A family on a picnic, amid idyllic scenes in the country.
Suddenly, the plate of chicken is not on the tablecloth. She finds herself pulling it out of the picnic basket a second time.
Everyone gathers around the food, but something is wrong. Everything seems to be repeating.
It gets worse. Her husband repeats the same sentence and actions again and again.
She lies down, feeling very strange.
The picture continues to get fuzzier the repeating continues and she begins to feel pain . . .
it gets worse . . . and she begins screaming from the pain.
And the screaming seems to awaken her.
She looks around, and doesn’t know where she is.
There are people across the aisle from her, in small cubicles like herself and wearing white suits like herself, seemingly asleep.
Above each cubicle is a picture.
She steps from her cubicle and doesn’t believe what she sees. She’s in the middle of a huge complex filled with people and machines. We get the idea this is an overcrowded world.
She is in a panic; this isn’t her world. Her world is where her family is having a holiday, and she tries to convince the attendant of that.
The attendant shows her the subject of her “world.” She had been in an electronic dream, the only relaxation this world of constant work has.
He pushes her back into the machine, telling her she has 3 minutes left and then she’ll have to get back to work.
She still thinks it’s all a mistake.
The attendant tinkers with the circuits on the machine and starts the dream sequence again.
She’s finally back in her own world, and truly happy again.
The machine begins to overheat.
She’s vaguely aware of the sounds of alarm, but that has nothing to do with her.
The picnic goes on and she’s at peace.
The machine explodes.
They attempt to put out the fire, but it’s too late for the woman, in this world at least.
In her chosen place, she’s finally home with her family.
As the workers disperse, the attendant stares at the woman, wondering if she was right.
Which is the reality? His world, or hers?
Last revised: Sunday, May 5, 2002