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Robbing the Bank for a Few Rolls of Quarters

Dream | April 26, 2009

At the tail end of a typically convoluted sequence of dreams I robbed a bank for forty bucks' worth of quarters.

A buddy and I were returning some merchandise to a furniture depot when the manager bellowed "store credit only!" and showed us a catalog of expensive furniture which would require a serious expenditure to redeem my refund. The only cheap item was some dumb sculpture with offbeat coloration. Either way I was not going to get a full refund. We left to see if my house's interior design scheme could accommodate the sculpture.

In the van my buddy (and Indian fellow with a precise technical accent) was describing his new invention. He said it erased the perceived value of any item you programmed into it.

"Around the world the value of the item would be nonexistent!" he elaborated.

I was confused. "But isn't the value of an item — ah, like a roll of quarters — based on its utility?" The day before this dream I had done two loads of laundry and used up my very last quarter. "It's a consensus of perception."

"Yes. The effect is only temporary. Once a person appraises the item for any length of time the perceived value begins to climb again." He was grinning. "But for a brief period even the most expensive items are worthless! Would you like to do a test?"

"Ahh, sure." I said this hesitantly ‘coz I was not really sure what to do, even how or whether it worked. But I needed quarters for laundry and I usually went to the bank every few weeks and got some rolls. So I stopped at the BofA on San Fernando and hopped out. My friend indicated that he would activate the invention and I assumed he had it with him and it would take effect immediately.

Inside I asked a cashier for four rolls of quarters. She put them on the tray in front of me, right under the bulletproof plexiglas. "Forty dollars please." She said politely.

I put my right hand over the four rolls and lifted them toward me like a slow-motion crane. "But these rolls are worthless!" I said, then turned and strolled towards the door.

I could feel her watching me with amazement, motioning towards some man standing at a desk near the door. "Mr. Brisby?" She stuttered his name and he was alert.

But I was through the door and leaping up the stairs towards the back parking lot. The van was gone but I hopped into a late-model Mustang and cranked the key. An alarm was ringing somewhere, maybe in my mind. Something had gone wrong and the invention hadn't worked. Maybe I had acted too soon. Maybe the rolls were worthless but the quarters inside weren't. At that moment I was peeling through the parking lots and jumping a low hedge onto the street.

Suddenly there were police cars patrolling everywhere. Could they be after me this quickly? I screeched around a corner and raced down a shady tree-lined street. Then another corner and street. I was trying to slow down and be inconspicuous, but I picked up a cop a hundred feet behind, seemingly following me. I quickly turned another corner onto a rather jungly street, quickly parking kind of out on the street next to a Frito Lay van. Out of the car I shoved, skidded around the corner of the van and sliding into an overgrown lawn beneath a large Australian tree fern and mostly out of sight from the street and sidewalk.

The police car pulled up slowly past the van and must have stopped because it didn't appear on the other side. Then I couldn't see the police car nor my own vehicle. All the while I was wondering why I had made off with only forty bucks worth of coins and what kind of sentence I could expect to receive for this crime. Would they consider me insane? Would the bank forgive? I couldn't keep running for this petty crime. I decided to give myself up, so I stood up and walked around the Frito Lay van.

The cop was gone. A ticket fluttered on the windshield of the Mustang. I had been cited for parallel parking. As the dream was fading into the morning light I wondered if my buddy had played a practical joke on me.

Tags   Crime   Authority

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