Anthony Daniels has a weird frustration dream about trying to withdraw cash from ATMs in London for a cup of coffee with some Spanish friends

In my dream I was in London with two Spanish friends (they were just friends with no particular identity other than that they were Spanish, and I would not recognize them if I passed them in the street), and we wanted to have a cup of coffee—but none of us had any cash. I left them in a café to order what they wanted while I drew some cash from a nearby ATM.

There were two of those machines nearby. I inserted my card, did all that the screen asked, and only at the last minute did the screen inform me that the machine was out of order. I tried both machines repeatedly, but with the same result, or lack of it. I felt impotent in the face of technological breakdown.

I asked passers-by whether there were other machines nearby, but of course they did not know, from which I concluded that they were either stupid or deliberately unhelpful.

In fact, I found two more such machines in Trafalgar Square, within sight of those that I had just tried. But when I took out my wallet to insert a card, all the other cards in it fell out into a large pool of black mud at my feet (it struck me as strange, even in my dream, that there should be so much mud in Trafalgar Square). In a state of rage and despair I stooped to recover them, but my rage was only increased when a stranger offered to help me. The reason that this kindly gesture should have enraged me further was that I thought it implied that I was an old man incapable of gathering up the cards myself. By now so much time had passed—half an hour, according to my dream—that my Spanish friends must have thought that I had abandoned them.



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