Thursday, February 26, 2009

Another day at the office

I was at work.

In the dream, it seemed like I knew I was still working AMPS, but I don't remember thinking it explicitly. How does that work? Maybe I inferred it because the layout of the building was sort of the same except the walls and floors looked sparkling new. In real life, the building was on the demolition list, but they didn't have the funds to tear it down. "Let's move AMPS there!" said some kind soul. Believe it or not, it was a step up from being next door to the laundromat and auto shop.

So I'm at work standing in the hallway by Robert's office that leads outside to the loading area. I see my wife turn the corner off the main hallway. (The connecting hall was much longer in the dream than in the real building.) Soon after, this little skunk comes sauntering behind her. I don't use that as a cliché: it was grinning cartoonishly and had a happy-go-lucky bounce to its step.

I alerted my wife: "Sam!" This startled the skunk. I remember hoping it wouldn't spray, but it lowered its head, stuck its butt in the air, and shot a stream of blackish liquid in a nice upward arc just as an unknown black guy turned the corner. Poor guy: wrong place, wrong time.

Next thing I know, the little critter is chasing me, but I had a plan: I knew I was near a kitchen or break area with two doors close together in a corner — openings in both adjoining walls — and I was going to weave around through the doors to confuse the skunk. This would have been about where Bo's office or the bathroom was, but the real building has no such room.

So I do the weave thing and end up retracing my path down the hall that opened to my office, toward where I was when the dream started. Now a married couple Don and Karen were in the hall holding open large black garbage bags intending to catch the skunk. I ran past them (not sure how: the real hall is narrow), and the skunk ran into one of the bags. They tied up the bag, and Don said something about what to do with it — I can't remember what.

The guy who walked into the stink remarked that he'd been following the skunk, so it must have lost his scent. This made me think of a principle illustrated in an episode of Mr. Wizard's World where he blindfolded a kid, placed a bottle of vinegar under her nose, and told her to say when she thought he'd taken the bottle away. Even though the bottle was still under her nose, she thought he'd removed it. The technical name for this phenomenon is olfactory fatigue.

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