Right before I went to bed last night, I watched the first episode of Tiger King. Some friends had been talking about it on social media, and, to be sure, Tiger King — a show about an evidently deranged redneck who owns over a thousand lions, tigers, etc. in his private zoo and apparently attempted to have an animal-rights activist murdered — may be perfect form of entertainment for an overwhelming, anxiety-producing, global pandemic. Because it ushers you into a world so absolutely bananas that you really can’t be bothered to worry about anything else.
But I mention it now only because it is important context as I describe for you, with very little embellishment, the dream from which my phone alarm awakened me this morning:
Andrea and I were at what I perceived to be our house, but which actuallly appeared to be my childhood home in Catlettsburg. I went through the kitchen to go to the restroom, saw the door was closed, and presumed Andrea was inside. I turned around, and, standing by the refrigerator, was maybe a 13-14 year old boy, a little on the portly side, looking me dead in the eye, completely expressionless.
“Wait, what are you doing here? Who are you?”
“So sorry to startle you!” A old man with a crazy mane of gray hair stepped out from behind the boy.
“Wait, what are you doing here?” 1
I turned around again and saw a giant man in a white tank top and a mullet. He had torn, dirt-streaked jeans, a large revolver in a holster, and — as he was picking at his enormous knuckles — I noticed he was missing a couple of fingers from each hand.
“We’re skunk exterminators.” he said. As though that would pretty much serve as a satisfactory explanation.
“Who called you? Why are you in here? We’re supposed to be social distancing.” 2
“Your regular exterminator called us. Said you had skunks and he needed us to handle ’em. Just so you know, you have to pay us separate.”
At this point, an older, addled-looking woman backed out of my parents’ bathroom and said, “Yep. There’s one skunk in there.”
Now, even Dream Jason realized this was the worst scam attempt in the history of either the conscious or the subconscious.
But the old lady opened the bathroom door and gestured inside. When nothing came out, she knelt and whispered (a bit too loudly): “Trudy. Trudy. Come on.” The skunk ambled its way out of the bathroom, made a bee-line for Scout, and the two of them cuddled next to the refrigerator. 3
“There you go,” said the giant dude with the pistol. We’ll need y’all to clear out so we can round ‘em up.”
I took a breath and smiled broadly at them all.
“Well, it sure looks like it,” I said. “But let’s get rid of this one before it stinks up the house. You going to use your gun or do I go get one of ours?”
“Hey, we don’t need to shoot it,” the woman says, visibly shaken. “We’ll round them all up and relocate them.”
“No time for that. You all are exterminators. Come on, let’s go outside and put a few rounds in this skunk.”
They all frantically look at each other, terrified I’m about to put down Trudy.
And that’s when I woke up.
- As I type this, I recognize this sounds like a bit from The Californians, but that intonation was nowhere in the dream.
- I really like that Dream Jason thought everyone in this crew was going to be really motivated by this social distancing concern and therefore immediately disperse. #TeamKentucky
- Honestly, this could be the most unrealistic part of the dream. At the sight of a skunk in our house, Scout would have surely knocked the door off the hinges trying to escape.