Professor Fairweather takes her place behind the podium and taps on it with what looks like a conductor’s baton, then glares at the various music maniacs seated in nice ranks in front of her. If this were an orchestra, Her Majesty Queen DinoSnob would be concertmaster (mistress? I’m confused), Thomas Hampson Groupie right next to Her Majesty, and Hopeless Romantic next, with the rest of them aligned at random.
Professor Fairweather: Ahem. Good morning, ladies.
In unison: Good morning, Professor.
Professor F.: This morning, we take up the subject of dreams, as exemplified in this lovely 1963 hit from Roy Orbison.
As the class listens, Hopeless Romantic and a few others surreptitiously wipe tears; Her Majesty listens graciously but without notable enthusiasm.
Professor F.: Now then, ladies, I have an interesting insight. As you know, we are all at the next stage of a woman’s reproductive life: perimenopause. And I have only just realized that the hormonal upsets that accompany this phase may be conducive to strange and unexpected journeys into hitherto unknown imaginative territories, all conducted in sleep.
Her Majesty, in a majestic murmur: I do not dream. And that is that.
Hampson Groupie, Hopeless and various others snicker rudely.
Professor F. proceeds as if Her Majesty had not spoken. For example, this morning I dreamed of what may be my first ever almost-Lovecraftian monster. Yes, it’s true! I dreamed that, at some sort of neighborhood function, the true nature of which I was never able to establish, a large and ungainly creature appeared out of nowhere. In form, it was much like a dog. It stood a full four feet high at the shoulder, and had a head very like that of a Jersey cow.
The class digests this in silence for a few moments.
Professor F. (impatiently): Come on, people, work with me! This surely has some deep meaning.
Her Majesty (judiciously): No doubt, the thing had beautiful eyes. And perhaps, a message: no dairy before bedtime.
Professor F. rolls her eyes and abandons that dream as a lost cause.
And then we have this one: I was singing with Timothy B. Schmit (Her Majesty rolls her eyes and shakes her head, mouthing the words “you KNOW you sound better with Miss Emmylou–or Tim O’Brien, for that matter”; Hopeless reaches behind Hampson Groupie and gives Her Majesty a disrespectful smack upside the head, hissing “You LIE” to which Hampson Groupie responds “Well, at least with Timothy the Professor wouldn’t sound like Minnie Mouse, like she does with Our Man”). The song was a waltz–and before y’all start, I know, we haven’t heard him do a waltz yet, but miracles can happen–(Hopeless tears up again and nods vigorously) but we ran short of words at the two minute mark, so I was actually waltzing with someone–(Hampson Groupie yelps “Our man!”)–when Timothy and the band abruptly change tempos. I am prepared for this, but my partner isn’t; he trips over my feet.
The class erupts in a buzz of whispers, giggles and snorts, which ends when Her Majesty gets to her feet and says: That does it. Professor, I know the perfect cure for that problem.
Professor F.: And that would be?
Her Majesty: Ernest Tubb.
Her Majesty lumbers away, singing along, occasionally on pitch. A seriously deflated Professor Fairweather manages to get out the words “Class dismissed” before she begins banging her head on the podium.