Yesterday evening, leaving work, I was whistling a tune, out of the vast store of pop-culture noise I store in my brain. My boss Ernie emerged from the stairwell behind me and followed me out. As he was walking to his car, he asked me what I was whistling.
I actually had to think a moment, as I had not consciously selected it. After a beat I told him "it's the Superman theme from the 1940's Max Fleischer cartoons." There was a pause as we both looked at each other, then we both cracked up.
I'm pretty sure Ernie and I were on the same wavelength, and here's why I was laughing:
- Totally unconsciously, I had selected music from a classic cartoon that preceded my birth by some ten or fifteen years.
- I was feeling pretty good about my progress on solving a pretty thorny problem at work, hence 'super'.
- Once I named the tune, Ernie had no difficulty placing it.
- We both knew it.