The ultimate earworm

TomMazanec

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Oct 17, 2020
Messages
281
Someone writes an advertising jingle that gets people tapping their feet, drumming their fingers...all the way up to permanent grand mal seizures. And you can't get it out of your head.
Epidemic of plane crashes, auto accidents, etc...dozens, hundreds, thousands...finally doctors have to perform brain operations on whole world population to remove the ability to neurologically process music.
Short story or possibly brief novelette, written last couple decades?
 

hitmouse

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Jul 3, 2011
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2,475
Not as apocalyptic as your scenario, this is a central device in The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester, where the earworm is used by a criminal to stop his mind being read.
 

PaulMmn

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Oct 19, 2010
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374
Reminds me of a Monty Python skit-- man writes the Funniest Joke. And dies laughing. And anyone who reads or hears the joke dies laughing as well. The British form a research group to translate the joke into German. Translaters only see one word at a time. One of the research group saw 2 words, and spent weeks in the hospital, laughing and grinning. The Brits issue the German translation to the troops, who use the joke to win victory.
 

Danny McG

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Sep 9, 2016
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5,352
Location
Cumbria UK
Reminds me of a Monty Python skit-- man writes the Funniest Joke. And dies laughing. And anyone who reads or hears the joke dies laughing as well. The British form a research group to translate the joke into German. Translaters only see one word at a time. One of the research group saw 2 words, and spent weeks in the hospital, laughing and grinning. The Brits issue the German translation to the troops, who use the joke to win victory.
The Killing Joke
 
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