|I had a dream last night (and bear in mind that
I am fully aware of how steep the slope is that the readers' interest will
tumble down when you introduce a story as dream, as opposed to work-related
anecdote or school-related anecdote, or better yet, sex related) in which
I was told a joke. But not any old joke, no, this joke was great and I'm
pretty sure I was even laughing in my sleep as I heard it. That seems possible,
right, that somebody could laugh in their sleep? Well I bet that I did
The premise of the joke is now hazy to me. It was hazy when I woke up. In fact, I didn't even remember the joke until I was in the shower, and even then it's not like the joke just rematerialized clear as a bell in my head. I asked myself "so, what did I dream about last night?" and I was consciously trying to recall what had gone on last night, because it's a habit of mine, to attempt to remember what I was dreaming about when it's one of those mornings when I don't automatically wake up and get started with the day during those brief surreal moments when I'm still contemplating the irrational theatrics of the dream I was just abruptly yanked out of.
So I'm in the shower trying to remember this dream I had last night. And I'm lathering up with a new bar of Irish Spring that I just took out of the box yesterday, and that's when it came to me. I remembered that in my dream I had heard a joke and the joke was told to me by a leprechaun.
Now you know how dreams go. They don't exactly always make a whole lot of fucking sense. That's kind of the point of them, they're just a great big mess of unconscious psychological wandering and you really ought to be worried about yourself if most of your dreams involve a very stable and unimaginative regiment. Like sitting at a desk and filling out tax forms. Something about you is not right if you have dreams like that, or dreams of driving down a two-lane highway for hours. Dreams are wild, should be wild, and usually mine are but this was the first time I've ever been told a joke by a leprechaun in my dreams, or for that matter, the first time I've been told a joke by a leprechaun in my dreams and remembered it in the morning.
I had been drinking the night of the sleep of the dream. I had been drinking beer, and surely that had more than a little to do with it because the dream itself involved beer. Don't leprechauns drink beer? Probably not. They seem like they would drink Irish whiskey or something like that. Something hard. They certainly seem to be more likely to be carrying around a little green and gold flask filled with liquor than a pint of Guinness. Leprechauns are mobile little creatures. They're land rovers; they're always scampering over the lush green hillsides of olde Ireland, through the potato farms, through the clover fields, through the numerous distilleries, causing mischief hither and tither and generally going about their leprechaun businesses, with the charms and the rainbows and the shillelaghs and what have you. So it follows that if they're of the drinking sort -- which they most certainly are, being Irish and all -- they probably don't want to bother walking around everywhere, trodding over the hillsides, wading through the magestic Liffey and generally doing their leprechaun thing with a full pint of Guinness sloshing around in the glass. They'd be spilling it around everywhere. It'd be getting all over their tiny green boots.
So, yeah, this leprechaun. He told me a joke. In my dream. And I think I might have understood, after he had told me it, that I was in fact dreaming because I can sort of remember that my initial instinct was to try and remember this joke so I could tell it to people later. Because it was really funny, which brings me to the sad part -- I don't remember what the joke was!
Well, okay, I remember the gist of it. It involved beer, okay? It went like this.
I was doing something somewhere and I encounted a leprechaun. The leprechaun offered me three magical beers that grant wishes. I, having been drinking that night before I went to bed and therefore was probably eager to perpetuate any residual drunkeness that might have been slowly tapering off in my sleep, found my thirst carried over into the irreality of the dream, where I accepted these three magic beers from the leprechaun. Now, in hindsight, maybe that wouldn't have been such a wonderful idea. Leprechauns themselves are by nature scampy prognosticators of troubles and hullabaloos whereever they go, and if my head had been clearer and not still reeling from my alcoholic indulgences I partook in that evening, I might have been aware of this and opted not to accept the charmed beverages from the little guy. But so I did, and so I dreamt.
The premise of the joke gets a little blurry here. I can't exactly say for sure how the framework of the joke went. I get lost at this point, and it's sort of embarassing too because, after all, I'm the one who came up with it. But, like I said, I had been drinking, and, after all, it happened in my sleep.
The leprechaun offered me the three magical wish-granting beers and I duly accepted them because I was thirsty and I'm fond of beer. I was told by the leprechaun that after each beer I drank, I would be granted a wish. So I drank the first beer. This much of the dream remains clear to me. I drank the first beer, and then I think what happened next was that my first wish was to have another beer.
"Hm," said the leprechaun, sensing my shiestiness. "I should've known you'd try and pull something sneaky like that." He lowered his little golden brows deep in thought and stroked his chin with his nimble and pointy fingers.
"Aye, lad. I shall grant ye a second beer. But it will not be a magical, wish-granting one. Nay, it shall just be a normal beer."
"Alcoholic, though, right?" I asked.
So the leprechaun raised his stubby arms into the air and with a snap of his fingers there appeared in his hand a second beer of the plain and unmagical variety.
I drank it, and afterwards I went ahead and drank the second magical beer. The beer itself was delicious. I can remember standing on that hillside with that leprechaun and talking about how good the beer actually was. It was thick like Guinness, naturally, coming from a leprechaun and all. By the the time I had finished my third beer (second magical beer) I was beginning to feel it. I was getting kind of jokey with the leprechaun. Felt at ease with him enough (because let's face it -- I was on edge. You're going to be a little nervous when you're hanging out with any sort of mythical creature for the first time in your life) to rip on the Irish a little bit. You know, just playing around. Just teasing. I think he thought my jokes were at least a little bit funny at least but you never know. I don't know, maybe it was me, but he seemed to carry himself with a pretty serious attitude for a creature so notoriously jovial and impish. I wished he would've lightened up a bit.
"Ah, so ye've finished your second beer. What be your wish?"
I remember that by this point I was beginning to feel a little warm standing out in the cool Irish night (I guess I was in Ireland). My eyelids had developed a slight droop and I had to pee. I was wondering if hey, maybe this guy has a cigarette or something I could bum? I realized I was getting drunk.
"OK, leprechaun, check it out. Seriously, alright, this is my second wish, alright? OK, check it out. I would like, for my second wish, another beer!" The leprechaun rolled his eyes.
"Ah, give me a break lad, ye can't seriously just want another beer, can ye? You're wasting all your bloody wishes!"
"I want another beer!" I barked back with a slightly slurred and raised voice.
The leprechaun gave me a brief and hesitant stare, then sighed and did the finger-snapping song and dance routine once more, fabricating yet another cold one out of thin air. By now I was inebriated enough to the point of having a little chugging contest with myself.
"Look how fast I can drink this shit!" I went bottoms up and raised the glass back high and gulped it down as fast as I could. "Whoo! You want in on this? Man, materialize a beer for yourself already! Come on man, let's have a drinking contest!"
"No, no. No thank ye, lad. I'm not drinking tonight, you know, I've got things to do later on. Maybe ye could, eh, hurry it up with that last beer there, lad..."
Sluggishly, I acknolwedged his request, downing the rest of the beer as quickly as I could. The leprechaun kept his head down, and the velvetey brim of his top hat blocked his pale and freckled face from my sight. He stood there with his arms crossed, head just slightly nodding side to side, impatiently tapping the toe of his pointy little green boot while he waited for me to finish already.
I polished off the beer and gave the glass back to him. I excused myself to take a leak, and the leprechaun watched as I scurried off down the hill. Shortly after he heard the wet, running sound of a falling stream striking the earth and my whistling echo up from down below. After a minute or so I came wobbling back up the hill, laughing, to find the leprechaun checking his gold pocketwatch. I approached the leprechaun for my third and final magical wish-granting beer, which he produced with all the usual flourishes.
"Oh, man, this is great. Thanks again, man. God. Free beer! From a fucking leprechaun!"
"Dude, I wish my friends were here. Haha, you'd love these guys. We would totally drink it up. Hey, so, you don't have any cigarettes or anything on you, right?"
"No. I already told you, I don't smoke."
"Ahhh, well that's cool. Damn, this beer is good. What kind of beer did you say this was?"
"I didn't. I didn't say what kind of beer it is."
"Yeah. Hey, did you make those boots yourself? They're so small!"
So went the conversation as I stood around wavering side to side, just a bit off-balance and just a bit too loud for the leprechaun's tiny little ears. I asked him which charm liked more -- the pink hearts, or the blue moons -- to which he replied by flashing his beady little yellow angry eyes at me with an irritated scoff. I asked him numerous times where he his hid his pot o' gold. "No, man, come on, for reals, where do you keep that shit? I'm your dawg, man, you can tell me! I'm not gonna steal it or anything."
I eventually finished off the last of the beer with a loud belch, followed of course by hysterical laughter on my part. Annoyed, the leprechaun asked me what I'd like for my third and final wish.
And I must have just wished for another beer or something.
Because I don't remember anything about that dream but the beer. If I had wished for something big, something important, I'm sure I would have remembered it in the morning. But no, just beer.
Which goes to show you how meaningless dreams really are.
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