Friday, August 14, 2020

Andy Young: Hot weather dreaming

 By Andy Young

Special to The Windham Eagle

One morning last week I awoke to a disturbing scenario. The televised hockey game I had been watching from the Montreal Forum, where the Philadelphia Flyers had just tied up the Montreal Canadiens 4-4 on the second goal of the game by Biddeford’s Brian Dumoulin, was interrupted by a live report from Cape Canaveral, Florida, where thousands of flashlight-carriers were conducting a somber vigil for the victims of a horrific calamity.  A rocket had crashed into the Kennedy Space Center, and the carnage was dreadful. Bryant Gumbel (or possibly his brother Greg; their voices have always sounded similar to me) was narrating in hushed tones. Adding to the eeriness: the theme music from The X-Files was playing nonstop in the background for the duration of the broadcast. The only good news from whichever solemn Mr. Gumbel it was: the disaster was definitely NOT an act of terrorism; an engineering error had caused the rocket to go astray.

Fortunately, there was no actual catastrophe in Cape Canaveral last week, nor was there a game, televised or not, at the Montreal Forum, which closed its doors for the final time in 1996. Hockey fans who are sticklers for accuracy would also note that the aforementioned Brian Dumoulin, while he does indeed hail from Biddeford, does not ply (nor has he ever plied) his trade for the Flyers; he plays his hockey, when there is hockey to be played, for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I can’t be the only one who’s been having peculiar dreams lately. Given the necessary restrictions associated with the ongoing pandemic our current reality is already pretty bizarre, and as a result there are insufficient outlets for creativity. There aren’t any athletic contests or concerts to attend; movie theatres are shuttered, and comedy clubs are closed, even on amateur nights. Maybe having strange dreams is the healthiest way of compensating.

On the morning I wrote this I went online to check the prospective weather for the seven days ahead. The forecast was, in order, hot, humid, humid, humid, oppressive, sticky, and oppressive. My residence isn’t air conditioned, meaning those grim predictions will, for my family and me, likely be depressingly accurate for conditions both indoors and out. Lately I’ve been going to bed early in the hope I’ll dream something uplifting, inspiring, or amusing, and maybe even see an old friend or two in the process.

The imaginary Florida disaster wasn’t the only odd dream I had last week. In another one a bunch of school kids, none of whom I recognized, were at my house waiting to take a one-line reading comprehension test, only I couldn’t locate a stop watch and a pair of eyeglasses, both of which were required for me to properly administer the exam. At least one impatient parent was angrily haranguing me, and the increasingly antsy kids were helping themselves to the giant bottle of malted milk balls I keep stashed in the air-conditioned room over my garage. (Note: as previously mentioned, my home is not air-conditioned. Also, there’s no room over my garage, and I would never under any circumstances purchase, let alone eat, a single malted milk ball. I’d sooner ingest skunk-flavored cotton candy.)

Even more bizarre: I dreamed that Joe Biden jumped, fully clothed, into a swimming pool at the Democratic convention to celebrate his impending nomination for the presidency, only to be informed moments later that the party had made a last-minute change and nominated former Minnesota Twins first baseman Rich Reese instead.

You can’t make this stuff up, but fortunately I didn’t have to. My subconscious did it for me! <


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