Last night I dreamed I was meeting a bunch of friends for some sort of high tech convention and movie premiere at this (fictional) amazing exhibition center in Cincinnati. Mom was there, and so was Brooke and her mom (and a saber-toothed tiger that was apparently the family pet), and Brooke’s sister-in-law Dorothy and her daughter Allison were there, and my friend Dawn from Malaysia and my friend Roderick from Singapore, and then my friend Hai from California was going to meet us.
The event was huge. We passed through a long hallway lined with high tech toys and geeky crafts we could buy. There were lots of paper art products that were packaged flat but you could unfold and put together into mathematical shapes and pop culture designs. And of course there were plenty of gadgets.
Once we were in the center proper, we saw that a giant cylindrical core ran the length of the building. It was extremely big, such that it was large enough to house several whales, who entertained us with their song as they swam up and down from floor to floor.
We walked around for a long time looking for our seats. I’d bought very good tickets. Finally we found the VIP check-in. It was a white table manned by a few guides and equipped with several videoconference machines, allowing the conference hosts to interact with us as we checked in. Koji Kondo was the one to take my ticket. “It’s an honor to meet you, sir!” I told the little screen above the ticket scanner, and he smiled and bowed.
Brooke and her mom got distracted at one point trying to get the saber-toothed tiger to cooperate. It was fixated on an area near the top of the building that looked like a gas station. Meanwhile, Mom and I tried to go to the bathroom, but despite the sheer size of the place, the line was really long.
Finally we made it to a table. I’m not sure if it was the spot I’d reserved for the show or if it was just a waiting area. Regardless, we set all our stuff down, including my expensive camera and a bunch of goodies we’d purchased as we wandered through the exhibition. Then I got a message through the fancy PDA I’d been given at check-in. There was a picture of Hai and a message from one of the hosts that read, “I want to ban him for life!” Apparently Hai had tried to get through to us but there was something wrong with his ticket, and the hosts were contacting me to let me know and ask if I did actually know him.
I couldn’t figure out how to send a message back through the PDA. “I’d better go get Hai,” I announced to the table. I started to gather up my things…but the others just got up and left without taking theirs! I was suddenly all alone at a table filled with belongings and rare items.
And then a huge family of panhandlers came up and surrounded the table.
“I’m sorry, I can’t help you,” I told them.
“Come on, we’re starving.” They were not starving; they looked well-fed and clothed. They may actually have lived inside the ginormous convention center.
“Good, good, but no,” I said. When they kept it up, leaning in and gazing hungrily at all the stuff on the table, I shrieked, “SECURITY!”
They seemed to frighten off, but they only moved away about five feet to make sure security wasn’t actually coming, and then came right back to hover over the table again.
“SECURITY!” I kept yelling. “Help, security, please!” But no one ever came. I knew that if I could just figure out how to use the stupid PDA, I could send a message that would get someone here to help…but if I looked down at the PDA, one of these people would make off with something from the table.
It was at this moment of crisis that I abruptly woke up.