Judge Judy in the Kitchen (A Dream)


I eat morons like you for breakfast. You're gonna be crying before this is over.
--Judge Judy
I have the world's strangest dreams.

What's more, after I scratch my head and say, "What the hey?" I often find important messages within them.

You see, I believe that our dreams are simply extensions of our daytime thought processes and just tumble out in our subconscious minds as these strange scenarios and allegories, seemingly apropos of nothing.

The other night, my dream involved Judge Judy.

Now, I don't watch Judge Judy; she's a bit too mean for my taste, often not giving her defendants and plaintiffs much benefit of the doubt. It seems as though she has already pre-decided her rulings based on the case files, not the people before her. I squirm when she browbeats people in her courtroom; I watch TV or movies to be entertained and/or informed, not to watch other people being demeaned, even the obvious lowlifes.

Yet Judge Judy was the star of my dream, as a chef from hell:
I'm living in the Cayman Islands, working as a lowly cook for a 5-star restaurant, where Judge Judy reigns as a celebrity chef. She runs her kitchen like she runs her courtroom: with an iron meat cleaver.

When she barks out an order, the cooks fall all over themselves trying to obey, which often makes situations worse. As a result, her kitchen is in complete chaos: spilled sauces, slippery floors, overcooked vegetables, spoiled meat, etc.

Yet her restaurant is very popular, diners often making reservations months in advance. Somehow, Judge Judy is able to bully her staff into cooking outstanding food in a crazy chaotic kitchen.

The staff turnover is shocking; cooks, hosts, and waiters come and go, sometimes lasting only a few minutes before quitting or being fired.

In short, everyone wants to work for Judge Judy--after all, she is a celebrity--but no one wants to stay.

But I have stayed and for my loyalty, I have been thoroughly punished and demeaned. I don't know why I stay, but stay I do as she calls me "Moron," "Idiot," "Dunderhead," "Stupid," etc.

One day, she informs the staff that we have been hired to cater an "important" funeral (whose funeral is a mystery--besides, for the purposes of this dream, it doesn't matter).

So the small staff works like crazy to get everything done--kind of difficult when the Judge/Chef has decided that your first name is "Idiot."

But we get it done, preparing a funeral send-off feast befitting of royalty.

One little glitch: we have to deliver the food to another island via a high wobbly pedestrian bridge with no handholds or rails--more like a giant springy and vibrating rubber band.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm terrified by heights and there is a lot of ocean, filled with circling sharks, beneath that bridge. Moreover, the bridge goes uphill, and we must all carry huge coolers and thermos food containers. A cooler is strapped to my back, and I must pull a thermos food container behind me.

I decide that the only way I can manage this bridge is to crawl on it, with my legs dangling on either side, scrooching painfully upward. Of course, Judge Judy is catcalling me, yelling, "What's the matter with you, Coward?" (Apparently my new last name) "Get a move on it!"

As I inch upwards, I'm sweating bullets, my heart pounding in my ears...

And then I wake up.
What a relief to get out of this situation!

So what is my unfinished dream telling me?

I believe that my subconscious is revealing that my life changes are not going to be easy to maintain and that I'm going to be climbing that bridge, carrying major burdens, for a very long time, with falling (failure) just one scrooch away and "sharks" (saboteurs) at the ready to offer me food that I don't want or need. Judge Judy represents the split-personality food-driven celebrity culture that is screaming "EAT!!! EAT!!! EAT!!!" and then when we obey Madison Avenue, calling us "YOU FAT PIGS!!! YOU EAT TOO MUCH!!!"

Dreams offer scenarios, often couched in symbols and allegories--and, sometimes, power people like Judge Judy moving us along.

And as long as I'm still scrooching along on that bridge, I'm still in the game.

I haven't fallen off (yet), but my success, despite my fears, will depend on how well I navigate that scary bridge.

'Til next time...

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