The Committee.

Last night’s dream revolved around a funny joke from an old episode of The Simpsons that never actually happened. Because dreams slip away before you have a chance to write them down, all I remember was that Homer Simpson snuck up on someone selling food, fooled them under flimsy pretenses, and then smuggled away eight hot dogs by cramming them into parts of his face. There was some deeper relevance, but when I woke up at 4:30 this morning for no reason that had already evaporated.

Somehow my subconscious resented this. Within moments of closing my eyes I started dreaming again, only now I was on a panel convened to study the issue. Not content with its surviving cognitive morsel, my brain had convened a team of experts, including my tenth grade English teacher who was silently ablaze with heatless fire, a large man stuffed into a pink leisure suit, “the teddy bear committee,” a pile of stuffed animals cohabitating in an office chair, and an unidentified woman in a revealing bikini who picked things out of her teeth. Something told me this would take a while.

Footage was reviewed. Footage was re-reviewed with an array of signal processing methods – false color infrared imaging, low pass filters, transcoding to different video formats. Conference calls were placed with people who only wanted to talk about soup. A speculative fiction writer attempted to reconstruct the episode. A witness claiming to have seen the episode while engaged in sexual congress with her son’s gym teacher was interviewed by a one-eyed reporter. Someone called out for lunch, and edible waiters arrived an hour later carrying their own dipping sauces.


There was no resolution in sight. Finally, I said, “No, this meeting is pointless and will come to no good end, I’m done,” and when I opened the door to leave it was all clouds and light pink skies that I walked through. There were clouded glass floors, as far as the eye could see, until I found a big dog asleep by the real exit. It was hairless and wearing a knit sweater covered in white highlands terriers dressed for Christmas. I said it was a good dog and meant it, opened the door, and walked through into silence and restful sleep.