Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wild Things

I got a late start today because I let myself sleep in. I was having a long, vivid dream that seemed to be about this big scene I've been wrestling with, the way my heroine defeats her enemies. I remember thinking after the dream but while I was still asleep that it was perfect and solved all my problems. And then when I woke up and was thinking about it, I realized that my heroine had defeated her enemies in the dream by shoving cake in their faces.

So much for the subconscious working things out in a dream state. Back to the drawing board. And now I really want cake ...

I forced myself to go to the grocery store yesterday because it got to the point where the only food I had in the house consisted of an onion, a head of cauliflower, some pasta and dried beans, and I just couldn't face that for breakfast. There was some kind of corporate meeting going on at the store. I couldn't tell if it was the chain's corporate executives visiting this store, the management teams for stores about to open visiting this store, or what, but the store was crawling with people wearing Oxford shirts with the store logo subtly embroidered on them. They were looking at the displays and the store layout, but they also seemed to be observing the customers. I now understand what it must be like to be an animal featured in a wildlife documentary.

"Now let us observe the grocery shopper in her natural habitat. Which of these brightly colored displays of fruits and vegetables will attract her interest? She approaches the cantaloupe, inspects a few, then smells them and puts them back, even though they're on sale and quite a bargain this week. Perhaps they didn't appeal to her. What does she want? Ah, tomatoes and parsley. She must be planning to prepare Italian food, given the pasta already in her cart (yes, it's a sickness, but I'd used up a particular kind of pasta)." I started getting twitchy, expecting at any second to be hit in the neck with a tranquilizer dart and then tagged so they could follow my movements in that store and anywhere else I shopped.

Strangely, writing this has given me a craving for a peanut butter sandwich. It's odd the way the brain makes associations. When I was a kid, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom was on Sunday nights. We got to see Marlin Perkins sitting comfortably in a jeep while his hot, young (at least, I thought he was hot when I was five) assistant Jim chase down the various critters and wrestle them into submission. "I will distract the wildebeast while Jim catches it and tags it." It gave me a lifelong fondness for men in khaki (well, being an Army brat probably also had something to do with that). Sunday nights were peanut butter sandwich night at my house then. Dad would make me a sandwich, and then we'd watch Wild Kingdom and the Wonderful World of Disney together. It had to be peanut butter and honey. I never liked peanut butter with jelly, and to this day, I won't eat it. But peanut butter -- the super-crunchy kind -- with honey is divine.

Now I think I will go make myself a peanut butter sandwich and go back to thinking of ways to defeat the villains that don't involve cake.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's hilarious, about your dream that "solved everything." I've had that sort of dream before. It's nice while it happens!

Love your story about the grocery store observers. I think it would have been fun. Get a really odd mix of stuff, put it prominently in the front basket of your cart, then let them wonder. You know. A cucumber, a box of condoms, grape jelly, whipped cream. :)