Last night, I had a dream. I call it "The Pisser, Water Bottle, Doug Benson Dream"
I was going to New York with my friend Shaggy, who isn’t really a friend I guess. In fact, I haven’t seen him in 4 or 5 years, but we were in a couple of plays together. He’s gay…and yes, that matters to the story because he spent the whole time we were in New York hitting on me. But not in a classy, cool, one-liners sort of way. He hit on me by finding excuses to stand behind me. “Oh, did your ticket not print out? Let me stand behind you real close and look at the screen over your shoulder.” That sort of hitting on me. Hitting on my like a pirate might hit on me.
So, we end up getting tickets to this great comedy show. Lots of stand up, improv, skits, etc. We need to catch a bus to get there. So, we’re hanging out in the lobby of some school. There were city buses and school buses and kids were everywhere. Shaggy had our tickets. He inches up behind me and says, “We’d better get going. The bus should be here in a few minutes.”
“Great,” I say, trying to get away from him, while my actual, dreaming self is wondering, Why don’t you tell this dude to stop touching you? Then I remembered he paid for the tickets to everything. What a guy won’t put up with for money. I felt like a receptionist on Mad Men.
Shaggy runs out to catch the bus, I take a quick stop at the rest room. I spend an inordinate amount of time in the pisser. I’m not dropping the Cleveland Browns off at the Super Bowl, either. Just following the white brick road to see the Wiz. But it took forever. I just kept peeing, on and on and on like I was trying to put out a California wildfire. I'm looking at my watch, freaking out, knowing I'm going to miss my bus.
|When you gotta go, you gotta go!|
Finally, I get done and as I’m about the leave a little kid in a wheelchair is trying to get into the bathroom. He’s all alone and I try to help him out, but this bathroom is ancient and there’s no way to get him squared away. There's no rail, no stall, nothing. After spending, again, too much time trying to figure this Rubik's cube of a dilemma, the kid's father comes in and thanks me for trying to help. I get on my way.
As I run out of the bathroom I run into my sister BoosterGold (I don’t know why she’s there…she lives in Durham) and she tells me I've missed the bus.
And yet, somehow I’m now sitting in the theatre at intermission. I have missed a lot of the show, but I’m looking forward to the next half. I go to the concession stand and order a bottle of water and some twizzlers. The girl behind the counter asks me to hand her the water, but I don’t know what she’s talking about. She comes around the counter and underneath me there is a stack of water bottles, all used and empty.
She says, "they are clean but they have to serve water in those bottles instead of open cups. Theatre rules."
"That's fine," I say charmingly, leaning on the counter.
She takes one at random, goes back behind the counter, pours some water into it from a glass pitcher, hands me the bottle and the twizzlers and says, “That’ll be $28.”
|This is not the image from my dream. We can't photograph dreams yet.|
Jeez, what year do you think this is???
“Yes sir. $28.”
“Why is it $28?” I ask, naturally aghast.
She says, “this bottle of water is all-natural, sparkling.” She shows me the bottle, and sure enough there’s an all natural, sparkling label on it. “The all-natural sparkling is $9.95.”
I say, “this is just tap water. I don’t know how much this water would have cost in a new bottle, but it’s an opened bottle with tap water poured in it.”
She seems to not understand me.
Intermission is over. The show is about to start. I should let it go. I haven't even given her the money. But its the principal of the thing.
“I’m not paying $10 for a bottle of water.” (Notice I don’t seem to care about the $18 bag of twizzlers. I really like twizzlers.) We argue for a little while, and finally she caves and will give cancel the sale. I HAVEN'T GIVEN HER THE MONEY YET! The cash is still in my pocket. I’ve wasted all this time when I could have just walked away.
|Oh Twizzlers. Why can't I quit you?|
She swipes her card, says it’s almost done, and asks if I want a receipt.
“Yes,” I say. <forehead slap>
She says she has to get the manager.
I actually wait for the receipt, for a refund that I’m not getting because I hadn’t paid anything. I sit and wait for the manager to come from the back. Meanwhile, the show is going on. I hear laughing and cheering and I’m angry at OTHER PEOPLE for them putting me through this.
Finally, the manager comes from the back and says, “Hey, you have a message. Doug Benson wants you to talk about this on stage.”
He flips me some magazine. On the cover is Shaggy, smiling like he’s just won the lottery. I open the magazine and have NO idea what to say about it. While I’m looking through the magazine the manager says, “Doug wants you to call him.”
I wander away, trying to figure out what to say about this magazine. I don’t get Doug Benson’s phone number from the manager. So, naturally, I spend the next half hour asking people for Doug Benson’s number. No one has it. Then, the show is over and everyone wanders out of the theatre wiping tears of laughter from their eyes. I finally see Doug Benson (yes, I’m going to keep identifying him by his full name) and I run up to him.
“Doug Benson,” I say. “You wanted me to talk about this?”
He grins at me and smells of marijuana…the good stuff. He says, “nah man, I was just fuckin’ with ya.”
Then, he walks away.
|"Hello? This is Doug Benson...|
Nah, I'm just fuckin' with ya!"
And then TheWife comes out of the theatre. I tell her about the concession stand, but I pat my shirt pocket to say, “but I didn’t spend that money.”
That’s when I notice that my shirt is actually a bathrobe, tucked into jeans.
“You let me leave the house in a bathrobe??” I ask her, like it’s her fault.
She seems hurt. She says, “I thought you were dressing like a Jedi.”
I consider this and it makes sense. So, all is forgiven.
What the hell does this mean???? Help a brother out.