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Steve Bartlett: Dancing like no one is watching

Dancing
Dancing

I’ve got an earworm. Thankfully, it’s not from the “Frozen” soundtrack.

That movie, very, very reluctantly, was the source of a previous stuck song during the phase when Child 2.0 wanted to change her name to “Elsa and Anna.”

Me: “Hello, I’d like you to meet my daughter, Elsaandanna.”

Stranger: “El Santana? She doesn’t look Mexican?”

Me: “No, Elsa and Anna.”

Stranger: “She has a twin?”

Me: “No, her name is Elsa AND Anna!”

Stranger: “Geez, buddy, let it go.”

Anyway ...

The song on my internal loop is “Nautical Disaster,” the greatest Canadian rock song of all time.

It’s been occupying my mind since a magical Hip concert — the second-last show on last summer’s tour — in Ottawa on Aug. 18.

That was eight months ago tomorrow, and the earworm continues to dig deeper.

When I’m alone or contently focused, I break into, “I had this dream where I relished the fray and the screaming filled my head all day …”

This can happen while doing dishes, walking up stairs, or stopped at a light.

Pretty much anywhere, anytime.

Problem one: I can’t sing.

Problem two: I don’t remember the words to the second verse unless the song is playing. (I’m horrible when it comes to lyrical recall or misheard lyrics. Hence an embarrassment of my youth: “Hold me closer, Tony Danza.”)

Problem three: I’ve been watching Hip live videos on YouTube and have unexpectedly integrated Gord Downie’s actions into my performance.

These three problems are like federal Conservative leadership candidates for me. They simply don’t mix well.

I learned that the hard way — in the men’s room at work, of all places.

From out of nowhere, I flipped to “Tom Cruise-Old Time Rock And Roll-Risky Business” mode and launched into “Nautical Disaster.”

On the floor in front of the urinal and outside the stall, I was going full concert, with maximum volume and dance.

“I had this dream where I relished the fray and the screaming filled my … Off the coast of France, Dear.”

It was around “Dear” when I heard someone coming and, thankfully, brought my performance to a screeching halt.

The door opened. It was one of my employees.

I don’t know if he heard anything, because he just smiled and said hello as I quickly exited my makeshift stage.

Phew!

Imagine if he had caught me.

“You wouldn’t believe what I saw Steve doing in the men’s room,” he’d whisper to another member of our team. “Dancing and singing a Tragically Hip song.”

“I know,” the other would reply, “I believe I walked by his car the other day and heard him talking loudly to himself about a lighthouse on a socket. We should call HR.”

Ahhhhhhhh! Not HR!

The sensible side of me — the newspaper editor who has to make super serious decisions and strives to lead by example — knows this earworm should be removed before it leads to my own nautical disaster.

But there’s also a part of me — the lifelong music lover who brags about being followed by MC Hammer on Twitter — hopes it will stay.

This side of me wants the memories of last summer’s Hip show and Gord Downie’s performance to remain firmly stuck on replay in my head forever.

Whatever happens, just don’t judge me if you catch me spinning into a urinal and singing about screaming that filled my head all day.

Steve Bartlett is an editor with Saltwire Network. He dives into the Deep End each Monday to escape reality. He’ll post video of himself performing “Nautical Disaster” on YouTube if Atlantic Canada donates more than $2,000 to downiewenjack.ca between now and April 24. Reach him via email at sbartlett@thetelegram.com.

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