Once there was a boy who dreamed he ate a giant marshmallow, and when he woke up, his pillow was gone.
That’s a true story.
I also heard about another kid that dreamed he ate a hot dog; when he woke up, he was missing a thumb.
And there was a little girl that was so proud of her long golden hair, she spent all her time brushing it and admiring it in the mirror, until one night she dreamed she was eating spaghetti, and when she woke up, she was bald.
That’s a true story, too.
But my favorite true story was about the boy who liked to pick his nose and wipe the boogers on the bed frame under his bed.
One night the boy dreamed that he made a clay doll that actually came to life and danced and played and sang.
When the boy woke up, he found that while he’d been sleeping and dreaming, he’d gathered up all those boogers he’d stuck under his bed, and he’d mashed all those boogers together and formed them into a little booger-man.
He was brown and yellow and green, standing right there in the middle of the boy’s bedroom, and he looked up at the boy and he waved.
At first the boy was completely freaked out and afraid of the booger-man. After all, he was a living booger-man. Who wouldn’t be scared of that?
But then the little booger-man began to dance and play and sing, and the boy laughed and clapped his hands and wasn’t afraid anymore.
The booger-man lived under the boy’s bed. At night, after everyone else was asleep, the booger-man would come out from under the bed and the boy and the booger-man would play together and listen to Tom Waits songs.
Over the years the boy continued to pick his nose and add more boogers to the booger-man. The booger-man got bigger and bigger. Eventually he got too big to sleep under the boy’s bed, and had to live in the closet.
One day the boy’s mom was putting clothes into the boy’s closet and spotted the booger-man, and completely freaked out, like that time she’d found that dead hobo.
The boy knew he had to get the booger-man out of there, so the boy led the booger-man out the front door and into the woods.
In the woods, the boy told the booger-man that he couldn’t live in the boy’s closet anymore. He told the booger-man that he had to grow up and live on his own now.
The booger-man didn’t understand. He said he didn’t want to live on his own. He told the boy that they were best friends, and they would live together forever.
The boy heard sirens in the distance. He knew that they were looking for him, and he knew if he didn’t do something quick, they would find his friend and kill him.
So the boy told the booger-man that he didn’t want a booger- friend anymore, and that the booger-man was ugly and gross and should go away and leave the boy alone forever.
The booger-man was very sad, and he turned and ran away into the woods.
The boy watched the booger-man leave. Then the boy went home and told his mom and dad that he himself was the one that left the boogery handprints and footprints.
He got grounded for a whole week, and also had to see a psychiatrist, ‘cause leaving boogery handprints all over the place? Seriously, that’s messed up.
Meanwhile the booger-man lived in the woods all by himself. But he didn’t like being alone, so he wandered out of the woods and into another town.
He tried to blend in with people by dressing up in clothes and wearing a hat, but when people saw his booger- face, they’d scream and run away.
So, the booger-man ended up moving to Las Vegas and joining an avante garde street-performance act where his grotesque appearance wasn’t so reviled.
He liked the work and he liked the other carnies, but nothing could fill the empty hole in his heart.
Which is why the booger-man became an alcoholic meth-addict who wandered the streets of Vegas in a drunken, drugged-up stupor, cursing at mailboxes and picking fights with stop signs.
Until one day, lonely and heartbroken and sad, the booger-man laid down on the sidewalk and died and melted into a brown and yellow and green booger- mess right there on the sidewalk.
Two men were standing nearby, and one of the men said, “‘Twas beauty killed the beast.”
The other man said, “What are you talking about?”
The first man said, “Oh, nothing, I was just thinking about classic lines from old movies. Hey, what the hell is that?”
The men looked at the mess on the sidewalk, and one of the men said, “Oh man, that is so gross. Someone should clean that up,” but he wasn’t going to do it, and neither was the other man, so they pretended they hadn’t seen anything and walked away.
Eventually it rained and the booger-mess was washed away.
Years later, the boy died. He died from lung cancer, cause he’d quit picking his nose, but unfortunately, he’d taken up smoking.
He outlived his parents and always been a jerk, so there was only one mourner at his funeral.
It was a strange man who wore an overcoat and a hat pulled down low to cover his face. He never spoke a word. He just walked up to the casket and stood there a minute and then left.
Can you guess who it was?
It was the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, of course.