Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Interpret This!

I had a dream the other night night; not an important one, but an interesting one.

Deb and I were shopping. She picked up a premeasured bulk-bag of popcorn seeds and another of powdered cheesy topping for the popcorn. The display had a large sign labeled, BINKO, and I noticed that on the bags of popcorn was a sticker advertising a BINGO night at the store for a Samoan fundraiser (specifically for the EFKS—Samoan Christian congregational church).

We went to the BINKO night and were seated at the end of the cereal aisle, though it also had conveniently located milk (or milk substitute) in a box (UHT-ultra heat treated for long shelf life) as well.

We started playing BINKO, using wooden Scrabble-like tiles (sans engraved letters) to cover our called squares which proved more a hassle than anything (In Samoa, they use markers—liquid filled with a sponge-like application tip—to mark the squares on the BINGO cards).

In time, I had all but one tile filled in a row—the score cards were much larger with more spaces than in traditional BINGO. The outer three spaces all around the board were, for some reason, called the “safety zone.” A lady one down from us was in the same situation as I—all but one space in a row filled, the empty space in the safety zone.

At that point, we’d been using our BINKO cards for a time with no winners. The judge decided that the cards were defective and that any with a nearly complete row (or column or diagonal) with the missing space in the safety zone was a winning card.

The lady and I each called out “BINKO, BINKO, BINKO!” and got to go to the prize booth to choose a prize. Because of the defunct-card situation, we were not given the option to choose the actual prize, rather we could choose from a grab bag of goodies.

I chose a Ziploc back with four Chips Ahoy cookies in it and took them back to our table to share with Deb.

Significantly, in real life, Deb and I have been in a sugar fast of sorts. But in my dream I decided that I was sick of the fast, I was going to eat my cookie prize (two of the four). I looked up and to my left down the aisle and retrieved a boxed milk (or substitute) called “Protest.” It was situated next to the Cocoa Puffs Charged—caffeinated Cocoa Puffs.

I joked that the milk was called Protest in reference to its taste. But it tasted fine with the cookies.

Deb and I were not stealing the Protest milk, or the boxed orange juice that we were also working on. We intended to take the empty containers to the register and pay for them after BINKO.

I looked up again at the shelf to see the price of the Protest: $9.95 or something outrageous like that.

In a much earlier segment of the dream, we were driving, amazed at the number of highschoolers with 80s-style Corvettes parked on the sides of the road. I commented that they were parked like that because they couldn’t afford the price of gasoline—upwards to $5.

Thus was my dream. Each prize level had a BINKO card requiring a separate buy-in. As the quality of prizes increased, so did the price of the BINKO cards. Apparently, we were at the beginning, hence less expensive, part of the night for my prize to have been four Chips Ahoy cookies.

5 comments:

Deb said...

perhaps this is reflective of your desire to have a WINCO close by where we could purchase such things like super-charged cocoa puffs in bulk. Or maybe you really want to get involved in a community bingo club...

sans auto said...

Your secret desire for a bingo outing. And you should drink milk alternatives as a protest against the dairy industry and all the bad stuff they do.

Let me know when bingo night is, I love bingo, but only if you have a blotter. I wish I remembered my dreams.

Josh Keanaaina said...

I immediately thought your dream was commentary on the state of modern American economics.

For instance... When Julie and I were shopping for cars we were really interested in hybrids, though they were $5,000 - $10,000 more than we wanted to pay and so we chose not to go that way. And everyday the price of gas is getting higher and higher, to the point where we pay more than twice per gallon what we use to pay when we got the car.
(which is at least a tenth of the full price of the car when we bought it and a sixth of what we could sell it for now every year in gas alone). I feel like I won, but if I'd only gotten a more expensive car I could've gotten a better deal. And when the judges of the game realize they might lose us if they don't do something, all of the sudden we hit a lucky break. Maybe we'll get tax breaks or they'll start selling hybrids a bit cheaper. Still we're wary of all the hidden cost.

We tend to eat our money before it even has a chance to sit in our plates, maybe before it's even ours. All the while, I'm thinking to myself, do I really have to play this game. Am I really willing to spend all the money I earn to preserve my luxury? I could protest, but I've dealt my hand in the game every time I get the chance. So we spend more to maintain a lifestyle we feel is necessary. Who am I to argue? It seems too late to do anything about it. My family already drank the $8.36 gallon of milk and drove till the gas gauge was almost empty on the $4.15/gallon tank of gas. What am I going to do with all this cereal we bought at Costco and how am I going to get to work in fifteen minutes? Milk and Gas are like death and taxes.

Whitney Hardie said...

I'm sensing three different themes in this dream.
1. the economy
2. competitiveness
3. food

Thus, I feel it is your destiny to provide for your family by being a competitive eater. Bring on the hot dogs!

Anonymous said...

Hello Nate. My name is Lamese Ugapo and I live in Southern California. I stumbled upon your blog by accident but I'm glad I did. I really enjoy your stories. My reason for writing you is that I am an American 'born and raised' Samoan meaning that I was raised by Samoan parents in America, who for some reason or other decided not to teach us the language. Maybe they wanted to preserve their ability to communicate without us knowing any better. Anyway, I am now 31 years old and I have a newfound intense desire to learn the language of my parents. I am currently reading the Book of Mormon in Samoan (and understanding very little) with the hope that it will "click" someday. I'm wondering if you might be so kind as to recommend some great Samoan language software or books that you would consider top notch. I know you don't know me and you owe me nothing but I would greatly appreciate it. Here is my email: mightmakemerry@yahoo.com - Thank you.