Monday, July 20, 2015

Dream journal: Celebrity edition

I'm struggling for themes, and since a sizeable quantity of the recent dreams I bothered to jot down after waking (I said waking) involved a famous person of some kind, let's go with that. I'll tell you now that these aren't the sexy type of celebrity dreams - they exclusively feature quite old men.

Here are 20 more interesting-only-to-me unconscious adventures.

Meisterwerk, feat. Reeves & Mortimer

The film project I've been half-heartedly trying to get off the ground since 2004 finally falls into place as I realise the lack of budget can be turned to a comical advantage. As far as I can tell, it's some sort of parody of The Muppets, which will have fun pointing out the potential copyright infringement and zooming in close to the styrofoam temples and asteroids. I'm convinced that this deconstructivist approach is groundbreaking.

As I surrender to creative furvour, digging out old colouring books to find notes scrawled around the edges of pages and writing on the styrofoam scenery itself for lack of paper, I start to lose my grip on what's real and what's in my imagination. Great, I decide, I'll incorporate that into the story too. It'll add some suspense.

En route to a location shoot by bus, two of the stars, Reeves and Mortimer, point their prop guns at a fellow performer and ask him "have you been to Earth?" I collapse into hysterics.


I'm supposedly a writer living the life of leisure in London or some other sophisticated city. Though I don't seem to be getting much writing done, being more preoccupied with my sideline endeavours.

One of these - a Holmesian investigation into blackmail over rare eggs that may or may not be synthetic - doesn't go anywhere. The other - my transformation into a "Chinese leviathan" - is evidently more interesting. I don't cause much commotion as I patrol the river in giant serpent form, presumably the locals are used to it by now.


After some Tom & Jerry style antics with a monitor lizard, I finally persuade the massive blighter to exit out of the window - foolishly forgetting that I live in a Twelve Monkeys style dystopia where animals roam freely. I catch the eye of a passing lioness who springs into action, and I hastily slam the window and draw the curtains. Maybe she'll forget she saw me, yes, it'll be fine. That glass will hold, surely?

Fugitive, feat. Tom Morello

I'm a woman, which is interesting, but I don't have time to enjoy the experience because I'm constantly having to seek out new and better shelter for my partner and to bring him food.* He's on the run from the law, presumably for a crime he didn't commit, and we have to make our home inside slides and other narrow structures that the fat policeman on his trail won't check inside because he can't fit.

I finally find some more suitable accommodation in an abandoned building (more suitable than a slide anyway) that even includes a toilet, but doesn't include the means to flush the toilet. Things get pretty grim very fast and I concoct a plan to get the equipment I need. It involves the help of Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, currently playing a gig to fans of comic character The Phantom who have all dressed up as their purple hero, but my brain woke me up rather than bother to come up with the resolution. A bucket of water and a plunger would have sufficed.

* This is basically what my wife does.

Ragnarok, feat. George Takei

The office is closing for Christmas and we're naturally pretty pleased about that, but our supervisor is less enthusiastic, as she points out that we hardly seemed to do any work all year.

I feel a little guilty and stay behind after closing time to do extracurricular research into Norse mythology, which I manage to spin into a little extra income on the side by recording an audiobook on the subject, which I'm confident people will buy because of my distinctive voice. Oh, didn't I mention I'm George Takei?

"May the force be with you!"


A pigeon chomps down on my left index finger, just above the knuckle, and refuses to be shaken loose. I wake up with a mild pain in that area, which is weird until I remember I burnt it on the grille. Must have rubbed it against the pillow in my sleep. Not as bad as that time I dreamed I was eating a big baguette and woke up with my pillow in my mouth.


My dad temporarily came into quite a lot of money one time, and like many people who don't know what to do about that, he largely blew this windfall on very stupid things that are still haunting us. Like the dining room he converted into an aquarium, installing thick glass walls to offer panoramic views of these myriad mighty creatures of the deep but not bothering to remove existing fixtures like doors and shelves, which were left to rot in there over the years.

It might have been impressive once, but now most of the creatures that haven't already died are looking pretty peaky. I can never look after animals or people. One day they'll all be dead and we'll be free.


On a night out in a quiet town in Thailand, having searched in vain for a cafe where we can have a nice cup of tea, we're suddenly treated to the spectacle of two supersized (though strangely squashed) camels casually stomping along the street, each carrying a regular-sized elephant in a rather precarious upright sitting position. I wonder where they're going.


I'm a copywriter in a bit of a run-down office at no certain point in time. We're working on graph paper rather than computers. Someone proudly shows me their collection of vintage Twix bars with expiry dates as far back as the 1980s. Someone else offers me some faux grass that I gladly accept as just the thing to complete my advertising diorama. Only later do I find out that it was one of the original, unexploded grass bales featured in Monty Python's 'How Not to Be Seen' sketch, and I feel guilty for cutting up such priceless memorabilia.

Interrogation, feat. Craig Charles

The family holiday has been uneventful but enjoyable, until the train guard tells me to please accompany him because the police want to speak with me. Pissed off, I assure my mum that I know what this is and it happens every time I enter a country, no matter how many times I explain it.

Shown into the mobile police office that they have on board, I nod at my old acquaintance Craig "Lister" Charles, who's presumably just been questioned himself, and I save the officer the trouble of introductions and questions by launching straight into the explanation that I used to work in a factory with Craig here until one day someone planted drugs on us - we never did find out who - but our innocence was already conclusively proven several years ago, so why does it keep coming up?

I look to Craig for confirmation so we can get back to our respective lives, but he's avoiding eye contact. Oh Craig, all these years, tell me it wasn't you!

"Rimmer, you plonker!"


I learn that a high school acquaintance has died. He was probably best known for his brief stint as a guitarist in Metallica during the early 1980s [so before we were born then], and on the way to the funeral I listen to Ride the Lightning in his memory.

I feel guilty when I'm reminded that I always much preferred the more melodic sound of the other guitarist, his still living twin brother, and that his own solos were a bit amateurish and annoying if anything. To be honest, the album would have been better without him, I'm glad they kicked him out. I decide not to share these opinions with the bereaved family.


Running around a French mall, clutching the damsel I've sworn to protect, I scan the tumult of faces, searching for my adversaries, her pursuers. I advise her to hide and I slow down my pace to join the flow of human traffic, meandering past stores, then - why not? I decide to take a ride on the big slides.

Climbing the steps, I finally see the assassins who are after her: twin Aryan supermen in black leathers with permanent scowls. They don't notice me, as I'm doing a slightly better job of being inconspicuous than that. The twins each take a far slide, perching on the edge of the impressive drop. I casually set myself down on a slide in-between and follow them down. No idea what my next move will be, but for now - wheeeeee!

The sense of falling wakes me up. There wouldn't have been a satisfying ending.


A low budget yet atmospheric horror film, filmed on foggy moors and ruined castles. Most notable for its denouement, in which a lone character makes it to safety on the other side of the electromagnetic field and can only look on, horrified, as his female companions one by one choose a quick death over the alternatives of starvation or succumbing to their mortal wounds respectively. As they roly-poly into the crackling barrier of their own volition, all flesh and tissues are stripped from their gleaming skeletons with variably convincing CGI.

Olympus, feat. Roger Waters

We've almost completed our archaeological dig at Mount Olympus when we learn that the mountain's lease is expiring, putting the project in jeopardy. I decide to bid for the lease myself, and rather than deal with boring paperwork and stuff, the fate of the mythical mountain is left to the outcome of a pub quiz hosted by one of my A-level business studies teachers. He didn't come prepared and isn't treating it particularly seriously. Some of the questions are about things he read in the news today, or just things he can see in front of him, e.g. the packet of crisps he's holding.

It's touch and go - my opponents are a coalition of lads who also aren't taking it very seriously, but they're beating me on all the sports questions. I'm victorious in the end, though I have the feeling Mr. Russell let me win as he asks if I'd mind taking over the monthly newsletter for his company that he's too busy to do. I couldn't really refuse.

I soon regret it, as the responsibility takes over my life, with advertisers calling all day long and Roger Waters requesting if I could cover the Formula One. I consider turning the whole thing into a joke publication and theming this week's newsletter around pizza. Yessir, there are going to be changes around here.

Interrogation II, feat. Alice Cooper

Having arrived in Japan without trouble, my wife and I hang out in a park for a while before heading to our hotel. Unfolding a blanket and relaxing in a gazebo attracts the attention of a passing cop, who asks us to come with him. It's a recurring motif.

At the immigration office, one of the officers recognises me from a previous interrogation in 2012 (that really happened - and is still clearly troubling me). They deal with Jackie first, and while I'm waiting my turn, I desperately rummage through my bag looking for our mandatory onward flight tickets, printed itinerary and proof of accommodation, all of which I know I was too careless to prepare.

I search through a second time and a third, scanning for anything with Japanese writing on it, along the way trashing unnecessary items that are just taking up valuable luggage space, such as all those leftover pie crusts, frozen burgers that must have gone off by now and hundreds of flyers for the Alice Cooper Theater. I was looking forward to visiting when we got to New York, but admit I'd got a bit enthusiastic when we passed that leaflet rack.

"We don't need no education"

Housewarming, feat. ZZ Top

To uncharacteristically celebrate moving into a new home, I've booked ZZ Top to headline the housewarming party, forgetting that I don't have any friends or even really know who ZZ Top are beyond their cameo in Back to the Future Part III.

I arrive fashionably late when the band (or at least some mighty beards with generic men around the edges) is already packing up. They may have played their contracted gig to no-one, or just hung around for the allotted time. If ZZ Top's presumed to play but no one's around to hear it and I didn't bother to dream that bit, do they make a sound?

After they've left, I'm disgusted to notice that black ants have been left all over the place, which might be some kind of unfair beard prejudice. I thought I was better than that.


I go upstairs to visit my wife and see how she and her baby are doing. I mean, our baby. I'm clearly neglecting my share of the parenting, but there's no doubt he is mine - the lil' five-centimetre guy wrapped in a shawl has my pale complexion and long nose, though both are exaggerated to the extreme. He's quite the chatterbox too, which I didn't expect at just a few days old, but this rapid development has come at a cost to the rest of his body: his hands are like the withered appendages of a dead butiki.

Ah well, they seem to be doing fine. It's not like I don't have other things to be taking care of around here - like the baby tiger that found its way into our home and is now my obligation to feed. I've bought some Felix® kitten pouches, I hope he likes them. I'm going to have to work out what to do with the lil' guy before he gets big enough to eat me.

Doppeldäver II

Damn! I'm late for school! Running down Banana St, I wonder aloud how an American would pronounce that. A woman I pass finds that funny and goes into an impromptu stand-up routine on the subject, but sadly I don't have time for that.

I stop running when I get to the school's reception. The staff has trouble writing down my name on the late sign-in form, but I point out that it shouldn't be too difficult as it's more or less the same as another name already on there - 'Jade Darburwon' or something. Jade is standing around and finds my own name equally implausible. It's only at this point that I notice everyone is conspicuously female, when I go to an archaic school for boys. That's a bit weird, but whatever.

It turns out that Jade and I are in the same class, and as we head there I spot my 'real' school across the road - except only a few buildings are standing, operating as a factory or something, while the rest of the area is occupied by virgin forest and assorted monuments, including a giant, spinning globe. Of course - I must have slid into a parallel world and not noticed because I was in such a hurry. Jade wonders why the continents are all wrong on the globe, but she's just messing me with me. Not in a flirty way though, we're really not each other's type.

Arriving at the non-school, we spy a mirror that's naturally the passage between worlds. We go through and, in an illogical denouement, it seems this was all the make-believe game of two little girls. One of them sees me, which is annoying because I thought I was just the audience, so I give her the runaround up and down some steps until I can make a clean getaway. After all, I'm still late for school.


I've been sent back in time to World War II times. I'm not sure if my mission is historical research or naughty interference, but it only seems to involve stashing some vital documents behind a panel in a London phone box, so when that's done I can get on with the business of being a tourist, overhearing conveniently ironic conversations about new-fangled trends that aren't going to take off (little do they know!) and falling in love with a local widow like some kind of Nicholas Lyndhurst character.

Eventually, I realise I can't stay here. Not because of the potential for corrupting the timeline, but because everyone else has suffered debilitating losses in this conflict and I'm basically fine. We just won't get each other. Not sufficiently bereaved.

Mental, feat. Derren Brown and Stephen Fry

On holiday in a sleepy harbour town that's basically Mêlée Island, I kill some time in the mall before heading to the docks for the Halloween fireworks. Walking around the bland shopping centre, I feel compelled to steal a yellow dog toy, but resist. I wonder if there's some kind of Derren Brown tomfoolery going on, but naturally I'm too strong willed to fall for that.

I meet up with 'Justin,' an American who's staying at the same resort and is basically that awful guy I met in Manila that time. On the way to the fireworks, we discuss the dog thing and he admits that he did steal it, but isn't sure why. Probably Derren Brown, I inform. We spot Stephen Fry. Justin, determined to prove he isn't anyone's fool, phones Stephen (he just knows the number), putting on a silly voice and asking if he's seen Derren recently. Stephen is confused and non-committal, but does give a tell-tale look to his right, where I spot a poorly disguised Derren among the rabble. He doesn't look very happy. They probably won't use Justin, I decide.

Three years later, Justin and the other bitter runners-up reunite to share their contempt for that fucking whore who was chosen for the TV show over them. They would have done better.

"Now that's magic!"

Art by Zdzisław Beksiński


  1. It seems like some of these stories (eg the pigeon eating your finger one) are lacking a celebrity element.

    1. It was originally 'giant beasts edition' which was even more tenuous. I replaced a couple of celeb ones along the way too, which suited the theme but weren't worth recording even by the standards of this. Two of them feat Anthony Stewart Head, but not in that way.