The Tiger in the TV Set

As a young lad, trapped in a world we never made, we suffered from a recurring nightmare: the TV set would go dark. A tiger’s head would appear on the screen. And then the tiger would jump out of the TV set. And eat us.

That last step was presumed — we have no recollection of actually being devoured, followed by a muffled roar of “Theyyyyyy’re GREAT!” from somewhere beyond the intestinal tract. The moment of consumption was the moment of awakening, scared shitless.

This being a recurring nightmare, the theme had its variations. Sometimes we would miraculously escape. Sometimes we experienced a slo-mo flight, sluggishly crawling down the hallway. We probably even had a lucid episode or two, although that rarely helped.

It didn’t help because awareness was not relief. We spent years in our Aughts being scared to death of real TVs — TVs turned off, that is. A live TV was not a threat — only a TV whose electrons were dark. There the tiger lurked.

It got so bad that when we eventually won a TV for our bedroom, we had to turn it around at night before going to sleep. Right after Dragnet.

Later, wiser, we realized the obvious: We were somehow haunted by the MGM lion. But the Screen Gems logo? Hell, that would be silly.

The S From Hell [Slashfilm, via Silent Creative Partner]

Web connections being as wonky as they are over here, I haven’t actually been able to make it through this thing. But I know a thing or two about getting the childhood a-skeerds. Mine were particularly vivid and technocolor enhanced when I had fever dreams; I couldn’t close my eyes at night without seeing a spinning vortex of colors and faces at which point I would either snap my eyes open and holler for mom, or – infrequently, but memorably – hurl all over my jammies, bedsheets and my favorite baseball pennants. I also had the bad habit – also in my aughts – to sleepwalk to the edge of the landing that looked out over my parents’ bridge parties, scaring the bejeebus out of the Neighbors – the ‘rents were no doubt used to lil Nabisco’s night terrors – and surely melting not a few cubes in those devilish mixed drinks everyone was downing.

It wasn’t until I discovered chemicals that I realized the brain was capable of hallucinations that were actually fun.

i love the lion, also the unicorn, the kid swinging on the moon and the lady with the torch. it means a movie is starting!!!
what scared me to death as a child was DOLLS. i never liked them anyway*, then watched an outer limits featuring murderous dolls and that did it. let’s not even discuss what i think of chuckie and his bride.

*why am i dressing barbie to go skating?…I wanna go skating! NOW!!!
i was a delightful child. my father confessed to me when he was just here, he still, to this day, gets anxious walking into a restaurant with me.
seems i used to fling flatware at other diners. it was a long time ago, dad, jeez, i was 27 when i stopped!

Funniest thing about nightmares — I have this recurring dream where I’m back in college, I have a 25 page final essay due, it’s six hours before it’s due, and I’m just starting to write it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that dream. Had it again last night. It is freaking me out something fierce.

But, as for nightmarish production-company shots, nothing beats the Viacom Flying V of Doom.

@chicago bureau:

For me, it was waking up 20 minutes after an exam started, it’s my last one and the one I NEED TO PASS to graduate . I look at my notes, nothing but blank pages. Text book? It’s in a language I can not read (more than likely Korean.) I then find myself in the exam room with a blank page and can’t remember my name.

Suddenly this old crone who looks remarkably like the Cryptkeeper tells me time is up. It was at this point I used to wake up. Now, I’ve managed to take control of my dream and then tell the Cryptkeeper, “I’m fucking with you, I dropped the course last month” and then my dream changes to something else.

Usually only appears when I’m in high stress situations caused by my ineptitude.

since we’re sharing subconscious neurosis, mine is always the same.
luggage. i lose it somewhere. panic. realize on way to airport i left it home. panic. sitting on the plane remembering i forgot it. panic.

I actually do have that clichéed dream of not knowing my lines. I dream all kinds of elabortae plays and/or musicals complete with production numbers and fab new songs with lyrics and such as (I never remember them when I wake up) and I kind of know my part but not really and there’s no time to really get it down and the first performance is on hand. It used to worry me but now it mostly amuses me.

I always forget where I parked my car.
usually in NYC for some reason. even tho I have not lived there in 25 years.

isnt that the most boring recurring dream ever?

although many years ago I had an actual recurring dream that was much more interesting. at least symbol wise.
I am in an elevator with no walls or ceiling. just a floor and a button panel.
I am there with a dog and a cat who are fighting and I am trying to get them to stop. while we streak upwards at roughly the speed of light.


Fucking streaming fucking video in the land of lotus eaters allowed me to watch about 2 mins of this in fifteen second clips. I’d like to go on record as saying that the Screen Gems logo and the synthesized jingle, in retrospect, were reassuring. Some pop art design and a wacky, Laugh In era jingle, that was downright modern.

Oh, and thanks for the damn earworm, Nojo. Does anybody else miss the fact that you can know longer stay up so late that a test pattern comes on the air?

@Capt Howdy: That’s a good one!

@Capt Howdy: Now you’ve got a cat to add to your dogs all you need is an elevator.

I dream I forgot I had signed up for a class, or else had just skipped every session, and I am taking the exam. Or I dream I have to move, I am packing up all I own and moving, but it is far far too late, and I don’t have any way to move everything.

@Capt Howdy: Not armed truce?

That theatre is gorgeous. Remind me never to work there. Too much shouting. I like ’em enclosed and fancy, not too wide, with plaster walls, comfortable dressing-rooms and plenty of lackeys. Of course, backstage bars are out of the question in this country. In the UK, if there is a Her Majesty’s in the name of the theatre, or a Royal this or that, there is a bar backstage. Yes there is one at the National.

not really an armed truce at all. Jedi is so laid back that the dogs got bored in about an hour. by the third night he was sitting on the sofa between the two dogs purring.
the pic is from near the end of the second day.

My recurring nightmare is being trapped in a resort hotel with my mother and grandparents. Not always the same hotel, but almost always at the seashore. I wake up just before it turns into The Shining.

Mine? The classic actor’s nightmare, onstage in a play I haven’t rehearsed and don’t know the lines for. Still, to this day.

Somewhere, Durang is proud.

@Capt Howdy:

Effects? No shit, that’s the team he was on!

@Tommmcatt Say Relax:
I know!
congratulate him for me.

looks like they have a good chance of winning.


Prepared statement of Mr. ‘Catt:

“It’s an honor to be nominated. I’d like to thank Tomm….”

/music swells, aaaaand cut to commercial

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