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The Dream Workshop

by Colonist 

Posted: 28 July 2004
Word Count: 721
Summary: Humor column just submitted to the Denver Post for August 8th publication. Still time to change things around.

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The Dream Workshop
By Del Shannon

“I am not going to a dream interpretation workshop with you,” I said boldly. I imagined myself chomping defiantly on a cigar as I said this, my nose tilting to the wind to grab a whiff of napalm. “I’d rather look through wallpaper swatches with your mother.”

“Oh, come on, you big sissy,” Beth, my wife, said. “It won’t be that bad. Besides, you promised you were going to try and be more sensitive.” She said this with a coy smile pushed onto the side of her face. I hate that smile. It’s the smile of victory. She knew she’d won this disagreement before we started talking.

“It is going to be that bad,” I countered. “It’s going to be miserable. Every dream is going to be about unicorns flying to Venus and the goddess within. I’m not going.”

Thirty minutes later we walked into the classroom.

“You’re an evil, evil woman,” I groused as we walked past the sign announcing the ‘Dreamcatchers Workshop – Dreams and Discovery.’

As we found our seats I was grateful to learn there were other evil women in Boulder. There were 20 people in the room and eight of them were men who shared my own unenthusiastic expression.

Five minutes later Jamie Reichler stood, introduced himself as the facilitator, then spent 10 minutes outlining the rules, which consisted of repeating 15 times there weren’t any rules. “There’s no wrong or right in here,” he said. “No rules. Whatever you say will be treated with dignity and respect. Now, would someone like to start?”

A small hand from the middle of the class rose timidly into the air. “I have a recurring dream where all of my teeth have fallen out and I’m frantically running around our neighborhood trying to find someone to put them back in. But I never can. Then I wake up.”

“Does anyone have any thoughts on this dream?” Reichler asked.

The silence was stifling.

Finally, a man’s hand rose into the air from the back row. “I’ve had a dream like that. But in mine I’m a photographer for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and I’m frantically trying to find Bridget Hall’s thong. I look everywhere for it but I can’t find it. I wake up in a fevered sweat.”

At this point Beth’s convinced I’m going to raise my hand, and she’s right. To her credit she made a valiant lunge for my arm but was too slow. “Yeah, I’ve had a dream like that one,” I interjected, raising my own hand. “But instead of being at a photo shoot I’m on top of a volcano. And I’m chasing after Bridget Hall pleading with her to put on her thong before the volcano explodes.”

“Oh, dear Lord,” Beth groans.

“Do you like ribs?” another man asked, as I continued swatting away Beth’s hands.

“I’m not sure that…” Reichler interrupted, trying to redirect the conversation. He was easily shouted down.

“I love ribs,” I answered heartily, my invisible cigar returning proudly to my mouth

“When’s the last time you had some?” the man asked.

“A few years ago. Why?”

“Well,” he said in a scholarly tone. “I think the thong in your dream represents ribs and the lava is the barbecue sauce. Your subconscious is demanding a decent plate of ribs.”

“Hang on,” Beth said, but I deftly cut her off.

“Sweetie, there are no rules," I said. "No wrong. No right. We’re all entitled to our opinions.”

“Did you ever have that dream where everyone is naked except for you?” another man asked from the back.

“I love that dream,” another guy nearly shouted to my right.

The women finally migrated out of the classroom and found a café next door when we began whacking a homemade drum and chanting in a frenzy to our male Id. Even Reichler joined in, doing a little sissy jig in the corner.

The car ride home was thoroughly unpleasant with Beth jabbering nonstop about my supposed oafish behavior.
“No rules, sweetie. No wrong. No right,” was my automatic response.

Eventually she gave up and just started slugging me in the arm. Yet I smiled between punches as I drove home. This sensitive guy thing was way better than I thought it would be.

End The Dream Workshop

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Comments by other Members

crowspark at 00:03 on 29 July 2004  Report this post
Very funny Colonist. I don't know who Bridget Hall is but I laughed out loud anyway.

Becca at 07:33 on 29 July 2004  Report this post
Hi Dell, I started smiling before I read it!. Your writing is very fresh and alive, and the ghastliness of the subject matter made me laugh. I could have done with some more exploration of the classroom scene, there are always lunatics in places like that as I bet you know, and the things they say are completely incomprehensible, but people are too PC to challenge anything, so there could be lots of gobbledegook. - It could be a very surreal experience, and would be even funnier if it were to go in that direction further.

scottwil at 08:46 on 29 July 2004  Report this post
I think this is hilarious. And about time too. It's a little P.J O'Rourke with the cigar and the unapologetically male point of view. Funny stuff.


bjlangley at 10:45 on 29 July 2004  Report this post
Well it made me laugh. I loved the bit about the dream representing the need for ribs in BBQ sauce.

Very familiar with the whole situation of being dragged along to such an event, I'm sure plenty of readers will be with you there.

Also liked "It is going to be that bad." just the kind of reaction I would have, moan about it, but go along anyway. Oh, and when he starts to have fun and participate, it's also wrong! I'm sure many readers will empathise with the lose-lose situation, and the way he makes the best of it, and enjoy it as much as I did.

All the best,


Colonist at 15:50 on 29 July 2004  Report this post
Bill, Becca, Sion & Ben,

Thanks so much for the read and the comments. I appreciate them. Newspapers are notoriously tight with space so I'm shackled with a max 700 word count for these columns. I ended up cutting about 200 words from my first draft, which explains why some themes weren't explored more. Colorado (and much of the US) can be on the prudish side of life, so I'm anxiously awaiting my editor's comments. I don't think there's anything in here that would cause too much wailing and gnashing of teeth but I've been wrong before.

Thanks again.


eyeball at 20:19 on 30 July 2004  Report this post
Nice twist, Del. I like the idea of them going for the whole drum beating male bonding thing. And the line '“I’d rather look through wallpaper swatches with your mother.' is great. Sharon

Colonist at 21:14 on 02 August 2004  Report this post
Hi Sharon,

Thanks for the comments and kind words. I haven't heard from my editor, which is probably a good thing. I'm guessing I'd only hear if the Post thought it terrible and asked me to quickly submit another piece.


neilwills at 21:53 on 08 November 2004  Report this post
Very funny. Reluctant spouses are good material. The observations were well conveyed to the reader. Made me smile throughout.

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