I dreamed I went to the grocery store near closing time to pick up a few things. One item I needed to look at was a magazine containing an erotic story by Mona. I needed to find a quiet spot in the store to read Mona's piece. I was crouching in the magazine section, but too many people were around so I realized I'd just have to buy the magazine.
I went to the self-checkout counter, which was about as social as sitting at the counter in a diner. I told a guy on one side of me that I'd enjoyed his crossword puzzles in the Sun; he was bashful and awkward. I proceeded to scan my grocery items. A plastic tub of soup that looked like salsa (but was not known to be gazpacho) had a $3.20 price tag, but it rang up as $9.95. I had to summon the manager on duty to issue my refund. There was a little to-do about it, during which the cute guy on the other side of me offered to taste the soup to see if it was any good. "Ptooey! This is bad!" he exclaimed. The soup had indeed gone bad. Ominously, the guy told me that Jay Somebody, who knew me from the American crossword tournament, had been seen lurking over in the magazine section, no doubt planting the soup there.
Seeing that the soup had turned, the store manager forked over a $16 refund, explaining "If the food could kill you, we give you a double refund." [Yes, I know the math doesn't work.] I peeled off six singles and gave them to the chivalrous young man who had tasted my soup, as a reward for his taking one for the team.
I left the store and began walking through an unfamiliar neighborhood or rowhouses. A young couple was shouting at one house, and I moved on. Eventually I encountered a large group walking down the sidewalk. My sister's young niece was there, even though it was past midnight, as was my cousin Linda. Most of the group consisted of men who like crosswords, about eight of them in a roving pack. Determined to infiltrate the group and figure out which one had tried to poison me with tainted* soup, I tagged along. We all went to a small apartment belonging to one of the crossword guys; presumably they were thrilled to have a couple women there. Linda wanted to leave, owing to the lateness of the hour; I promised we'd leave in 10 minutes, as soon as I was able to finish my sleuthing.
And then I woke up. What does it all mean?
*I have loved the word "taint" ever since seeing that "Mr. Show" episode 8 or 10 years ago, in which David Cross was a porn model posing for Taint magazine (the taint being that area that "taint your balls and taint your asshole"). His legs-in-the-air posing was classic. Mr. Tangerine and I laughed so hard, we cried. For two days. Sadly, when I bought the first DVD containing seasons 1 and 2, I found it did not include that episode.