Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Golden Mushroom

Tonight (or, more accurately, this morning), I had a curious
dream. In it, I was visiting Seattle, but it wasn’t the real
Seattle, it was a Seattle that exists solely within my head.
This Seattle had an old-fashioned steam-engine that you
could ride around in, and I boarded it with the wise and
tolerant Lady Mel and the dapper, suave Gregory J. We
had a plan, I think, to take it to Vancouver, but the con-
ductor said the farthest he went was to Snohomish County,
so we rode it there and then, after becoming appalled at
how “ghetto” the Snohomish County of my subconscious
is, we headed back to Seattle. Somewhere in the midst
of all this my hair grew at a rapid pace and in a strange
pattern, giving me a head that resembled an enormous,
listing mushroom. Mel, because she’s just as incredibly
honest and caring in my dream life as she is in the real
world, took me aside to a quiet part of the train and told
me that my hair was making me look like an incredible
idiot that she was embarrassed even to be seen in Sno-
homish County with me. Gregory J., in his subtle way,
nodded his agreement. Fortunately, the train pulled up
to a large strip mall that happened to have a “Great Clips”
as one of its anchor tenants. I told my friends that they
should go on without me and I ventured on alone to the
barbers’. However, this was no ordinary Great Clips.
In the Pacific Northwest, apparently, Great Clips are
intimidating, high-fashion, avant-garde places. I walk-
ed into the sparsely-furnished, quasi-Bauhaus room
and wandered around for awhile before anyone noticed
me. Everyone was sitting in space-aged barber chairs
with foil wrapped around their heads. I was just about
to leave when a stylist–who bore a strange resemblance
to notably-attractive film star Keira Knightley, by the
way–came out of a back room, took one look at me, and
said “Oh my God! You’ve got a Golden Mushroom!”.
She then ran up to me and started to prod my hair, ex-
plaining as she did “I’ve always dreamed of working on
one of these!”

“It makes me look like an idiot, though,” I explained,
somewhat lamely.

She made me sit down in a space-aged chair and began
to circle around me, sometimes snipping at me with a
pair of very large scissors. “Oh no no no no no,” she
said, “You can’t deface a Golden Mushroom! You can only
hope to tame it!” I made another feeble protest, but she
wasn’t having any of it. She made a few more desultory
swipes with her scissors, and then she started to wrap
tinfoil around my face. “What are you doing?” I asked
her, but she ignored me. Eventually, I couldn’t see any-
thing because she had covered my whole head with the
stuff. This was hot and stifling, as you can imagine, and
nor was it the conservative hair cut I was looking for.
So I started to scream. I screamed and screamed until
I realized that my screaming was the sound of my alarm
clock and it was time for me to get up and do something
with my day...