Sunday 28 April 2024


I fell down a wormhole this week. Not quite literally, but pretty close. Let me explain. My Larson daily tear-off cartoon strip came up with one of his greatest hits on Wednesday. It was the one with a bird and a worm in its mouth showing a cutaway beneath the ground of an upended drum kit; the inference being that's how birds hear worms (the whole vibration thing). 

The aforementioned wormhole led me astray with all sorts of forums and conversations including who came first - Larson or Dr. Worm by They Might Be Giants? Well that's not opinion, that's just counting1 - Larson 1993, TMBG 1998. Also, why would worms advertise precisely where under the ground2 they actually were (seriously!)? And then that took me down a David Bowie related path: some gadgie said if you listen to Dr. Worm and the melody in the couplet 'They call me Doctor Worm/Good morning, how are you? it's the same as Bowie's 'Because my love for you/Would break my heart in two' in Let's Dance. I didn't even have to play Bowie's 1983 smash hit single to check; you, like me, just know it to be true. It's embedded in our brains. 

They Might Be Giants - Dr. Worm (1998)

1 ©James O'Brien.
2 In actual fact, the birds tap the ground to recreate the sound of rain, the worms then rise to the surface.


  1. Obviously, you got me at worms straight away! My little proteges are still doing very well, I'm happy to say, although I wondered what that tiny hi-hat was doing in their bin. Love the Larson, the song and the animation too.

  2. The good doctor does go on to clarify that he is not a real doctor or a real worm though. Not sure whether the same applies to Rabbi Vole.

    1. What are we saying, an unreliable witness? My comment to C (above) still stands - I think they'd make great drummers.

    2. They have a fine sense of rhythm combined with metronomic accuracy, agreed, but how do they hold the sticks?

    3. With their little worm arms and hands, of course. Did you not watch the video? Also good for putting on their (much needed) head torches.

    4. Who needs arms and hands when you have five hearts?