As I reluctantly sat there in the grimy bathroom of a greasy spoon liquefying my insides (resting comfortably on my nest of toilet paper lining), I prayed for the sweet release of death to come only after the immediate banishment of Papa John* and his minions to the deepest circle of hell.
Through my confused haze of rage, agony, and relief, I somehow managed to detect a poorly tuned radio station's attempt to bludgeon me with the melodious strains of Bachman-Turner Overdrive's landmark hit, Takin' Care of Business.
As my business took care of me itself, I couldn't help but realize that this song was made to be played in 30-second snippets at the absolute longest. It has a clear message to communicate, it's catchy, and it's said pretty much all it has to say in about half that time.
To sit and actually listen to the entire song in one sitting, so to speak, is torture enough, but to have it coming in and out --crystal clear one minute, fading quietly into mild static the next-- is like forcing someone to work next to an unshowered, incontinent, alcoholic hobo at the Customer Service station of Wal-Mart the entire week after Christmas.**
Just when it seems that 35 additional iterations of the refrain is all that those many commercials and movies have been sparing you these past few decades, the radio signal comes back clear as day so they can do a quick 10 more before it fades back to lie in wait ominously.
If I tried to work as many hours of overtime as these guys claim they have, I'd have been converted to a salaried position before the single was even released. But I guess, "Takin' care of business / And continuing to work until everything is done enough for my boss, regardless of the number of hours worked vs. dollars paid, and without concern for the long-term effects on employee morale or efficiency / Work out!" doesn't make for such catchy lyrics.
Anyway, you'll be happy to know I've survived my ordeal so far, although the song is still firmly stuck in my head.
Just be glad you caught that instead of the other thing.
* It can't be a coincidence that "Papa" John's last name is Schnatter. As in, "Oh my God, where's your Schnatter?!? I just finished lunch at Papa John's!"
** Having logged thousands of unhappy hours shopping at Wal-Mart in my lifetime***, I feel qualified to offer the following skit starring Clem, my generic hillbilly voice:
"Yeah, I got this here shotgun fer Christmas, but ever' time I try to shoot it, it won't DO nothin', no matter WHAT I's pointin' it at. I'm pretty sure Santa bought it here, wink-wink, so y'all need to take it back an' gimme one thut works when I go like this. ... Whoa, thar she is!! Nevermine, I guess. ... I s'pose you gotta go call somebody to have that looked at, huh?"
*** There are extremely few alternatives in Presque Isle, Maine, but now that we moved back out to Chicago, my personal visit count has likely stopped forever.