Monday, January 20, 2014

Dream: NASA Mannequin

Note: Recently I cleaned out my filing cabinet, because I am masochistic and deranged. At the bottom of a file folder helpfully titled "Stuff" I found a piece of crumpled paper with this dream scribbled on it. My engineer/doctor scrawl tells me I had just awoke when I 'got this one down'.

At the time I was working at the Cabrillo College Bookstore, which was having some cash flow problems. (Unfortunately, laying me off did not solve their difficulties. But that's another blog post.)

Anyhoo, please enjoy my twisted dreamworld.


NASA, in a propaganda ploy, held a contest with all of America’s colleges. A simple raffle drawing, and the prize was an entire room aboard the Space Station to do with as they saw fit. Any experiment the winning college wanted to try could be done in this large space, and the Space Shuttle would take anything up that the winning college wanted.

Well Cabrillo College won, of course, but that left us with a big problem: What to do with this room? Cabrillo is not a ‘tech’ school, and we don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around to stock such a rare environment. So nobody on campus came forward to utilize the prize.

So, as with many things, this situation defaulted to the Bookstore. We shrugged and sent a truckload of items - and a note - to Cape Canaveral.

Our instructions were carried out and when the world-wide audience were finally told that the webcams were live they tuned in to see all of the bookstore’s spare fixtures, excess shelves, and a dozen large bags of trash floating around in zero gravity.

And one of our strange, half-headed, pointing mannequins.

As is the the way of the Intertubes, this webcam quickly became a treasured form of Divination. Ask yourself any question and click on the NASA webcam and you would eventually see the mannequin float past. S/he would be pointing at something, and from this you would receive an answer to your question:
  • If it was pointing to a fixture, that meant that it should be displayed, or ‘yes’.
  • Pointing to a shelf, meant the question should be shelved, or ‘ask again later’.
  • And pointing to one of the bags of garbage was a fairly obvious ‘no’.

The Cabrillo-floating-debris-webcam went on to be the most visited site in cyberspace, the college received a kajillion dollars worth of free publicity, registration and funding increased exponentially, and our graduates went on to solve all the world’s problems.

The End.

Angus McMahan

(Pics from, and the Cabrillo College Bookstore. - Thank you, Wendi Hamilton. [You, I miss.])

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