I recently had a dream, in which I went to sleep.

For some, this is quite common, or so I’ve heard. For, me this is quite unusual, and the aftermath left me with a mystery unsolved, and a completely different mystery resolved!

Let me tell you more.

The dream setting was in a large mansion – possibly owned by me, or I may just have been another visitor. In any case, there was a lot of people around, and I had to share my (huge) room with a number of other people, most of whom I seemed to know.

Ultimately, we went to sleep (in the dream). Things went quiet. I actually slept – in my dream – for a brief moment (don’t ask me what I dreamt, I believe meta-dreaming is not permitted by the laws of this universe)

And then, I suddenly woke up (in the dream). To the sound of loud music!

Perplexed, I turned to the clock radio on my nightstand. It was 2.30 in the middle of the night, and it was blaring loud music. It must have been set by accident! Other people were waking up, muttering. Oh no!

And then, I suddenly woke up (in real life). To the sound of … nothing!

Perplexed, perhaps expecting inexplicable loud music, I turned to the clock on my nightstand. It was 2.30, in the middle of the night!

Naturally, this had me confused, and it took me a few minutes to finally stop the train of thought at an intermediate station, and go back to sleep.

The next morning, I found this hilarious, and a few days later, I wrote a short post about it on Facebook. Almost immediately, a friend of mine quipped “So, did you check your totem yet?”.

This is my totem, by the way. It was a gift from my grandmother when I was a child, and while it’s safe for me to show it, I can’t really tell you anything more about it. Sorry.

OK, so some of you may not know, or not remember, what this refers to. It’s a reference to the brilliant movie Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio, in which a group of people have the ability to enter other people’s dreams, and even dreams within dreams. I loved it, and made a point of re-watching it several times with friends and family that had not seen it, just to be able to share their initial reactions to it. In the movie, each character carries with them a secret object, known as a totem that allows them to deduce whether they are within someone else’s dream, or in their own (or, as it may turn out, in reality). As long as you are the only one who knows some secret aspect of your totem (one of the characters, for instance, has a loaded die, which will always face a certain side up when thrown) it is guaranteed to work.

Amused, I wanted to retort, but I suddenly for the life of me could not remember what totem DiCaprio’s character had in the movie. So, I googled it. And as soon as I did, I was baffled.

He had a spinning metal top as his totem. And I immediately felt my jaw drop as I saw the pictures. For quite a period of time, most of the sponsored ads appearing on web sites I visit was for spinning metal tops, sometimes to the point of spamming entire pages of them – something that has had me completely and utterly confused – why on earth would Google – or someone else for that matter – think I would be  that  interested in spinning tops?

Now it dawned on me. Of course, this has to be connected to me recently watching Inception once again, and possibly googling for some behind-the-scenes stories. Wow. This went on for weeks, and I never made the connection. And of course, sales of spinning tops did surge for a while recently (warning – link contains movie spoilers!)

Or… is Google trying to tell me something totally different? Something totally, completely, you-don’t-really-want-to-know-red-or-blue-pill-different? Hold on a minute, while I try to figure out why this small glass cat of mine won’t stand properly on its’…


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