Here are more excerpts from my dream diary. Again, I have added some notes in italics below some entries.
Walked the dog in Oakwood Park but lost sight of her. I blew on a tiny whistle, but the sound attracted a different dog. Appeared in a western with Trotsky. We were offered a pint of whisky and beer, which Trotsky refused. He was forced to drink it at gunpoint by two cowboys. Suddenly, one of the cowboys dropped dead with a knife in his back.
Trotsky was another old friend of mine. In Year 9, I would go to his house every week and watch ‘The Outer Limits’. When we were 18, Basil and I went ‘hot-boxing’ in his car. It with him that I first experienced the drug ecstasy. We went to the same university and got high together many, many times. After graduation, he became a communist activist in the West Midlands. I wonder if he ever thinks of me.
Mr. Rage and I owned a bomb factory which got raided by Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was armed to the teeth, shooting down our employees mercilessly. Wisely, I decided to hide in a wardrobe, rather than offer up any sort of resistance. Mr. Rage called me a coward and got himself tooled up for a firefight. But who could stop Arnie?
I was sitting in the passenger seat of Mum’s car. We were stuck in a traffic jam on a motorway. Basil was nearby in his parents’ car; he got out and joined me. We travelled to a school fête, where I bumped into Dad. He was on his way to Kharé, the infamous Cityport of Traps. I decided to join him, even though I was supposed to attend school that evening. Prior to setting off, we were accosted by two men who looked exactly like Dad – clones! It turned out that in the land of Kakhabad, you could get your own clone done for a small price. We drove along the motorway through the Shamutanti Hills, while the clones walked alongside. It turned out that Kharé’s evil reputation was perhaps an exaggeration, as I found much that was pleasant about the city. In a quaint little bookshop, Dad offered to buy Shakespeare’s Othello for my studies, but I replied that it was a bit late for that now that it was my last day in school. I kept my eyes peeled for a spellbook. Dad bought me a pair of shoes and later we entered an unusual barbershop. There, you got your hair cut by your own clone! There was a large queue for this service, partly on account of its popularity and also because the cloning process took a while. I couldn’t wait to see mine.
The unusual place names mentioned here are all fictional locations in Steve Jackson’s ‘Sorcery!’ series, which, along with other Fighting Fantasy books, is available from a variety of online retailers. If you enjoy role-playing games, I cannot recommend them enough.
I found Jemima. She wasn’t dead, as I had assumed, but living with a kind family who owned another cat and a dog. They, too, were black and white, although the other cat looked a lot scruffier. Nevertheless, Jemima got on well with them. I thanked God that she had found happiness at last. I later wandered around in a hospital which resembled the English department, looking for the anaesthetic room. Once there, I found an elderly man and used some anaesthetic on him. After attending an English lesson with some disruptive Year 11’s, I went home. En route, an old woman admired my school uniform; she preferred LOTF kids to the reprobates in the other school.
Poor Jemima! I miss that cat even now. She used to suck on my earlobes and purr like an engine. When we moved house, she didn’t take to the new surroundings and took off into the night, never to be seen again. Her loss is one of a long list of regrets which I carry with me.
In St. Ives on a stormy night. I had to replace a painting after it got hit by lightning. Went to Bristol to visit Nan & Grandad, but they weren’t in. It dawned on me that I did not have the fare to take me back to St. Ives, so I would miss the football match that was to take place there. Back at school, I awaited my A-level results. Uptight as I was, I got into a fierce row with another pupil. I was about to hit him, when Mrs. B____ came along. She ordered us to stay at a local pub for a fortnight as punishment. I also had to work at a petrol station on W_____ Road. One day, I wanted to go to the bank to pay in two bags of gold. As soon as I left the petrol station unattended, a large crowd appeared crying, “We want petrol!” Later, I went to school to collect my results. Met up with HJ, JC and Basil, who all seemed quite pleased with their grades. I gave them advice on what they should do next. I realised that this was unwise, as I had not opened my letter yet….
I have dreamt about St. Ives, Cornwall, about a dozen times. It is one of my favourite towns in the whole world. I must go there again some time. HJ and JC were school chums/drinking buddies.
Played Laserquest with some friends against Darth Vader and a platoon of Imperial stormtroopers, except that the guns we were given fired live rounds. One of the stormtroopers was a medic; this was evident by the red cross that was painted on his armour. I thought it was unfair that I had three stormtroopers firing at me, but I gave as good as I got. After the game, I discovered a longsword of elven craftsmanship, which I sold for a tidy profit.
Imperial stormtroopers, as any Star Wars aficionado will tell you, were renowned for their poor marksmanship, so I was never in any real danger.
Walking the dog in an isolated part of Oakwood Park on a damp, misty morning. I overheard Cringer in communion with the wild grass that grew there. “How happy we are!” the grass exclaimed. Overjoyed at this news, Cringer wagged her tail and dashed across the field. We soon arrived at a copse, beyond which lay a barley field. I knew the farmer kept a hill giant to guard this field, so I had to choose my path wisely. Singing She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain, I almost made it through undetected. Suddenly, a club-wielding giant leapt out from behind a tree. Drawing my sword, I hacked at him furiously, dodging his clumsy blows. I surprised myself at how easily I felled my opponent. The giant’s final words were, “I’m not the only one.” Indeed, I had to dispatch another brute before running hell-for-leather across the field.
Looking after my dog, Cringer, for twelve years made me realise that I would not enjoy parenthood.
I became the reluctant hero of a science fiction video game. A hospital in the middle of Hyde Park, London, was believed to have been taken over by aliens. There was no word from the staff, who were presumed dead. The original protagonist had been killed by these murderous aliens. So daunted was I by the magnitude of this task that I failed my bravery test and ran into a wood. Fortunately, I had two allies to aid me, one of them a pretty girl who gave me a potion of stealth. Once imbibed, it would render me invisible to all would-be attackers. This enabled me to reach the hospital’s nerve centre unhindered. There, I came across a fat man grinning triumphantly. I tried shooting him, but my revolver had run out of ammunition. The fat man threw me out of a window and I landed on the lawn outside. I had to reload the adventure, but this time I knew what to do: kill some aliens, find some ammunition and rope, kill the boss, set fire to the building then abseil the hell out of there. I assumed all the nurses and patients had been massacred, so there was little point in trying to save anyone. Once my mission was complete, I took my female sidekick out on a date in a pizzeria.
Spent the day at Aunt Vera’s house with Mr. Rage, Sister and Cousin S. We smoked cannabis while Vera was away. She had given me the keys to her car. I drove it to the shop, but when I came out, someone was driving away with it. I gave chase, but to no avail, so I quit and reloaded the dream where I had last saved it, this time making sure to take the keys out of the ignition and locking the doors.
Quitting and reloading….if only my life were more like a video game! Cousin S was one of my closest friends in the early days. We used to play pranks on people and watch ‘Gladiators’ together. I have very little to do with him these days.
With Basil, Trotsky and an American girl. We were driving around Preston, looking for a suitable spot for hot-boxing. We settled on a run-down estate on a hilltop. I made a pass at the girl, but she became upset. Embarrassed, I went into a rugby club and showered. As I did so, a tall young woman entered. The American girl, meanwhile, had fallen for Trotsky.
In real life, my chubby left-wing friend did not have much luck with women. He was shy and resembled a cross between David Baddiel and Elvis Presley in his final days.
Sitting in Oakwood Park with Cousin S, Mr. Rage and Roland. We had run out of cigarette papers, so we used empty Calippo packets to make joints. They were really potent! Suddenly, we were caught by a policeman, who escorted us to the station. En route, he stopped off at my house to have a word with Dad. Cousin S almost soiled his pants and hissed, “Run!” I knew that we would only be cautioned, but I did not want Dad to find out about our hobby. We sneaked past the policeman as he approached the front door. Clambering into Roland’s car, we escaped.
The weather was really hot, even though the Met Office had predicted cooler conditions. I felt deceived. I visited a house in a nearby park which was owned by LOTF School. One of the rooms there was haunted by the ghost of Uncle Frank. He sat in a rocking chair, talking to me about old times. Outside, kids were playing rugby.
With his thick glasses, leathery skin and whistling speech pattern, Great Uncle Frank looked to me like some sort of alien. However, in his youth he had fought bravely under General Slim in the Burma Campaign of ’44.
At a school disco in a scout hut, where Colin from The Brittas Empire was working as a DJ. Mr. H____ noticed that I was wearing a black bow tie instead of the regulation prefect tie. I had left the correct one in a Bristol pub. He reprimanded me, so I went and stole someone else’s tie.
Sitcom character Gordon Brittas was, in my opinion, a prototype of David Brent from ‘The Office’. At the LOTF falling-out ceremony, I really was wearing the wrong tie. I told Mr. H____ that I had lost the prefect tie in my grandfather’s local watering-hole in Bristol, but in truth I had left it at home because I didn’t like the colour scheme. I was an awkward little bugger back then.
I was so angry with Cringer that I loaded a shotgun and blew her brains out. Pippa, my neighbour, witnessed the act from her garden. I leapt over the fence and warned her to keep quiet; I intimidated her so much that she keeled over and died. In court, I was acquitted of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. Since the victim was a dog, my sentence was lenient. I was incarcerated for a few months in a low-security prison filled with paedophiles.
I was back at St. Hag’s, only this time with Trotsky. It was lunch time and the cafeteria resembled Basil’s dining room. I couldn’t find anything I wanted and no one knew the price of anything on the menu. We lost our patience and headed for Joe’s Café in town. Hometown was much bigger, almost a city. It now had a tram system and dock area. The dockers seemed to think, in spite of my scruffy clothes, that I was ‘posh’, asking me if I had abandoned my litter. I was greatly offended by their taunts. One man, wearing a fluorescent jacket, was particularly vocal, so I spat in his face. He chased after me.
St. Hag’s was a Roman Catholic primary school. Most of the teachers there were stuck-up bitches who blacklisted me as a trouble-maker and most of the pupils there hated my guts. But it was still a lot easier than Lord of the Flies.
In a town near my university, walking back from a house party with Anna, Claire and some random bloke. Overheard a bad version of a dance tune I liked from a passing car. Anna and Claire thought it was really good, which made me angry. I walked away from them, their laughter ringing in my ears. I yelled obscenities at them, but they did not hear. D____ Road was muddy, overgrown and full of students returning from campus. I joined them and continued into a wood, kicking branches as I went. Returned to the house party, where lots of people were stoned. One man was having a bad trip. A young black fellow said to him, “does your cousin deal?” This caused the boy to freak out even more. I squatted down next to a couch in a lounge adjoining the kitchen. Among those in there were Trotsky and his friend Ben, who was tuning the television set, perhaps to play a video game. I asked Trotsky what he was toking on, as it looked like an Indian cigarette. He replied that it was a rare type of Indian cannabis, calling it a name which I did not catch. Ben quipped that it was ‘rude weed’ and we all had a good laugh.
Claire, a college pal of Trotsky’s, was a pleasant sort, but Anna blew hot and cold on me. One moment, she wanted to get into my pants and the next, she was acting standoffish, almost hostile. Why do some women do this?
My choir was rehearsing in a new location, in the middle of a subway system. Our flagship song was Oh, Susanna! Before going in, I stopped at a café at the edge of the subway system for breakfast. However, the old crone working there brusquely informed me that they stopped serving breakfast after nine o’clock. Despite this, I was very excited about choir practice, because a notable director had picked us to sing in his new cowboy film, starring Johnny Depp and Mel Smith. We performed gaily on a wagon train as we travelled across Oklahoma.