The Cork Board

…and it suddenly became a 3-legged cat drinking coconut milk through a straw…


I was sitting at the end of the bar at the edge of a noisy crowd. An old wooden coat stand stood behind me with a stuffed monkey’s head on top like the fairy on a Christmas tree. One of the gang left and came back suddenly, having forgotten his coat. He rummaged fruitlessly on the wooden rack, baffled until the barman called over to him, “He’s taken it. He always does that in a monkey jacket role.” The bar crowd laughed and I laughed too. That’s when I woke up.

I know it’s not much of a punchline. I can’t remember what the joke was. But I’ve woken up a couple of times like that in recent months. Bursting out laughing whilst fast asleep. I wonder what’s happening, chemically, in my brain when that happens. Is there some strange serotonin surge going on ?

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I’ve always been able to remember most of my dreams, or at least the ones just before I wake, the specialists will say. Sometimes I take great delight in relating these fairytales to Mrs. Monkey, who, sadly, remembers nothing of slumber.

In my youth I was passionate about playing football and played at least 2 games every weekend up until my late twenties. My “thing” was always to arrive early to the ground and psyche myself up slowly, getting my head into the space. I’d steadily change into my kit and then be one of the last ones onto the pitch before kick off. It was my way of getting into the right frame of mind for the game.

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from “The New Yorker”

However, this led to the most frustrating recurring dream. It drove me mad and if I had the dream I would wake in a dreadful grump. Quite simply, I was getting ready for the game and all my teammates had left the changing room and were on the pitch. All I had to do was tie my laces….and it seemed to take hours. Before I knew it the game was over the team were coming back in, my laces were still undone, and I had missed the match. Drove me mad.

I know it was probably my “inadequacy” dream, but that didn’t help.

In my later years this dream doesn’t happen so much – I stopped playing football long ago – and I don’t seem to have recurring dreams anymore, which I suppose is a good thing. Every night seems to be an adventure.

But as my subconscious tries to reveal my own secrets to me I often wonder what it is trying to say, though I’ve never really been one for analysing my sleep time ramblings. I suspect you can interpret them to be just about anything. (Someone will tell me I’m wrong.)

I just wish I could remember the rest of the joke.

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4 thoughts on “…and it suddenly became a 3-legged cat drinking coconut milk through a straw…

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