shop dream.
© 1995 Jamie Zawinski <>

Leaving my teeth behind for just one rare dream-moment, on another occasion I dreamed of a small store, an antique shop. It was dark and wooden and musty, and there was a heavy oak table in the center of a room lined with shelves and bookcases. On the table were a lot of amazingly odd objects... First, there were a number of telephones shaped like half-sized bald human heads. The rotary dials of the phones were partially covering the faces. The heads were made of a kind of translucent fiberglass, like some toy dolls from the twenties or thirties were, and they were painted with extremely faded colors. They were lit from within, the white light diffusing through them and making the painted features hard to see. I was quite taken with them; I thought they were turbo cool and wanted very much to buy them, but I hadn't looked at the prices yet -- I knew they would be outrageously expensive.

There was another head like the others, except that it was human sized. It was male, and had a stunned sort of expression on its face. Painted on the side in an ancient curving hand, the sort you'd see on an old tomato box, was the message ``six microprocessors!'' I was reminded of the early days of transistor radios, when they would hype the number of transistors present. I had heard that sometimes they would put in extra transistors wired directly to ground, just to up the count.

I really wanted to examine the head more closely, to pick it up and try to determine why a lighted head telephone needed microprocessors at all, but it was under a glass case. And anyway, I had already found other things to distract me, the first being the Thesis Case. This consisted of a book-shaped glass box, with a tower rising from one corner. The tower was for holding pens and scissors and that sort of thing. The glass box had within it (you guessed it) someone's thesis. I think it had something to do with farming. But the box was tightly sealed, and apparently refrigerated. Its purpose was to display one's work prominently, yet preserve it for future generations. It was also lit from within, like the other objects.

The final object appeared to be a large, metal book, two feet wide. It was sitting on the table with its spine away from me, and there were two handles attached to the cover for opening it (it was quite heavy.) There was cold white light and mist leaking out from under the cover. I braced myself and grabbed hold of the handles to lift the cover and find out what was inside. The handles were warm, and by the time I had managed to lift the cover just an inch or two, they were too hot to hold, and I dropped the cover down again. I was thinking bad thoughts about antique refrigeration technology and bracing myself to try again, when I awoke.

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