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"McDonald's Ball Pit" (S&D)

by Winston Joe
(Stanford University)

Every now and then I will have a dream in which I am transported many years back to when I was a little kid. It is usually quite strange, because while many aspects of these dreams i.e. my interactions with parents, the age of my friends, my height, my actions, are characteristic of a 5 or 6 year old, I do not recognize that I am dreaming and instead just accept the fact that I am much younger again. Last night, I had yet another one of these dreams, and this time, it was more of a nightmare. In my dream, I was with my brother at McDonald's climbing through through the maze of play pin structures. These structures weren't just any fast-food play pin structures, they were expansive- seeming to stretch as far out as I could see, like a plastic city of tunnels and little rooms with barely see-through plastic windows. As we climbed over the top of a giant tube, my brother went tumbling down into a giant pit full of those colorful plastic balls. When I was a child, I used to love those bouncy ball pits, but this time, as soon as I hit the balls I fell what seemed to be 50 feet into the mess of plastic balls, so far that I could barely see the light up above me. As I tried to swim up to the top of the pit, I would just fall right back down to the bottom. My panic was worsened by my realization that McDonald's play pins are usually covered in ecoli. At this point, I you might think that I would realize I was dreaming because after all what 5 year old knows about the dangers of bacterial infections. However, I continued to struggle with the pit until my brother somehow reached down and pulled me out. I have never been so scared of McDonald's play pins as I was during this dream, and I was extremely glad to wake up and realize it was not reality.

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