Night Visions, August 2017
Codes: "IRL" = "in real life". "INV" = "in Night Vision", meaning untrue in real life.
"Skip" means a sudden transition from one segment to another. "The 1250" references my childhood home, a (too) frequent setting for my visions. Josie is my daughter, and most of my life has been spent with Chicken and Alex as friends. Any other people referenced, past jobs worked at or life experiences are real unless otherwise noted.
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(Dates of awakening listed)
Just Call Me Motor Skillz (August 29, 2017)
Initially, my buddy Nate and I are prepped for an afternoon game of softball. But first, we must stop at my aunt's house so he can take a leak. (?? It must be close to the field.) He drives his car and I take my motorcycle to Auntie's, and even though I look out the window multiple times, my bike is stolen during Nate's excessively-long pee. I no longer want to play softball.
Returning home, I'm dismayed to learn I have absolutely no proof that I ever owned the motorcycle. No registration, no paperwork, not even a photo of me with it. I have no idea what the license plate is...or the model...or even the frikkin' make. Which means no reporting it stolen. During my rummaging, my Uncle Bubba is standing there offering words of support and comfort...or so he thinks; nothing he says is reassuring or even sensical.
Next thing I know, I'm working my shift at Big 5 Sporting Goods. As I stock clothes, all I can do is try to secretly Google "Panasonic V7800"—the bike's possible make and model—without being detected. But soon I'm needed upfront to assist with bagging. Somehow a customer has bought several boxes and buckets of KFC from our store and I'm tasked with carrying some of it outside....but I'm so distracted about the bike I forget to use bags; it's a serious challenge carrying multiple KFC containers but I justbarely make it to safety.
Things close with me driving an armored bus with a very burly person riding on the side mirror/step. Approaching a freeway on-ramp, I pull over and make the person (whose gender I can't confirm) get inside and sit. Of course, the individual sits on the damn steps and crowds my driving leg until I angrily demand he/she takes a real seat.
Man, They Built That Fast! (August 28, 2017)
It's the postgame report of an Oakland A's game, broadcast live from a walkway under the stands at 7am....that's a long ass game. Doing the reporting are longtime IRL A's broadcaster Ken Korach and current A's rookie Boog Powell—Korach's radio partner Vince Cotroneo has been deemed too ugly to go on camera.
I want to play reporter, so I dash to my car for a pad and pen. But when I return, the fellas are gone, and in their place is a subway car rollercoaster, complete with track.
I decide to board. Soon after, a woman who looks and is dressed like a 35-year-old passes me, cigarette in lips. She's told to lose it, which she hesitantly does via spit out of a back window. Despite the entire back half of the car being empty, she sits right next to me and jitters on about the cigarette and about being 50 years old. Something about her coming off so much younger supremely arouses me, and I immediately launch a smooch attack.
Though stunned, she is not at all upset, only managing to declare "That's the SECOND time that's happened today!" I barely acknowledge this and resume smooching. End vision.
Neither Snow Nor Rain Stopped Her, Obviously (August 27, 2017)
Tonight, I'm a USPS employee, but I'm not allowed to service the Food Maxx on my route—after being a customer for so long, the staff thinks I'm pulling some sort of scam. I am allowed into another shop's mailroom, where I'm tasked with drying the wet shoes of colleague/actress Alicia Coppola (Lt. Cmdr. Coleman on NCIS) while also checking packages.
From there, a bunch of incongruent stuff—my IRL bud Aldo calls and rehearsedly confesses he's moving to Yosemite National Park. Before I can investigate further, I'm in some house pitching to some unnamed MLB star fresh off the disabled list. Once I release the pitch, I'm beamed into a nearby top bunk, where I somehow catch the guy's fly ball despite being in near total darkness.
Next, I'm attending a "kissing party" on a college campus; the female host is going around kissing necks and ears as a guest's girlfriend expresses concern. Zach Braff is there and naturally, I bombard him with Scrubs questions until he just stops responding. Next thing I know, I'm in a wooded area with a beheading "scene" that Josie sees—I quickly move to get her out of there. However, the road is composed of giant stones and rocks and not traversible, so we drive over dirt. And piles of wasps. Can't forget the piles of wasps.
She Said Adopt, Not Annihilate (August 26, 2017)
Short but weird: at some town hall-type gathering, I stand on stage (?) with a number of other black males, none of whom seem to think much of me. However, I do make one friend: a young woman who seems down on her luck and may or may not be homeless. We quickly befriend each other and wind up sharing smooches, then visit her singing spot—a carved-out area in a tree atop a hill with a recording of her singing. No idea how it works...but she's not half-bad.
As night falls, my new pal asks me to adopt her two kids and I agree to do so for one night. Unfortunately, one of the kids takes a few steps into the street, stands under a street light, and is quickly reduced from a human being to a used match.
What Did That Man SAY?! (August 23, 2017)
I find myself outside a small office space in a strip mall intending to drop off one of Josie's stuffed animals outside. But I can't bring myself to leave the teddy alone so I hustle back toward my car—which is parked across a busy street—for another. However, trying to cross proves difficult; I reach the median and get stuck waiting for a wave of traffic to clear—although the cast of The Big Bang Theory has no difficulty crossing a few yards to my left.
Once the animal business is settled, I enter the office, where my dental exam reveals I need a retainer. I outright refuse it and storm out of the office...although my mad dash is slowed by my mother moving my car behind the building without my knowledge. This forces me to sheepishly pass the dentist on the way to the car...but since she's already working on another patient outdoors for some reason, she doesn't seem to notice me.
Things end with a movie scene—Andre 3000 leads an after-hours bank heist team. Reaching their latest "hit", Andre instructs his two henchmen to retrieve crucial information from the man they know is still in the bank. However, moments later, they exit having instead shot the guy to death. Furious, Andre orders the shooter killed by the other henchman—and then promises to kill that henchman himself as soon as they complete their heist plans. I'm not sure that's the best motivational tactic, but what do I know.
The Crowd Is Really Popping Tonight (August 22, 2017)
I've achieved the honor of broadcasting a Houston Astros game, although from where I'm seated it's increasingly difficult—the entire seating, rather than being spread out around the field, is located between our booth and the field. Still, things flow well for the most part with my two partners, who throughout the game throw large strips of unfilled balloons into the crowd.
Initially, the balloons get filled and find their way into the sky. But as time goes by, the quotient of unfilled balloons grows and grows to the point the entire crowd is buried underneath them—not a single human head can be seen. I'm concerned, and as soon as we go to break I try to discuss it with my colleagues, but they won't take off their headphones. (Well, I didn't either, so that didn't help.)
Suddenly, I find myself in my childhood bedroom, discussing Astros history with a couple of semi-interested strangers. As soon as we get to Minute Maid Park's unveiling—skip to AT&T Park, where I'm in search of a program (those little magazines with details about the team). I buy one inside a ballpark store, but on the way out an earthquake strikes—at least that's what I deduce, since the only people not fleeing in terror are me and ex-Giants outfielder Michael Tucker, who's sitting on top of a bench without a care in the world.
Skip to Seinfeld—the real Jerry has been convinced to bring his show back, and the premiere episode has George married to a woman who happens to be black. We're treated to a photo album of their courtship, and although her skin tone changes throughout the album (as if played by different actresses), the Costanzas seem happy.
Lastly, I'm in my middle school gym, and an ex-classmate not thought of in 25 years, Didi, is lingering on a court I'm trying to use...with a damn stroller. After giving her ample time to move, I just start shooting finally, and she leaves. However, my ball somehow caroms out of the gym and across the campus.
Somebody is good enough to throw it back to me, but Didi—apparently upset about being forced off the court—intercepts it and throws it away again. Despite my efforts, this repeats before I warn her to stop. She still tries, but this time I throw Didi to the ground before she can heave my ball again. I then bulldoze my way through a crowd of students back inside the gym, accidentally tangling one of them up with me and dragging him about 100 feet. I just wanted to shoot hoops, people. Leave me alone.
The Nutty Complainer (August 14, 2017)
Tonight, we answer the question you've all been asking since the early 1990's—what happens when the worlds of Paul Reiser and Eddie Murphy collide?
It's an episode of Mad About You. Paul's new downstairs neighbor is either Eddie Murphy, or a character played by Murphy. He visits Paul's place to complain about the "noise", even though there isn't very much noise. Over the course of the episode, Murphy makes repeated visits, each time for additional complaining.
Paul acquiesces to Murphy time and time again, even going as far as to stop typing since apparently even THAT is disturbing Murphy through the floor. At one point, Paul even promises to donate his furniture to Murphy's wood-chopping business, hoping to bribe him out of complaining any further.
Eventually, when Murphy still isn't pleased, Paul goes downstairs to hear for himself. Murphy's unit is cavernous, at least 15-20 feet high, and needless to say Paul—who's tasked Jamie with being "noisy" upstairs—can't hear a thing, nor can the mystery young woman who's just decided to enter the premises out of curiosity.
At this point, Murphy realizes the jig is up, and in so many words admits all his complaining was just for attention. He then begins to spasm, as Paul and woman wisely beat a hasty retreat.
Next, the mother of my friend (Mrs. Sencil) hosts a meat-tearing contest at some school. Not meat-eating. Meat-tearing.
Dozens of teenaged contestants, including myself, have plates of various sliced meats that we must tear into exactly 100 slices—(s)he who does so first wins. Even though Mrs. Sencil is quick to call out a group of cheaters who were using scissors, I lose. Feeling glum, I report to the principal's office and buy a large cookie. Cookies always ease pain.
Lastly, I'm in my apartment parking lot demanding Josie recite the cast of Scrubs. She gets them all except Ken Jenkins (Kelso).
Race, Race, Jump And Run (August 12, 2017)
I'm at the 1250, and all five of our family cars are in the driveway. Our neighbors are Detective Flynn from The Closer/Major Crimes, and two other cop-types. They "sneak onto" our property—unaware I'm watching every move—somehow start three different cars with one key, and set out to race them. I'm not really concerned, since one of the cars has a blown gasket and will wreck their plans.
After they leave, I turn to find Kevin Durant wanting to borrow something. As I get it, a rival hoop team appears and talks smack. This leads me to insult their blackness and drive them away. Unfortunately, the dark-skinned KD is also offended and ditches me (WITH the borrowed item.)
Skip to some small apartment building that is supposedly on fire. Residents want to rope down to safety, even though there are barely any flames. One teen leaps into the first open arms he sees. Unless there's a gas can in there somewhere...these are some serious wusses.
Things end with me riding down the street doing deliveries, except my delivery vehicle is a plane rather than an automobile. An oblivious toddler is abandoned in the road by its fleeing sister, and repeatedly drifts into my path no matter which way I swerve. Though I manage to miss it, it wanders toward the edge of the road...where a strait lies below. Worst sister since Stacy Morasco from One Life To Live.
Miss, I Gather You Don't Watch Much TV? (August 11, 2017)
It's an audition for a kids commercial, and though my kid is not there, I am (in the audience). Near me is a woman bragging about her French-speaking skillz to her toddler, although she brags entirely in English. As I read, a different female appears and mistakes me for Tony Danza, posing with me for selfies even as I continue to read. Even though the real Danza soon arrives, I'm still able to use "my" celebrity to steal a quick smooch from the fan.
Next, I'm in an enlarged version of my apartment, putting on underwear barely out of sight from the massive window. Some INV buds behind me can't believe my indecency near a window and refer to me as a "whale". I argue there is NO concealed area in the apartment to dress in private—windows are everywhere and families are looking through them from the lawn below. Just then my grandma appears to boast about helping my uncle buy his first three cars, which had zero to do with anything.
Things end with a police chase up the freeway. For some reason I exit my car and follow the pursuit belly-down on a creeper (those carts mechanics use to go under cars) on the shoulder.
Just before I reach my exit, the creeper slides out from under me and vanishes among the passing cars. Sullen, I walk back down the freeway with some crying kid tugging on my shirt the whole way until I finally drown him in obscenities.
Unhand Me, You Fiend! (August 10, 2017)
Pigskin is underway inside the 1250. I'm everywhere doing everything on the field. At one point I make a leaping interception and drag a tackler with me upfield, somehow posing for a team photo during this play. But the photographer didn't get it, so we all re-create the pic complete with tackler hanging off me.
But even after the play ends, this would-be tackler is still holding on to me and I have to threaten his family to secure my release.
What Can You Get Started Today? How About My Exit Interview? (August 8, 2017)
The NBA's Markieff Morris is ejected from a game. He continues to argue and is ejected from the game again, finally forcing fellow NBA'er DeMarcus Cousins, an opponent, to calm him down. For those of you unfamiliar with the NBA, this is akin to Rebel Wilson giving Chris Christie diet tips. (For those of you unfamiliar with those two people...tough.)
My buddy Paul takes over for the ejected Morris and I leap about three feet to reject his shot. I'm so elated over my rediscovered hops, that I don't immediately notice Paul was on my team.
Skip to Starbucks, where I now work and am the second-oldest person. For some reason our drive-thru window is clear across the restaurant from any registers, and opens upward like a house window. Also, trays are allowed in the trash—our smart-can collates them for easy removal. Everything is fine until a bum chases off a customer on the patio, and my manager lectures me for allowing it to happen. As she talks, I gradually remove one uniform piece at a time until it's fully off...bye-bye, Starbucks.
Left Standing Alone In a Road That's So Cold (August 6, 2017)
I'm a driver for a mobster, but as we leave his club he opts to drive himself and leave me in the backseat. Soon, he simply disappears and I find myself behind the wheel driving down a narrow street with angled parking spaces. In one space, a long black van is parked—I try to worm my way around it and the cars parked on the opposite side...and wind up stuck. What to do? Abandon the car and let the problem resolve itself.
Soon after, I return and the van is gone—I'm free! I start the car and Prince's "When Doves Cry" blares, irrationally pumping me up.
Next, after watching some weird soap same-sex spouse swap scene, I escort my mom from her upstairs apartment. She is WAY too interested in an "argument" between two people downstairs and I fear we're getting physically attacked, but the "arguing" couple is just reciting some angry rap lyrics.
Halfway to the car, I realize I forgot to lock the apartment doors. I run back, find strange peeps in there, don't care, and just lock them inside. Running back to the car, neighbors are outside cheering and holding water cups for me as if I'm in a marathon.
Could I BE In Any More Hot Water? (August 5, 2017)
I'm a school employee; a little girl is going home early because her uncle died. An apparent supervisor leads me and her into the office, then gives me attitude about "standing up" while I search for her address. The only reason I stay? The little girl asks me to; she has no one else to drive her. What a depressing start, but fortunately things lighten up...
First: a scene with Lionel Richie singing A-Ha's "Take On Me" on Conan. Next: Johnny Damon replying to my babysitter-bashing mass email with some nonsense about his family tree.
Then, it's Friends: Monica has a stalker who leaves Subway coupons taped to her door frame. When we discover him still on the porch, I do what any good friend would do and throw him down the stairs. He sues, and my defense is as follows: since the coupons were from 1984, the shove couldn't have happened—I was only four! (No resolution, however.)
Finally, a younger Michael J. Fox is on stage about to somehow perform. He has an involuntary shake, but decides to cover it up by breaking into dance. It works beautifully; backup dancers even appear and play along (though they're badly out of sync.) On the in-studio replay, Michael Jackson's face is superimposed over the dancing Fox's body...take that, Parkinson's.
Things end with me shuttling some old ladies around and cussing them out when they ask too many pointed questions.
Did Diarrhea Strike? (August 4, 2017)
Tonight, I'm Detective Tutuola (Ice-T's character from Law & Order: SVU) I'm working a case in a neighborhood so bad, police car doors are detachable in case of a carjacking attempt.
It's 4am, and as part of my assignment I must get my hair done by an adult film star. Already a bit snippy at having to work so late/early, she's even less pleased to find out, after she's already started, that I don't have my payment on me.
I'm allowed to leave and hit up the ATM, but as I'm about to re-enter the car, something goes down and my partner takes off, sirens blaring, and I'm left in the pitch black with a wad of cash, half-ironed hair, and the detachable police door. Oh, well. It's still better than when Tutuola got shot in that convenience store.
Magnum N.O.P.E. (August 1, 2017)
The actor Wendell Pierce is speaking to a small crowd about divorce and abuse. As he does so, I start drawing celebs from memory—Tom Selleck turns out pretty good. So good, in fact, the drawing nods approvingly at me. At that point, I decide to never go near a pencil and paper again.
Things close with me, loitering outside my old apartment, trying to write down the lyrics to Aretha Franklin's "Freeway Of Love" as it's playing. Needless to say, epic fail.