Greatest hits: reunion dream

The mailing list of my high school graduating class was very lively in the months leading up to our 20-year reunion. One of my classmates wrote that she’d had a dream about the reunion. Here was my reply.

I’ve been to the reunion and it was great! […] Details are foggy of course, since it was all in a dream I had last night.

Hey, I’ve seen this movie. In the coming days you’ll remember a few more details, including a horrible event that takes place during the reunion, such as a murder or a gruesome accident. Slowly you’ll become convinced the dream was actually a premonition. This will be reinforced when you happen upon a crackpot university professor who persuasively confides in you his never-proven theory about the link between time and consciousness, and its implication that we can time-travel in our sleep.

You’ll become frantic trying to remember more detail from your dream in order to prevent the calamity. You’ll try to reproduce the conditions of your slumbering trip to the future, to no avail. Finally you’ll return to the crackpot professor, who has been trying and failing his entire career to send people through time via hypnosis. He tries it on you and soon you’re there, at the reunion that’s now just hours in the future…

The reunion is eerily familiar, but there are key differences from what you remember during your earlier visit. Someone’s white dress is now blue. A funny joke is told by a different person. An old crush who didn’t remember your name now does.

You roam the party in confusion until you recognize the elements of the calamity start to come together — a dropped glass, a raised voice, a distinctive laugh. You rush to the center of the action — and this time you’re the victim. But you’ve saved the life of the earlier victim…

…who awakes in the crackpot professor’s office in your place.

I see Julia Roberts as you…


It has taken just a fraction of my lifetime for digital technology to totally transform many aspects of life and society, usually for the better (unless you’re one of those weirdos hoarding the world’s dwindling supply of vacuum tubes for that “warm” tube-amp sound — warm tube-amp buzz, says I).

So you might be forgiven for thinking that a “digital prostate exam” sounds like some kind of high-tech 21st-century diagnostic technique, possibly involving a full-color 3-d computer display.

But you’d be oh so wrong. Well, except for the 3-d part. All I can say is, it sure feels analog.


I wrote a new Mucoshave rhyme the other day. It’s one in an occasional series I’ve been doing for a long time, based on the old Burma-Shave road signs.

You will never
Run out if
You squeeze out
Your handkerchief

Older ones:

Supply of shave cream
Comes and goes
But you always
Have your nose

Sneeze it out
Smear it on
Scrape it off
Beard is gone

Nose is full
Of soft green goo
Use on beard
And mustache too

When you pick it
Do not flick it
Lube your face up
That’s the ticket

Here’s one contributed by my friend John Sweet:

A foamy gob
All nice and hot
Feels like lather
But it’s snot

Assume the worst

So far, this blog seems to be pretty Ken-Jennings-driven.

The first thing to know is that I’ve been reading Ken’s blog and posting in his forums.

The second thing to know is that in a recent blog post, Ken poked affectionate fun at the venerable old formula behind Jeopardy!

The third thing is that humorless NY Post reporter Michael Starr has a tin ear for satire and informed the world that quiz-show darling Jennings was now biting the hand that fed him.

The fourth thing is that this story was picked up by the AP and appeared far and wide in the media. A stampede of indignant dittoheads flooded Ken’s site, posting outraged ad hominems on his message boards. Most would make a sailor blush. Ken shut down his message boards and deleted most of the offensive ones, but good-humoredly kept a few of the less stomach-turning ones.

In the aftermath, after message-board access was restored, I posted the following. (Follow the link to see the original on Ken’s message boards and the creative discussion that is now ensuing there.)

Good grief: I got a glimpse of one of the nastier comments last night before Ken took it down, and I gotta say, whether or not people can muster a sense of humor, the very least they can do is to mind their manners.On the bright side, it inspired me to write the following: my bid to make the inevitable Ken Jennings biopic (I see Bruce Willis as Jennings) into a musical. I call this showstopper “March of the Easily Led.”–

Assume the worst!
Assume the worst!
First things first:
Assume the worst!

Is it possible he joked?
Never mind, ’cause I’m provoked

Assume the worst!

“I kid because I love”
Is not something I’ve heard of

Assume the worst!
Assume the worst!
It’s for scandal that we thirst
Assume the worst!


My friend told me a rumor
It was some left-coast thing called humor
Does Ken expect us all to be brainiacs now?
In pop culture he’s enshrined
For the motley in his mind
It’s holy to me but he tipped the sacred cow

The world may be on fire
But the things that raise my ire
Are the ones that I can quickly comprehend
Global warming, Middle East
I can follow not the least
But mess with Jeopardy! and you mess with me, my friend

And to think I thought I could leave all the thinking to thoughtless over here!

Assume the worst!
Assume the worst!
By the Post I’ve been coerced
Assume the worst!

Should we give him the doubt’s benefit?
I just can’t see the zen of it

Assume the worst!

Must leap to TV’s defense
Into Ken I’ll knock some sense

Assume the worst!

We thought that he was one of us
‘Til he started making fun of us

Assume the worst!

He cashed the check
Then trashed Trebek
He won the prize
Now he cracks wise
A household name
Has he no shame?

His fame must be reversed!

Assume the worst!
Assume the worst!
Except when George Bush does it first…
Assume the worst!

Of course these are just lyrics. I would love it if someone played Loewe to my Lerner, Rodgers to my Hart, Rodgers to my Hammerstein, O’Sullivan to my Gilbert, and composed a melody for it.

– Bob