the scream 2

Whenever someone says to me, ‘Wait ‘til I tell you about the dream I had last night,’ my heart sinks. It really does. I can actually feel it sinking, and I have to resist the urge to reply, ‘No thanks,’ or something much ruder, while trying to disguise an expression that says, ‘I couldn’t care less.’

There can be few things more boring than listening to a description of someone else’s dream. They rarely make sense to the person whose dream it is, so it just sounds nonsensical to the rest of the entire world.

They’re not funny or strange or crazy or weird or outrageous or hilarious … they’re just BORING! Always. It’s the equivalent being shown someone else’s holiday snaps – I wasn’t there and so it means nothing to me.

I don’t often remember my dreams, and the ones that I do, I keep to myself. That’s because I know people aren’t interested in what has been going through my sub-conscious mind.

So someone says to me … ‘Wait ‘til I tell you about the dream I had last night (My heart starts sinking) … I was sitting eating a burger and chips when Morrissey came into the kitchen riding a Shetland Pony, singing Meat Is Murder. I had to stuff the burger into my pocket but he started sniffing, saying he could smell meat and that if it was me who’d been eating it, then he wouldn’t let me be in his band any more. It was really weird because then the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang appeared in the garden, shouting, ‘Ice-Cream, Lollipops,’ and Morrissey and I ran upstairs and hid under the bed and…’


What you have just told me are the ravings of a mad person. It might make you laugh, but I’m crying inside, and if you don’t stop right now, you will actually see a fully grown man cry.

I’m too polite to say to your face that I don’t want to hear about your dreams, so I’m hoping that everyone who knows me, and everyone who might ever meet me in the future reads this plea … because that’s what it is – a genuine heartfelt plea to keep your dreams to yourself.

I won’t mind if you recount them to yourself and then laugh about how crazy or daft or funny they sound. In fact, I’ll even thank you for it. You might ask yourself what the dream means. That’s fine. Just don’t ask me because I don’t know. How could I ever possibly know?

Sigmund Freud, in his seminal work, The Interpretation of Dreams, stated that ‘Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.’

Sigmund obviously never had the misfortune to listen to some of the crazy dreams I’ve been told, none of which have ever been profound.

And it’s worth bearing in mind that, in the same work, the bold Doctor Freud also stated that, ‘I was making frequent use of cocaine at that time … I had been the first to recommend the use of cocaine, in 1885, and this recommendation had brought serious reproaches down on me.’

You can email [email protected] with your thoughts and observations … but no dreams. Definitely no dreams!


  • Trisha says:

    Hello Paul, please don’t worry I’ll bore you with my fascinating dreams because I have trouble sleeping. But, before I’m tempted to tell you my health problems (don’t get me started) the upside is I have more hours to read; with the Kindle advantage of having a bookshop in my bedroom. So my thanks for “Read All About It” which has proved a good companion. I watched “The Road” on TV recently (not your usual Christmas fare) & without your recommendation wouldn’t have risked the book. From the first paragraph the magic of the written word transported me to another time & place – terrifying, tragic but thrilling.

    I’ve also bought The Crimson Petal & the White.

    What do you think of readers having a few books on the go at one time? Do you think it distracts? I ask because you seem from Read All About It to be a one-book-at-a-time-man & I’m beginning to wonder if I may be diluting my reading experience. My choice I know but I’m interested in another bookworm’s opinion.

  • pcuddihy says:

    Trisha, thanks for getting in touch, and I’m delighted that you enjoyed Read All About It. The Road remains one of my favourite books, and I love the film as well. I also hope you enjoy The Crimson Petal and the White, which is another stunning book.

    I am usually a one-book-at-a-time reader, but it’s bizarre that you’ve asked me this question now because for the last few weeks I’ve been reading two books at the same time, and actually quite enjoying it. I’m trying to work my way through the entire work of Robin Jenkins, which is about 30 novels – I’m on to No.4 at the moment, so a long way to go – and at the same time as reading them, I’ve been reading other books as well. I’ve not found it distracting at all, and I actually think it’s made me enjoy both books better – I’ve no idea why that should be the case. It might just be that the books I’m reading are so good, but I’m going to try and keep that going for as long as I can and see how it goes. Hopefully, it means I’ll read even more books this year.

    I’m reading The Revenant just now before I go and see the film – which looks brilliant. If it’s half as good as the book, it will be a great film because the book is superb.

    Thanks again for getting in touch, and also for not sharing your dreams!


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