I was cleaning in the kitchen the other day, listening to one of those “90s Throwback Playlists” on the internet. As I was scrubbing up the coffee mugs, “Barbie Girl” came on. “Ohhhhh yeahhhhhhh” I said to myself in a high pitched tone of Middle School days. The song ended, I set all my dishes on the drying rack, and I went on with my day. I went by the grocery to pick up some coffee--the most important ground food in the world. As I walked into the store, I could hear, just faintly in the background “Come on, Barbie! Let’s Go Party!”
“Huh, well isn’t that something!” I thought to myself. There wasn’t any clear reason for the song to come on, the music changed abruptly to top 40 Country right afterwards--I lost count of how many times I heard the words “Truck” and “Lake.” “That’s a rather odd fluke” I thought, as I loaded the twelve cases of coffee I purchased into the car. After taking the coffee home, I went out into the world again, this time to meet with friends for bottomless steak mimosas at T.J. McSwizzlebear’s.
Around the third round, we ran out of A-1 sauce, and I noticed something odd happening again. After we laughed and tried to get more sauce, I heard the music in the restaurant going “Come on, Barbie! Let’s go party!” This, is when I began to think of how strange I heard the same song, three times, in three places, within the same day. The friends I was with, noticed I was looking off in the background. My friend Daniel nudged me in the arm and asked “What’s wrong, pal?”
“Oh, nothing. Just. Well, it’s odd. I’ve heard ‘Barbie Girl’ three times today” I said, “third time, was just now, right here.” “Barbie Girl? I didn’t hear anything” Daniel replied. With that, we asked the others if they had heard “Barbie Girl” too. Not a single one of them said that they heard “Come on, Barbie! Let’s go party!” I felt a terror deep inside of me that I hadn’t felt since I asked my crush to prom. My jaw dropped, and a chunk of steak fell to the floor. In what seemed to be a slow motion instant playback, my friends all turned their heads towards me with a worrisome look. I got up, and ran out the door.
At my therapist's office, I was telling him that I thought I was being haunted by the song “Barbie Girl.” “Are you taking your anxiety medication?” he asked. I responded “Yes! I’ve not missed a day! But don’t you think it’s odd none of my friends heard it?” The doctor looked at me for a moment, the silence of the moment was broken when I heard “Come on, Barbie! Let’s go party!”
The doctor stood and said “That’s my phone. I’ve got to get this, waiting to hear how my daughter’s college tour is going.” As the doctor was on his phone, questions swirled in my mind. Should I get a doc that silences his phone when he has a session? Am I going insane? Is this a dream? As the doctor set his phone down, I went over to him, grabbed him by the shoulders and said. “Doc, it’s VERY important you tell me one thing. What is your ringtone?” Confused, the doctor looked at me and said “Ode to Joy.”
My eyes widened, I rushed to the car. Driving home, I kept the radio off, my phone on mute, and sang “Holly Holy” loudly to myself over and over again. Home, I did all I could distract my mind. I ran into my movie room, loaded up a disc of “Thunderbirds” episodes, then settled in riddled with anxiety. As the great puppet-action series began in it’s usual way, things were fine. But, instead of hearing the well known cry of “Thunderbirds are go!” what I heard was “Thunderbirds are GO PARTY!”
I jumped up, panicking. The theme song to “Thunderbirds” had been replaced with “AH, AH, AH, YEAH!” My own house wasn’t safe anymore, I ran into the streets to see if the pod people had come for us all at last--was there even a civilization left!? I ran into the street screaming “They’re coming for you! They’ll make you go party!” The street was not a dystopian nightmare, it was a picturesque day.
There was a utility worker at the house next to mine, standing by his truck, clipboard in hand. They noticed I was screaming, freaking out, and yelled “Hey! You OK? There’s been a small gas leak in this area and it’s been causing some people to hallucinate!” Ah. An answer, I’m not going crazy, I had been almost poisoned by a leaky pipe. Maybe I would be alright after all. I went for a walk, cleared my mind of the gassy air, and soon my desire to go party, or even hear it was gone. Yet, when I came back home from the walk, I swear there was a beat up Barbie doll left on my porch. Maybe brought there by a dog. Maybe. May. Be.