Reagan and Jaws
a story

Last night, I dreamt about Ronald Reagan.

I was lounging at some future beach, some sunny sandy spot filled with large boned Americans and freckled teenagers in under filled bikinis. A gigantic holographic movie preview began playing, superimposed on top of the ocean scenery. Ah, augmented reality, where the special effects take place in the real world. Not a problem.

The ocean goes quiet and the traditional music slowly begins. "Baa dun, baaaa dun,...dun, dun, dun dun, dun, dun.." Suddenly, with an over the top roar, an immense shark launches itself out of the water. "My god", I think, "that must be 300 feet long!" The massive shark flies upward in an arc so high it becomes a painful spot against the brilliant summer sky. As it comes down, every super-realistic tooth in it's slavering maw glistens with reddish saliva. Down, down, down it falls, on such a trajectory that the animal bit of my brain insists it will land right on top of me. At the last fraction of a second, it hits the water, a mere few feet from the edge of the beach. Gratuitous tidal waves blast outward.

The music reaches a climax.

In the aftershock, I notice a man...no, not just a man. Ronald Reagan, withered and craggy, yet still ram rod straight, stands alone on the beach. He slowly walks to the edge and looks deep into the water. Turning to look directly at me, he notes in an ancient voice that is clear despite the distance,

"Looks like there's a bit of a drop off there. [Dramatic pause] Care to go for a swim?"

The ominous music begins again, and a gigantic "JAWS" logo flies into the sky above. I notice how the edges of simulated water match up almost perfectly with the real scenery below, and can't help but marvel at the artistry involved in this new Hollywood. The preview fades, and the crowds go back to their entertaining day at the beach.

There are further previews that day. Ronald Reagan plays the aging president of the local surfer's club. Younger members (in their early 30s) are trying to force him to retire, setting the stage for an intense soap opera. He is determined to tell people about the killer great white, but due to the intricate power struggles, no one will listen. I remember a blurb, "Reagan's greatest performance ever. The peak of his career."

Wild. Why can't all dreams be like this?

 

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