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THE MAGIC WORDS

Dreamed 1974/5/29 by Chris Wayan

I'm a wandering minstrel in a computerized Earth of the far future. I play the role of Harlequin: I dress up in a red plastic skin-tight suit and board one of computer-Earth's intergalactic vessels that's 700,000 light years out from the Milky Way, pretending to be an alien admiral of a vast armada. I tell them, as my people's representative, "Frankly, we can just stand you people if we have to, but given the choice, uh, we'd rather fight you..." very casual and talky, near-irrational, driving the stiffly formal wary Earth crew crazy.

My next prank is on Earth: I dialed the EarthMama service, and the computer sent over the usual plump pretty VERY giggly young woman (the Earth-mother stereotype of the time). After sex, I just lie there and talk, which is in marginal taste, and next I ask her name, which is an infraction, and invite her to stay for dinner and sleep over for as long as she likes, which is monstrous, criminal and revolutionary. I explain what I'm up to; she's enthusiastic and suggests that dance will be the way to subvert the present regime.

Meanwhile, the government's trying to decipher an ancient book from our time, in order to understand the secrets of our mysterious culture. The computer government sends a secret agent over; we at first think he's after us, but in private with me he brings out a list of ancient words which the computer historians can't decipher. "Might you, being an amateur scholar of the ancient tongue, help with any of them?" He points out "The secrets of the ancients could be important in our planetary defense," and reads the mystery words off, one by one. I'm amazed. This probably isn't the exact list, but it's fairly close:

bicycle
believe
right on
pickle
love
hubcap
lawn
halo
The secret agent is right! How important this wisdom is; how badly it's needed! I dial up another Earth Mama, tell her what I want to do and why (explaining a few of the ancient words, like love and halo--some big ideas behind those little words)... we form a bouncing, singing, Earth Mama Trio. We wallow and sing and dance round the world until the computer decides that it is obviously not helping humanity, so it turns itself off.

Do I trust it to stay off? Of course! It always works when Captain Kirk does it on Star Trek.

NOTES ON WAKING

It's not really a Star Trek dream. The images echo Harlan Ellison's story "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said The Ticktockman"

The dancing Earth Mama Trio: probably from the animated film THE POINT--in the Pointless Forest, Obleo meets three bouncing singing fat goddesses. Quite pointless, quite delightful, quite a lesson.



LISTS AND LINKS: time travel - sex dreams - political dreams - mystical symbols - joy - Harlan Ellison

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