The Nightmare Probability Conundrum

As my brain is one of my more active organs, I am occasionally subjected to nightmares. I have no idea why, it baffles me. I’ve spent many a long late night chomping through a Cheddar or Edam ball whilst watching a scary movie and trying to find out what causes them. I have to assume that my brain is just too active for this body. A cross I bear.

So a few of nights ago I watched the film “Alien” (directed by Ridley Scott). In my view an excellent film, not least of which because of the suburb wardrobe choices for Ripley’s last scene. I had nightmares that night. Hmmm, interesting.

Then the next night I watched “Aliens” (directed by James Cameron). In my view an excellent film, not least of which because of the suburb wardrobe choices for Ripley’s first and last scene. I had nightmares that night too. Hmmm, interesting.

So I now have “Alien3” (directed by David Fincher) recorded and ready to watch. (Why does nobody want to direct two of these?) and a segue if I may – I loved the way Mr C cleverly side-stepped the more obvious “Alien 2” title option but was it beyond the wit of Mr F to come up a title that inferred that there were more Aliens, other than just taking the far easier but less inspiring “Alien 3” option? I venture to proffer the following alternative titles that could easily have been considered:

  • “Yet more Aliens”
  • “Oh look, you’ll never guess what’s coming. Aliens. Oh you guessed.”
  • “So this Alien walks into a bar”
  • “All those who work for this mining company who think they’ve seen the last alien, take a step forward. Not so fast Ripley.”

You see, it’s easy. Now where was I? Oh yes, nightmares. I think I’ve cracked it. I’m going to watch it now – in daylight, during the day, before nightfall. You see I’ve calculated the probability of nightmares and I believe I can reduce my chances considerably. It can more easily be expressed thus:

The probability of having nightmares after a film (p) is equal to the number of hours after the previous midday that one starts to watch it (h) times the number of minutes during which the film takes place in darkened spaceship corridors dripping with icky stuff (i).


This results in the following:

Film h i p
Alien 10 117 1170
Aliens 12 137 1644
Alien3 2 114 228

So watching it now (2pm) is the obvious solution. Got to dash, I’ve a huge plate of cheese sandwiches to make before the film.


Well I didn’t have nightmares – mainly because I think the overriding emotion at the end was one of sadness. Ripley knows that she’ll die soon when the alien inside her gets out, so she decides to end her own life and that of the unborn alien.

Conclusion: Scientifically proven evidence based research that shows that my hypothesis is correct. I think you’ll agree that p=h*i has Nobel written all over it.


About Words of Little Relevance

Freelance stage manager; software and web tester; Excel and map geek; Tweeter; Blogger and Cake Eater. Often back-stage in and around Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire where I move scenes, or play with lights or sound.
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One Response to The Nightmare Probability Conundrum

  1. Paws says:

    The Big Bang Corollary:
    The probability of nightmares is (further)ed. reduced by watching a number of episodes (b) of The Big Bang Theory after the aforementioned film and before bed.
    p = (h * i) / (b * 2)
    You’re going to have to watch some more scary films.

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