Super Bowl dreams too rich for my blood
by Dale Short
Feb 06, 2014 | 439 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dale Short
Dale Short
I’m not sure who created the inspirational line “Less is more,” but it’s clear that this person was never involved in planning a Super Bowl halftime show, or in producing its TV ads, whose guiding principle is “Ten times more is never enough; maybe 11 times?”

(The less said about the game itself, the better. Nowadays I’m duty bound to cheer for the oldest player in any given sporting event, and you’ll recall how that worked out for me at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night.)

The only problem with an evening full of ads about more/more/more is that I was raised poor — by today’s standards, anyway — and even if we lucked up and had something worth showing off we knew better than to do so, lest we be accused of “putting on airs.” Whereas most of the folks in TV ads, whether Super Bowl or otherwise, are so occupied with putting on airs that it’s a wonder they don’t blow away.

The worst ad in that regard, to me, is where an up-to-date couple (in Shanghi, Ala., “up-to-date” was a euphemism for “rich”) are retrieving their car from a parking garage. For some reason they don’t see anything unusual about Morpheus from “The Matrix” movie working as a parking lot attendant. Hey, times are hard. So when he offers them a chance to experience “a new luxury” by taking a red key instead of a blue one, they (being rich already) don’t hesitate to red it up. What happens next is that they’re riding through downtown in a Kia (a $60,000 Kia, but still) making diners’ spoons bend in restaurants, streetlights explode, and other automobiles fly fatally into the air — all while Morpheus materializes in their Kia’s back seat to loudly sing opera music from “Turandot,” while his hand caresses the leather of their back seat in a lewdly erotic manner.

At which point I, myself, would start screaming “Blue key! Blue key!” at the top of my lungs. But this couple, being wealthy and apparently ostentatious to boot, are seemingly down with all this fuss, because by golly, they’re sure standing out from the crowd now, aren’t they?

Maybe I look at commercials too analytically. Maybe we’re supposed to just be amused by their brightness and shiny-ness, like the metallic mobiles that hang over babies’ cribs. Anyway.

That night, I suspected I’d have bad dreams, and I suspected right. I just underestimated.

Of the eight hours I slept, roughly seven of them were spent in a parking garage of dystopian magnitude. It was connected to a luxury skyscraper condo, which was apparently the abode of every unpleasant wealthy person I’ve ever had to contend with in my job. (In fairness I’ve dealt with a few unpleasant poor people, but this nightmare was outside their ZIP codes.)

I was not a parking attendant, but they assumed I was because, hey, I was there and available, so I was asked to step and fetch in numerous directions at the same time and, wouldn’t you know it, I couldn’t do anything right and the condo folks complained long and loud that it was impossible to get good help nowadays whilst casting a sidewise eye upon me.

After seven hours of this, I was magically delivered from the nightmare world back to my own home where, in the dream, I wanted a snack. I was wandering down the stairs to the fridge when I noticed something unusual: little stalks of celery were growing out of my wrists and forearms. Not big long stalks, just young leaves a couple of inches long, but clearly celery.

I stood on the stairs and considered getting the scissors to cut off these (albeit nutritious) growths, when I realized this might only make them grow back faster. Obviously I needed to make a doctor appointment as soon as the office opened, which was still a few hours away.

And then I woke up. The condo nightmare had taken its toll — much worse than the celery one — and left a bad taste in my mouth until noon.

I tried hard to find a reason to look on the bright side, and I could only come up with one. No matter how bad my dreams had been, Peyton’s were worse.

Dale Short is a native of Walker County. His columns, photos and radio features are available on his website, His weekly radio program “Music from Home” airs each Sunday at 6 pm on Oldies 101.5 FM, streams live online at and is archived afterward on his website.