The Boris Badenov Solution
Dreamed 1989/2/10 by Chris Wayan
I live in a lonely farmhouse deep in the Russian woods. My only housemate is a sixty-pound talking rabbit. And she complains about my cooking. Daily.
I get so tired of hearing it, I make a magic wish for better food supplies. And it works! Dried fruit, sacks of flour, powdered milk... Now I make pancakes!
But the rabbit still bitches! My pancakes aren't good enough. So much for wishing. Why didn't I ask directly? "Make the damn bunny quit whining." But no...
The Soviet government comes and plants poison oak all over our driveway, so it's hard to get in or out. But they plant some blackberries too. Maybe that was a bureaucratic error, who knows? But the berries are a nice change...
We spend our days arguing over strawberries and greenhouses.
I want to inspect a secret airport project which senators aren't allowed to see. My friend the bunny forbids me, "because for Senators to see anything they vote on would be improper! It might influence them." And all the neighbors agree with this brilliant example of gap-tooth logic. "You don't want to be guilty of an ethics violation!" Heavens, no.
Then I hear someone took hostages at the airport, tying up traffic. Guess I'll wait...
I have my own troubles. I'm fleeing my evil twin, Boris Badenov, who says I owe him $8,000. If I were broke, I'd ignore him, but recently I've been saving up, and just reached $8,000. Funny coincidence, Boris.
I decide to discuss the Boris problem with my sort-of-girlfriends, Fishel and Frish. They're called the Twins though they're not. Just closer than sisters, sharing everything. One of the things they decided to share was me.
We meet at the beach. We're going out dancing tonight, but Frish has a torn robe and wants to borrow a pillow from me to pin over the bared breast. Seems like a clumsy solution if we're dancing. She wades out into the water to the empty hulk of a crashed jet, and in its shelter, waist deep, she kisses me and wants to make love. I feel like someone's watching us. The plane windows are like empty eyes, but that's not it. I look around... yes. Here comes Boris, stumping down to the shore with his little black hat and his evil grin. We run out of the water and pile in our car and drive off to a restaurant in the nearest town.
Over dinner, the Twins tell me the regional planners want to link up this street with a big traffic artery, but local people object. They like it the way it is. The planners weren't just incredulous, they assumed such comments were mistakes. No one could really mean that! Not want more traffic, more business? Insane!
Up comes Boris again! I feel trapped. I pull out quarters, my only cash, and start throwing them at him, yelling "There, TAKE my money!" though really I hope I hit him hard enough to stun him, or blind him. But I miss him, every time.
I turn to magic wishes again, and pray for a solution...
And I get exactly what I wished for.
Suddenly the restaurant is a chemistry lab, and I'm staring at a beaker in my hand. In it is a poetry book half-dissolved in a strong acid solution. Beside me, Frish holds up a test tube full of something smelly. Oh, we got 'solutions' all right. Stupid dream puns! And not even effective: I still feel I'm being watched. Boris is around. I wish again for a PRACTICAL solution.
And get it. A how-to book, dissolving in acid... A practical solution. Right.
So my magic is into teasing and puns right now. If my unconscious can see an opportunity for a joke in the phrasing of my wishes, it'll go for it. Then I get what the dream is teasing me to see. It matters how I perceive wishing. I can see it as victimization, or a test of my clarity, or an opportunity to learn something. For example, why is Frish here, but not Fishel? Because Frish is either smarter, and GETS my unconscious puns, or is more of a SUCKER, like ME, who FALLS for puns... either way, it's the first deep difference the two of them have ever revealed, and I should explore it.
And if I hadn't expressed my wishes, I'd never have found this out.
Damn, here comes Boris. Grinning. With his hand out. For his eight thousand bucks. Misfiring wishes may lead to insights, but they're not getting rid of Boris Badenov.
I'm not sure anything will get rid of Boris Badenov. In fact, looking back at world history, I'd say civilization is little more than humanity's hopeless struggles to banish Boris Badenov. Not that we ever manage to. Somehow or other, lying, sneaking, big-talking Boris always shows up.
Should I be comforted? I'm not alone--everyone faces intimidation. We all have to give the devil his due.
But... eight thousand bucks?
NOTES NEXT MORNING
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