Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dream: Lands End Scam

I'm sitting at home in a white undershirt and underpants when the doorbell rings. I realize it's the delivery man with the new cellphone. My wife is hobbling to the door. But I know that the package will require a signature, so I get up to sign for it. But then I realize I need to put on pants. Where did I leave them? I go from room to room quickly, almost frantically, searching for my clothes. Finally I find them, in a neat pile in front of the telephone in the kitchen. Meanwhile, my wife has let the man into the house and calls out to say that it's the man from Lands End. Still in my underwear, I encounter the man in a doorway. He's taller than me and dressed in a uniform – white shirt and blue pants – like a delivery man / courier.

The scene has shifted. I'm in an office, lit brightly with natural light from undressed windows. I'm certainly not on the ground floor; I'm perhaps at least three stories up. Suspicious, I question the man. I haven't ordered from Lands End in a long time. Maybe this is a scam to hijack my Lands End account. Maybe his showing up will compel me to log in to my Lands End account while an accomplice with a packet sniffer picks out my username and password. So I say, “When was the last time I ordered from Lands End?” “Oh, in 1951,” he lies. This bothers me. First, I was born in the sixties. Second, does he really think I look that old?*  So I say, “I'm calling the police.” He nods as if to say, “Oh well, you caught me.” It was just a threat – I was hoping he would run away. But he stays. My daughter is here, so I say to her, “Let me have your cellphone,” hoping to convince him I am serious.  She gives it to me. It occurs to me to use the cellphone to take a picture of the man. I get distracted trying to find the camera app. By the time I find it, the man has moved. I don't remember what he looked like, and there are two other men dressed just like him! Which one is he? Then I see that he is walking out the door.

The scene has shifted again. It is night time. I'm outside in a parking lot that looks as though it was hewn out of thick woods. The margins are irregular and there is no curb along the perimeter. The three men are now driving three separate white Cadillacs. They're leaving the parking lot. The first two are driving to the right, headed for the road. The third is driving straight away from me onto a dirt path. I get into my car. My daughter is in the driver's seat, so I get in on the passenger side and say, “Follow that car,” pointing to the third one. We both know she's an inexperienced driver – she just got her license. But I'm not really serious about “catching” this man, and I figure it would be a nice confidence booster for my daughter if demonstrate that I'm willing to depend on her for this kind of thing. I take out the cellphone and hold it up to aim at the car. I operate the laser pointer focusing beam. I see the red dot appear on the rear window of the car. The car stops and its lights go out.

* It doesn't occur to me that there was no Internet back in 1951.  Maybe there wasn't even a Lands End, either.

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