Thursday, October 18, 2007

An addendum to The Teaching Dream

I omitted one strangely vivid detail from my account of that dream I had the other day (in the interests of conciseness rather than through lapse of memory); but I mentioned it when I happened to run into my friend The Poet last night, and this prompted me to think of adding it here after all.

I was somewhat shocked and surprised to find myself face-to-face with Eric Morecambe. A rather youthful and vigorous Eric Morecambe, at that. I knew something wasn't quite right about this, but couldn't quite place what (Eric, of course, died of a heart attack more than 20 years ago).

I found myself for a few minutes before the class trying to make small-talk with the great man, and this doubt about whether he should - could - actually be there was nagging at me more and more insistently. But I thought it would seem rude to say (to a professional entertainer, who might, after all, simply have been going through a sluggish spell in his career), "I thought you were dead."

So instead I conjured up the bumbling euphemism: "I thought... you'd been performing elsewhere."

The Poet said she found it fascinating, charming, that these fundamental elements of our personality, the social impulses such as politeness, or the fear of embarrassment, endure even in our dreams.

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