I could really use dum-dum-dumm music

I’ve figured out why I’m in trouble so often — no background music.

At first, I thought it was me. Maybe I am an insensitive clod. A clumsy oaf. A lazy laggard.

Don’t be ridiculous.

She was just having another bad day at the exact moment when I opened my mouth or spilled the ketchup on the Very Important Project. Again.

But if life came with background music, I’d have avoided all manner of dilemmas, disasters and dirty rotten difficulties.

In the movies, when the hero is on the brink of a blunder, tension knots up the violin section so tightly that strings snap and bows fly across the orchestra pit. Don’t do it! the music shrieks.

If a quiet bass line thumps to a heart-pounding crescendo as the nervous teen creeps into the basement, you know trouble is waiting in the dark. Stay away! the music screams.

When you hear “dum-dum-duuummmm,” something important was just revealed. Pay attention! the music yells.

I could really use dum-dum-dumm music. I’m a habitual daydreamer. A boss — or worse, my spouse — can look me square in the eyes and natter on about something or other, and I won’t hear a word because I, like Elvis, have left the building. Essential words whiz right past without the courtesy of leaving a Post-It note on my cerebellum.

Later, when something gets broken, spilled, spindled or mutilated, the boss — or worse, my spouse — roars, “Weren’t you listening?”

Of course not. There was no background music to clue me in.

Background music would clear up a lot of confusion and save lives.

As would theme music.

If you’re in a theater and a low “bom-bom-bom-bom” bass note rumble begins to build, search the stage before the music works itself into a frenzy because the Phantom of the Opera is here. Or if an ever quickening “duh-dunn, duh-dunn” spooks the cinema speakers, you know a shark’s about to burst onto the screen to chomp at your heart.

We need theme music at work. Say you’re right in the middle of computer solitaire (I would never do this, of course) when you detect the “duh-dunn.” Before the boss bursts into your space, causing your heart to stop, you’d already have the game gone and the assignment she sent you blazing on your screen and no one gets eaten alive.

Better yet, theme music would double as mood music.

If I was in the garage tinkering with something my wife told me to leave alone (not that I would) and a “bom-bom-bom-bom” chilled the air, I’d know to douse the torch and scoot the kerosene can to the other bay. What I’d do next would depend on if the music worked itself into a bouncy major key cadence or an ominous minor chord frenzy. Then I’d know whether we’ll share a few chuckles over my charming boyish obstinacy or if I should scramble into the rafters and disappear among the camping equipment — which I’m going to need soon.

While I wriggled into the tent peg sack, I’d know none of this would be necessary had life come with the background music that would have warned me of trouble. Dum-dum-duuummmm.

Play Cole’s theme at burtseyeview@tribtoday .com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or

@BurtonWCole on Twitter.


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