A friend of mine had bought a rather complex cell phone.
friend: "Damn it. I canceled the plan for this phone, but now they won't let me return it. To make matters worse, I paid for it with a loan based on equity against my house."
me: "I don't think it's very common to take out loans against your house to buy a cell phone. Was it really that expensive? Couldn't you have bought it outright?"
friend: "Didn't think of that."
me: "Oh, wait, this is totally nonsensical. Obviously a dream. All right, Mr. Gadget...here's one of my favorite new dream questions...what was the hot Christmas item last year?"
I started bragging a bit and exaggerating my abilities.
me: "But don't limit yourself. I'll remember anything after I wake up. Try chemical formulas, movie summaries, engineering diagrams. Just describe it. But obviously, try to optimize for both 'simple' and 'cool'."
He showed me an odd hi-tek product brochure, which was actually a flipbook. The product in question was a keychain clock of some kind, though it looked a bit more like an odometer. The diagram had little padlock icons shown on each wheel. I was able to ask the flipbook to pause and go back or skip past seemingly random graphics which had no substance.
The gist of this catalog seemed to be that they carried products like at The Sharper Image...high priced specialty items for people with too much money.
A movie played about how the keychain could be thrown into molten lava and be preserved. One woman in the ad gave a testimonial that she had started a whole religion by throwing hers into a volcano.
me: "I'm not sure I understand. The gimmick is that you can throw it in a volcano, and it will keep whatever time you had locked in before you threw it in? I don't see how locking down the dials is all that interesting, though knowing how to make a material that could resist molten lava would be very valuable to me."
I can't help but allude to the Deep Thought by Jack Handey which says:
"If you drop your keys into molten lava, just let it go...because man, they're gone."
...but apparently, this isn't necessarily the case if you've got this thing.
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