When nightmares come true | Pat Cashman

There are classic dreams, some bad, some not so bad. We all have them.

There are classic dreams, some bad, some not so bad. We all have them.

In some of them, you can fly like a bird. It’s the best kind of dream, because you never have to wait in a security line or get groped by a TSA agent.

Unless you like that kind of thing.

Other common dreams include being chased – usually by a giant. (I wonder whom giants dream of being chased by?)

But last week I had a classic dream that seemed so real I swore it was really happening. Perhaps because it really did.

Here’s the story: I had been hired to emcee a big glitzy event in Bellevue. Big time entrepreneurs were being honored in an awards show – and my job was to introduce them in a witty way. But for months and months on my calendar I’d thought the event was the next night – Saturday.

So Friday night, around six p.m., I was sitting in a bar and grill with my wife – knocking back an I.P.A. and bar food. Things were good. I knew I had the entire next day to prepare for the entrepreneur event, writing a short monologue, getting my tuxedo pressed.

Then, suddenly, I got a text message: “Where ARE you?” It was from the event coordinator. I knew immediately I had gotten the date wrong – and needed to be on stage within an hour. In shock, I reeled backwards in my chair. My wife swore later that she thought I was having a heart attack. A heart attack would have been better. At least that would be some sort of excuse.

I bolted for the restaurant exit pulling my wife along. The waitress ran after us. “You haven’t paid for your food or beer,” she yelled. I shouted. “I’ll be back tomorrow, I promise!” – and kept running to the car.

Our home was several miles from the restaurant – and Friday night traffic didn’t help, but I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt, so a switch into a tuxedo was definitely required.

Once home, I threw my tux pants on – and ran shirtless, sockless and shoeless back to the car. Somehow – and no doubt illegally – I changed into my tux shirt, studs and cufflinks while driving like Steve McQueen down the freeway.

I slipped into my shoes while pulling into valet parking and then ran like Usain Bolt into the Bellevue Hyatt Regency where the Grand Ballroom was already filled with entrepreneurs, spouses and expectant colleagues.

Once onstage, breathing hard, I told a quick story about Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker, who probably never inspired a real entrepreneur in his life.

I said, “Tony Robbins is so upbeat and positive – that if he was ever jailed, he would probably tell people he was living in a gated community.”

The audience chuckled. They clapped.

Real nightmares don’t usually end like that.


Pat Cashman can be reached at pat@patcashman.com and at his podcast at peculiarpodcast.com. Pat’s new weekly local comedy sketch show, “the 206,” airs following SNL on KING 5.