CONSUMING NIGHTMARES

by Ralph Lombard

“It always starts out the same. It’s a beautiful day and I’m on the beach. I’m just relaxing, soaking up some sunshine and checking out the babes, and it’s all good. And I notice these two girls in particular who are really giving me the eye. One of them is a beautiful, well-built redhead in a skimpy little red and white polka-dot bikini. The other is a bit younger, also with red hair, and dressed in an equally revealing blue and white polka-dot bikini. And like I said, they’re both giving me the eye and sending out all the right signals.”

The doctor licked his lips in anticipation. He knew it was about to get interesting.

“Are they sisters?” he asked.

“I don’t know.”

“But they both have red hair.”

“That’s right.”

“Do you have a thing for redheads?”

“Well, I do love Lucy.”

“I see.”

“Anyway, the first one, with the red polka-dots, gives me this big smile while at the same time the other one starts singing. Then they both start dancing for me in the most exotic and erotic manner I’ve ever seen. And I can’t take my eyes off of them, nor do I want to! It’s as if I’m under some kind of hypnotic spell.”

“And how does that make you feel?”

“Oddly enough, it makes me thirsty.”

“Thirsty?”

“Yes. For a cold, delicious beverage of some sort. It is, after all, a hot day.”

“And so are the girls.”

“That’s right. Then, as if on cue, red polka-dot bikini girl offers me an ice-cold, refreshing bottle of cola.”

“And of course you take it.”

“Well I try to, but before I can grab it blue polka-dot bikini girl hits me over the head with her own bottle of cola and insists that I drink it instead. This infuriates red polka-dot bikini girl who tells me I better drink hers’ or else! Soon they’re both beating me mercilessly with their soda bottles.”

“And how does this make you feel? Hurt? Angry? Confused?”

“Actually, it kind of turns me on. So I say: ‘You seem like a couple of nice girls. How about a threesome?'”

“You said that?”

“Well it is, after all, my dream.”

“And then what happens?”

“They both become convulsed with rage and start ripping the very flesh from my bones, which is when I decide to make a break for it. And after a wild, madcap chase across the sand I find myself hiding out behind this bar called the Kit-Kat Club. There I am, dripping blood, pouring out sweat and barely able to catch my breath, but none of that seems to matter to me anymore. The main thing is I’m thirstier than ever, and come hell or high water I’m going to get myself a cold, delicious beverage!”

“I see.”

“Just about then this short little guy shows up dressed up in a loud Hawaiian shirt and wearing this very strange-looking hat. He’s just about the silliest-looking son-of-a-bitch I’ve ever seen, but there’s a saint-like expression on his face which makes me trust him completely. Then, like an angel of mercy, he holds out a tall, cold, refreshing glass of fruit juice and asks me if I’d like a nice Hawaiian punch. Well, by this time I’m thirstier than the leading paper towel, so I say: ‘Sure I would!’ But then, BAM, without any warning or provocation he sucker punches me with a vicious right hook and down I go.”

“And how does this make you feel? Victimized? Betrayed? Exploited?”

“Not really. For some reason I feel like I deserve it. Then this other fellow comes over, and at first I’m afraid he’s going to offer me something to drink as well because at this point I’m so thirsty I could hardly refuse. But he just smiles and hands me a potato chip.”

“A potato chip?”

“That’s right. And not just any potato chip. It’s the most wondrous potato chip ever known and the most beautiful and perfect potato chip ever created!”

“I once heard about a piece of cake like that, but I couldn’t believe it.”

“Well, you can believe this. So I eat it up and it’s the most incredibly delicious taste-treat I’ve ever experienced! It’s the crispiest, crunchiest, yummiest potato chip ever conceived and my entire being tingles with exquisite ecstasy as I become one with the chip. And at that very moment I have a breakthrough revelation which leads me to a whole new level of understanding about myself and my purpose in life.”

“And what is that?”

“I realize that if I’m ever to be happy I must achieve balance in my life, and therefore I need not only a thirst-quenching beverage, but a delicious, lip-smacking snack as well.”

“I see. Then what happens?”

“I ask potato chip man for another chip, but he just laughs and says: ‘Nobody can just eat one!’ Then, as if to spite me, he starts dancing around and singing this song about how his potato chips are so good that nobody can just eat one. And a bunch of his friends come over and start singing and dancing and carrying on as well. So I ask them if I could please have another chip, but they just laugh at me and say: ‘Nobody can just eat one!'”

“And how does this make you feel?”

“Like a nobody.”

“Please continue.”

“Well, after about thirty seconds they all just disappear, but then  I notice that one of them had dropped a potato chip onto the ground during their dance. So I reach down to pick it up, but when I do it suddenly sprouts arms and legs and runs away from me.  ‘Damn it, potato chip,’ I say, ‘get back here!’ But the potato chip just laughs and calls me a jackass, which really pisses me off.  So I chase after it because now it’s a matter of principal, and I’ll be damned if any wise-cracking potato chip is gonna make a monkey out of me!  Because above all, I must defend my dignity and maintain my honor.”

“Of course.”

“So off I go, scampering after it on all fours, but before I can catch-up it darts into the front entrance of the Kit-Kat Club.”

“The bar you mentioned earlier.”

“That’s right. Now the Kit-Kat Club is a very exclusive establishment, and everyone there is either young or beautiful or rich or some sort of celebrity. So I’m trying to fit in without drawing too much attention to myself, but I’m still determined to catch that smart-ass potato chip. And I notice this little guy in the corner trying to pass himself off as a miniature tortilla visiting from out of town. So I say: ‘Hey you!’ and he says: ‘No speaka the English.’ But then his moustache falls off and I realize that he’s really the potato chip in a diabolically clever disguise. So I say: ‘Nice try, wiseguy, but now I’ve got you!” to which he replies with an unflattering string of vile profanities. And just as I’m about to grab that foul-mouthed little chip to finish him off, this dog comes pouncing in from out of nowhere and devours him with one quick gulp.”

“A dog?”

“Yes. So I say: ‘Hey dog! That was my potato chip!’ But the dog just licks his  balls and says: ‘If it’s on the floor it’s within my jurisdiction. That’s the law.’ And I realize he’s probably right. Then the dog introduces himself to me, and it turns out that he’s none other than Seymour McPisst, the famous super-genius spokesdog from all of those beer commercials back in the day. He also had a short-lived television sitcom about a dog elected to Congress who goes to Washington and poops in the president’s slippers.”

“I think I vaguely remember it.”

“Anyway, he offers to buy me a beer which I readily accept, and he tells me that every one dog year is equal to seven human years. ‘That’s the law,’ he says, ‘so I’ve been able to drink liquor since the age of three.’  ‘Are you some kind of lawyer?’ I ask. ‘Of course I am,’ he replies, ‘You scratch my back and I’ll bite yours!’ He buys several more rounds of drinks, and as he does so he becomes increasingly introspective. He tells me he’s worried that we as a society are becoming more and more like unwitting pawns manipulated by greedy narrow-minded forces uninterested in anything but their own selfish desires. He also worries that young people only hang-out with him for the beer.”

“And what do you think about that?

“Frankly, doc, I really don’t care one way or the other so long as someone else is paying for it. But I don’t have time to dwell on the subject because all of a sudden this squirrel comes crashing in through the window flying some sort of makeshift glider, and it’s just about the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen!  He grabs my box of Nut Clusters breakfast cereal, which I didn’t even realize I had on me, then turns around and  gives me the finger before hauling ass out of there.”

“Do you chase after him?”

“Well, I think about it, but then I figure that any squirrel clever enough to build a hang glider might also be packing heat. But McPisst the dog has no such inhibitions and he goes stumbling off after the squirrel, who’s now using a jet-pack to make his escape. So I’m left alone at the bar, and it isn’t long before people start looking at me funny. Then I notice a foul odor in the air and realize, to my horror, that it’s emanating from my very own armpits. And everyone’s wrinkling their nose in disgust as they look upon me with utter contempt, and the more I try to press my arms against my body the worse it gets. The stench becomes so unbearable that reality itself is repelled from me and I find myself lost in a dark, awful, meaningless void of nothingness.”

“Was it hell?”

“I don’t think so. It was more like the Republican national convention.”

“Please continue.”

“Well,  I cry out in anguish:  ‘Someone please help me! I got stinky armpits!’, and at that very moment the woman of my dreams appears from out of nowhere and gives me a magical bottle of anti-perspirant. Suddenly I smell wonderful and completely irresistible, and as she smiles seductively at me I ask: ‘Can we make love  now?’ But she doesn’t answer my question, she just laughs and says: ‘You’re dreaming!”

“And then?”

” And that’s when I wake up, always in a cold, clammy sweat, completely drained and utterly exhausted,  and sobbing like a little baby.”

The doctor considered what he had just heard. “Well,” he finally said, “I’m not sure how it all adds up, but it seems clear that you’re a very sick individual.”

“But can you help me?”

“Perhaps, but it will take some time. I believe you have unresolved issues concerning your perception of reality, which we may be able to address with the proper therapeutic approach.”

“But what can I do in the meantime? Please, doc! I can’t take much more of this! It’s about to drive me crazy!”

“I suggest you try to relax by engaging in some of your favorite pastimes. Do you have any special hobbies or interests?”

“Well, I do like watching TV…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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