Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom.
“Life is but a dream.” I’d rather say “Life is but a nightmare.” Or maybe, “Life is but a bad dream.” Is this about the man who fell asleep and dreamed he was a butterfly, and when he awoke he didn’t know whether he was a man, or a butterfly dreaming he was a man? Roy Orbison had dreams—“In dreams I walk with you. In dreams I talk with you. In dreams you’re mine all of the time . . .” Jeez Roy, that’s ambitious. What about Gary Wright? For him, there is a mystical creature who wove dreams for him on a train he drove, maybe like sweaters, so he wouldn’t get depressed:
“I’ve just closed my eyes again
Climbed aboard the dream weaver train
Driver take away my worries of today
And leave tomorrow behind”
I dreamed one time that I was a hot dog hiding in a vegetarian cafe called “Don’t Meat Here.” I was a fugitive from a boardwalk hot dog cart. I had fallen off the cart when we hit a bump in front of “Don’t Meat Here.” One of the patrons had seen me and kicked me through the door. General mayhem ensued as I rolled across the floor. Panic stricken patrons blanched at the sight of meat, and fought to get out the door. But, the chef understood. He saw me as a fugitive. He cleaned me off and put me in the refrigerator. I flourished in the cool flow of refrigerated air.
One night, well after the cafe had closed, the chef opened the refrigerated door. He looked at me an said: “I’m sorry. I am going to boil you and eat you. I am weak-willed. There’s only so much brown rice I can cook and still consider myself a chef. I look at you and I think of the baseball games my father took me to as a kid—“Red Hots! Get your Red Hots.” Mustard, Relish. Maybe, onions. Soft bun, and the hot dog skin squeaks when you bite into it. I can’t forget family cookouts. Aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and grandparents. Maybe 4th of July, or Labor Day. “Dogs” hot off the grill, cooked by the able hand of Uncle Harvey, my inspiration to become chef. Then, he picked me up with a set of tongs, said “Bye” and dropped me in the boiling water.
There was no pain. My hot dog soul began its journey to Hot Dog Heaven. I was tucked into a perfectly toasted bun. Then, I saw the white light. It was Yankee Stadium lit up for a night game. There was an angel vending hot dogs and I landed gently in her hand. She threw me into the night—into the starry darkness. As I flew along, I saw Yogi, and Mickey, Moose, Whitey and all rest. They waved and smiled as I flew past. Then, I met God and he ate me.
At that point, I woke up. It was the best dream I ever had. Now I know, when I boil a hot dog, that I’m sending it’s soul to hot dog heaven.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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