Dream Diary: A Swift Decision
Recently I dreamt that I had some free time on my hands and after briefly entertaining the idea of doing something productive, like exercising or housework, I decided instead to re-watch one of my all-time favourite TV series, Veronica Mars, on DVD. I headed over to a video store where I used to work called Poppin’ Video (not a real place) to see if they had the box set available to rent. When I entered the store, I saw my old colleague Corinne behind the counter. (Not someone I know IRL, although she had kind of a Joan Jett look about her.) She didn’t seem all that pleased to see me, which wasn’t surprising given that I was a bit of a slacker when we worked together, often calling in sick or showing up late and generally shirking my duties when I was there. I asked whether the Veronica Mars box set was in stock and after sighing heavily and rolling her eyes, she went and found it for me. I dug my old Poppin’ Video membership card out of my wallet and handed it to her to secure the rental. Corinne examined the card and shook her head. “This is invalid,” she said. “Look at the name and address on the front.” It read:
222 Tanning Bed Blvd.
Hot Pants, Florida
Just then I remembered that another ne’er-do-well co-worker, Donny, and I used to set up fake accounts so we could check out movies and keep them for as long as we wanted without penalty. Embarrassed, I apologized profusely to Corinne and offered to open a new account, assuring her that I was now a mature adult with a legitimate address and reasonably good credit. But she shook her head again and replied, “It’s not so simple around here these days. All potential new members have to first get the approval of Taylor Swift.” She explained that the shop owners had become so enamoured of the popular singer-songwriter that they insisted on consulting her before making any business decisions. Fortunately for me, Taylor was performing in town that very evening and was hosting a pre-concert soirée at a nearby Applebee’s. I asked Corinne if she might accompany me there to see if I could get an audience with Taylor, and after another bout of sighing and eye-rolling, she reluctantly agreed.
We got to the Applebee’s and found it packed with party guests. We made our way through the crowd to a crescent-shaped booth in the back of the restaurant, where Taylor was holding court with her entourage. Corinne introduced me and explained that I was hoping to get a Poppin’ Video rental membership, but Taylor looked skeptical. “I don’t know, Corinne,” she said. “I don’t grant those memberships to just anyone. Can you vouch for this guy’s character?” Corinne thought for a moment and then shrugged and replied, “Not really.” Taylor mulled this over for a good while. At last she looked at me and said, “Tell you what, newbie, tell me a joke and if you make me laugh, I just might rule in your favour.” This put me on the spot. For the life of me, I couldn’t think of any jokes, let alone a funny one. Finally, in desperation, I said, “What’s the difference between regular oysters and Pride oysters?” Taylor clapped her hands together in delight and exclaimed, “Oh, I know this one! It’s the thong!” She threw her head back and laughed and her entourage laughed with her, even though I was pretty sure that the joke didn’t make any sense.
In the end, Taylor approved my membership and Corinne and I returned to the video store so that I could rent the box set. I felt bad that Corinne had gone to such trouble on my account, especially since I had been such a crappy co-worker back in the day. I wanted to make it up to her, so I offered to take her to the Taylor Swift concert that night. She curtly informed me that she already had a ticket and was going with a group of friends. “Then I’ll come along too and buy you and your friends drinks and snacks,” I said. “Where can I get a ticket?” She smirked, but for the first time that day she seemed to soften towards me. “Silly boy,” she said. “The show has been sold out for months. There’s not a single ticket available, even through a scalper.” She then unexpectedly leaned across the counter and kissed me on the cheek. I left the shop with the Veronica Mars box set and returned home to watch it on my own. It was just as good as I remembered.