October 18th, 2005

Inigo Montoya

The Weird Dream Chanel

The whole village is out on the town green, dressed in our everyday clothes. At the center of the green, which is a slight hill, is a 50-ish man in army brown, but it's not a uniform. We are all around him, looking his way, listening. He barks out something garbled, which we all know is "left face" and we all do a left face. Next garble is "right face". It has the feeling of one of those mostly-for-fun, company retreat morale-building games. After going through the standard parade ground calls, he garbles something which everyone hears correctly, but everyone except me executes incorrectly. I know it from marching band, it's a double-reverse - you take one step forward, swivel on both feet so you're now facing the opposite direction, then repeat so you're facing the same direction you started. I do it right, but everyone else just does a clumsy about-face. I am the ony one facing the man in the middle, everyone else has their back to him. A few scattered voices, mostly housewives, chide me for not doing it right. I know it's them who didn't do it right, but I don't say anything. The man giving the commands also doesn't say anything, but he gives the same command again, I just stand there, everyone else does the (incorrect) bumbling about-face again, which gets everyone facing the same direction as I am. The man in the middle grunts his approval. The rest of the crowd thinks he is complimenting them, but he and I know he is complimenting himself for getting everyone back in the same direction without having to embarrass them. The "drill" is over, and I wake up.