The morning I left Tacoma, Washington, to go home after a business trip, I had a dream about being on a business trip. How meta.
At the shows my company produces, we sometimes have an evening of entertainment. In the dream, the evening’s entertainment consisted of a children’s pageant. The audience performed the first number. We all stood and read off of sheet music to whistle a song, though the song was a little unfamiliar. The next piece was a Christmas play featuring Patrick Warburton as the voice of a skinny animated/animatronic Santa who was begging the reindeer to lose weight. Patrick Warburton also happened to be the father of one of the students. He came up onto the stage in the middle of the performance, quite drunk, to confess that he was a bad father. Knowing that he and the father were the same person, or at least had the same voice, Animatronic Santa looked around awkwardly, hoping the audience didn’t think he was a drunken, horrible father.
After the evening entertainment, the show was over, and it was time to clean up. I was walking through the trade show floor as vendors were breaking down booths. As my coworkers and I were leaving the building, I discovered that the trade show was actually in my parents’ church. While we waited in line to go through the door, we were telling funny stories about our coworker, Maggie. Lance said that he once bought her a shirt that said, “Puzzle Me.” He meant it as a hidden insult about her gullible nature, but she wasn’t insulted. Apparently “puzzle me” was actually her catch phrase – that, or she really loves puzzles. We soon realized that Frank, Maggie’s boyfriend, was walking behind us. He overheard our conversation, suspected we were talking about Maggie, and asked us for the name of the person we were talking about so he could then defend the honor of his girlfriend. “Umm…” Lance said. “Baby Ruth. We were talking about Baby Ruth.” We started walking faster – and then running – to our cars in the parking lot. When we got to our cars, we saw Lance punching Frank. They fought for some time, but it’s unclear who won. It was a pretty bad fight, and at one point, Frank lifted Lance off the ground.
Frank approached my car (a white minivan), not knowing I was inside. I was feeling pretty bold – and foolish – and decided to pick a fight with him. From the back seat of my minivan (where you’d find the driver’s seat in this particular model), I honked the horn at him. He turned toward the sound, saw me, and made eye contact. He reached into the front window of the car and turned the ignition (which was apparently in the front seat). He walked toward my window in the back and, without breaking eye contact, challenged me to a fight before confessing, “I can’t stop drinking.” I gun it, gas pedal to the floor, but he held onto my side mirror with a few fingers. I pulled the car over to the front of the building where there were a few people outside.
I woke up as the car possibly drove over Frank.