Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Mr. Peters

Astonishingly, I went to sleep last night at 9:37 p.m.

And I don’t mean just to bed — I mean to sleep. I looked at my iPhone before drifting off and it read 9:37.

Usually, I go to sleep around 12:30 a.m., sleep for 46 minutes, then wake up and think about what I’m going to do until I’m finally able to fall asleep again hours later. But this time I felt like I was one of those parents in a comic strip that the teens make fun of for going to bed so early.

And not just going to bed so early. Falling asleep at 9:37 meant I’d be back up very early. Which I am. I woke up at 4:37 a.m. After having a dream about Mr. Peters.

Who is Mr. Peters?

Mr. Peters is the name I gave to a character I was writing in my sleep. His original working name, in my dream, was The Man Who Pees Anywhere.

Yes, I was writing a sketch comedy show in my sleep. And in that dream, I was making up a list of characters I thought I could play. One was The Older Man Who Yells at Younger People. (Perhaps based on a friend.) And another was The Man Who Pees Anywhere.

In the sketches with The Man Who Pees Anywhere — later dubbed in the same dream, as I noted, as Mr. Peters or, sometimes, “Mr. P.” — people would be talking to him and he’d just turn slightly, whip it out, and urinate wherever. In one scene I imagined, students in a college hallway would be speaking with him, he’d turn his back to them slightly, and he’d start urinating into a hallway trash can. The young woman would be appalled, but to everyone else it would be business as usual: “That’s just our Mr. P!”

In my dream, I was sitting on the floor of my parents’ house, circa the 1970s when I was still a boy, and mapping out situations for The Man Who Pees Anywhere. The other three men — younger than I am, being in their 30s, and two of them based on guys I’m in a meeting with tomorrow (well, today), and one of them being a guy I know who was actually in a performing comedy group — were reliving their glory days of several years ago when evidently they were already sketch comedy sensations. They had memes and t-shirts and videos and everything. I just had the back of a piece of construction paper and my ideas.

Originally, we were just putting together one show. Then I said, “Let’s do six. That’s how many you need to pitch HBO.”

They didn’t want to do six. In fact, I’m not sure they wanted to do anything except relive those past successes.

Another thing I said was, “Have you seen The Kids in the Hall? We can be funnier than them — easy!”

But I was unable to convince them, and then I got stuck trying to come up with a third great character for myself, and instead kept spinning on other places where The Man Who Pees Anywhere might relieve himself, thus reliving my own past successes (albeit much more recent), and then it was 4:37 and I woke up.

And went and peed where one should, in the bathroom.

5 Responses to “Mr. Peters”

  1. Joe Stafford Says:

    That was a great story, I never dream in anywhere near that detail, that I’m consciously aware of. However, I did note you were writing on the ‘back’ of a piece of construction paper, and I was wondering what was on the front? – so that one could opt the distinction.

  2. Lee Wochner Says:

    Crap! Now I have to have this dream again to find out!

  3. Uncle Rich Says:

    I recently skipped an out-of-town comic book event. For the next two nights I dreamed I was with other attendees, picking through piles of old comics. I kept setting aside ones I wanted, and then someone would take them. Those Darn Dreams!

  4. Lee Wochner Says:

    I don’t think I understand this story. There were comics you DIDN’T want???

  5. Dan Says:


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