Today, I was walking up to the supermarket and on the way I saw three women each handing out swords made from those twisty balloons you get a kids' parties. There didn't seem to be an advertising or other promotion going on - they just seemed to be handing out the swords. If we lived in the world of Doctor Who then there'd probably be some strange alien power within each of those which would only reveal itself slowly and when someone is looking the other way, or something.
But it makes you wonder doesn't it?
The other night I had a dream. Nothing unusual in that. It was a kind of dream I have from time to time - a dream with a narrative. Usually the narrative doesn't make much sense but every now and again there will be dreams set the same location with a story running through it. The locations are familiar within the context of the dream, but they're not real places I actually recognise from the real world. They often recur, though. There's the secret little town on top of the tall skyscraper, there's the tall office block with a huge number of lifts, there's the small village with the canal and the bakery by the water. Even though the cast and plot is different every time, the locations are often the same.
We're all generally happy to talk about our dreams, but we suddenly become coy when talking about whether any "real people" from our life appear in them. There's nothing weird about it - dreams seem to just be the brain creating a collage from the day's thoughts and events so it's not surprising that other people would feature sometimes. Sometimes they are major players and sometimes they are just bystanders. Sometimes there's one person in a dream who actually corresponds to two people in real life - I'm sure Freud would've read an awful lot of codswallop into that particular one.
But much as we'd say "I had this weird dream about rabbits smoking purple cigarettes whilst running around a field made of coriander and a piped band formed of badgers and otters played the national anthem backwards whilst Dolly Parton sang lead" we'd never say to someone "I had a dream about you last night". It's just weird.
So, it's with some trepidation that I say I did include a colleague of mine in a dream the other night. Only as a bit player. In fact, he was in one of the lifts in the office block, he was standing in the lift when I got in, and stayed in the lift when I got out. We said "hello" and that was it. A walk-on role really. I'd never dream of telling him that he featured, though - for reasons I don't quite understand we'd both feel "a little bit weird" about it. It's not even someone I speak to or work with often in the office.
But it got me wondering - it could be possible that if your dream includes someone - then their dream also includes you. How do I know that this person at work didn't also have a dream about being in a lift that night, and is secretly rather surprised that I got into and out of the lift in HIS dream. But because neither of us would either ask the other, we'll never know will we.