ask a scientist



hey kids, i just woke up from an awfully bizzare (yet i believe somewhat telling) dream about you all. so it started out that we were in california and were heading back to the east coast. well intersetingly enough we were all on the same flight into BWI. well it ended up that chris never made it on the plane but keith and michael did. and i felt somehow responsible for this, but keith kept reassuring me that it was solely the fault of an old lady who had way too many bags. the plane ride started innocently enough, the three of us talking, perhaps about keith's nappy mullet like hair extension. and then they landed the plane on the side of a mountain because some people were being roudy and the flight attendant was all "we're not going to start this plane again till all of you settle down". so everyone went back to their seats but when the plane started again a few guys got up and started fighting and somehow everyone knew it would end up escalating to guns and bloodshed so they landed the plane again and in chaos and panic instructed people to leave through the emergency exits. of course i assumed i was all alone from this point on, every man for himself type of thing, but keith grabbed my arm and together we all escaped.
sounds like a good ending, but there's more. so we hopped a plane to thailand. after a very awful and bumpy ride (we were flying so low we were next to the cars on the freeway) we ended up in thailand where there was a homeless begger and keith instructed me to give the thai woman a dollar because he only had a five. so i did. and then i woke up.
any suggestions about what this might mean?  by the way, rockin' show at the grove house. i'll definitely see you when i'm back on the east coast.
fondly, leah


Telling, indeed. We think it's safe to say that this dream represents an unwillingness on your part to face up to a harsh reality you're currently dealing with -- possibly disease has put a crippling wrench in your plans to hike the Appalachian trail; or your dog has died and you can't quite bring yourself to stop playing frisbee with him. There is obviously something that your consciousness is having an awful time coming to grips with, and the turmoil has manifested itself in this escapist fantasy. Let's do a blow-by-blow.

First of all, Chris loves few things more than plowing through old ladies in the manner popularized by offensive linesmen. So much the better if they're huffing around a bunch of bags, because this produces a nice bowling-pin effect -- bags everywhere, contents of bags everywhere: dried flowers, lipstick, chocolates, pewter jewelry, napkins, fossil molds, candle holders, origami swans. All over the floor. Fake teeth splashing across the floor like ivory skittles. Verily, the notion that an old lady laden with bags would be an obstacle to Chris (and not a target) is absurd. It's absurdist, really.

Next: Keith's nappy mullet-like hair extensions? That's just... that's just ridiculous! Who...who told you Keith has hair extensions? I mean... did someone actually tell you that, or or or, uh, or was that just you being, y'know, uh, fanciful. Or what. Okay so but not that it matters! At all, uh... cuz, yeah, the point is that obviously -- OBVIOUSLY -- Keith doesn't have hair extensions! Or hair plugs, mind us. Let us emphasize that: Keith doesn't have hair plugs. Nor has he ever had them.

Moving on! Planes do not land on the sides of mountains when people are rowdy! How many times will we have to make that point on this web-page before people get it? PLANES DO NOT LAND ON THE SIDES OF MOUNTAINS WHEN PEOPLE ARE ROWDY! That would be way too dangerous to even attempt! The fact is, the only way a pilot would ever attempt to set a commercial jet-liner down on the side of a mountain would be if everyone on board were being just totally calm and well-behaved. Not only does it require intense concentration to pull off such a landing, but also, landing on a mountainside is a reward, you follow? As in, for top-shelf behavior only. A pilot would no more do a mountainside landing for a rowdy passenger than one would hand over some nice fresh poison to a misbehaving rat.

Finally, your fevered reverie ends with a scene that flies in the face of reality with a carelessness that makes the rest of the dream seem downright plausible: Keith tells you to donate a buck to a homelss thai woman? The idea that Keith would give or cause to be given to a beggar some measure of comfort -- whether monetary, culinary, or even verbal... wow... that's, like, an insult to the assumption that the universe is anything more ordered than a haphazard collection of random actions dictated by some totally chaotic anti-will. An anecdote: during our recent tour, we stopped over in San Francisco, where, while strolling the lovely, spring-scented streets, Keith was approached by an old homeless fellow who asked for a nickel toward buying a sandwich. Keith silently walked past, and minutes later related to Michael and Chris that he had refrained from gushing vitriol at this "filthy urchin" only because he had feared that opening his mouth would result in his stomach unleashing its recently consumed contents, so horrified had he been by "the demon's unforgivable trespass." Michael and Chris sort of grudgingly agreed that to vomit in public like that would have been unfortunate and embarrassing, to which Keith replied that he didn't give "two homeless kids" if people saw him throw up; what would really upset him is if "the knave" had got at his lunch. Michael and Chris had to ask for repeated clarification, but they finally came to realize that, indeed, Keith had felt that unfurling his lunch would be tantamount to offering the beggar food, a possibility which Keith abhorred even more than withholding verbal abuse.

And so, Leah, your subconscious mind has woven this intricate tapestry of lies. But it's crucial to note that they are obvious lies. Everybody knows Chris loves to trundle the elderly; everybody knows mountainside landing is a privilege, not a punishment; and certainly everyone knows that Keith hates the homeless more even than he does French film. And why is your subconscious doing this fabricating? Why is it allowing itself to be caught red-handed? Because it wants you to know that it knows; it knows about how you're failing to face that difficult reality (dead dog, no trail hike, not going to law-school, etc.), and it is doing it's best to shame you into being a bit braver with things.

We hope we've helped, Leah. We know we're right; we just hope you're ready to hear the truth. The awful truth.





need advice?
ask a scientist!