In August 1996 I stopped habitually smoking weed. During that first year without puff, my dreams became bizarre experiences.
In a particularly vivid dream, I was chased by somebody or something, through Penge High Street, back in the 1930's. The shops and buildings were faded brown like old photographs. At one point during the chase, I breathlessly attempted to hide behind a low garden wall, but quickly thought better of it and resumed my panicked run.
At times a faceless companion ran alongside me, at other moments I ran alone. I hurried past a classic Buick Eight motorcar, and hurtled headlong into a grounded space ship. Panning quickly around, I saw a cavernous place, perfectly circular, with brilliant white and shiny metallic furnishing.
Before me a stage, and a singer.
As I huffed and caught my breath, the actor Clint Eastwood crooned "My way". On reaching the song's rousing crescendo, his body stiffened and he grimaced in pain. After a stoic attempt to continue, he toppled dead to the floor. Standing over him, I spotted a valve-like dart embedded in his back.
I woke the following morning perplexed, and more tired than I'd been the night before.
Decades have passed, yet I remember that peculiar dream like yesterday.
One Sunday evening during the winter of 2015, I randomly tapped "My Way" into Google and started reading.
Taken from Wikipedia:
"My Way" is a popular karaoke song around the world. However, it has been reported to cause numerous incidents of violence and homicides among drunkards in bars in the Philippines, referred to in the media as the "My Way" Killings. In the decade up to 2010, about a half-dozen incidents occurred in the Philippines in connection with strenuous complaints over the singing of the song.
On May 29, 2007, a 29-year-old karaoke singer of "My Way" at a bar in the Province of Rizal, was shot dead as he sang the tune, allegedly by the bar's security guard, who was arrested after the incident. According to reports, the guard complained that the young man's rendition was off-key, and when the victim refused to stop singing, the guard pulled out a .38-caliber pistol and shot the man dead.'
To date approximately twelve people have been murdered while singing "My Way" at Karaoke bars. My dream occurred six years before the first recorded incident!
To find out whether or not karaoke killings were a common phenomenon, I Googled: "Like A Virgin" killings, "Hi Ho Silver Lining" killings, and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" killings. I eventually found an article detailing a "Take Me Home Country Roads" massacre. In March 1998, eight drunken revellers were shot dead at a karaoke party in Thailand after repeatedly yelling the song. The killer even shot his own brother-in-law.