I Need to Shazam You
Equal to the feelings I get when something is missing, I cannot stand hearing a song somewhere and not being able to place how I know it. My current obsession is with a commercial for the Silver Linings Playbook — not the one that has “Ho Hey” from the movie in it, but the one where they play a popular sports tune in the background (the one you hear punctuated by shouts). What the hell is the name of that song? I’ve been watching late night television with Shazam ready to go, but of course, it hasn’t been on again for days nor has anyone uploaded a version of this commercial to the Web.
Um… do you know what song I’m talking about?
Shazam was made for a person like me, a person who used to walk around humming bits of a song for various people, begging them to figure out how I know said song. I did that once at a rest stop. It was a few bars from a Shins song, and I was so desperate to know how I knew the song I had heard playing in the bathroom (why were they piping the Shins into the bathroom?) that I first asked other people at the sinks and then asked random people standing by a vending machine in the lobby and finally figured it out by myself once I got to the car, much to my relief. Shazam removes all the awkward interactions of yesteryear and replaces it with a simple head nod in the frozen foods section of the food store when you hear a muzak version of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus.”
What I really need is a person-based version of Shazam, one in which I could discreetly point my phone’s camera at a person and have it tell me how I know the person. It could just connect to their Facebook page, and based on knowing their name or where they grew up or where they went to camp, I would be able to figure out how they fit into my life.
I know what you’re thinking: why don’t you just ask the person why they look so familiar?
Because the person currently in question is this random woman I saw at Rosh HaShanah services, and she looked at me with absolutely no recognition and then got swept up in the crowd several feet ahead of me chasing her child. It would have been odd (even odder than humming a few bars of a Shins song to strangers standing by a vending machine) to scream out to her, “how do I know you? I have a strong memory of field hockey tied to you but that’s iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.”
I have no clue how I know that woman, but I am positive that I know that woman.
I didn’t even do a Poor Man’s Shazam — discreetly snapping a picture of the woman, and then showing it to someone who might know her name. Which would be anyone Jewish based on the laws of Jewish geography.
So if anyone could design said app, a Shazam-like product that would allow people to immediately remember how they know one another or where their lives overlapped in the past, it would be great appreciated. Extra points if you could peruse the database sideways; meaning, once you find the person and have identified them, you usually suddenly remember all these other people from that time in your life that you’ve forgotten about. It would be fantastic if you could then look them up and see how they’re doing. Sort of like Facebook… actually…
What half-forgotten group of people (or person) would you love to see in a database like that?