One of the things I both love and loathe about being an ecologist is the travel: travel to conferences, travel for research, travel to give seminars. I love experiencing new locations, being outdoors, meeting new people, eating new foods. But I hate being away from General Disarray, meeting new people, and gaining 10 pounds from all the eating out at restaurants. Oh, and coming home is also a bitter sweet experience. Climbing into my own bed is always a sublime experience of sheer joy. However, opening my email upon return is the academic equivalent of Nightmare on Elm Street.
One of the things I do love is catching up with what's been going on in the blogosphere - especially what has been happening at my own blog while I've been away. Imagine my surprise that my dream reference in my last post not only inspired copious responses, but was even worthy of mention in other blogs. I learned a great deal from the comments in particular: I learned about Candid Engineer's desire for a CPP dream, Nat's...personal problems, and that BikeMonkey believes there is a pygmy running around pretending to be CPP but with clean language and a penchant for mentioning the Ituri Forest. Wow, what one misses when one is away!!!
Anyway, for those of you who have wondered what this dream was, I am delivering on my promise. I suspect that it will fall far short of the expectations that have built up...
The scene opens on a nondescript hallway. It is standard hallway seen in many apartment buildings. There is no indication of what town this apartment building may be located. No windows are ever seen.
Entering the hallways from around corner is River Tam and General Disarray. The are very excited because they have been invited to dinner by the exalted PhysioProf (sorry, Isis!). This is a rare honor. Like invitations from the king, this chance to dine with PhysioProf is both desired and feared through the blogosphere and our duo is both excited and nervous. Dinners with PhysioProf are rumored to be the highlights of many people's lives; evenings of wit and sparkling conversation. But there have also been...stories...that PhysioProf can sometimes be...difficult. More than one previous guest has been thrown out of the apartment for saying something that PhysioProf thought was utter wackloonery and evidence that the guests were undeserving of his time and attention. River and General Disarray desperately do not want to say anything wackaloon.
They knock on the door and are met by PhysioWife, a gracious and charming woman, with perfect and intimidating manners who proceeds to deliver a dizzying array of rules and instructions: a laundry list of things not to do or say or else the evening with morph from delightful to hellish. The evening is to be carefully choreographed so that all may have a pleasant dinner. We are shown into the sitting room to await the arrival of our host.
PhysioProf enters the room. He is dressed like an 18th Century gentleman. In fact, he reminds me of Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (which I have to admit I watched shortly before I left town).
He is intelligent, aloof, slightly disdainful. At this point, the dream gets a little fuzzy - I think from shock. I do remember that PhysioWife did a masterful job of managing the conversation, until dinner time when I said something unfortunate. I don't remember what I said, but PhysioProf indignantly leapt off the couch, pouted (yes, pouted) and stormed out of the room. I suspect, my comment was something about dinner. Given that this dream was occurring about the time that Isis was claiming victory, I will let my readers come to their own conclusions about what I may have said about dinner that might have elicited this response.
PhysioWife apologized profusely and ran after PhysioProf, leaving General Disarray (who looked at me disappointingly) and me sitting alone wondering if we should see ourselves out. However, the Physios soon returned...PhysioWife with a slightly stern demeanor that suggested she had conducted a conversation with PhysioProf that made it clear she was not about to have yet another pair of guests turned unceremoniously out of her house. I apologized for my gauche statement, he graciously accepted, and off we went to dinner.
End of dream.
I could attempt to interpret the dream, but I suspect it may be much more fun to see what you all come up with.....