I Love My Cat

I need to be more disciplined if I'm ever going to get any real writing done. The best I do is usually maybe, what, two pages a day, which is maybe a thousand words. Some say that Stephen King writes ten pages a day, which amounts to over five million words a day.

I'm "writing" a book about a young gentleman whose hand gets mangled in a cardboard baler, and I was daydreaming yesterday about giving the manuscript to one of my friends, and then when he finishes it he gives it back to me and says, "Peter, that was really good," and then he points his head down slightly and his eyes up slightly so as to assure that there is no mistaking his sincerity: "I'm serious, that was one of the best books I've ever read."

And it was one of the most compelling and self-satisfied daydreams I've ever had, because when I remembered that I was just making it all up in my brain I suffered that syndrome that those who awaken from good nightdreams suffer, where it is painful to realize it wasn't actually happening, like when Anna Karenina woke up from the dream where it was okay to be bigamous.

I nightdreamed about half a day ago that an omnivorous friend and I were in this room:

where we found a talisman called the "axe of fornication"--more of an amulet really--that bestowed on its wearer +10 in wit and charisma. Diabolical indeed, it was only rendered moreso by the fact that it revealed, where those snowflake-blue wisps on the platform are, a secret automat-style Burger King. I haven't eaten meat in years and Burger King is a human joke, but for the life of me it was all I could do to remove the various meats I found in the newly materialized burger before I involuntarily bit down upon it. I gave each meat to my omnivorous friend--a beard-brown patty, then tongue-ish bacons, and then another patty--but it appeared that each meat I found was replaced immediately by another, for you see, the burger was as unto some sort of flesh-hydra, or a reverse nesting doll, whose outer shell is the smallest, whose inner shell is the biggest.

The fact is that Burger King inserted an advertisement into my very dream. I guess those beef-Pink hippies recently draft-dodged to the groovy snowdrifts of Canada, where I can only assume they learned various northern magicks in the shape of dream insertion. And now I'm regurgitating that advertisement to you for free. Works like a charm.

This Burger King ad was brought to you by:

I had a dream where I was fourteen and I found out where Stephen King lived. I went to his house and he was mowing his lawn with a giant arm-mounted lawnmower: a round, shield sized set of blender blades he strapped to his forearm. He kept mowing where I was trying to stand. I was lucky enough to hear about two stories he was working on once he realized he couldn't sever my feet.

One was about an old drunk who is discovered to be the little brother of one of the two girls who, in the forties, married the devil in the town of B. An interviewer asks him about it, and he is watching the baseball game on the TV behind the bar and says, "I'd prefer to talk about the Sox." The interviewer persists and the old man tells about when he was a kid in a little league game. A stranger comes and says that his sister and her best friend must leave and prepare to bigamize with the devil, who can be reached through the deep end of the public swimming pool. The swimming pool is indoors and it is built halfway into a mountain. The deep end is more or less a watery grotto from which no one who has entered has ever escaped. The devil calls the sister of the old drunk (this drunk being at the time of this unpleasant courtship a ten-year-old sober) and he charms her into entering this evil bigamy with him and her friend. He asks, as someone of his character might, "what are you wearing?" and she says, "jeans." The old man says the two girls swam to the deep end and entered the grotto and never returned. He glances back up at the TV and says "Bottom of the ninth!"

The second story Mr. King told me about was called "The Ricks." A group of refugees are on their way to a safe island, trying to escape an evil nuclear government. They are on a battleship but it is prepared only for humanitarian activities and does not have a single munition aboard. One of the refugees is a sailor. They can see the island, though it is miles away, and then suddenly there is a flash of light and the island is consumed in a nuclear explosion. The waves storm and foam and the boat pitches and yaws. The sailor says, "Everyone get ready: I think we're close enough to that blast that we should feel a shockwave in a few seconds. I've been this close to a nuke blast before, and I lived through the shockwave, and you only feel it for a few seconds, but god damn does it hurt. Hurts so bad we sailors call it the ricks. Brace yourselves." Then everybody gets the ricks when it finally reaches the ship.

If my writing is so lucky as to grow noteworthy enough to warrant me an interview, AND if my interviewer asks me about my inspiration, then I will respond that I receive in my sleep telepathic messages about narrative and poetic techniques from aliens, which is of course preposterous since only Burger King can deliver telepathic messages to me in my sleep, or when I'm watching TV or driving on a road with a Burger King on it or reading the Daily Doofus. The real answer--and this I finally pieced together today--is that I do have vivid dreams a lot that I chisel stories out of, but none of them are from aliens.

When I was an infant my cat Augustus sliced me on the forehead and left a scar that is visible today, or was at least every time I checked, up to and including when I took the following photograph of it sixteen minutes ago:

Everybody knows that babies have malleable skulls, so why not be bold and conclude that their skulls are also highly permeable? It's common knowledge that cat scratches can cause fever, inoculation lymphoreticulosis, subacute regional lymphadenitis, and Teeny's disease, so why not my cat sent germs that cause decades of vivid dreams through my permeable infant skull. What on earth kind of germ would be able to do that, you ask?

I would like to thank Augustus, who is currently awaiting me on the Rainbow Bridge, for pairing me up with these dreams, from whose stories they inspire I "profit" each day, generally in the liberal arts school sense rather than the business school sense.

We now return to The Advertising Agency Program