This morning I had a dream where even in the context of dreaming I knew I was observing a world similar to that of the movie Escape From New York. At least that's what I (or the me who was in the dream) thought as I watched a shootout between people who were crouched behind boxes (inside a hanger or barn of some sort) and invaders on motorcycles.
That, I admit, doesn't sound like Escape From New York. Still, my dream self thought it was. And that was not the odd part.
From the side of the barn opposite those attacking on the motorcycles, during the battle, entered Neil Patrick Harris, suited up as Barney (the character he plays on the enjoyable sitcom "How I Met Your Mother")—yes, you'd think the fascist officer from Starship Troopers would have fit in better with the theme, but that's not what my unconscious included. He was completely unfazed by the gunfire exploding around us, walking up to those of us crouched behind the boxes for cover, to ask us something. I don't remember what he asked, but I recall my dream self just stood up with blithe disregard for my safety to answer him. (I don't recall thinking the meeting was "awesome"; although my unconscious pulled up his character and wardrobe, it didn't include his catch phrases.
The dream moved to a sequence on a train out in a barren desert (this was more like a Western set in the late 1800s). For this part I wasn't a character but observed from an overhead vantage point, as though in a helicopter trailing the locomotive. The train hurtled at a breakneck pace (or so I feel compelled to describe its speed as such now) as the tracks curved to the right.
On the caboose of said train (yes, it had stereotypical caboose) was a man at a steering wheel, apparently needing to drive the tail of the train (not unlike the driver on the back of a hook and ladder fire engine). The caboose driver, decked out in the stereotypical overalls and brimmed hat (like what Steve Martin wore in The Jerk during the scene where he's driving the train at the park where he meets Bernadette Peters), became alarmed as he noticed another train approaching on a track that was about to meet up with the one his train was on, but (here the dream switched focus to a tight shot of the other train's caboose) there was no caboose driver on that train, and apparently in the context of having trains where the tail end needs to be steered, that put the trains in danger of colliding.
The caboose driver turned the wheel with all his strength and with his strained effort narrowly avoided the other train (which then veered off to the left as though on a completely separate track, and so from a rational standpoint the actual danger seems undercut, but again, in the context of the dream is was quite dramatic). The dream camera (so to speak) zoomed in on the caboose driver as he sighed in relief and took off his hat to wipe his brow.
It was Ted Danson. Dressed as he was (appropriate for the "scene") I can't say whether it was more of a "Cheers" Ted or a "Becker" Ted, but given that I never really watched the latter, and given that he was older there, we'll figure it was the slightly more verile Sam Malone-esque one. He did have hair, so the toupee was included (and sticking to his head remarkably well considering how he perspired in the wake of saving the train).
Then I awoke (a minute before the alarm went off) and had no more unconscious adventures to watch.
I'm so glad that television has had no impact on the way my brain operates, and really has not affected the way I interpret the world. I'm screwed-up enough as it is.