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WORKIN' FOR PEANUTS

Dreamed 1990/12/11 by Chris Wayan

THAT DAY

I work hard all day, drawing a compelling dream: BROWN DRESS. It's sexy, but quite embarrassing--hard to face. By sundown, I'm exhausted. Overworked--though the dream was powerful.

My friend Xanthe calls. Or rather, whispers. She's home with pneumonia AGAIN! She works at a library and keeps getting sick from the dust, though she's a natural shaman and oughta be healing people or working with animals. She wheezes "I can handle it as long as I don't overwork, but..."

Not that I would know anything about THAT... and of course dream artists get paid even less than underpaid librarians. Like zero.

THAT NIGHT

Hi. I'm an elephant. Just a small one, one of the new mini models (only a quarter ton)--your basic biped design, with two gray hands to supplement my trunk. I work in a steak house as a waiter and dishwasher. I stick to my hands for dishwashing so I won't scald my trunk--it's too sensitive for that. But it's great for drying.

I get paid minimum wage for serving people steak. They offer the staff snacking rights, but I'm an herbivore, of course. They do let me have complimentary peanuts. I am grateful. Dream: I'm an elephant in a bathroom, inadvertently summoning the Genie of the Urinal.

A group comes into the restaurant and asks for me by name. Well, for "the elephant," and around here, that's damn near my birth certificate. I assumed they wanted me to serve them, but they say no. They're an awards committee. Someone here at the steak house showed them the comix I've been drawing of my dreams, and one of them won a prize. They want to interview me!

I feel terribly shy and just can't face them. I back away, into the staff area, then hide in the bathrooms. They're huge, with many stalls, but most of them lack doors. And the floor's a mess, one of the toilets keeps overflowing. I ought to plunge it again, and mop this up... No, wait, I have to hide! But there's nowhere...

So I stand at the urinal, facing away from the door. Maybe they won't notice me. I decide I'd better actually piss as long as I'm standing here. Unzip my voluminous trousers, pull out my gray penis, and start to pee.

Suddenly I have a bizarre thought: this urinal is shaped a lot like those oil lamps in the Arabian Nights movies. I could write a very funny story about a genie in the urinal. But what if this IS the home of a genie? It must be, uh, pissed! I mean I just peed on its house! No, it can't be a genie's house. Others peeing on it would've wakened it long ago.

Except I'm an elephant. A light rain is one thing, but... "apres moi, le deluge."

A yellow-gray cloud rises from the urinal and opens its eyes. "Master" booms a deep, unearthly voice... and I trumpet in terror. No place to hide! One way or another they'll find me. The prize committee or the Djinn...

O horror! They'll reward me! They'll grant wishes! They'll make me have fun!

And I wake from the nightmare, fleeing... what? My heart's desire?

THE ANSWERS

And as the old song says: "You can stampede, but you can't hide."



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