Unintended Unconscious Consequences

I do stupid things for my kids sometimes.  Well…maybe stupid isn’t the best word, but certainly detrimental to my personal well-being.

Case in point: This past Tuesday was the release date of the new Batman video game, Arkham Knight.  For those of you not up on such matters, the Arkham game series are generally considered to be the best Batman games ever, particularly the first two, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, which were made by Rocksteady Studios.  The third game in the series, Arkham Origins, was handled by another company and was not nearly as well received.  For Arkham Knight, though, Rocksteady is back and anticipation is high.

So high, in fact, that our local GameStop opened at midnight to get the game into the hands of the eager players.  My son had pre-ordered the game and REALLY wanted to get his hands on it as soon as possible.  He’s a teenager on Summer vacation, so staying up until midnight is actually an early night for him.  As for his dad…well…not so much.  I get up for work around 5:30AM, so I try to get to bed around 10PM.

However, because I am far too nice to my children and GameStop is a whopping three minutes from my house, I agreed to let him wake me up a little before midnight, so that I could drive him down there to collect his new game.

Surprisingly, there were already at least 20 people in front of the store when we arrived.  Now I live in a small town.  I really didn’t think that we’d have so many people lining up at midnight to get this game.  I was wrong.

But, since everyone seemed to have a pre-order, the large stack of Arkham Knight games was quickly efficiently doled out to the waiting masses (A side note for anyone interested in these things, they seemed to have far more Playstation 4 copies than X-Box One.  Take that for what it’s worth in the continuing battle for console superiority.).  Not too long after that, my son was happily planted in front of his console waiting to Be the Bat, while I settled back into my bed to head back to sleep.

If only it were that simple.

Normally when I wake up during the night (Most often due to my cat), I am able to get back to sleep in moments.  I guess actually getting up, driving somewhere, waiting a bit, and then driving back threw off my sleep pattern a wee bit.

After far longer than I would have liked, I did finally drift back off to sleep. 

And then this is what I assume must have happened:

“Hey, boss.  We got that dream you ordered ready for the Decker kid.”

“Good good.  Send it on its way.”

“Yeah.  About that.  He ain’t showing up on our scopes.”

“Whaaaaaaaat?  It’s three in the morning!  Even he is usually in bed by now.”

“Not tonight.  Actually, we got a lot of no-shows across the board.”

“Must be another one of those blasted game releases.  Well, I am NOT letting this dream go to waste.  Send it to the father.  This is probably his fault anyway.”

“You got it, boss!”

So instead of whatever dream I was supposed to get last night, I ended up in a high school that looked far more like my son’s than mine, scrambling to finish my English final exam.  The first blue answer book I had already had writing in it, so I had to find another one before I could finally get started.

Thankfully, the dream fast-forwarded a bit, but then I knew I was running late for my Chemistry exam.  I raced outside to cross the courtyard (not a feature at either high school) and was waylaid by some other students made up as zombies.  They wanted me to join them in getting made up and chasing other students, but, once I explained that I was late for an exam, they let me by.

So then I breathlessly entered the Chemistry exam, which was being proctored by my son’s Chemistry teacher and sat down to work.  Again, I was lucky to get to fast forward because I remember exactly one thing about high school chemistry.  One day our teacher, who was possibly out of his mind, made us all chant over and over again, “I am a Chemistry student!  I am not afraid of a mole!”  That’s all I’ve got left.

Dream Me, however, seemed to do okay, because I jumped forward a bit in time to a restaurant where I was discussing my grades with my friends.  I’d apparently aced both exams.  Since he was there too, I did get to thank my English teacher: Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.

So thank you for that, my son.  I’m glad you’re enjoying Arkham Knight, but you can keep these "OH NO, I HAVE AN EXAM!" dreams to yourself!

- Alan Decker

@CmdrAJD on Twitter