It's About A Kidnapping
I've never made an interpretation before, so bear with me
I feel like this entire song is basically about a kidnapping, from the kidnapper's point of view. However, it's all jumbled up, and not in sequential order.
First off, the beginning lines ("How could the street light blink on and off and spell out all your thoughts?") are just him introducing himself to the victim.
Then, we have the line "It’s only tea leaves stop being dramatic" is the narrator calming the victim whilst giving them some strong drug (maybe weed?).
He says something weird ("Everyone has got an alien in the gut. Someday it will emerge."), but he dismisses it ("That thing you thought you heard me say: I didn’t say that thing")
"Everyone has got a feeling in the gut" is the narrator telling the kidnapped that everyone gets the feeling of worry when they join him (leading to the kidnapping
The "telling you what to do" lines are about the kidnapper, well, telling the victim what to do while they're drugged and hallucinating.
The lines "Pretty soon you'll be telling me that you’ve had enough and you’re leaving me" is referring to the kidnapped realizing their situation and wanting to escape.
"Next thing you’ll be saying that I’ve been hallucinating you all along" is the narrator mocking the victim's claims of kidnapping as outrageous by alluding what other "odd" thing they'll say next.
The victim calls the cops, ("Middleburgh Police Department how may I direct your call?") but they're slurring ("Please speak more slowly") and can't be understood. The same goes for "Person I don’t recognize motioning to roll down the window".
It's about a person with mental issues
I think it's two people alternating speaking in a conversation, a mental doctor, & a mental patient with a bad case of apophenia (witch is a mental disorder when a person finds connections when there isn't any).
For example, the line "It's only tea leaves. Stop being dramatic." Or the line "Everyone has got an alien in the gut. Some day it will emerge. Don't look at me like that" probably indicating the mental patient saying some crazy stuff, & the doctor looking at them & thinking "What are you taking about." But that's just my take on it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 04:39, June 29, 2019
A superstitious girlfriend
Obviously it’s taken from the perspective of a boyfriend/girlfriend (Next thing you’ll be telling me that you’ve had enough and you’re leaving me). The partner of the narrator thinks the blinking street lights are some weird Morse code thing and they live in the upside down from stranger things. Tea leaves are supposedly a way to see your future, so the tea leaves might give you some crazy ideas. It all adds up!
Othello syndrome This is the belief that the sufferer’s partner is cheating on them, despite there being no evidence whatsoever.
It’s much more than just common-or-garden jealousy, though, with sufferers experiencing strong obsessive thoughts.
They may continuously check up on their partner, stalk them, interrogate them about where they’ve been and, in extreme cases, it can lead to violence.
The band is trying to tell us that we are completely crazy.
Notice the a definition of Apophenia according to Webster's dictionary: "the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things"
What if this song was actually just created out of random weird and ominous portions in a jam session or the like, with no particular intended meaning or narrative, but merely to induce Apophenia in listeners of the song in trying to stitch together their own story from the song. In other words, it has more of a meta-meaning on people trying to over-interpret They Might Be Giants songs.