Blood pretzels.

Last night I had a dream in which I was able to separate myself from myself and watch myself from a third-person perspective. I could do this at will, so as soon as I got bored or annoyed watching myself I was able to re-inhabit myself and experience the dream from a first-person perspective once again. It was very strange, and I think the only reason I remember it is because Lauren woke me up in the middle of it:

“Jef? Jef?”
“Yeah?”
“Do you know where the pretzels are?”
“By the computer–I forgot to put them away last night.”

While, to most of you, pretzels may seem like a trivial reason to wake a person up from such a surreal dream state, I can assure you that in Asia they are not. Pretzels are very hard to find in the East–the only time I ever saw them in Korea was when I smuggled a small bag aboard a flight from Newark. During our many visits to the grocery store here in Japan, I always kept my eyes trained to spot a bag if one were to appear, but one never did. Thus, when Lauren walked in the door two nights ago with a bag of Rold Gold (“America’s No. 1 Pretzel”), I was immediately both awestruck and deeply suspicious. She said she’d found them at a different grocery store than the one we usually go to, and perhaps I would have found this story more plausable had the pretzel bag not been covered in what appeared to be dried blood. Blood pretzels.

“Lauren,” I said, “this bag is covered in dried blood.”
“THAT’S KETCHUP!” she screamed. “I SPILLED KETCHUP ON THE BAG!”
“What did you do, Lauren?”
“NOTHING! I SPILLED MUSTARD ON THE PRETZEL BAG!”
“Mustard?”
“KETCHUP! KETCHUP! KETCHUP!”
“It doesn’t smell like ketchup…”
“JAPANESE KETCHUP IS DIFFERENT! IT SMELLS LIKE DRIED BLOOD!”
“ENOUGH LIES!” I snapped, “HOW MANY PEOPLE DID YOU KILL FOR THESE PRETZELS?”
“I JUST WANTED SOME PRETZELS!” she cried, “LET’S JUST EAT THEM AND FORGET ABOUT THE DRIED BLOOD! I BOUGHT SOME SAPPORO TO GO WITH THEM! DON’T YOU LIKE BEER AND PRETZELS?”

In the end, I don’t care where she got them, because they are salty and delicious!

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