LEAN, MEAN, SMOKING MACHINE!
I thought I was past the Smoking Dream stage, but I guess not.
But then, it's ME-- and if I'm going to have one, well then,
by God, it's going to be a truly weird one...!
do NOT fall asleep on the couch while the SciFi Network is on.
At a certain point after regular programming ends, they switch
over to infomercials--at least it seems so on my cable lineup.
The weird stuff that then creeps into your dreams is way beyond
dream began with me trying to get an autograph from ex-heavyweight
boxing champ, George Foreman. I have no idea why I want this,
but I must have his autograph! George asks me to accompany
him to his studio, and he'll oblige me.... The studio turns out
to be a T.V. studio, and they're filming an infomercial. I politely
agree to help him. At some point, George and I become heavily
involved in grilling a shitload of hamburgers on his "Lean
Mean Grilling Machine" © (I am not a compensated spokesmodel
for this product, nor do I play one on T.V.--except in this dream...)
really piling up, and old George keeps cranking them out. I'm
concerned now, because the burgers are about 6 or 8 deep on top
of every horizontal surface in sight. Tables, bookcases, chairs,
the top of the big T.V. camera--everywhere. George just keeps
grinning and spouting ad slogans: "We're KNOCKING OUT
THE FAT!" Great, George! (He's bellowed this inane phrase
about 40 times, always accompanied by a roundhouse right hook
that I keep having to duck.) This isn't easy, because with the
accumulated cubic yardage of cooked (and now cooling) burgers,
there isn't a hell of a lot of room left to stand up.
getting really stressed out now, because my job is to find someplace
for all these burgers to rest after George finishes demonstrating
how much fat and grease rolls out of them courtesy of his little
waffle-iron-looking/meat griddle device, and I'm fresh out of
ideas, here....this studio isn't THAT large.
cramming burgers in my pockets, like Lucy and Ethel working that
candy assembly line. I don't want to piss George off, because
hey--he may be retired, but he's still one LARGE sonofabitch
with a fist larger than my head. As I shove another hot burger
into my pants pocket, I suddenly encounter.... a brand-new, unopened,
fresh, tasty-looking pack of cigarettes!
this is unusual (really, Jef? So far it seems like just another
day for you.) in that I never kept cigarettes in my pants pockets,
but always in my shirt breast pocket. I'm ecstatic, because suddenly
I have a full pack, and this means I CAN TAKE A SMOKE BREAK!
I tell George that I'm taking five to have a smoke, and he just
chuckles and waves and grabs another seventeen pounds of ground
beef in one of his monstrous paws and begins fashioning more
around backstage and light up. I am sorry to report that it is SHEER BLISS ; it is maybe the best cigarette I've ever
smoked in my life. I NEEDED this so much.... The relief of tension
is immediate...and then I'm completely overwhelmed with guilt
and shame. I've blown an entire year smoke free
just because I can't stack hamburgers fast enough so that some
flabby old palooka won't get honked off at me? Fuck this! What was I thinking?!
out the cigarette, run back onstage yelling "CUT! CUT!"
and from some hidden reserve I find the sudden balls to demand
that George help me out of this predicament. I mean, it was him
and his damn grilled hamburger mania that got me into this fix,
that weird way that dreams have of asserting their own logic,
we arrived at a solution: George would sell me a few of his "Lean Mean
Grilling Machines" © (I repeat: I am not compensated for this;
indeed, it is embarrassing to be associated with this product
in this fashion...) at COST (nice guy...) and from them we fashioned
this very bizarre headgear reminiscent of those stupid beer helmets
that yahoo-idiot-jock-drunks wear. Those things with holders
for cans of beer and straws that wrap around the head and channel
the brew into your mouth...? (Apologies to any potentially offended
yahoo-idiot-jock-drunks out there; these things are just white-trash
tacky in the extreme...)
George and I cannibalize a couple of these grill things, yanking
out the tubes that siphon off the cooked fats and grease from
the hamburgers, and we concoct...a Smoking Helmet for me! I mean,
the damage is already done, right? I've blown my quit, and what
I need to do now is to somehow disguise my horrible shame. This
device we slap together has men's cologne in the tubes, and it
sort of gurgles and bubbles and circulates all around my head,
masking the smell of smoke-- but not very effectively. Oh, yeah--
I'm actively smoking now. The quit is gone, I'm smoking full-time
and I have to hide this fact from the entire world as well as
my newsgroup pals who might chastise me for slipping.
solution to this is to leave one of the grill panels active.
I now must balance a hamburger on my head, and cook it while
the cologne burbles and gurgles and the wafting burger fumes
and smoke from the grill will further disguise the fact that
somewhere in the middle of all this junk, I'm actually smoking
a cigarette. To round out the security precautions, George volunteers
to punch the living crap out of anyone who gets too close or
asks too many questions.
what could be simpler or more effective, I ask you, than a retired
boxer who acts as your bodyguard whilst you wear some bizarre,
cologne-and-hamburger-filled headgear that allows you to smoke,
virtually undetected? Made sense to me! This arrangement works
just fine until one of the tubes pops loose, spewing cologne
all over the hot grill and bursting into flames...
who recall my last vivid smoking dream may sense a weird theme developing here. I can only conclude that my innate love of good
food creeps into whatever I'm dreaming....no matter how surreal the proceedings.)
is freaked out by the fire and runs screaming from the
scene. I am trying to wrestle this flaming wad of junk off of my head and
not blind myself... and I wake up alternately howling with laughter
and sobbing with relief that I haven't actually smoked!
cats, glaring at me from the opposite end of the sofa, are not amused. And thus begins another smoke-free
Drop me a note with any questions,
comments, criticism, cogent thoughts,
cease-and-desist orders, etc., etc...