Sunday, September 7, 2008

I dreamed a dream.

Published September 7, 2008
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

I remember watching a particularly funny episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry wakes up in the middle of the night, laughing at some random bit of dream and writes it down for possible use in his comedy act. Upon waking the next morning, he can’t read his own handwriting and the joke is lost. At the end of the episode, he finally deciphers the scribble and realizes it was never funny in the first place.

I had one of those moments last night. It was a dream about a “Vacuum Expo,” a strange gathering of vacuum cleaner manufacturers and collectors. Above the crowd of Hoovers and Orecks and Bissells, a large banner proclaimed, “We know! We suck!” When I asked about it, a representative from Rainbow told me it was an attempt to keep the more “witty” segment of the population from making such an obvious joke.

In my pre-dawn stupor, I thought that was hilarious. I quickly typed it up in my cell phone as a text message draft and laughed myself back to sleep (and right back into the dream), peacefully assured that I would have a killer column ready to go in the morning. A few hours later, I woke up, checked the text draft and said, “Huh?”

I guess the banner is kind of funny, but why I ever thought I could build an entire column around that is an answer that can only be found in the delirium of dreamland. I’m sad to report this sort of thing has been going on all week.

Perhaps the problem for me is my recently acquired knowledge that bestselling author, Stephenie Meyer, came up with the entire premise for her Twilight series from a very imaginative dream. (Yeah, I finally threw myself on the crazy Twilight bandwagon. Don’t judge me.) For Stephenie, the process from dream to publication took all of 6 months.

Ever since reading that, I’ve been waking up at odd hours, convinced this night’s unexpected trip back to high school math class or that night’s solo flight over ice topped mountains is my ticket to the big time. Sadly, instead of waking up and pumping out a fictional phenomenon in three months, I’m left wondering why my dreams are so disjointed, unfunny, and, well, like ordinary dreams. Shouldn’t I be able to make money in my sleep?

This is not to say that my dreams are never productive. I’m very fond of telling people about the year I made my kids toothpaste costumes for Halloween after having a dream that told me how to do it. (The next year, I dreamt I dressed one as a taco and another as a churro, but those costumes have yet to see the light of day). More than once, I’ve purchased more insurance after a dream involving the death of a spouse. I’m almost certain at least two or three of these columns in the past eight years was the result of a funny dream.

Of course, anyone with a brain has noticed that I have, in fact managed to create an entire column from last night’s strange, vacuum- themed hilarity. It’s a testament to either my brilliance or my laziness. At this point, I’m just happy I’m one step closer to my, ahem, dream of following in the footsteps of a very rich woman. I’ll let you decide what you think. I won’t, however, let you be the one to make the obvious joke.

I know! I suck!