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Pecan Pie for the Mind: Deciding between Dr. Freud and Ace Hardware
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Another night, another strange dream - this is getting to be a habit that I'd love to break. Sometimes, I'm flying in an airplane that develops engine trouble over a crowded city. Other times, I'm back in college, and the professor walks by and says, "Well, it's nice to see you for the first time this semester, Mr. McCoy. Here's the 20 page final exam. You have 90 minutes." Regardless of the subject of the bad dream, I jolt awake, bite my pillow and wonder why my brain has to work the night shift.

If dreams are the mind's way of resolving issues it confronts during the day, then my brain has a big problem with light bulbs. I have this one recurring bad dream where I'm in a dark room, and I try to turn on a light. Nothing works. The bulbs don't burn, the lamps don't light, and the room stays dark. I usually wake up totally frustrated. What's my brain trying to tell me with this dream that it plays over and over? Maybe it's a complex message like, "You have deep-seated emotional issues that stem from a past traumatic event." But it could also be, "Hey, I read that light bulbs are on sale over at Ace Hardware." I wish my brain would make up its mind about this, so to speak.

I bet Sigmund Freud would know what to do. I could go to some of his followers, but paying their rates to tell me about light bulbs would give my brain fifteen new reasons to have nightmares. So, I usually try to repair my bad dreams by myself, but this one has been hard to fix. Well, I've had enough. I'm going to visit my buddy Ed over at Ace Hardware, and I'm going to stock up on 60-watters. Then, if the bad dreams continue, I'll know it is indeed about some deep seated emotional neurosis and not about missing the annual light bulb sale. But, just to be on the safe side, I'm going to buy a few replacement light switches and some other electrical gadgets, and I'll put the receipt under my pillow. The brain is a complicated mechanism, and I want to be prepared if that bad dream is just trying to tell me I need a new dimmer switch for the dining-room chandelier.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at