Nightmare Food

Have you ever had a food nightmare? I don’t mean a nightmarish meal at a roadside diner or if you’ve been served something a bit more exotic than expected at a dinner party. I mean — have you ever had a dream with a nightmare menu?

The other day I woke up with the distressing echoes of a horrible dream. At one point in the dream I was dining with a group of people in a very casual setting. Paper plates, cardboard trays, plastic forks — NO, that was not the nightmarish part! (And on the upside, there was no Styrofoam involved.)

In the dream I ordered the “special” and got a small, brown, folded cardboard basket. Inside there were three deep fried items. I’m not really big on deep fried food. A nice tempura shrimp can be fun, but too much deep, fried, greasy stuff causes me indigestion so I usually avoid it. I’ve been that way all my life. It’s nothing about getting older and more careful.

Anyway, the “special” has three things. Two, are little friend oysters. I prefer fresh oysters on the half shell with a squeeze of lemon and a crisp white wine, but again, that’s not the nightmare of this menu. It’s not a food snob’s nightmare — this was the real deal. Because the third fried object, although it appears, at first to be a tiny bird, turns out to be a mouse.

I am afraid of rodents. There I said it. I revealed my completely irrational, horror movie style fear and in my dream one was there in my lunch!

Needless to say, I didn’t eat in the dream. I put the little basket down on the table and didn’t say a word to my dining companions. I woke up before any of them could ask me why I was backing away from the table.

Reading and writing about vampires, werewolves and assorted monsters of all shapes and sizes, you’d like that a little mouse wouldn’t perturb me so. But dead, alive, cooked or scampering — nightmare time! Good thing I’ve always had cats!

Have you ever dreamt about a nightmarish meal? Share…



  1. For me, any dreams around a food theme have been work related. When you have worked in a kitchen you have a whole different level of food related nightmares.

    • Candy

      I’ve never worked in a professional kitchen and, since I enjoy dining out, it’s probably best that I miss that experience. I’ve heard some NIGHTMARISH stories!

  2. I’m with John on having food industry related dreams. Even though it’s been nearly a decade since I waited tables, I will still occasionally have a dream where I wake up in a cold sweat and my heart drops. Why? I get that feeling that I’m so slammed with customers that the food for my other tables has been left languishing in the window. Or, I will bolt awake thinking about the milk I forgot to bring to a table.

    • Candy

      Now I’m really glad I didn’t wait tables. I have a bartender friend who tells tales — lots and lots of tales…
      The closest I’ve come was my stint demonstrating espresso/cappuccino makers at high end housewares stores. I made, and drank, an amazing number of espressos and had some outrageous conversations with bargain hunting New Yorkers,shop-a-holic tourists and foodies. The horror movie nightmare in that gig was explosive steam.

  3. This is so weird. I love food. I’m a fanatic about good food. And yet I can’t remember a single dream, either good or bad, that featured food. 🙁 Lately all I’ve been dreaming about is writing. I keep thinking I want to remember the plots I’ve written when I wake up but never do. I have been having a few plot related problems though so that could explain the dreams.

    I guess I shouldn’t tell you about the live mouse Buffa brought in last night? No, I thought not. 🙂

    • Candy

      Years ago, when I lived in a ground floor level apartment, I had a hunter cat who brought me half dead presents. I still shake at the thought. I had to thank her, dispose of the creatures and recover.

      I also dream about plotting novels and stories. The trick is to remember the ideas — at least the good ones.