Staying Alert

You’ll not know this but yours truly is a fan of movie scores. And if you did, as I’ve never really disclosed that snippet biographical info, I’d be interested to know how. Not to mention question what other gossip relating to me is currently in circulation… Oh, and assure everyone the horse story isn’t true.

Incidentally, I deliberately avoided preceding the verb ‘fan’ with adjectives like ‘big’ or ‘huge’. I’m fond of that particular genre, but it’d be misleading to over-hype my amour levels for film tune accompaniments. I do, though, appreciate a well written orchestral bedfellow to captivating piece of cinematography.

Amongst favourite scores from that genre are philharmonic portrayals taken from James Bond movies, musicals originally written for stage (including West Side Story and Phantom of the Opera), along with a raft of celluloid accompaniments from composer Bernard Herrmann’s pen.

Hermann’s gripping pieces provide the audio backdrop to Alfred Hitchcock’s macabre scenes in movies such as Vertigo, North by Northwest and Psycho. His movie composition back catalogue also including iconic cinematic offerings like Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver and Fahrenheit 451.

You maybe wondering where I’m going with this literary vignette and, as I’m riffing my way through these paragraphs, to be honest so do I!… Oh yes, I remember now, the catalyst to this prose was this morning’s listen to Hermann’s iconic, oft chilling, score for Hitchcock’s 1961 movie Psycho.

In candour, I plead guilty to accusations this eerie piece is an idiosyncratic audio backdrop with which to greet a new day. My accusers no doubt startled further to learn yours truly played the symphony as an accoutrement to my morning shower.

Footnote – For the uninitiated, Psycho is infamous for its shocking shower scene during which character Marion Crane is brutally murdered in a frenzied stabbing incident. The killer a psychotic motel owner called Norman Bates.

This morning, upon hearing Hermann’s eerie movie accompaniment in conjunction with a power shower’s water blast, I was reminded of the macabre connection between both audio soundscapes. The phonic brew of his symphony emanating from my mobile device and cascading water, evoking visions of Ms Crane’s sinister bathroom demise.

Of course, when entering the shower, yours truly wasn’t facing the life jeopardy of Janet Leigh’s character. I ventured at that juncture though that one shouldn’t assume, as Marion Crane found to her cost, a similar fate couldn’t ever darken my door.

Although unlikely I mulled, like anything in life, one should never rule out being victim of a psychotic episode instigated by a maniac dressed as his late mother, intent on butchering them while bathroom in situ.

Hearing Hermann’s Psycho score when about to embark on my daily cleansing regime triggered thoughts i need to keep my wits about me during this wash. In particular, keeping an eye on the cubicle screen, looking out for signs of an onrushing knife wielding silhouette while applying soap suds.

Yes, the chances are low (I hope) that shower time (or indeed anytime) gets grievously interrupted by a homicidal maniac. However, being butchered was the last thing Marion Crane would’ve expected upon donning her birthday suit, turned water tap on and reaching for the soap.

If Hitchcock taught us anything it was to expect the unexpected; remaining vigilant at all times. As our governmental advice once nearly advocated during COVID, ‘Stay Alert, Avoid Homicidal Maniacs, Save the NHS… Oh, and your life as well’.

A mission statement I adhered to throughout this morning’s shower; only once taking my eyes off surroundings outside of the cubicle after errant shampoo had drained into my eyes.

While drying off post shower, upon further reflection, I admonished myself for my earlier neurotic episode. After all, I determined, living your life in constant anxious contemplation you maybe come face to face with a serial killer isn’t perhaps the best way to spend one’s time.

Perhaps from now on it’d be prudent to accompany shower time with more upbeat refrains!

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