From This Might Be A Wiki

Descent into Madness[edit]

This song relays an example of introversion and, possibly, extreme antisocial behavior. The narrator meets someone (an attractive woman, presumably) at a party, who literally takes his breath away: "Time stopped / When you said hello / When you left / The clock began to breathe again". His brain seizes up and he can no longer think straight, much less remember her name. It might as well be unpronounceable; despite all the effort he puts into trying to recall it ("rewind the tape, review the blur"), it's still "Distorted and illegible".

Rather than attempting to track her down, he falls into depression, staring at the sofa where she sat. He turns to excessive drinking ("Wound down and nearly drowned / Lying on the ground"). It takes a major toll on his life, as all he can do is "Stare at the static and be hypnotized". The stuttering, chopped up vocals represent all he can say about anything anymore. --MisterMe (talk) 13:17, 19 March 2015 (EDT)

I expect when the person above me says "extreme antisocial behavior", they mean extreme social anxiety. "Extreme antisocial behavior" would be doing things to hurt others, or exploiting others for your own benefit.
Yes, that would be better way to phrase what I meant to say...good catch. --MisterMe (talk) 23:45, 4 August 2016 (EDT)

The puzzle that remains[edit]

Has any inquisitive listener asked themselves what is being said in the chopped up audio at the end? I hear a syllable like "much" in there (at 3:12) which doesn't really match any other vocalization heard in the rest of the song. But now that I've asked the question, I absolve myself of the responsibility to pry further. Unlike John here or J. Travolta in Blow-Out, I know when to walk away. ~ magbatz 14:53, 22 March 2015 (EDT)

I definitely hear the phrase "watch the videotape" in there. Nineteenseventyold (talk) 23:17, 14 March 2016 (EDT)

About A Name[edit]

I would think that this would be obvious.....but this is about someone whom the narrator meets who has a name that the narrator finds unpronounceable. That's it. Nothing else to it. The narrator makes a bold claim that the name is not just hard to pronounce, but is in fact completely unpronounceable. This song is a hyperbolic ode to unpronounceable names everywhere. Still, make of it what you will.

I agree. What I find most interesting about this song (apart from the great music and the "depressed" joke) is this lyric: "Zoom and enhance if that were even a / Real thing / Which it isn't". This would seem to put to rest the assertion by some people that Linnell is too obsessed with old stuff to have seen Blade Runner, let alone CSI. -- Thread Bomb (talk) 04:43, 25 February 2020 (EST)

It's unsolved CAPTCHAs[edit]

-Unsolved because: Now all I do is think about The puzzle that remains I never figured out what that was If I couldn’t then I doubt I ever will

-Captchas are: unpronounceable Distorted and illegible

- if you can't read them you try to hear them: Rewind the tape, review the blur Never the same, but still obscure Turn up the sound and hear the white noise Zoom and enhance if that were even a

-After a while you get: Be hypnotized be hypnotized

Damn I have to solve a captcha for posting this interpretation.. -- 18:10, 7 April 2015 (EDT)

CAPT CHA, where are you? —Preceding unsigned comment added by ButtonMarkedErase (talkcontribs) 00:47, March 13, 2022‎
Look me over, I'm the Capt Cha --MisterMe (talk) 14:03, 14 March 2022 (EDT)

A foreign girl[edit]

The guy held a party and a pretty foreign girl who didn't speak much or any English attended as a guest of a friend. The guy was taken aback by the girl and could barely speak to her and as the party is now over and everyone goes home he watches the depression in the couch where she sat expand and tries to figure out what her name was.--Pittsburghmuggle (talk) 17:12, 11 April 2015 (EDT)

A Missed Connection and the Failure of Memory[edit]

I think it's about a missed connection -- someone meets someone they're immediately infatuated with (Time stopped/When you said hello/When you left/The clock began to breathe again) but they didn't quite catch their name -- and no matter how they try to remember (Rewind the tape, review the blur/Never the same, but still obscure), they can't quite. The narrator would love to contact the object of their affection, and dwells on the memory of the almost-connection, but knows they'll never figure it out. Jkfecke (talk) 01:18, 24 April 2015 (EDT)

I had similar thoughts but thought it might come after a one-night stand, not just a brief meeting. -- Rosefox

Alien Visitation[edit]

An alien has been surreptitiously visiting some guy (or gal) in his (or her) apartment, somewhere. The guy has been feeling watched for some time now and has grown alarmed at all the little bits of evidence in his home that make him think, "I am not alone."

He sets up surveillance equipment, as though this were a haunting. He waits in a cloud of paranormal activity and paranoia for the uninvited guest to show. His brain is doing overtime, and his heart is doubling that record.

The alien finally presents itself. It moves across the room and sits politely on his sofa. Introduces itself. Perhaps gives a monologue about why it has come to Earth and chosen this particular guy to be his liaison with Mankind. But this is all too much; the man just can't think straight.

And then the alien is suddenly gone, as though it had never been there to begin with.

The guy takes a moment. He feels as though he has just had "an episode." Was it real? He rushes into the other room to see what the video cameras picked up. Nothing but static. He stares in disbelief.

Days go by. He has not been himself since the visitation. He spends hours staring at the fading impression of alien buttocks in the cushion of his sofa. He watches the video again, and the white noise mesmerizes him. He spends his days going back and forth between video screen and the couch cushion.

He's hypnotized.

Not eating, not sleeping, one day he passes out. Lying in his own juices on the carpet, mayhap he finally understand the sound that the creature made as it spoke. He can hear its name in his dreams. It is still unpronounceable, and it never showed up on camera.

[submitted by Jeff F. Haines]

A medical condition[edit]

The narrator is diagnosed with a life-threatening condition with a lengthy, unpronounceable name. The first time he "found" the condition was when it left him "wound down and nearly drowned, lying on the ground"--fainting and suddenly, unexpectedly near to death. He doesn't really understand what it is or how to deal with it, and his whole life is put on hold. When it's cured, his life can start again, but he has no idea how to move on from having almost died, so he becomes with trying to understand the disease. He stares at images from ultrasounds and X-rays, but they're totally unreadable by the layperson. Everything written is in doctors' unreadable scrawls and full of words he doesn't know. Maybe the disease or the cure also interfered with his ability to understand what he's seeing or hearing. In the end it's all just static in his blurry mind. -- Rosefox

Breakup song[edit]

I actually heard this as yet another breakup song: the narrator's lover is gone, leaving only the depression on the sofa, and he's so destroyed by the experience that he blocks out memories of their life together and convinces himself he never even figured out what their name was. He thinks of the relationship as a timeless period with hazy, distorted details he can't recall. (Probably this interpretation is influenced by other songs on the album, such as "Erase", "The End Of The Rope" and "Let Me Tell You About My Operation.")

When he does remember a bit of it ("found your sound"), the experience is so painful that it's physically debilitating.

I think the "unpronounceable name" may be that he never had a real handle on who his lover was as a person. He's hypnotized by everything they do, but was never able to make any real sense out of it. -Peter

Sequel to Ana Ng[edit]

The name “Ng” is, by any means, unpronounceable (except in Vietnamese). Who’s to say this isn’t a sequel to the hit song from Lincoln? Ana Ng has its number of interpretations (Interpretations:Ana_Ng to see for yourself), but if this is the sequel, 27 years later, which would make sense with all the “rewind” lyrics, then Ana Ng is what we thought it was (if you’re some of us): a love song (sort of maybe) about a Vietnamese woman (maybe.)

-When Cheese Met Chalk

Time Literally Stopped[edit]

Contrary to some other people's interpretations, I believe this song is not about a human being. The thing he met was not human - time literally stopped, and during that space, the narrator was imparted with some sort of knowledge - but afterwards is driven made attempting to decipher its meaning.

Stages of Grief, Denial[edit]

The narrator's love interest has died. They find themself physically unable to speak, hear, or even look at the name of the person, because every time they do, they suffer a flashback. (Unpronounceable, distorted, and illegible.) They don't necessarily deny that the person they love has died, only that they, the narrator, were at one point involved in this person's life.

They want to go back to when everything was happy and innocent, but time marches inevitably onward. Time was in a dreamlike state while they were together, but now the narrator obsessively measures the passage of time since the death. (Time stopped when you said hello, when you left the clock began to breathe again.) The narrator doesn't understand why this happened, and it begins to take up more and more of their time. (Now all I do is think about the puzzle that remains; stare at the static long enough you'll be hypnotized.)

The trauma is controlling their life, bending everything to inflict pain on the narrator, causing them to begin acting differently. The narrator even begins berating themself over it all, seemingly willingly. They exert their will over their emotions, or so they believe, and force themself to stay sad. (Stare at the static and be hypnotized.) They begin to fantasize about the past, idolizing it in a way, despite knowing they're lying to themself. (Zoom and enhance if that were even a real thing which it isn't.)

Having bottled their emotions, they inadvertently fall prey to depression as time erases some of the more superficial reminders of their loved one. (Now I spend my days and nights looking at a depression on the sofa.) This ends up being a ticking time bomb, and eventually the narrator has to accept this name existing as they meet others with the same name. (Found your sound.)

The narrator's depression becomes overwhelming, sapping their energy and suffocating them with the weight of the emptiness inside. (Wound down and nearly drowned.) However, something helps them begin healing, possibly finding new love. (After all, it's only nearly drowned.)

MicrowavedAnika (talk) 07:53, 25 January 2022 (EST)

Song about an old roommate[edit]

To me this song really feels like it’s about a person who had gotten to know someone and had a really good time hanging out with them, but once they ended up parting ways the person who this song is about realized that they had no way to get in contact with them. Although they knew their full name at one point, they can’t quite remember what exactly it was (therefor unable to locate them on the web). This person is now living in the past, regretting not having been able to keep this person in their life. Although this friend may have been crashing at this person’s place at one point in time, it’s been long enough that the depression on the sofa they left behind has now flattened out.

SaddleBag (talk) 00:57, 16 January 2023 (EST)