I just had the strangest dream. In it, there was a guy. He was known (in some circles, at least) for pulling off outrageous practical jokes and stunts. I am not talking simple stuff, but very elaborate setups in which he would hire dozens of actors and have all sorts of props. Anyway, not everyone knew he did this kind of stuff, but I was helping out on the latest one. The plan went something like this: him and a whole bunch of us were “in on it.” There was one mark, a girl, who this was all a big setup for. I never got the chance to ask whether or not there were hidden cameras, but it felt like there would be for some reality or practical joke TV show. Anyway, the mark was somehow made aware that practical joke guy had some sort of technology for viewing alternate and past realities. It was the kind of thing where you could peek in on things 50 years ago or peek in on things in the present in various “what if” scenarios (what if Hitler won, what if Three Mile Island exploded, etc.) The whole setup was that one of the people in on the joke was to have supposedly brought bad supplies/fuel/something for this viewing device (not enough dry ice or whatever) and that it was going to malfunction. We would all get “sucked in” to this alternate reality (populated by more actors in on the joke) and were supposed to be looking for replacement fuel on the other side to get back home. All of us would be acting and having a grand old time. The mark would be freaked out. The whole thing went wonderfully. Things started to malfunction, joke-guy and actor-girl got into a big argument that turned into a screamfest (consequently ignoring the malfunction getting larger), we get pulled into this cloud chamber room/tunnel/hallway thing, then find ourselves in a very industrial room that looks like it should be part of a factory. It turns out to be part of a larger complex out in the middle of the desert. (I had to remember: when I had the chance to talk to him away from the mark, I wanted to ask him how he pulled that off. We started in a house in a suburban environment and, within minutes, ended up in this desert place.) Things were more-or-less going according to plan (considering I only knew the “executive summary” version of the plan), but started to get more and more weird. We were in this complex of factory buildings that seemed like it had gotten turned into a small city. There were a lot of people around in that were in a sort of post-apocalyptic Mad Max garb. Even when I got them alone, none of them would admit to being part of the practical joke. Some of them knew the same people I knew, but in an other-worldly way (“Oh yeah, Bob? I saw him and his kids here yesterday.” “Bob doesn't have kids.” “Sure he does. Two of 'em. You should have seen him carrying the most recent one. That is one big kid. Bob ballooned up pretty big and is still trying to lose a lot of the weight he gained during the pregnancy.”) I started to get the feeling that maybe the joke was no longer a joke. I started to wonder if maybe the joke was on me. Did he really have this kind of technology? Did he hire people and recruit friends, then tell them they were behind-the-scenes in a practical joke on a specific person, only to have them all be the marks in an even larger joke? Not too much longer after that, I woke up.