Back in August, I had an incredibly weird dream. I wrote a draft post about it (which appears below), filed it, and forgot it. Until I read this:
Starting at 11 a.m., hundreds of dogs are expected to descend on Downtown Oak Park for the attempt to break the Guinness World Record of 178 canine couples wed in a mass ceremony. All couples will exchange “bow vows” at 1 p.m., with Oak Park Village President David Pope serving as officiant.
The event mentioned above made the news because they’ve invited the Obamas to attend and adopt a puppy, I was not randomly surfing around looking for dog weddings. Maybe I should have been.
I’m too tired to clean up this draft so it may seem odd because I wrote it August 11, 2008 and always intended to revise it so it would make more sense, but never did.
I mention this because the memory of this event must have been the genesis for the dream I had last night. I have no other explanation. It seemed so real, I was actually concerned that it had actually happened. The look on Husband’s face when I asked him if he knew anything about a massive artomatic dog wedding assured me it was only a dream.
So here’s the dream. I repeat: This did not actually happen, nor is it a planned event for next year’s Artomatic.
The dream took place at Artomatic, presumably the 2009 event, although we were still in the 2008 building. It was a dream, let’s just work with it. Pat and I built a little wedding chapel at Artomatic as our installation and, as Pat and I can both legally perform weddings, we were marrying people on Friday and Saturday nights. To each other, not to ourselves, of course. It was quite nice. People would invite their friends, we had a special Roger-built bar-cart for the receptions. We had sunflowers. Some people brought their own flowers.
Somewhere along the way, we decided to perform a ceremony so Ellyn could marry Emo, her dachshund. To the best of my knowledge, Ellyn has never, in real life, expressed any desire to marry her dog. I can’t explain why I would think she wanted to in this dream, but remember, it was a dream. We agreed to perform a wedding for Ellyn and Emo, and the next thing we knew more people wanted to marry their dogs.
For some reason, we decided to find a country that would agree to issue legal marriage licenses for people and their dogs. We found one, an island that saw good publicity and cash flow when it flashed before their eyes, and the process was simple. The marriage was non-exclusive, meaning you could also be married to a human and/or the rest of your pack. The marriage was only recognized on the island of St. Maarten. Presumably only the French side. I say that not because I think the French marry their dogs, but because that’s where Tracy was when I had the dream. And in the dream, she had stayed there to be our registrar of licenses. Somehow, we still managed to have Pho together every Sunday, distance never makes much sense in dreams, does it?
As an aside, you cannot actually marry your dog in St. Maarten and they have actual matrimony rules, which my subconscious decided to make a mockery of for no real reason. I blame Tracy.
Back to the dream…Next thing you know, we have a stage set-up in a huge field and we have thousands of people there to marry their dogs. There were of protesters, courtesy of the Rick Santorum website. Yes, Rick Santorum appeared to me in a dream. That, frankly, troubles me more than any other detail.
I could describe what everyone was wearing and what the band played and all those other oddly specific yet utterly mundane details, but it would be boring. Just picture a big field full of dogs and people, lots of camera crews, and, as proof this was a dream, hundreds of cheerful and enthusiastic volunteers. Also, a large cake shaped like a fire hydrant, which was instantly recognized to have been a very poor plan.
When we kicked off the ceremony, I made a stern speech about how people need to keep their dogs on a leash or they’d be escorted off the field. It went on a bit about this being for the safety of their own dog as much as others. I believe the military was supplying security. Also, for some reason that made sense at the time, nuns.
I made a joke about CNN being there and said that I’d originally planned to tell a joke about Wolf Blitzer and his cat, but had been informed this was now a family event and that I shouldn’t tell it. People could see me afterwards if they wanted to hear it. Even in my sleep, I have animosity for the Blitzer. I wish I could remember the joke, apparently it was as hilarious as it was obscene. Does Wolf have a cat?
We had the ceremony, and each person had a “Best Friend Best Friend” who recited the dog-vows. Pat recited the human vows. I recited the dog vows, which actually went: “Woof. Woof woof woof, woof…” etc. And the Best Friend Best Friends repeated the vows, “Woof. Woof woof.”
Like I said, I woke up deeply, deeply disturbed.