2003/01/04
 
02:43

Are You Depressed?

Hey, don't be! You just cut that out right now!

Well, nagging rarely cheers people up, so let me try recommending what for me is a blast from the past.

Does the name "Doctor Demento" ring any bells? He's a radio personality known for playing wacky songs. I recently visited his web site and listened to a couple of his shows. They're especially enjoyable via the web because they aren't broken up by commercials.

I'd suggest you start with Hour Two of Show 20 on his site. It features the immortal Mel Blanc, as Daffy Duck, singing a wonderful operatic tune with non-classical lyrics. It also features one of my favourite silly songs, Tom Lehrer's "The Elements", in which he sets the periodic table to the tune of "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General" (original lyrics here).

I should warn you, however, that there's a song called "Lion Hunt" that will stick in your head the same way "Feliz Navidad" does (lyrics here if you're one of the three people on the planet who can't remember them).

The reason I was listening to Dr. Demento was that I have recently purchased a Logitech wireless headset for my computer. It's a 900 Mhz job and besides allowing me to listen to Internet shows whilst puttering around my hovel, it also lets me tune in to my next-door neighbour's phone calls.

I was in the kitchen when I noticed that if I stood just so and held my arm just like this (oh, wait, I haven't installed a webcam yet), I can hear her talking.

I listened just long enough to determine if I could hear both sides of the conversation. Turns out I can't.

Now I suppose I could go lurk in my kitchen and listen in covertly, but I expect that most phone conversations are boring. I had a radio scanner once and tuned in to the old mobile phone network. Apparently Bob had forgotten to get milk and was taking care of that now. Oh, and Francine had a baby! Aren't you happy for her? (You're not still depressed, are you?)

Mind you, I do worry that one day I might inadvertently pick up a conversation that is interesting. These are my neighbours and I prefer that they keep their secrets. Moreover, they might notice if I start wincing when I meet them on the elevator.

Radio phones are pretty nifty, so I've got two of them. One is 2.4 gigahertz (0.1 fewer gigahertz than than my new computer, incidentally) while the other is also a 900 MHz model -- same as my neighbour. I can't help but think back over the past few weeks and wonder if I have had any "interesting" conversations.

Fortunately, as I reviewed everything I'd talked about, I realized that my life is just as boring as I imagine my neighbour's is. So that's a relief, isn't it?

Geez, now I'm getting depressed!

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