Martin Luther King once had a dream, as did ABBA. Well, one was all about creating a vision for a harmonious future, the other was more about creating harmonising vocals for Eurovision, but either way, what these two “dreams” have in common is that people will gladly listen to them, unlike the other type of dream, the one that people insist on announcing to you, uninvited, with the conviction that it will be the most riveting thing you’ve heard since the sliced bread revelation, before quickly petering out into embarrassingly vague mouth-flapping – You’ve all heard it; “I had the weirdest dream last night!”.
This statement will, without a shadow of a doubt, be followed by the person attempting to tell you, using actual human words, what odd magical impossibilities their unrestricted mind came up with whilst left to its own warped devices. To the dreamer, the tale will be one that should be made into the greatest novel never told, to the audience, they just feel prey to a 5 minute stream of inane “um”s and “errr”s that pepper random verbs and desperate adjectives. No actual tale is told, but the spirit of conversation dies a little inside.
If you have never had the joy of waking up with the sensation that Tim Burton and David Lynch had a tea party in your head, if you’re one of those who never remembers their dreams, or even if you’re one of those vivid dream adventurers who insists on recounting your meaningless dream drivel to all and sundry, this game is for you.
The rules are simple. You will need a die, the following story template and ‘[ROLL] list’, and a
captive audience fellow player. Don’t worry if you can’t find a willing player, try making friends with a stranger on the train, in a lift or any corner you back them in to. People love being approached by random folk speaking in tongues!
The following is your ‘[ROLL] list’. When you reach a part of the story that says [ROLL], you roll the die and insert the word that corresponds to the number shown, into the sentence.
4. Barbara Cartland
Ready? Then in order to initiate play, you must utter the universally recognised invitation to your fellow player: “Ooooooh my god, I had the weirdest dream last night!” LET’S PLAY!
“So, I was in this kind of [ROLL] which actually looked like a [ROLL] type of thing, only with a bit more thingy, you know, the [ROLL] type of thingy. Well, I ended up with a mouthful of [ROLL] but it made me feel kind of, well, um, I can’t remember that bit. So, then I was climbing a giant [ROLL] but I had a fake [ROLL] on my back, which seemed totally normal at the time so everyone there just applauded and shouted “[ROLL]” but then I slipped and, errr, I can’t remember the next part. Hang on, before the bit about [ROLL], I remember that YOU were there, only you looked like a [ROLL] version of my old primary school teacher, and then we flew with wings made of [ROLL] and then I shouted “[ROLL]” because you, no, hang on, you weren’t you any more, you’d turned into Michael Bolton crossed with [ROLL]. So Michael Bolton and I made our way across huge fields filled with little tiny [ROLL]s and then we got chased by a thingy, that looked like, ummm, a bit, what’s the word. Never mind. Oh, and there was a burning mermaid. Totally weird, right? I should make that into a movie!”
If this round was over too quickly for you, don’t worry, just go back to the very start and keep on rolling, with infinite combinations of exciting dream options to regale your audience with!
Points are awarded for each time you manage to get through an entire story ‘round’ without the other player throwing themselves under a bus or stabbing themselves in the ears with a couple of biros. You also get bonus points if you manage to ensnare more than one player with your opening line, not allowing time them to tell you that they don’t actually want to play this game because it’s the most self-indulgent and boring load of piffle they ever did know.
If you’re finding it hard to engage fellow players (odd though it may seem, some people pretend they don’t enjoy this game), simply draw them into the fun by flattering their ego with the promise of a starring role. “Hey, guess what? I dreamt about you last night” is a surefire way to get their game face on, and if that doesn’t work, tell them it was rude. The thrill they’ll feel when they realise they’re entering the 32nd round will be enough to console them once they get to their glittering moment in the magical dream spotlight, only to find out a crustacean ended up getting the rude bits while you can’t remember what they were actually doing with Dame Barbara after all.
For those of you looking for some deeper meaning to the strange melee of thoughts that frolicked about in your head last night, I can reveal this: The first bit means absolutely nothing, the second bit reveals nothing else and the third bit means that OH MY GOD NO-ONE CARES.
By the way, anyone wishing to engage my good self in this game of dream sharing, think again. I’m twice world champion and currently the holder of the highest score in the history of the world, ever. Not because I tell people, for hour on end what messed up kaleidoscope of surreal nonsense tumbled about in my head last night, but because I throttle all those who do!