4.11.2012

Wil Wheaton Just Tried To Kill Me With An Off-Road Skateboard

This JUST happened, and is undoubtedly the most ridiculous thing to happen to me in a long while.

I'm crashing on the couch at my friend Drew's place while visiting Fark.com HQ. Now, I don't do well when sleeping in a place that's not my home, in my bed, with my wife and my cats and my fan and the sounds and shadows and environment I've grown accustomed to. I find it hard to sleep. I'll sometimes wake up during the night and freak out a little when I lay there with my eyes open, trying to figure out where I am and why it looks so different.

Because of all the traveling I've done the past few years, this isn't as long a process as it once was -- but it still happens. In hotel rooms, I can almost always recognize the fact that I'm in a safe place immediately, because almost all hotel rooms look the same with the lights out. But when at a friend's place, all of the silhouettes are different. The ambient sound in the air is different. It's more disorienting.

I crashed early this evening. I didn't sleep at all yesterday, and it caught up with me. So I hit the couch, put on my headphones (which have also helped me deal with the "Where the HELL am I?!?" moments when I wake up in the middle of the night. When I hear my music and feel my headphones on my head, I calm down because I know I'm traveling and in a safe place -- because I'm sleeping with headphones instead of, say, a baseball bat), and dropped right the fuck out.

I dreamt that a friend of mine invited me out to a city called Pasa Verde, California (not sure if that's a real place) for a skateboarding competition hosted by a magazine called TrickStyle Shredding (which I'm pretty sure isn't a real magazine, but oh my God, if you could see how it was laid out in my dream, I so would read it -- despite being named like it was some Swedish alt-mag trying to be all "Look at the cool American styles of the Board Skating! Let's carving the ramplifts with fast speed!"). For some reason, I was to be a guest judge. And I had to be there, because -- as happens in dreams, I suddenly knew that I was being evaluated to write for them about the effects of internet culture on skating.

And as also happens during dreams, things sort of morphed from being a dream about judging a skate ramp/trick competition to suddenly being a referee during a "SkaterCross" event. This event was basically a rally event across mountain bike trails on off-road skateboards, which feature huge engines on the back and gigantic mud tires with suspension, which the rider strapped into. But he didn't control it -- a second person, the driver, controlled the board via radio control. The rider was merely the gyroscope for tricks as the board got air.

...I know, right?!? That IS kinda badass, and I'd so watch a show full of that on ESPN 4.

During the race, one of the competitors was injured, and because I had been refereeing, I had become familiar with the course. So as happens in dreams, it made perfect sense that I step in and compete in his place. And of course, with dream-rules, my friend who invited me couldn't step in and ref in my place because that would be unfair - he wouldn't be impartial, so it had to be someone who hated me (because hating me wouldn't make them impartial? I don't know, it's a dream, nothing makes sense in dreams, except while in the dream).

So my brain, for whatever reason, suddenly introduced Wil Wheaton, who was wearing this Snidely Whiplash tophat and mustache and cackled menacingly (this is likely because I'm working from Fark.com HQ, which has a fairly heavy Wheaton presence).

I set off. My driver (Jeremy) was doing a great job of keeping the speed up as I weaved through obstacles and zipped through the trails. I was coming up to a dangerous rocky hill that was slick from a kid throwing his sno-cone on the rocks. I radioed Jeremy so he could compensate for the lack of traction by turning on the skateboard's all-wheel drive (holy cow, I seriously want this fucking skateboard in real life now).

But it was SABOTAGED by Wil Whiplash, the evil referee!! And what's more, he paid the kid to throw the sno-cone on the rocks, because that's where he had hidden the tripwires that activated the bolo wrap trap (you know the scene in Return of the Jedi when the Ewok swings the rope with two rocks tied to either end at the Stormtrooper and it wraps around his head and knocks him out? That thing).

I hit the ground hard. The crowd went "ooooh..." I busted open my head. I was ensnared in cabling around my neck and shoulders and couldn't move. And that's when my body jolted awake.

I started panicking. I was sleeping on my belly, so I went to push myself up - but I couldn't move my arms because I was completely wrapped in the extended power cord for my phone, and my headphone cable was wrapped all the way around my neck.

I didn't know what to do, so I rolled to my back, sat up, placed my feet on the floor, stood and yanked with my whole body, which pulled the cord free from the wall. Everything was dark and hazy... My brain was telling me this was because I'd just fallen and cracked open my head and I'd better get to the bathroom across the way and take care of it.

I had to navigate past the couch, a huge support column, and a laundry basket while my arms were pinned to my side (I wasn't tied up tightly in reality, but in the dream I was completely wound up - so in my awakened state my brain told me it was useless to struggle). I stumbled and wobbled, but I got to the bathroom.

I managed to bring my hand up enough to flip on the light. I looked in the mirror. There I stood, wrapped up in headphone and iPhone cables, my phone dangling in tow, with a piece of gum I was chewing when I fell asleep strung from my hair and dangling across my forehead (where the head wound was in my dream). And playing on the headphones was "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys.

So, I'm awake now. And I thought I'd share that with you all. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go photoshop Wil Wheaton in a tophat with a mustache.