Dreams are weird. Not just content-wise, though that can be incredibly strange. As the late, great comedian Mitch Hedberg said: “I hate dreaming, because when you wanna sleep, you wanna sleep. Dreaming is work, you know? Like there I am, laying in my comfortable bed in my hotel room… next thing I know, I have to build a go-cart with my ex-landlord.” I get that. That’s funny and it’s also true. But that’s not the only weird thing about dreaming.
It’s amazing the things our brains do while we sleep. It’s kind of like the first time your parents decided you were old enough to stay home alone while they went shopping. You were into everything. Rambling through the bottom of the china cabinet. Climbing up on top of the house, just because you could. Going up in the attic and walking around. Stuff that you didn’t get to do when mom and dad were around. I think our brains work that way when we go to sleep. They do all the things that we usually don’t let them do when we are awake.
Last night I accidentally fell asleep with a cough drop in my mouth. Sometime in the middle of the night I dreamed I was eating jelly beans. I know, it makes no sense. Anyway, my brain made my sleeping mouth believe that it needed to chew the jelly beans. The crunching inside my head from the chewing of the cough drop, measuring only a few decibels less than what I imagine a freight train crashing into a fireworks factory might sound like, woke me up immediately. Now, not only am I awake in the middle of the night, but I’m disappointed that I don’t have a bag of jelly beans and my throat is frozen from chewing up a cough drop.
Not very long ago I had a dream that someone was stealing my car. In my dream, I ran outside to stop the culprit. I yelled at the guy to stop but all that came out was a sound that would probably be spelled something like, “MUHHH!” The best way I can describe it is that it was sort of a man-scream, voiced in a sort of really loud, falsetto growl. If you felt something tickling your chest and you looked down the front of your shirt to see a large, hairy spider staring back at you, you would likely make a sound similar to this as you danced around wildly while ripping your shirt off. Ask me the next time you see me and I will demonstrate the sound. On about scream number three, I woke up to find my wife, who had sat bolt upright in bed(I’ve always wanted to use that phrase), staring at me and asking with only a hint of panic in her voice if I was okay. I told her that someone had been trying to steal my car and I was trying to chase them off. It only took her about twenty minutes to stop laughing uncontrollably at which point I reminded her of the time she woke me up as she was “sweeping the worms out of the bed” using her pillow as a broom(insert giant marshmallow joke here).
We’ve all been there. Whether swinging wildly in a dream fight and perhaps landing a blow on an unsuspecting, unfortunate sleeping spouse or walking through the dream mall and suddenly realizing that we have no pants on. Funny how in the latter we never realize we are pantsless until we are standing at the Great American Cookie Company ordering a chocolate chip double-doozie, usually in the middle of a Christmas Eve type crowd. You’d think some dream person in the parking lot would have given us a heads up on that. Turns out dream people don’t want to get involved any more than actual people do.
Dream people are just a bunch of jerks. Myoclonic jerks, even.
Sleep tight and sweet dreams!