What If You Kept Your Headphones on Forever

10 months ago

Drums, bass, drums, bass. Strutting down the street, headphones in... trying to play it cool. On the inside though, you’re scared out of your mind.

5 minutes ago, you realized your headphones are stuck inside your ears. It’s no joke, you try to pull them out, but they won’t budge. The music isn’t helping either.

It seems like they’re part of your head. Cute little Bluetooth headphones, somehow got molded into your ears! When did that happen? You strut home and try to pull them out again, harder this time.

Oh, but it’s hopeless... it’s like trying to pull your finger off. Only one thing to do. Fall asleep and hope that tomorrow everything just somehow works itself out. Goodnight!

5 am. You sit up. And feel pain. You slept most of the night on your left side, basically shoving one earbud even further in! Now it’s so painful, you can’t even touch it! No time for breakfast, you run out of the house and grab a ride to the nearest hospital.

The doctor looks like he just saw a ghost, that’s never a good sign. He admits that he’s never seen anything like this in his life. The X-ray confirms it, the headphones have become part of your skull, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

He tells you not to sleep on your side anymore, and not to listen to too much music. “Speaking of music,” he asks — “What gadget are you connected to right now?” You point over at your phone. Then your favorite song comes on... weird.

You look over at the doctor, and at that very moment, your song switches to some upbeat pop-thing. That song isn’t even on your playlist! It’s horrib...oh, cool never mind. It turned off by itself. No wait. You did that! You just stopped the song with your mind! Aaaaaawesome!

You leave the hospital and walk home listening to a sad song. It starts to rain, you feel like your life is ruined. How’re you gonna survive with headphones attached to your ears?

All those negative thoughts, and, WHAM! Another song. But, this time you didn’t do anything. Then whose music are you listening to?

You notice a guy walking right at you. You stop and wait for him to pass. Once he’s half a block away, the music stops. A woman in stylish clothes with headphones comes around the corner, and you suddenly hear indie rock. Now you stop at a traffic light... and hear like 5 different music genres, all at the same time! What’s happening?

With the power of your mind, you change all that noise into 1 soothing song. A skateboarder rolls past. You hear old-school garage-rock. “Wait a minute... I can listen to other people’s playlists!” You don’t feel so sad anymore, you feel like a superhero!

Not the greatest superpower, but still, take the win. You pass by a construction site, look over at a young guy lifting wooden beams. You hear some sweet dubstep. Then the man operating the crane catches your eye. Country music starts blasting from your headphones.

You walk down the sidewalk and listen to every passer-by’s favorite jams. There’s a little old woman with glasses coming out of a department store. You look at her, she winks. Then you hear a whole lot of hip-hop! Yo, granny!

You go further and see a beautiful woman. The clouds disperse and the sun rays fall on her face. She floats along and smiles. You spot the headphones in her ears... Whoa! It feels like a laser just went right through your brain! She’s blasting some sort of growl-rock, at max volume.

By the end of the day, you’re exhausted from listening to other people’s playlists. Time for a bit of well-earned silence. Your ears are super itchy, but you can’t get your fingers in there. The skin on your ears is getting kinda irritated. This superpower is getting worse by the minute.

The next day, you try to wash out your ears, so you pour water in...but nothing comes back out. That’s bad. Extra moisture in your ear can cause a lot of bacteria to show up and set up camp. You start feeling weird, and end up back at the hospital. The doctor says it’s gonna be impossible to live like this, long term. Headphones irritate your skin, cells don’t get enough oxygen... all that dirt and microbe activity can seriously damage your hearing.

Ok, time to get serious. You hire a wacky scientist to create ultra-thin electronic ear cleaning sticks. Each tube is flexible and thin enough to squeeze past the headphones. One stick washes out all the bacteria with a disinfectant, and cools down the ear, so it doesn’t swell up too much. The second stick is like a mini hairdryer, taking care of any extra moisture in there. This all means going to the doctor twice a week!

After a month, you find out that your hearing’s getting worse, bit by bit. Those little sticks aren’t doing anything! Your life starts to feel like a constant random playlist. You can’t even sleep through the night anymore. At 3 am a car passes by and you hear some quirky synth-pop. The neighbors come home late and wake you up with their “we made it through another day” epic ’80s playlist.

You can control what you hear, but only if you’re awake. Time to take drastic measures. You rent a house on the edge of a forest, where no one can bother you. Now that you can finally sleep, you start to realize that it’s super interesting to listen to other people’s music. You start to understand them much better.

You have this friend who’s always joking around and loves to have fun. But for some reason, his playlist is all sad, dark songs. One day you decide to talk to him heart-to-heart. You find out that he’s really unhappy, but he just got used to hiding it behind a mask of fun. After a few weeks of hanging out together, you start to hear good positive music on his phone. You did that!

Soon, you decide to put the music on pause. Now you’re all into podcasts, and educational audio courses. You pick up new languages insanely fast, since you can just have them on 24-7. You enjoy everything from quantum physics lectures to interviews with Formula 1 drivers. Your headphones make you incredibly smart.

One day, while listening to lessons about renewable energy sources, you start to wonder...how do your headphones still have a charge? Shouldn’t they have turned off ages ago? Huh... You roll up to the nearest physics research center and tell the scientists about your unique case. After a bunch of research, it turns out your headphones get energy from tiny electric charges created by your body. They also tell you that your skin and cartilage have fused to the rubber and plastic of the headphones.

They’re now officially an organic part of your body! Your ears adapt to the new conditions and develop their own immune system. You no longer need to go to the doctors for a cleaning. All you gotta do now is wipe the outer part of the headphones. No more worrying about your health 24-7! Woohoo!

One night, you’re listening to classical music, and suddenly it turns off. You hear a bizarre muffled sound... are those human voices? Or some sort of machine, or animal? No, definitely voices.

But they’re too quiet, too mangled up... you can’t figure out what they’re talking about. In the beginning, it doesn’t bother you that much, but the voices start visiting you every night. They speak different languages... the whole thing is just plain creepy. You’re scared.

Are you going mad? You’re afraid to sleep with the lights off. One day, you wake up to the sound of hundreds of different voices! They’re screaming... or laughing, or asking you for something. You run out of the bedroom and go to the balcony to get some fresh air.

Suddenly, wham. The voices stop, and all you hear is soft jazz. You head out. Pretty soon you’re surrounded by a forest, there’s no one around. You notice the volume and sound quality keep changing as you shift your feet.

You look up... there’s a massive antenna. Whoa, your headphones must be connected to it somehow. You’ve been listening to the radio this whole time!


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