A man with a mouthful of large teeth stopped me this morning and enquired whether I was interested in buying some dreams. I thought about it for a while and asked a few questions before answering in the traditional affirmative or negative as situations of that nature don't occur to me as frequently as one might expect.
I had doubts about the validity propelling his cause based on the following things: His clothes looked suspiciously expensive for someone who sold dreams for a living; His face looked too familiar to be anyone I knew, making him twice as likely to be a liar by trade than my used swimming pool salesman mate, Pedro; His expression, which did not alter from the time he looked at me to the time he picked his loose change up off the footpath upon the journey's conclusion, seemed sad in a disturbingly obvious way, as though he had experienced grief on many levels of the emotional scale and kept it hidden from inquisitive ears, something which I interpreted as odd in the excessively windy conditions which prevailed; His name felt wrong, as though it had come from one of those outdated vending machines where gum and plastic rings were known to procreate, but where a card bearing his new salesman's name in a typeface nobody could decipher had slid into the tray below.
I have no foundation to disprove any of the above, leaving my third eye open to suggestions that it could have happened another way, which it didn't. Here's what transpired:
Andy K: Huh?
Man: I said psst!
Andy K: Psst isn't any word I know.
Andy K: What do you want?
Man: It's not what I want but what you want.
Andy K: [thinking to myself: A salesman.] Okay. Get off the road and hop in.
Man: [enters car, is silent]
Andy K: So, what do I want?
Man: You want to buy dreams, don't you?
Andy K: [thinking] Tag question, eh?
Andy K: Dreams, you say?
Man: Yes, dreams.
Andy K: And why do I want to buy dreams, Mr...?
Andy K: Mr Cruise, eh? That's not your common variety family name, is it?
Mr Cruise: [thinking] I guess not.
Andy K: Is that Cruise as in c-r-u-i-s-e or Cruz as in c-r-u-z?
Mr Cruise: The first one.
Andy K: I see. So, do you have a first name, Mr Cruise, or do you prefer I call you Mr Cruise?
Mr Cruise: [thinking] Call me Tom. Yes, Tom.
Andy K: Tom Cruise, eh?
Tom Cruise: Yes.
Andy K: So, tell me about these dreams then, Tom. Whose dreams are they, why are you selling them and why am I falling head over heels to purchase somebody else's dreams?
Tom Cruise: Well, I'm in no position, morally speaking, to sell anyone's dreams other than my own. These are my dreams. Why am I selling them? That's a very good question. I guess I'm selling them mainly because I want to share something of mine with the rest of the world and I felt that you were as good a place to start as any. You look like you're in need of some good dreams, which is why it's lucky for you that we met. Thirdly, the reason you want to buy my dreams [nudging my ribcage with his elbow] is because they're incredibly arousing.
Andy K: Arousing, you say?
Tom Cruise: Yes, arousing. And titillating.
Andy K: What makes you think that I'm interested in purchasing arousing and titillating dreams, Tom?
Tom Cruise: You look like the type of guy who would want a lifetime's supply of arousing and titillating dreams, if you don't mind my saying.
Andy K: No, I don't mind at all. I understand why you would think that, what with my receding hairline, hairy wrists and super moisturised palms.
Tom Cruise: [nodding]
Andy K: Hmm. It's a real dilemma, Tom.
Tom Cruise: But it shouldn't be. These dreams, the ones I'm selling, have been classified as Prime Grade, Best in the World, Undeniably Brilliant dreams.
Andy K: By whom?
Tom Cruise: Well, by me.
Andy K: Oh, I see. Hmm.
Tom Cruise: What's the matter now?
Andy K: Well, Tom, I'm just wondering.
Tom Cruise: Yeah?
Andy K: I'm wondering why you don't want to hang onto your own dreams.
Tom Cruise: What do you mean?
Andy K: Well, if these dreams are as arousing, titillating and everything else that you claim they are, which I have no doubt they are; I mean, look at that fabulous suit! Well, if they are all this and more then why wouldn't you want to hang onto them? Aren't these kinds of dreams, your dreams, and all dreams for that matter, irreplaceable?
Tom Cruise: [scratching his head] Actually, I've made copies of these dreams, which I'm going to keep in case I want to re-live them. You know, like a matinee on a dreary Sunday afternoon.
Andy K: Oh, well, that's all right then, isn't it?
Tom Cruise: I think so.
Andy K: Me too. Now that I know you've got a copy of these dreams, it will make my decision even easier.
Tom Cruise: Great!
Andy K: Yeah. Say, Tom.
Tom Cruise: Yes?
Andy K: How much does each dream cost and how many of them are you selling?
Tom Cruise: Well, they vary in price.
Andy K: Really?
Tom Cruise: Yes. Some of them are outstanding; I mean, totally and unequivocally certifiable works of bona fide art. Those are $120 each.
Andy K: I see. And how many of those do you have?
Tom Cruise: Five.
Andy K: Five? Right. What about the others; the ones that aren't as engrossing as the $120 ones?
Tom Cruise: Oh, they're all exceptionally engrossing. I wouldn't be selling any of my crappy dreams [shakes head].
Andy K: Sorry, Tom. I didn't mean to...
Tom Cruise: No, no. There's no need to apologise. The slightly less outstanding ones like these here [produces a handful of small cases] are $5 each.
Andy K: $5 each, you say?
Tom Cruise: Yeah.
Andy K: Well, if I were to buy any of your dreams then they're probably more in my price range.
Tom Cruise: You should see the $120 ones.
Andy K: I can't afford to see the $120 ones.
Tom Cruise: All right. Look, I'll tell you what, how about I sell all these dreams to you for $500?
Andy K: Including the outstanding, totally and unequivocally certifiable works of bona fide art $120 dreams?
Tom Cruise: Yes, even those.
Andy K: Hmm.
Tom Cruise: What's the matter now?
Andy K: How many are there in total?
Tom Cruise: 3,286.
Andy K: 3,286 of your dreams for $500, you say?
Tom Cruise: Yes.
Andy K: Sounds pretty good.
Tom Cruise: All right. Seeing as you're obviously a gifted fellow, I'll throw in this copy of Scientology 101 for nothing and you can have the 3,286 dreams with the bonus magazine for a grand total of $250.
Andy K: No.
Tom Cruise: No, what?
Andy K: No, I don't want to buy your dreams or have that magazine included for free.
Tom Cruise: Well, why not? It's an absolute bargain I've offered you; 3,286 of my best dreams plus this copy of Scientology 101 for the measly sum of $250. What reason could you possibly have to not buy them?
Andy K: Okay. Firstly, I don't have the appropriate player on which to play those things.
Secondly, Chances are they're copies and not originals, which means I'm as interested in acquiring them as a pig is in acquiring Size 44 slacks.
Thirdly, chances are even greater that there aren't any dreams on there anyway and that it's most likely static or file footage of propaganda driven documentaries from the 1940s or tubby people leaning against a machine which violently redistributes their fat to parts of their bodies more deserving, such as their cankles.
Fourthly, there hasn't been a dream machine in existence since Goldfrapp's gramophoviser; even then it was only the model with the optional recording feature. Fifthly, I accept what you've said as being partially true, in the sense that you want me to part with my money, as much of it as I'm insane enough to give, in exchange for something that I do not want, which means you're most likely sweating in your undergarment right now and therefore staining my car seat.
Sixthly, I'm not interested in you or your dreams; I have my own and they've sufficed until now. I also have an erection with the same malleability as titanium encrusted steel whenever the need arises, if you'll excuse the obvious pun. Seventhly, how can anyone capture footage of dreams on those things? What are they, bread crumb containers?
Eighthly, you strike me as someone in dire need of attention, be that from someone you know or from complete strangers with fancy hair and ample time for futile pursuits of attaining false happiness. Perhaps you should seek professional help or talk frankly and honestly to people you do know. Perhaps you should get craniofacial surgery, learn how to act like a respectable actor and convince someone that you're a valued member of society.
Ninthly, that suit was either stolen or made in a sweat shop in a dark corner of a south-east Asian country by an underprivileged worker whose only motivation for completing the task was to avoid bullets through the temples of his fourteen children and their respective spouses.
Tenthly, I trust people like you; people who hop into cars with their mouthful of gleaming teeth, proclaiming to be selling something of legitimate value, about as far as I can body cavity search you.
Eleventhly, Scientology. Need I expand?
Lastly, get out.
As I've stated before: I have no foundation to disprove any of the above, leaving my third eye open to suggestions that it could have happened another way, which it didn't. As I stopped the car and the man calling himself Tom Cruise placed his left shoe on the footpath, he stumbled, causing coins of no discernible denomination to roll in every which way and his knees to greet the solid path with reasonable force. It warmed my heart to witness such swift vengeance from the palms of mother nature.
For him the embarrassing moment was compounded when a herd of passing elephants from the travelling circus took turns finding relief from constipation that had obviously twisted their bowels for an indefinite period, leaving Tom with his own dilemma of finding an adequate oxygen supply with which to live to sell another day. I suspect he managed though I didn't stay because there was no personal satisfaction in seeing something like that.