The Astral Jokescape
I am mildly afraid of the human brain. The coming up of ideas while sleeping is incredibly sinister. I didn’t agree to that. How dare my mind, which is supposed to be switched off, spend its time ticking over against my will and coming up with puns about a remake of The Manchurian Candidate starring Boba Fett, entitled The Mandalorian Candidate.
One of the really complicated plot points of Volume II that I just couldn’t get a handle on while awake came to me, fully formed, while sleeping. That lack of control over your own mind is terrifying. It’s like when the narrator of Fight Club thinks he’s sleeping but he’s actually setting up Fight Club franchises all over the country. How do I know that I’m not secretly plotting nefarious deeds while I’m dozing? I dread the arrival of each credit card statement, in case I’ve unwittingly purchased ten copies of The Anarchist Cookbook (although I’ve heard John Lydon’s recipe for Crab Bisk is just delightful!)
Anyway, I awoke at roughly 5am this morning giggling about a joke I’d written in my dream, a hilarious (at the time) skit that I found so funny, I was telling it to the men I’d written it for – Cannon and Ball. I sloppily scrawled it onto a pad and went back to sleep. Here, in a badly drawn comic strip, is that sleep-written joke in full.
When I was 15 I went through a short-lived stage of waking up in the middle of the night with jokes or ideas that, again, seemed fantastic at the time, but were always forgotten come daybreak, so I put a notepad and pen next to the bed. The next morning, I’d go over the previous night’s efforts. The highlight was a highly detailed sketch of a crab with a top hat, monocle and walking cane, entitled “The Aristocrab.” I’d also devised a plan for something called “The Beard Olympics,” which could, according to me, be for either men with beards or actual beards with arms and limbs. The flag for the Beard Olympics was five interlinked Richard Branson-style beards of all colours. We are the world. The fact that my concept of “pills for your willy” called ‘Speedo Libido’ was a good six years ahead of Viagra was reason enough to go to bed in a tinfoil hat. Once I became obsessed with writing, the bedside notepad became a staple, and is regularly fuller than Marc Almond’s jizz-inflated lungs. That’s probably where half the nonsense in my books came from.
Three nights ago I had a vivid dream of a remake of Conan the Barbarian starring a spectacularly muscular and sweaty Klaus Kinski, and the night after that, I found myself inspecting the six tattoos of Clive Swift from Keeping Up Appearances’s face that decorated the length of my penis, like blowholes in a disgusting flute.
I’m starting to think there’s a CO2 leak in the house.