dreamed, written and illustrated by

Rob Hudak


with guest appearance by Jonathan Winters


The cast: 

Hugh Pool - musician, songwriter, composer, producer

Billy Joel - piano man, pop icon, didn’t start the fire

Jonathan Winters - comedian, actor, author and artist

Me - I’m Rob Hudak, I dreamed this dream, what I do is not that important in this scenario


Part I

The dream kicks off already in progress, and I quickly surmise that I'm on tour with Hugh Pool and at this particular moment he’s got a gig with Billy Joel who is playing a stadium that is somehow attached to a giant farm and farmers market. We are backstage in a big tin farm building where Hugh Pool is sitting with his back to me on a picnic table working on his guitars and Billy Joel is sitting in and open rectangular hole in the floor next to the picnic table where he’s somehow performing from a suspended seat and piano above the stadium. I can see the massive stadium audience half a mile below him. It’s as if he’s the organ player at a baseball stadium but the stadium is underneath our feet. Suddenly it becomes very apparent to me that Billy Joel’s backstage rider calls for a giant box of roast beef. Because as magical as the the performance set-up appears to be, it seems totally reasonable compared to this giant box of roast beef sitting on the picnic table within arm’s reach of myself and Billy Joel. 

The box of roast beef is as wide as it is deep and contains many different kinds of roast beef sliced in all different ways. right in center of the box is a pile of very thinly-sliced roast beef like you get at Arby’s. In fact, it is Arby’s Roast Beef, and it looks as if it came right out of the roaster. Billy Joel is performing all of his greatest hits and between songs he keeps reaching in to the box of roast beef to grab a handful and eat it. Having nothing to do I get bored and hungry so I start eating the roast beef too. So while Billy is playing I’m eating the roast beef, and between songs he’s eating the roast beef. It’s so good. Each bite tastes like the first, so I just keep eating it. The roast beef appears to be bottomless, but once Billy Joel's concert ends I look down to realize that I made a considerable dent in the roast beef and not only that, I’ve eaten all the best stuff - mainly the thinly-sliced Arby’s-style roast beef.


Part II

Hugh Pool finally turns around from fixing his guitars to make a sandwich and I’m in the middle of eating a giant sandwich I just made from the box. The sandwich I made myself has what looks like about eight pounds of meat in it and I’m embarrassed  because I’ve been eating from the box the entire Billy Joel performance and Hugh hasn’t had a bite. Feeling guilty, I start taking meat out of my sandwich and putting it back in the box. The sandwich is so big there are piles of meat in it that I haven’t touched. So I’m putting back the meat and making some joke to Hugh about how I must’ve eaten six sandwiches - which is a low guess. 

Meanwhile Hugh is putting together this modest sandwich with two pieces of bread and, like, one-tenth the amount of the meat that I have in mine. While he’s making his sandwich he says dryly without looking up, “How much money do you have on you?” - and I’m thinking... in real life, before I went to bed and started this dream, I had $90 in my pocket, so I’m assuming I have that in my pocket in the dream and I say “I have some money”. And Hugh says “Then someones buying me some pig!” 


Part III

The Billy Joel show is over and it’s time for the farmers market to start. One of the farm hands, played by Jonathan Winters, is hanging around. There are folding-tables of melons as far as the eye could see. Rows and rows of beautiful three-foot-tall, two-foot-wide watermelons, all different kinds. I figure I’ll get one since Hugh was kinda pissed off about me eating all the roast beef. So I grab a watermelon from the vast rows on the folding tables and slice it while the farm hand played by Jonathan Winters is talking to me about his girlfriend and I pretend to care.


This watermelon is really big and I slice this 3-foot-long piece from the side of it to discover the inside is bright yellow. This piece I slice is really thin - too thin to make into small slices that you can hold. It’s like a big flap of watermelon. So I just peel off the rind from the back of it and start eating the melon in fistfuls. It’s delicious - kind of like a cantaloupe and watermelon hybrid. Actually, it kind of tastes like a mango.

While I’m eating the mango-melon I become very self-concious and start trying to think of something smart to talk to Hugh about when we get back on the road because I know he’s a smart guy and I don’t want him to think I’m just some jughead who ate all of Billy Joel's roast beef and am now macking-down on this flap of mango-melon pretending to care about what Jonathan Winters has to say about his girlfriend. So I’m thinking and eating the flap of mango-melon, and the moment before I wake up I decide that when we get in the van and things quiet down I’ll turn to Hugh and ask “So Hugh, why do you think the American Dream isn’t a reality?”


the end


Notes and self analysis: 

a) This dream occurred sometime between the hours of 3am and 5am on December 3rd, 2015. 

b) Before going to bed I had watched the movie The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle with my son. The movie has a cameo by Jonathan Winters. 

c) Before going to bed I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and took 3ml of Nyquil to relive cough symptoms.

d) Hugh Pool is a friend of mine and I may have seen a post by him on Facebook before I went to bed.

e) My wife has been bothering me for weeks to learn the Billy Joel song “Matter of Trust” from the Trainwreck soundtrack (thanks, Amy Schumer). I have yet to learn it and am in trouble for it.

f) The Billy Joel in this dream was the young Glass-Houses-era Billy Joel with the big hair and loose tie who on a bad day might be mistaken for '70s era Lou Reed.

g) I grew up near the very first Arby’s (in Ohio) and to this day it’s the only fast food I have cravings for which I only act on once a year. I had a craving for it at lunch three days before this dream and opted to go to a diner for an open-faced roast beef sandwich instead. I believe this roast beef dilemma was played out in the giant box of roast beef that appeared in the dream.

f) I’m not sure where the watermelons and farmers market setting came from, but it was as lovely and idyllic as my childhood memories of open-air markets and eating fresh fruits bigger than my head.

AuthorRob Hudak