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Column: Election Inspires Halloween Dreams And Nightmares

This story was written by Bill Bradford, OSU Daily Barometer

Perhaps it was the over-stimulation of sugarfrom trick-or-treat candy coursing through my veins that gave rise tomy strange dreams in the wee hours of Nov. 1.Orperhaps it was the over-stimulation of eye candy - women dressed asnaughty nurses, cave-women, sultry kittens and fetish fairies - thathaunted my slumber.Nevertheless, my dreams, in order of sequence, went as follows.First,I found myself in a strange bed, making love to my ex-wife, whenPresident Barack Obama burst into the room and told us we had to leave.It was then, in my dreams, that I realized I was in the Lincoln Bedroomof the White House and the president was making it quite clear thatunless your last name was Kennedy or Clinton, hanky-panky was strictlyagainst protocol in such august quarters.In my second dream, Iwas waiting in the lobby of a swanky Hollywood production studio when astunningly beautiful woman, dressed in the garb of an aerobics danceinstructor, sauntered in and said, "Well, I guess you're my partner."She despairingly looked me up and down, and muttered, "Boy, we got alot of work to do." It was then I noticed the sign on the lobby door:"Dancing With The Stars."Full disclosure here: I've neverwatched more than half of one episode of "Dancing With The Stars," butregularly check the ESPN website to see which athletes made the finalcut.For the past few days, I've put off homework, papers andreading for a midterm to perform a little self-psychoanalysis. Whatpossibly could these two dreams have in common?I have to admitthat Halloween on campus, after a 20-year hiatus, was a bit of aculture shock for me. In my day, women dressed in a variety of outfits,from Nancy Reagan to Madonna, from Princess Diana to a zombie fromThriller. Nowadays, sex is the predominant theme in at least half offemale costumes. Last Friday, the parade of women went something likethis: sexy nurse, football player, sexy kitty, Desperate Housewife,sexy Neanderthal woman, baseball player, sexy pirate wench, NASCARdriver, sexy dominatrix, brain surgeon and just plain sexy (asee-through teddy with lace underwear). Throw in a couple ofprostitutes and more than one Britney Spears and the repertoire iscomplete. I'm certainly far from being a prude (I did have a 15-yearsubscription to Playboy after all), but costumes, particularly thosefor women, have changed. I found myself having to push my open jaw shuta few times.
(UWIRE) CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Leaving my campus apartment, headed for a pub at midnight, I witnesseda genuine "Girls Gone Wild" moment: A guy wearing a Zorro outfitapproached a group of eight drunken coeds (dressed in a variety ofrevealing outfits), held out a camera phone and shouted, "Show me someskin!" All eight lifted their tops and revealed naked breasts. Heclicked away while I tried to avert my eyes.Hey, give me abreak! I have a college-aged daughter! For the rest of the evening, Isat mulling over my beer, wondering if I should give my girl a call,just to check up on her. Her mother and I tried to raise her with asense of self-esteem and values, but I bet the same could be said ofthose coeds' parents. It sucks to be a dad sometimes. I refuse to evenlog onto MySpace or Facebook for fear of seeing my daughter captured ina compromising moment of intoxicated indiscretion.At least Iwasn't alone. Another girl, who claimed to be Pocahontas (wearing askimpy buckskin bikini), shouted in a drunken slur to a guy dressed asa bumblebee, "Hey, who do you think I am?" The bee looked her up anddown and said, "a skanky idiot." Truth be told, I was more upset at hermischaracterization of a much-maligned Native American heroine than Iwas about the skank factor. Call me a knee-jerk liberal. The bee, onthe other hand, was lugging a briefcase-sized King James Bible underhis arm.Somehow that made me more depressed. I realized (as amale) that you either mst be a born-again Christian or the father of acoed to despair over the state of self-respect among college women. Iappreciate that college is a time for self-discovery andself-expression. I also understand that bawdy drunken college behaviorhas been with us since the time of Ancient Greece. However, in this dayof instant media, a little discretion is in order. How is it going tolook in a few years when some of these women are running for office, orapplying for a high-paid executive position, and their naked boobs showup on a colleague's web page? I suddenly find myself a feminist in myold age.

But I digress. Back to the dream interpretation.I think theconnection between my ex-wife/Obama dream is associated with my worriesabout my daughter (which forces me to think about my failed marriage)combined with worries about the presidential election. Both could turnout to be nightmares. Not that Obama as President would be a nightmare,far from it, but waking up in bed with my ex would be (or, alternately,John McCain comes screaming into the Lincoln Bedroom). Likewise,imagining my daughter acting like some of the women I saw on Halloweennight simply makes me break out in a cold sweat.The "DancingWith The Stars" dream is easier to psychoanalyze. The celebritiesrepresent the presidential candidates. Obama is obviously the athletic,dark and handsome celebrity (Jerry Rice or Apolo Ohno) and McCain theold one (Cloris Leachman). The dancers are the VP candidates. SarahPalin is the hot babe with a womb like Marie Osmond and Joe Biden is,well, I admit, I've got nothing here; this is where the metaphor fallsapart. Plus, my involvement as a non-dancer, non-celebrity makes nosense. Maybe I was envisioning myself as Ralph Nader?Hopefully, on Nov. 5, I can wake up and my nightmares will be over.Obama will have been declared president-elect and I won't find my daughter in a "Girls Gone Wild" video.

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