I chatted with my coworker Benjamin at the circulation desk. “I had the most wonderful dream last night!” I recounted to him as we emptied the book return. “I dreamed that scientists had discovered the fossilized remains of the beautiful, ferocious, majestic, FLYING giant squid.”
“Okay then,” said Benjamin without the proper enthusiasm warranted by this news.
“It was a cross between archaeopteryx and architeuthis, so the scientists called it archaeopteuthis.”
Benjamin stopped scanning books and looked at me over his shoulder. “You gave it a scientific name, in your dreams?”
“Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it great?”
He gave me a level look. I could tell he needed more encouragement.
“They ate Brontosauruses,” I told him.
“But that’s huge.”
His eyes lit with understanding then. “I can just see it! Swooping out of the heavens, catching an unsuspecting dinosaur in its tentacles, enfolding it in giant bat wings…”
“Ooh! I hadn’t considered bat wings. I was picturing fluffy feathers. Bat wings are better.” We continued to scan the books. Then I said, “But the whole thing’s patently ridiculous anyway.”
“Because squid don’t have wings?” said Benjamin.
“What? No! Because they don’t have bones. They can’t leave fossils.”
“You’re right,” he agreed, transferring books to the shelving cart. Then he said, “They can leave the imprint sort of fossils, like footprints and things.”
I scoffed. “The majestic flying giant squid don’t leave footprints. They fly.”
“Yes, of course. How silly of me. But what if one crash landed into the side of a mountain or something?”
“That would never happen. Squid have very good eyesight. Even in the dark.”
“What if it was too bright?”
“It’s so dark underwater, I’m thinking they wouldn’t come to the surface in the daytime. They’re probably nocturnal. What else could cause it to crash?”
“Struck by lightning!” he proclaimed.
“Yes!” I said, my fist thrust upward in triumph.
“Lightning can happen to anybody!” he said.
And then we went back to work.