Comic-book superhero Storm is living by herself in a loft in this deserted city, where everything is built to a huge scale, and is all gray, crazy metal slabs at weird angles. One whole side of her apartment overlooks this city and it’s so lifeless and mechanical and lonely that she (a sort of nature-goddess-type) is getting all crazy and paranoid. Jumping at shadows, ready to fight. She thinks, "I gotta get out of here," and goes to the window and sees Frankenstein’s monster, very tiny in the distance, lumbering towards this doorway. She follows him into what turns out to be a fully equipped, airplane hangar-sized TV studio where they’re filming Saturday Night Live.
Dr. Frankenstein’s monster has turned into Dr. Ruth, but she’s lying on the tilted slab-with-manacles-for-hands-and-feet associated with the monster’s creation. The producers of the show are trying to get her to wear this ‘spaceman’ costume but it’s totally tiny and seems to be made of duct tape. The head is too small to fit over her neck, and she can’t breathe ; it’s got no holes. So instead, they put her in this larger, one-piece costume. It’s now her POV so I can’t tell what the costume looks like except it’s big and tentlike. then they stuff comedian Al Franken in the costume on top of her, crushing her til she can barely breathe. The cameras start rolling and Al, still lying on the Franken-slab, strapped down like in the movie, begins to impersonate a politician. Lying under him, Dr. Ruth begins to get into the spirit of things, whispering satirical stage directions in his ear, "insincere smile… patronizing frown… stiff wave."
The next act is Chris Farley, who is spinning around like fast motion, only since he’s 400 pounds the effect is scary and not comical; he’s running into a wall at like 60 MPH and spinning vertically on it several feet off the ground and you can tell this wasn’t part of his plan. This is apparently part of a really elaborate skit he’s done, or been doing for years now, called "The Poorly Trained Engineer." As "The Poorly Trained Engineer," he gets jobs in real life building huge industrial things that break catastrophically and kill many people. But now he’s out of control and the things he’s built during the rest of the show, prior to our arrival, start breaking. Not small things like coffee pots or cars; huge things like electric power plants or giant transformers; it seems that many of his ‘creations’ from the past several years have all been placed on this gargantuan stage that’s like a quarter of a mile wide! Things are escalating, blowing up, smoke fills the hall, Chris is spinning like chunks of flesh are going to be ripped off his body, there’s a huge explosion as this 1800′s-style wooden hydroelectric plant built entirely out of logs… huge wooden gears and pistons, weighing half a ton apiece, fly by at hundreds of miles an hour, narrowly missing me, and at this point it’s so hectic I’m not sure if I’m me, or Ruth, or Storm , or Frankenstein, I’m just trying to survive.
Eventually a small rag-tag band of people, the only survivors of the whole stage crew and audience, lead by your standard, tattered-yet-charismatic, bearded leader guy, slowly and dazedly follow the river that emerged from the destroyed hydroelectric plant. We follow it as it flows downstage, intermingled with the debris from the plant, a literal logjam that enables us to walk on the river, and we keep going until we’re out of the cyclopean auditorium and in this desert under a huge wide sky. We’re still traveling downwards, as we have been since we left the stage, and at last, the logs sink into the mud, which is all that remains of the once mighty river. Our charismatic post-apocalyptic leader guy explains that this is where his house once was but it’s gone now, and we clearly can’t rebuild it in this thick mud. He’s out of ideas, but he puts it much more dramatically. We’re trying to see how we can keep going without getting our feet muddy, when a barbarian horde comes riding up on horseback, lead by another charismatic, jut-jawed hero-type with long black hair blowing in the wind and the whole nine.
There’s a very dramatic pause as our leader goes up to their leader and raises his fist in a stern salute. Then the barbarian leader relaxes and makes the same salute back, and then out of nowhere this lion comes up and also makes the same salute. They’re all standing facing towards us by this time, and, improbably, a disembodied voice comes out of nowhere and asks them to all salute again, and they do. The voice starts giving more and more absurd stage directions, like "Once more, with feeling. Ok, now do it looking scared. Ok, now do it looking really concerned. Ok, now make a motion like Vanna White showing a product! You’ve just won a year’s supply of turtle wax!" As the three archetypes do increasingly absurd synchronized pantomimes, it cuts to me and my high-school pals Crow and Shick. We’re on some sort of polished metal deck inside a giant spaceship, and Shick and Crow are laughing, continuing the monologue of the mysterious voice over from the previous scene: the whole scene I was just in was merely a skit we were dreaming up here on the starship. Shick says, "Oh, wouldn’t it be funnier if they said, "you’ve just won a year’s supply of…" and then mentions some fake ‘in-joke’ product that him and Crow made up in Jr. High that I don’t understand but him and Crow find it screamingly funny.
I excuse myself, saying "I have to go write down this crazy dream I had" and so I go to my parents’ house and I’m in the living room. I can’t find my ‘dream recorder’ or even a pencil but my folks are entertaining a bunch of guests out on the deck so I can’t disturb them by asking for a pencil. I open the sliding wooden door that normally houses our record player, only to find it contains several rows of brightly lit Tupperware pots, each filled with other plastic knickknacks, molded into various shapes. I think these are out-of-season holiday decorations filed away using some elaborate color-coding system I can’t even begin to imagine. I look to my left, and the living room now stretches out 40 feet or so more than normal; all of it full of more of these cabinets! Increasingly desperate, I keep sliding open these doors, but still no sign of a pencil or ‘dream recorder’. Meanwhile, I’m forgetting more and more of the dream. Eventually the entire living room is knee-deep in these bright, plastic novelty items, when I finally find some tapes. But they wouldn’t fit any tape recorder I’ve ever seen: they’re maybe an inch wide, 4 inches long and half an inch thick. The wrapper claims the tapes contain the first 18 songs by the band The Pixies.
Curious, I peel off the wrapper, only to find the actual tapes themselves only claim to have 2 songs apiece. Then my Mom comes in and says, "What are you doing?" and I say, "I need to find a tape recorder to record my dream," and she says, "Oh you won’t find any of that old stuff; we’ve updated. Now the only way to record something is to talk into the voice recognition software on our new IMAC." So I go into my room and start dictating into the IMAC. I’m narrarating this vignette that happened at the very beginning of my dream, even before the Storm-in-the-big-city part that I thought started the dream!!
I was walking along this catwalk, suspended in space, in this very bright white city where everything is built like cubes with 90 degree angles. To my right is a big cube, maybe 50 feet on a side. It’s an art gallery, and the cube face towards me is totally transparent, allowing me to see the art. The art is huge sculptures that painstakingly reproduce images from the 2d Peanuts comic strip. Only these aren’t any Peanuts images I remember: these are all sculptures of pain and torture, but enlargements of the actual Peanuts strips line the walls to verify the authenticity of the scenes. The only sculpture I remember is a 30′ tall Snoopy sitting down crying with his arms being bent behind his back by other Peanuts characters, whose backs are to me on the causeway so I can’t tell who they are. The arms are being pulled straight up, almost to pop them out of their sockets. Apparently these particular Peanuts comics appeared in Playboy. My Grandma is there with me on the causeway and is trying to explain why I’ve never seen these particular strips before. She’s trying to explain irony of a universally-beloved children’s author like Schulz doing all this hyper-violent art in a porno mag, but she can’t use the word Playboy. She keeps talking about "that awful magazine."
There’s a battle at sea between 18th-century warships with bewildering cannons and complex sails. The smaller ship is better armed and is shelling the larger one mercilessly, knocking down its masts one by one, causing them to fall over with a huge cracking noise. Zoom in on the losing ship to reveal the captain, cravenly hiding , prone on deck, but he’s not hiding very effectively because he forgot to take off his absurd Mad-Hatter-sized black top hat.
As the ship sinks, he dives overboard and swims to this nearby, sunny, tropical island. The ‘camera angle’ shifts, and we’re now seeing this escapade through the cowardly captain’s POV. But I don’t identify with him at all. Aware that his enemies will be sending out a search party, he hides in the shallow water, behind some swamp grass with just the top of his head out to breathe. Since this is now from his POV it’s unclear if he still has the telltale hat on or not. Sure enough, people are swimming towards him, but it’s not the grizzled crew of navy guys but 4 plucky 8-year-old kids, the kind you’d find being protagonists of some merry Peter-Pan-style kids’ book. They’re merely inches away from him, but he’s convinced they won’t see him as long as he doesn’t move. This despite him having his head out of water and him watching the kids, duh! However, the current moves him, pulling him away from the weeds and out into water too deep to stand in. Since there’s no hiding from the kids now, he plays it off like, "Hi, kids! At last I’ve found you! I’m here to take you on a magical adventure!" and the kids fall for it. I guess the other navy should have used grizzled swabs after all.
The captain takes them by the hand and they turn towards the island except it’s not an island anymore… it’s a valley, almost conical and gradually sloping, covered with mud. To prevent slipping on the mud, there’s a trail of interlocking rubber mats, the kind that they have in restaurant kitchens. The trail leads to something glowing. But because it’s on the near side of the valley, it’s so foreshortened it’s hard to tell what it is. The captain/children’s host explains that it’s a huge, square, glowing, green, Oz-like doorway built into the side of the valley wall, which will lead them to a magic land. There’s also 3 or 4 similar mat-trails leading to it from other directions in the valley. Furthermore, even though it looks like dry land, this valley is still somehow in the ocean where the island was, and if you go into the valley you’ll be crossing the (now invisible) waterline, and drown. The captain, sensing that if the kids turn him in to their Navy bosses he’s as good as dead anyway, decides to stick to his sham "Willy Wonka" bluff and leads them down into the valley. It turns out that, having made this choice, he doesn’t drown after all, just feels a nauseating sense of impending doom. He leads the kids to the door.
Then it cuts to me, as myself, in a cafeteria, presumably inside the ‘magical land’ to which the door leads. I’m at a table getting in an argument with some forks. The forks are small (2" long) and either plastic or carved out of bone. They’re white and have only two tines. The argument gets more and more heated until the forks say, "Oh yeah? Well how about this, smart guy?" and leap up, plunging into the backs of my hands, about 3/4" deep. There’s no blood and only a stinging sensation, but I’m worried that maybe there’s a huge amount of pain I’m just not feeling yet. I get mad, so I rip the forks out of my hands and throw them inside this huge, industrial-sized washing machine. By the time the forks land deep in the cavernous belly of the machine they’ve transformed into matching cell phones. Not the new tiny kind, the old, 80′s ‘brick’ style cell phones. By now the washing machine has grown so huge that it swallows me too, but I still run deeper into it in order to gloat and yell at them "Yeah!!! Take that! You’re going to roast in here!"
I start running out, but only now does it dawn on me how huge this washing machine is, maybe 20 feet tall. It’s already humid and it’s getting hot as hell, as if it’s already starting to wash, and the more I try to run the slower I go. I can see humans outside the open door. I can only see their abdomens; because they’re as giant-sized as the oven. It’s as if I’ve been shrunk down to the size of a plate somehow. I nonetheless recognize my mom as one of them. She’s about to shut the door and start the washing machine. I’m yelling "No! MOM!!" but she’s talking to her friends and laughing and doesn’t hear me.
Then it cuts to this hillside, with a square door flush with the side of the hill, sort of like the glowing-green Oz-door in the first part of the dream. However, this hill is covered with a cheerful, well-trimmed lawn and the door is only 3 feet tall. There’s 3 middle-aged plump women cheerfully opening the door and taking out washed dishes from it. I am dead now, killed by the soap and boiling water, and my disembodied spirit is watching them over their shoulders. I see the inside of the door is also composed of dirt; like it’s still part of the hill rather than some machine. But it’s still a functional dishwasher: there’s a rack inside with hot steaming crockery.
My sprit, freed from the dishwasher, floats off to a classroom filled with Asian college girls. I float invisibly past them, studying their faces up close and at leisure, with no guilt, wondering what they really, really would think of me if they knew I held the secrets to life-after-death. Finally I come to this one Asian girl in the corner I’ve never paid attention to in the past, but I check her out. She raises up her head and she’s got totally brutal acne with big red pustules. I instinctively look away but wonder, "What if I would have courted her anyway? Maybe she would have settled for me since she’s so ugly. But what if my patience paid off and her acne eventually cleared up, and she got beautiful? Then she’d probably just leave me and it would of been all for nothing."
I’m reading Rolling Stone. There’s this blurb about Puff Daddy at a party with some new rapper he’s promoting. He says something about being cold, and the rapper makes this double entendre about having something Puffy can wear as a scarf, and illustrates this by jumping up on the table and dropping his pants. The magazine strategically puts a caption over the guy’s area, but upon turning the page, I see the same photo again, but bigger and uncensored. Not only does the guy have a foot long dick but his foreskin is HUGE It’s maybe 2" wide, and it looks like a sleeve. (in contrast, his dick head which peeps out below the skin, is grotesquely thin: maybe 1/2" wide) And in fact it does look somewhat like a scarf, something you’d put around your neck. But the last couple of inches of foreskin have gray scales on it. It’s terrifying.
Riding a motorscooter through San Francisco, I miss my left-hand turn and wind up in Chinatown , which has been turned into a single, ten-story high, half-mile-wide mall. As I’m wheeling to a stop inside the cavernous parking entrance, I’m approached by some triad gang guys. Some are raggedy thug guys and some are more smooth-dressed hustlers. They start offering to sell me some guns. Not any guns, either. Artillery. I stammer ‘no’ and back away, hoping they won’t take offense. Later, I’m still in the mall, in some cavernous open space in the middle on a pedestrian conveyor belt, when I’m again approached by the most slick-looking Triad guy. He offers me artillery again, in a tone of voice that unmistakably says, "turn me town and I’ll take it really personally." At that moment, some hapless Russian Mafiya guy next to me on the escalator senses a deal is going down, and he offers to sell me artillery too! I try to bluff my way out by going "I’ll need something with a 9 cm wide barrel" and they both look taken aback, the Russian going "We don’t have anything that big!" but the Triad guy says he can sell me some kind of cannon with like 7 cm so I just take off running up an escalator into the lobby of what seems to be a hotel. It’s got a very high ceiling- 30 feet, and an odd, angular shape.
There’s a bunch of Triad guys chasing me now ( they’re running down the up escalator), so jump off it in mid-floor, and I duck into a casino full of pinball machines, with no customers. Some lonely old janitor guy is there and he attaches himself to me, giving me a tour: explaining which are the good machines, and leads me to the ‘porno’ pinball machines. "This one here’s my favorite!" he says, playing some game where, I guess, you make some girl take her clothes off; I don’t look at the screen, because I’m horridly fascinated by the control apparatus: they look like alabaster boobs and other organs, all done in this very ornate, turn-of-the-century, retro-science-fiction style. In fact the whole porno-pinball machine has this very Jules-Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, style feel to it. The janitor, leering, says, "Oh, and the best part is the knob." He pulls out this alabaster penis and attaches it to the machine by the head, so it nestles into his crotch. "If you didn’t look close, you’d think I was fucking the machine," he snickers, playing it some more.
A long overdue combination of break dancing, jousting and tetherball, performed in the bloodthirsty yet rigorous atmosphere of an Olympic cockfight. Two opponents perform the break dancing maneuver where you spin in a circle, using your hands to spin while your legs fly around in back of you. Both players are harnessed to tetherball poles about 6 feet apart, around which they rotate. The object of the game is to kick your opponent as your feet swing towards his pole. One player is a regular break dance guy in a track suit, the other, a specially trained pig. It takes a long time for one player to kill another in this very non-efficient joust, so both are sustained by drinking the sweat of the audience from jury-rigged beer bongs. The audience is sitting in bleachers which encircle the playing field. The bleachers go up at an absurdly steep angle, with each row being about six feet, rather than six inches, above the previous row. Perhaps this incline is to facilitate the collection of sweat?
I’m in a section of Berkeley on the side of a hill, where it’s all apartments surrounding this little park. There’s some sort of competition going on in this tilting, hillside, city park. As I get closer, I see that the competition is between rival gangs of transvestite cheerleaders. They’re pretty tall and often bearded, but they know their stuff. I’m watching them do routines, when one guy starts shrieking. He’s lifted his skirt up and there’s this big, 3/8" thick string coming out of his urethra. It’s about 9 inches long, and at first I think maybe since he’s a transvestite, this is a sort of tampon-string-effect he’s going for, but his face is a mask of fear, and he’s shouting, "The fuse has been lit, we’re all going to die!"
I realize the string is, in fact, getting shorter as if it’s a burning fuse, although I don’t see any actual flames or smoke. Now the other cheerleaders are pulling up their skirts too, and they all have fuses coming out of their cocks. They’re all freaking out that death is immanent, and I go up to one cheerleader who happens to have a cell phone, and say, "I have an idea. We can find out how long we have left to live by calling other transvestite cheerleader gangs in New York, and seeing how long THEIR fuses are. Since NY is three hours ahead of us in time, we can deduce how long we have left." Which strikes him as sensible and he cell-phones to the New York transvestite cheerleaders who scream that their fuses are about to blow, with apocalyptic noises rumble tinnily in the background, so now we know we in Berkeley have a whole 3 hours to live.