Skip to main content

Gross National Product and The Great Train Robbery

The other night, I had a uniquely vivid dream. I was at a train station with a co-worker of mine, Trent. We were walking beside a black coal train that was stopped on the track. We were musing about how the government calculates the Gross National Product and what it actually means.

At a certain point, it occurred to me, as it happens in a dream, that we could find out the answer to our question because attached to the train were two solid gold cylinders. We located the cylinders. Each was about the size of a thick pen, and each had an engraving along the side; one with the initials GNP and the other, GDP. We understood that upon investigation of these tubes (whose initials referred to Gross National Product and Gross Domestic Product), we would better understand the principle of the Gross National Product.

We looked at one another wondering whether or not the train needed them. We understood somehow that the solid gold cylinders were not essential to the running of the train, so we took them for examination with every intention of returning them before anyone noticed that they were missing.

A feeling of foreboding overcame us that, even though they weren't essential to the operation of the train, some official would be looking for us soon and we would be in trouble. So, we headed away from the train station as quickly and calmly as we could until we reached a forest area. No sooner had we reached the seclusion of the trees than we heard an alarm sound. We were certain they were looking for us.

We understood that our explanations that the train didn't really need the tubes and that we were just going to examine them weren't going to placate them. They were simply weren't interested in raising their nose beyond the rule book, so to speak.

We heard the bustling and yelling of a man getting closer, and we found a cave to hide in. We each found a natural bench inside the cave, lied down, and pretended that we were asleep. The man entered and was obviously irate. He pointed right at us and started loudly and accusingly calling to us. When we didn't respond. We simply kept pretending that we were asleep. Because this was a dream, the plan worked.

His attention was diverted to the 30-40 people that were now standing in a circle around him. They had come due to all the fuss and ruckus. He pointed at each of them, screaming loudly about the fact that someone had taken the two tubes and that they were going to be in very big trouble. I remember that my impression of his anger was that of a school principal towards some seriously belligerent students.

I realized that something bad was going to happen to these innocent people if Trent and I didn't pipe up, so I slowly sat up. I felt if I sat up slowly enough, I wouldn't attract attention and suspicion to myself. I raised my hand amidst his tirade, and he whirled about, turning his blazing eyes right at me. He said, "You took them!" His tirade reached another level, and I remember scarcely being able to keep my composure. I didn't incriminate myself, but I simply said, "I can explain." He told me how much trouble I was in, etc., etc., but I simply kept my hand raised as it had been before.

Finally, he stopped and resignedly asked, "What do you have to say, then?" I explained as quickly as I could that I was unaware of how important the cylinders were and that we had only extracted them for study and would have returned them immediately upon completion.
He told us to follow him and took us away from the crowd of people. My angst subsided a little bit (perhaps because I knew that the other people were safe), but I was unsure of what was going to happen next. He walked us toward the train and asked for the cylinders. However, we simply passed by the train. As we were passing it, the man bent the cylinders and tossed them to the ground.

I remember most vividly feeling profound sorrow and loss at his action. I asked him, "Why would you do something like that?" In a somewhat sorrowful, yet resolved tone, he said, "They're just symbols." An impish grin stole across my face for a half-second as I looked at Trent and realized that the man was on our side after all.

We walked passed the train, and I remember the dream progressing, but not what happened for the next little while.

Eventually, the fuzziness because vividness again, and here is what made this dream unique. Now, I was in a completely different scene. I was talking with Trent at work and we were walking out to our cars. I became excited, and I began to explain the dream that I had just had to him. (Remember this is still in the same dream.) I explained it to him in roughly the same detail that I just explained to you.

We kept getting stopped by this or that, like the fact that he didn't take his car and would be taking the bus. I offered him a ride in my car, etc.. Everything that I did, though, was an attempt to keep Trent around longer so I could explain more of this dream. I never got to the "symbols" part of the dream with him--that's were we ran out of time.


Now, I've had dreams within dreams before, but this was a dream where I had the dream and then I had a dream where I explained the previous dream to the dream "waking" version of the person that was in the dream with me. Just explaining it is tough...

Whenever I have a vivid dream like this, I wonder whether or not it means something. Perhaps it is just emotional garbage, my brain resting, or whatever. Then, again, maybe not.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Many Teeth Does The Tooth Fairy Pick Up Each Night in Utah?

Somebody asked me a question about my Tooth Fairy post the other day that got me thinking. How many baby teeth are lost every day in Utah?

I began with Googling. Surely someone else has thought of this and run some numbers, right? Lo, there is a tooth fairy site that claims that the Tooth Fairy collects 300,000 teeth per night.

That's a lot; however, when I ran the numbers, it started to seem awfully low.

Let's assume that the Tooth Fairy collects all baby teeth regardless of quality and we assume that all children lose all their baby teeth. The world population of children sits at 2.2 billion, with 74.2 million of them in the United States. Of those, approximately 896,961 of them are in Utah. This means that somewhere around .04077% of the world's children are in Utah.

If we assume that kids in Utah lose teeth at the same rate as all other children in the world and that each day in the year is just as likely as the rest to lose a tooth, then we have that of the alleged …

I don't know you from Adam OR How to Tie Yourself Back to Adam in 150 Easy Steps

Last Sunday, I was working on my genealogy on familysearch.org, a free site provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for doing pretty extensive family history. While looking for information about a Thomas Neal, I found an individual who had done a bunch of work on his family including is tie into the Garland family, which tied in through Thomas's wife.

So, while I was pondering what to do about Thomas Neal (who's parents I still haven't found), I clicked up the Garland line. It was pretty cool because it went really far back; it's always fun to see that there were real people who you are really related to back in the 14th century or what not.
As I worked my way back through the tree, I noticed it dead-ended at Sir Thomas Morieux, who, according to the chart, was the maternal grandfather-in-law of Humphy Garland (b. 1376).  The name sounded pretty official, so I thought I'd Google him. I learned from Wikipedia that Sir Thomas Morieux married Blanc…

Twas the Night Before Pi Day

Twas the Night Before Pi Day
by Joshua Cummings

Twas the night before Pi Day, when Archimedes, the muse,
Went to pay me a visit whilst I took a snooze.

I'd visions of carrot cake, candy, and cheese
When dashed open my window and entered a breeze
That stirred me to consciousness, albeit in time
To see my face plastered in pie of key lime.

And once I'd removed the fruit from my eyes
And put on my spectacles did I realize
That before me presented a most divine spectre
Who clearly possessed the Key Lime Projector.

"It's a fulcrum, you see!" he began to explain,
"All I use is this crank to cause the right strain,
"Then releasing its fetter it launches sky high
"The juiciest pie of key lime in your eye!"

I sat there immobile for what seemed a year,
As the spectre protested I his genius revere,
When clearly it came, the fine revelation,
Of his piety, honor, achievements, and station.
With his little old catapult, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment that this must be …