I had the strangest dream last night.
In the dream, someone was very angry with me, and was suing me. I found out about it when the process server served me the summons, and I went to go ask what the problem was.
My angry friend, whom I will call Joe Doe, because I don't remember his name in the dream and because he doesn't correspond to any real person I know, detailed the event in question. I don't remember exactly what it was, because it was a dream, you know. But I remember... that I had dreamed that I had DONE this thing, whatever it was.
"But ... it was a dream, Joe," I said. "You can't hold me accountable for something that happened in a DREAM!"
"The hell I can't!" he cried. "I've got a lawyer and I'm going to sue your ass off! You won't have a pot to piss in when I'm done with you!"
"How the hell are you going to sue me for something that happened in a DREAM?"
"Simple!" he cried, triumphantly. "I'm going to sue you in THIS dream! Dream event, dream court, dream judge, dream jury! Your ass is MINE!"
That was the point in the dream at which I realized I was dreaming. I ceased to be afraid. I have learned that things in dreams simply go away when you wake up, no consequences. If he wanted to sue me, peachy. At this point, to avoid boring the reader, I will fast forward to the lawsuit and trial. It had occurred to me simply to not show up, but I was curious as to what would happen, and one shouldn't ignore a legal summons, you know.
Luckily, I dreamed myself up an attorney, so I really didn't have much to do except sit there and watch the show while my dream lawyer did all the talking.
I do remember that I went so far as to wear shorts, sandals and a Hawaiian shirt (my usual casual attire), as I dislike suits, and what were they going to DO? It was a DREAM! So naturally, no one noticed, and the proceedings began on schedule.
My attorney called for dismissal of the case on the grounds that the whole thing had happened in a dream.
His attorney objected, stating that the events had happened, and that the dream state was irrelevant, and that his client was entitled to a settlement.
My attorney countered that the events had happened in a PREVIOUS dream, occurring the Thursday night before the CURRENT dream, and therefore any lawsuit TONIGHT was invalid.
His attorney countered that there was no statute of limitations on dreams.
The judge agreed with him. "Proceed," he said.
At this point, it became like a real court case... that is to say, non-dramatic, lots of yammering, and rather dull. I will spare you the details I remember, which isn't many, because I wasn't really paying attention. I was wondering exactly what I HAD dreamed on Thursday. Did I dream I did something to Joe Doe? Or was I dreaming, in THIS dream, that I had dreamed I had done something to Joe Doe during a dream I had last Thursday night? Had I actually had the dream in question at all? Or was I simply DREAMING that I had had a certain dream? It was dreadfully confusing. I do remember that at some point during the trial, Joe's attorney had vanished and Joe was making his arguments himself. My lawyer would object occasionally. Sometimes he'd be overruled, sometimes not.
Towards the end of the trial, though, Joe began having a problem with the judge's attitude. "Your honor, at the risk of causing contempt, I notice that you seem less than interested in the case at hand. Is there a problem?"
"What's the point?" said the judge. "First of all, the events in question happened in a dream. Secondly, this dream has been going on for a while. Sooner or later, the defendant is going to wake up, rendering these proceedings moot."
"Your HONOR!" shouted Joe, angrily. "First of all, you yourself have agreed to the validity of these proceedings! Secondly, if it is proven that the events occurred as I claim that they did, I am entitled to a settlement, by LAW!"
"Again, what's the point?" said the bored judge. "He's going to wake up long before you can make it to the bank and cash the check. And even if he doesn't, I am quite certain that your dream check will make no impact whatseover on his accounts and properties in the real world. Furthermore, I can see by the look on the defendant's face that he knows this, which completely renders any punishment element in these proceedings pointless. I move for a recess."
"OBJECTION, your honor!" Joe screamed in outrage. He paused, and then hit a thunderous realization! "Your honor, I MUST DEMAND THAT YOU RECUSE YOURSELF!"
The judge glanced up sharply, surprised. "What? On what grounds?"
"This is HIS DREAM, your honor!" cried Joe. "Therefore, as a resident of his dream, YOU ARE HIS CREATION, and therefore INHERENTLY BIASED TOWARDS THE DEFENDANT! You cannot possibly render any kind of fair verdict! I demand that you recuse yourself from this case!"
The judge grabbed the gavel angrily, pointed at Joe, and.... stopped cold. His features registered confusion. Joe actually had a point. WAS he unconsciously biased? The judge looked at me, nervously.
I didn't know what to tell him. I thought about objecting on the grounds that I wasn't sure if I'd dreamed I'd wronged Joe in some way, or that I had dreamed in THIS dream that I had wronged Joe, and therefore the incident in question was totally screwed up...
And then I woke up. I was not afraid, or anxious, but I sure was confused.
Plainly, I need to quit watching "Law And Order" reruns before I go to bed...