Man Accidentally Enjoys Background Music While On Hold

Greg Marmalard, 30, found himself in an unintentional state of amusement as he listened to the "on hold" music that played for five minutes while he was waiting to talk to a Verizon official to contest his phone bill, a situation that confused and even frightened him.

"It was horrible," he sobbed to reporters. "I almost began to sing along, and that was when I realized that I was actually enjoying the muzak they put over the phone."

"I was more animal than human!" he cried.

The dispatcher, for the entertainment of the caller on hold, serendipitously played a remix of "Dancing in the Streets", which caused Marmalard, tenth-grade math teacher, to unconsciously tap his foot, finger-drum his desk and nod his head in general approval, where he would usually be grinding his teeth in agony over the banal sounds of lite music.

"I've never liked ‘Dancing in the Streets' before, and now I do? What does this mean? It means that The Man has got me, and pretty soon I'll be signing up for credit cards just to listen to the background music."

"Or to actually get the cards, which is worse," the tortured educator worried.

In fact, Johnson says he is still perturbed by the innocuous-call-turned-Kafkaesque, so much so that the fear has spread into other regions of his daily life.

"I liked John Lennon's 'Jealous Guy', but then I heard it in a CVS drugstore one afternoon," he said worriedly. "Did everyone else catch up to me? Or am I suddenly some kind of drone?"

Fellow teachers concur that the rattling experience has nearly ruined Marmalard.

"The only time I've seen him that dejected was when he realized how asinine his speech at the Christmas party had been, when he actually mentioned the words 'holiday spirit'," said colleague Tina Bremmer, freshman English teacher. "He's really not been the same since, and he now claims to have a gripping fear of shopping malls, grocery stores and elevators."

Bremmer added that she even suspects the afflicted Marmalard has developed an unhealthy and repressed liking for "Girl From Ipanema", or perhaps even Kenny G, but is afraid to come out of the closet.

Other times that the educator has found himself mistakenly liking something include watching "Mystic Pizza" with ex-girlfriend Jenna Ambrose (who claims that Marmalard found the movie to be "okay"), absentmindedly whistling the tune to Sugar Ray's "Fly", and once stopping to admire a YM Magazine.

"[Marmalard] is a man who knows what he likes, and when he finds out that maybe he's wrong, he gets upset," said former roommate Don Benson. "Like the time when 'Sex in the City' was on, he just kind of kept coming in and out of the room, laughing at me for watching it, but staying just a little longer each time. I left the room and came back an hour later only to find him sitting in my chair, totally engrossed. I called him out on that one, but he was like, 'Oh, I just sat down to tie my shoe'."

Benson conceded that it could have been the occasional nudity that kept Marmalard transfixed to the popular series, but "We had free cable porn at the time, so it couldn't have been that," he concluded.

Marmalard never did complete his fateful phone call to his telephone service provider, insisting that the $40 he was haggling over is worth his piece of mind to never have to hear "that wonderful shit" again.

"I think I'll be able to move on," he said tentatively. "That being said, I've already told my friends and family to shoot me on-sight if they walk past my house and hear Foreigner songs coming from inside."

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