17 April 2005

Casino dream (sorry)

I apologize, you guys!. I don't intend to make this into my personal dream log. But I have another amazing dream and I thought it might be funny to share.

For some reason, I am at an Indian reservation casino nestled somewhere in the Canadian Rockies. The casino is surrounded by snow and trees (and little else), and it's obvious that the casino is the only good thing going (and likely the only source of employment) on the reservation. Inside the casino grounds, no matter what the season, the grass is always kept green and free of snow. The grounds are meticulously kept, like some arctic golf course. No expense has been spared to make the casino look like it does not belong on the Indian Reservation and that winter is fully under control.

In fact, it has become tradition that every year that the reservation announces some sort of opulent new addition to the casino grounds designed to beat the harsh Canadian winters and ensure that the guests feel like they are "Somewhere Else" (that's the the motto the casino uses at the end of its TV commercials). In past years, sensible, logical things were added like, say, one year when tall, magnificent palm trees were installed in the lobby to give it that tropical feel. Lately, however, the casino has been running out of things to add. Their grand announcement of "heated carpets" was, although appreciated, hardly the kind of impressive announcement the casino was looking for.

Although the casino is running out of ideas, they are most definitely not running out of money. Case in point: I am standing with a crowd of people in the lobby with a panoramic view of the mountains listening to a large man in a navy blue suit making an official announcement about this year's addition to the grounds. It's odd-- though his suit is obviously custom-tailored, the man is covered in tattoos and piercings and looks like a former motorcycle gang member. This year's announcement: the new duck pond is now "all-season." It's been specially designed to be heated by underground pipes so that the pond will not ice over. Therefore, he says, the ducks will not leave and migrate south every year. Every eventuality has been planned for, however, he says. Since the ducks are not expecting heated ponds, he says, our "little celebrities" may still migrate south anyway, in which case, whatever the costs, "imported" ducks will be added in the winter months. The guests "oooh" and "ahhh" at this.

Despite the announcement, I find everything rather unimpressive. I look outside the window and down onto the huge heated duck pond. It is -30°C and the ducks are not swimming around happily as planned. There are about 30 ducks all huddled underneath a small, heated plexiglass shelter at the far end of the pond. Several guests have ventured to the shelter and are throwing dinner rolls to the ducks, but they just roll off the top of the shelter and into the water, where they eventually sink, uneaten.

Clearly, the guest is king at the casino. Although the guests always have fun and the casino has always received rave reviews, the pressure to keep adding new luxuries and attractions has been taking its toll on the staff. Not only are they having trouble finding ways to make additional, meaningful improvements to the grounds, but due to certain issues last year, they've been forced to dramatically change this year's entertainment. In years past, the casino put on a large motorcycle show where stuntmen would jump motorcycles over anything the guests suggested, that is, until one year, the guests all agreed that the casino itself should be jumped. It was a disaster.

Motorcycle guy explains that this year there will be no motorcycle show. Instead, we'll be doing a "Country & Western Extravaganza", and we are all going to have to learn some new dance steps and choreographies if we are going to keep our jobs. The staff is less than enthusiastic about this year's floor show, however, and a few longtime staffers complain. It's less than manly, they say, nowhere near as impressive as the motorcycle shows. But no, it's the floor show this year, motorcycle guy says. With a grim, determined to look on his face, he shows us video of the last ever motorcycle jump there at the casino, "for those new staff members who might not be with the program." It begins with an outside shot of the casino itself. Then a motorcycle appears in the sky from behind it and the camera follows him down to a waiting landing ramp. The motorcyclist has miscalculated, however, and he hits the lip of the ramp exactly in the middle of his bike, cutting it in half. He slides down the ramp with the front half of his bike, while the rear wheel spins away and into the crowd.

"What would they have us jump next year, anyway?" Motorcycle guy says. "The fucking moon?? Learn the dance steps, people, or it's back to the bikes!"

The rest of the dream is spent practicing the dance moves for the floor show. There must be at least 100 of us. Maybe it's because I was late to the production, but I am completely inept, unable to follow anything. While people pirouette, form long trains and walk complicated patterns together, I am caught in a sea of movement I do not understand. I spend the entire practice time ducking arms and bumping into the dancers. The music stops and I am removed from the production.

For some reason, the remainder of the dream is spent trying to find a restroom at the casino, which proves to be nearly impossible. The guys from last year's motorcycle team have quit the production and have begun tearing up the grounds on their bikes. I end up frustrated, unable to find a restroom, and pee in a snow bank beside the duck pond. Afterwards, I stand there in the quiet, freezing Canadian night. I can see one of the pipes pumping warm water into the pond. The stream is textured with heat. A tiny fish swims up, examines the stream, and zips away.



Blogger Lee H. said...

That's not a dream, that's a satire! :D

Seriously, though, what a funny (and by that I mean humorous) dream. :) You should consider expanding that into a short story or something. It's awesome.

9:07 AM, April 18, 2005  

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