mini-dress and tipsy dancing a la Megan Draper, let me paint the picture with one word: Schadenfreude.
For those not familiar with the comic genius of Avenue Q, schadenfreude is an ironically German word meaning to take pleasure in someone else’s misfortune – like clapping in grade school when someone clatters their lunch tray of sheet pizza and milk pouch to the cafeteria floor, witnessing someone walk full tilt into a glass door, or reveling in a rival team eating turf in the championships (go Giants!). Everyone does it. The colorful characters of Mad Men bubble over with schadenfreude as their mouths drop and eyebrows levitate to the boss’s wife slinking and swishing to her own soundtrack. It’s almost as awkward as the early episodes of The Office. A little syncopated hemline peek and it transitions from innocent schade to a little bit bad.
I think Harry’s face captures it the best. To say it literally appears on screen for less than a second would not be exaggerating, but it was such an encompassing reflection of what it was like to watch the scene unravel I had to draw it. The song wraps to the men whistling and cheering and the women narrowly suppressing raised noses and twitching snears. Stay tuned to the end of the clip for an epically biting verbal K.O. that illustrates why I’m so glad the witty AMC show is back.
Now, if you did watch the clip, and there wasn’t enough superb acting and throwback styling to convince you to watch the whole show – I can only leave you with this: A song stuck in your head.