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05 May 2007

Have you ever had a dream that was so good, you thought it could be made into a movie... or book... or TV show?[More:]
I have, on quite a few occasions, and at those times that I didn't go right back to sleep but rather attempted to write down the contents of the dream, I usually discovered one of four things:
(1) Upon further reflection, it was really dumber than the dumbest stuff that they put in movies or on TV.
(2) It involved things very personal to me that I would find totally humiliating if the world knew about them (Believe it or not, there are things too embarrassing for me to blog about).
(3) It involved things very personal to me that are of no interest to anybody else.
(4) I had awoken in the midst a storyline that, either asleep or awake, I could never find a good ending for.

I have had a few dreams like that lately. But last night, I had a dream that I am absolutely NOT ashamed to share and here it is (with a few post-waking touch-ups):
The place: a little-visited tourist attraction called the Hollywood Hall of Comedy. An attempt at a anamatronic wax museum with poorly-designed robotic re-creations of the Funniest People of All Time and one live one. She is Mabel Gable, a seventy-something former TV star similar to Carol Burnett (in the dream, she was Carol Burnett) who took on the job of tour guide for the Hall of Comedy and lives alone in the building's second floor. No one knows why she picked this life for her later years, but there is a good reason. When she's alone, some of the Comedy Robots become real, living beings and keep her company. Now, these are NOT figments of her imagination, and it isn't ALL the robots, but a few of them are inhabited by the spirits of their original sujects (and some of them will NOT stop complaining about how badly they made their faces). The owner of the place is a technologically illiterate carnival-owner type (oddly, my dream pictured him as Tony Danza), who owns several other tourist traps, and doesn't pay much attention to this one, since it maes a little money and the building's a historical landmark he can't do anything else with. But he does find one way to save money on operation. He cancels the maintenance contract with the people who made the comedy robots and found the cheapest robotics expert he could find. And that person is Annie McGalway (name is a feminization of MacGuyver, get it? Actually, this was my role in the dream; I do rarely change myself to a female in my dreams, but in this one I did). And the reason she took the job is that this nerdish semi-genius twenty-something lady is a frustrated comedian, and one of Mabel Gabel's biggest fans.

Of course, she discovers Mabel's secret. At first, the nerd in her wants to find a logical explanation; but in time, she dedicates herself to secretly upgrading the haunted robots so that the ghosts are happier with their homes. She also builds Mabel a team of robot maidservants to treat her like the star she really is. Things are going along quietly until a local ecological disaster: oil from a nearby oil field (there really are some in the Los Angeles area) has begun oozing in the neighborhood, and suddenly the fountain outside the Hall of Comedy's front door has become a tar pit. Danza the owner isn't going to pay to fix it - he doesn't own the mineral rights. Even the Historical Society that declared the place a monument come to the conclusion that the easiest way to fix things is to tear down the Hall and put in some oil wells. Only Mabel and Annie (and the ghosts in the machines) want to save the Hall, but it would require raising a lot of money. Annie's raring to go, and sets up a Press Conference for Mabel, not knowing the reason she had quit the business twenty years ago - an accident during a publicity event that most everybody thought was minor, but left Mabel with a fear of large crowds - especially crowds of the press. Terrified of meeting the media, Mabel sits in front of the tar-filled fountain in the middle of the night, then starts walking out into the black gunk. It wasn't clear whether she could have died in the tar pit, but her robot maidservants drag her out anyway.

That's when I woke up. Not too difficult to come up with more plot; maybe Annie substituting for Mabel and having a press-related accident of her own; trying to pass off the haunted robots as "specially reprogrammed" to put them to work; a pratfall with Danza in the tar pit would be almost mandatory, and maybe add a couple more Hall of Comedy employees - the place is just too quiet. But is that the (a) wildest (b) stupidest (c) most insane (d) most creative or (e) most commercially marketable dream you ever heard?

(cross-posted from my own blog, because I want more opinions!!!)
posted by wendell 05 May | 20:34
(e) I must be in this movie. Voicing Gracie Allen-atron or one of the robot maidservants.
posted by rainbaby 05 May | 22:04
I hardly ever dream, or if I do, I only remember dreaming if I'm at the point of waking up. Then I'm like "oh, that was a dream" and then it's gone, forgotten.

I cannot remember a single dream I have ever had.
posted by essexjan 06 May | 02:05
Like jan I don't dream much and if I do I rarely remember. Last night I did dream and I do remember it.

I was riding a bike down a very long quite street. For a long, long time.

No wonder I don't remember my dreams...
posted by arse_hat 06 May | 02:11
I have plenty of dreams that I feel could become movies. Unfortunately, I can never really remember them.
posted by deadcowdan 06 May | 07:15
I like.
You had me at "anamatronic wax museum with poorly-designed robotic re-creations of the Funniest People of All Time"

I've had dreams where credits rolled at the end, but the plot lines weren't nearly that coherent.

posted by bobobox 06 May | 12:40
Actually, last night I dreamed I was at a nudist resort, except it wasn't so much a resort as a nice little seaside town except everybody was naked. and this couple invited me in for coffee and I had some and then kept walking around, and then I woke up.
posted by jonmc 06 May | 12:42
I used to only dream in the daytime. I put together an alternate scenario, built it up over time (lots of it) and sat back and enjoyed the internal logic of it after a certain point.

Then it becomes stale (it stops being the source of security) and I start all over again. But I could fill a book with it.

As for dreams at night, they recently returned (I remember them now). They're complex, twisty little kernels of heroism, perfectly formed but missing detail. I have no idea what to do with them and their fleeting nature, as I am not so used to having them.
posted by taxi 06 May | 13:11
everybody was naked. and this couple invited me in for coffee

Useful information in this situation : do not eat the donuts.
posted by essexjan 06 May | 13:20
I dreamed last night that a large parrot-like bird (dark like a vulture, but with a parrot's bill) landed on the screen of my kitchen window. I went outside, and it flew right to me. I was petting it's head, ruffling it's feathers, and wondering how I could keep it without upsetting my husband.
posted by redvixen 06 May | 19:20
Do you own or have used a Roland SH-201? || Greensburg Kansas pictures from the air.