A Dream of Physics


I’ve been having some strange dreams lately, although I usually forget the details shortly after waking up. That is presumably a feature of our brains so that we don’t confuse dreamed memories with real ones.

Anyway, I can still recall a few details about the dream I had last night.

I was a high school teacher in some place like Mexico. And for some reason I had to take a short physics test, which consisted of two true or false questions.

They were the kind of questions that were ambiguous, in that they may have been true but were phrased in such a way that they were actually false. Which is how I marked them.

The test results came back and I had failed—both questions were marked incorrect—and without passing this physics test, I was no longer allowed to teach.

So I tried to get some of the other teachers to help me out. The first one I went to turned out to my my uncle Allen. Odd, because he was never a teacher in his lifetime; he had graduated from pharmacy school and had been a salesman for CIBA for many years before buying a drug store and becoming a pharmacist (and no I don’t recall how CIBA was pronounced).

Anyway, he point out the first question that I had marked as false. And it was no longer the same question. I don’t remember what the original question was, but this one went something like “An aphrodisiac is actually an analgesic whose properties wear off after about a week, but which enhances sexual function during that time.” 

I had marked that as false, but Allen was trying to tell me that it was true.

I kept insisting that there is no such thing as an aphrodisiac (even in my dreams, I’m apparently a skeptic).

Then he pointed out the comment that the physics teacher had written on the test. It explained why he had marked the questions as incorrect, but I no longer remember what it said.

Still shouting that there is no such thing as an aphrodisiac, I went to the next room, and there was Dr. Linus sitting behind the desk (or Michael Emerson, if you will).

I started to ask for his help— 

—and that’s when I woke up.


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