October 17th, 2010

Geek's Guide to the Galaxy-Related Dream

Weird dream I just had:

I was walking down a city street and somehow also reading a rant someone had posted online about how one of their favorite things had been cancelled while stupid crap like Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy was still going. As I walked, I noticed that this person had even paid to have the rant engraved on the pavestones of the street where I was walking, with one letter on each hexagonal tile, which I thought was uncalled for. We were on our way to interview an eminent scientist, and in my dream we were interviewing him in person rather than over the phone, and there were three of us. At the university I was talking to one of this scientist’s grad students, who warned me that the guy was extremely arrogant, and that you had to say exactly the right intellectual and flattering things to him or he would blow you off. John was just initiating a normal, friendly conversation with the guy, and I hurried to warn him that the guy was a jerk, but it was already too late. The scientist was saying that he could maybe spare two minutes and John was saying we really needed at least thirty, and then the scientist announced that actually he couldn’t even spare two, and he retired to his office. John then realized that as we’d entered the building a book had fallen out of his bag, and the scientist had helped him pick it up and had glanced at the cover, and it was a book about fishing, and this must have further contributed to the guy’s judgment that we were intellectual lightweights, which wasn’t fair because it wasn’t even John's book and there was some random reason why it was in his bag. By this time John wasn’t John anymore, but an innocent-looking guy with a round face and curly red hair.

My friends were in favor of just heading home, but I was angry and I knocked on the door of the scientist’s office and explained that my friends had driven here all the way from Philadelphia, and I’d driven all the way from New York, and surely he could spare thirty minutes. He insisted that he couldn’t, and closed the door. We went through several rounds of me pounding on his door and him shutting it in my face. Finally I was so angry that I went into his lab and just started sweeping experiments off the tables and onto the floor, where they shattered, and I was grabbing up everything and tossing it over my shoulder, destroying what I knew to be millions of dollars worth of equipment and samples and world-changing scientific advances. Then I went back to the office and marched in and announced, “I’m glad you like spending time in your office so much, because your lab’s not looking so hot!”

But then I realized I was in the wrong room, and that I’d walked into David Hartwell’s office. I apologized for intruding, and remarked that I needed to go find the right office so I could give that scientist a piece of my mind, and David Hartwell said, “No, you’ll do no such thing. Just let me take care of this. I’ve been through this before,” and he opened a drawer in his desk and took out a folder, which contained letters and photos. The letters were from George R. R. Martin, and began, “Dear [blank], it was great having you at the workshop.” My friends and I started filling in our names, which would prove that we’d been at a writing workshop and therefore couldn’t have been the ones to trash the lab. There were also class photos and photos of students milling about that we were supposed to photoshop our faces into. I said that this alibi wouldn’t work, because obviously the scientist would know it was me, because I’d just been shouting at him, and David Hartwell explained that actually what we would need to do was use the letters and photos to project ourselves through into a parallel universe where we actually had been at the workshop, that that was the only way to escape punishment.

And then I woke up.