I had an interesting dream last night. I dream most nights–in full color and sound, like a movie– but most dreams aren’t worthy of blog posts. This one is.
Obviously, I’ve embellished a little in my written account of it, but the scene and events would tell everything themselves if I could pull the images from my head and put them on YouTube like something out of the first Final Fantasy movie.
The setting was St. Patrick’s Day, sometime in the future by several years. Some friends, Brigette, and I walked into a bar. By the looks of it, it was probably Villa or the Crane Room, but that doesn’t matter. The door was tiny, like it was a ’20s speakeasy trying to be discreet.
The bouncer asked for our ID and our “(something)s”. It sounded like “privates” or “privies” or something like that. “Priv” something. Everybody produced not only their drivers licenses, but another card, as well. We showed them to the bouncer as we passed him, continuing in to enjoy the evening.
Finding no room to sit near the back like we prefer, we found a table very close to the front and within earshot and sight of the bouncer. We got our drinks and carried on.
Every now and then, someone would come in, show their ID to the bouncer, look really pissed off when the bouncer said something, turn around, and walk out of the bar. Sometimes a really drunk, attractive woman would plead with him, or a dude bigger than he would flex and he’d let them in.
I tuned in and listened once to what he was saying to one of the people he turned away.
“Honey, I can’t let you in. Federal law prevents us from serving alcohol to anyone on public insurance. We can’t serve you, and you’re not even supposed to drink. You could go to jail and we could get fined. Sorry, we can’t let you in here without proof that you’re not on public insurance.”
I shook my head and turned back to the conversation. The dream got worse, though.
A few minutes or hours later–it was immediately after in the dream, but who knows how long in the story, a guy in a trenchcoat walked into the bar. The bouncer stood up in front of him, but then the trenchcoat man produced something from his pocket. The bouncer tensed, perhaps thinking it was a gun, but I don’t understand why he didn’t react accordingly. Little did I know that he could see what I couldn’t.
The bouncer stepped aside and the trenchcoat man entered, with approximately four police officers in tow. Some people got quiet, and some people started to get really loud as they quickly tried to disburse.
Trenchcoat man cleared his throat. “Under the authority of the US government, we are federal agents enforcing the Healthy America Act,” he said. “We have evidence that a crime is being committed in this establishment and we have a warrant for search.”
He took of his hat and waved a badge in the air, as if the posse of cops behind him was insufficient proof of his authority and intent.
“We are acting lawfully. Each person must show proof of private health insurance or submit to a sobriety test as the law allows, in order to ensure compliance with the Act. You may recall that it’s illegal to consume alcohol if you rely on Uncle Sam to keep you healthy.”
The bartender made some gestures and left the bar, retreating into a back room with another bartender and a waitress in tow.
The cops started toward the crowd unassumingly. They each pulled out some kind of PDA.
Apparently accustomed to such searches, folks produced their “privies” — a private insurance card — so as not to be subjected to a breathalyzer test and subsequent herding into a paddy wagon. One of the cops and scanned a barcode on each. He walked away after a grunt.
The guys at the table next to us roused the rabble, though and refused to show anything. One screamed loudly about the civil rights and how he should be able to drink in peace without the government asking to see his “license to drink.” He and the others made some gestures and the cop started getting angry. He whipped out a Taser and a bunch of girls not far away screamed.
A mass of people stampeded toward the door. A tiny little door at the front of the bar.
It all went to hell in a handbasket after that. Details unnecessary.
Call my dreaming brain creative. Call it deceptively oversimplified. Call it needlessly worried and say that the government would never do something like that. Call it whatever you like.
I reflect on this dream and wonder if it’s a vision of the future. I make no warrant of clairvoyance. I’m not that type. This is merely a report of a dream I had.