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Somebody is gonna get gummed...

“Did you get any sleep?” my wife asked.

“Yeah, I guess so,” I said. “Why do you ask?”

“What were your nightmares about? You were shouting.”

“Oh,” I said, “I was on an airplane with three of those creatures from Independence Day and we were fighting. I knew I couldn’t stop them from killing me, and I was trying to bite off one of their fingers so I wouldn’t be a complete loser.”

“What the damn?”


Remember the movie “Independence Day?” The one with Will Smith and the huge creepy aliens? Those were the things that were trying to kill me and, let’s face it, I’m not Will Smith. I was going down, but I was trying to get in a couple shots before I did. Good thing my wife didn’t get her hand near my mouth – that could’ve been hard to explain.

It was not a pleasant dream. Rolling and fighting with huge, multi-tentacled monsters, knowing that I was doomed, but desperately trying to do some damage first.

I’m not sure I had a good plan. Since my front teeth are capped, I’m pretty sure as soon as I bit down on the alien finger, the caps would snap off and I’d be left trying to gum the aliens to death.

I’m a believer that most dreams mean something and I spent a little time during my day trying to figure out why I was fighting huge, implacable foes in my sleep.

I’m choosing to blame DHS.

Yeah, the Department of Human Services.

Hey, if you were going to dream about a monster that’s too big for one person to grapple, wouldn’t the government be a logical choice as a villain?

The last time I had a dream like this was back in the Eighties. My wife and I bought our first farmland in 1980. Three years later it was worth half what we’d paid for it. We were making annual payments of $29,000 for land we could have rented for $8,000. The biggest problem was that as part of the purchase price, we’d taken over the payments of a government loan. After the deal was done, a man working for the government told me that I couldn’t just keep making payments, the loan would have to be rewritten. That seemed fair, but what I didn’t know is that in re-writing the loan, the interest changed from 3% to 18%.

I felt betrayed that my own government, and an agency in that government whose goal was to help farmers, was putting me out of business. I started having dreams about a tank, a huge clanking war machine, chasing me across an open field. After a decade or so we worked our way out the other side of the financial issue and the tank dreams went away.

What’s that got to do with DHS? One of my day jobs is working as a county commissioner. About 20% of the residents in my county have their health care paid for with money from DHS. Poor people, children, those who didn’t plan to outlive their assets…I know and care about a lot of these people. Of course, every dollar of that money comes out of taxpayers’ pockets, and I know and care about a lot of them as well. It’s a big deal.

So, I watch DHS pretty closely and right now we’re having kind of a tiff.

That’s not true. I’m enraged at the head honchos at DHS and they don’t even know I’m alive.

Hence the dreams.

It’s unpleasant, feeling like the people who should be on your side really aren’t, but it’s a feeling many of us are having to get used to.

Oh, well. I’m punching way out of my league and it probably won’t end well.

But those folks in charge at DHS better not get their fingers anywhere near my mouth, or somebody is gonna get gummed.

Copyright 2019 Brent Olson

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