Inception, at the lowest possible rates.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
July 23 2010 2:59 PM

Budget Inception

"We can implant it for you, wholesale."

Read more (and more serious) interpretations of Inception. Jonah Weiner offers a guide to the use of dreams in Inception.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception. Click image to expand.
Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception

Thank you for considering Budget Inception. We realize that, in this modern world, you have countless idea-implantation options to choose from, and we are honored that you thought of us. Should you favor us with your business, we guarantee top-quality subconscious manipulation at the lowest possible rates.

How are we able to meet your brain inculcation needs at such rock-bottom prices? With innovative methods and maximum efficiency. Let's walk through a sample inception, just to give you a taste of how it works.

Say you want to implant the idea "I feel like grapefruit for breakfast" in the mind of your subject or "The Mark." Our inception specialist, or "The Break-and-Enterer," will wait outside the Mark's house until he or she is asleep, and then—drawing on his extensive understanding of window breakability—will enter the Mark's home, kneel gently at his or her bedside, and murmur phrases such as "A little Vitamin C sounds like just the ticket," or "Grapefruits ... mmmmm!"

After six to eight hours of such dream manipulation, our specialist will get up and exit the way he came in, explaining away the presence of broken glass by leaving a dead bird or a threatening note attached to a brick.

As you can see, without complex and costly dream invasion machinery, overhead is limited to our specialist's time and training, kneepads for the evening's vigil, and nominal brick-rental fees—well within the budget of even the stingiest neurological tamperer.

For those who wish to cut inception costs even further, we do offer an economy package, whereby we leave a looped tape recording of the word grapefruit stuffed inside the Mark's mattress. However, we strongly recommend the personal touch of a live inception operative, as many Marks grow suspicious if they happen to wake in the middle of the night to find their bed talking to them—whereas a Break-and-Enterer can deal with unexpected nocturnal awakenings by pushing the dream into a second level. This is accomplished by having our specialist place his hand gently but firmly over the mouth of the waking subject, and saying, "Shh. You're still dreaming." If the subject continues to struggle, the specialist will repeat, "You're still dreaming," more insistently, and then he will place the Mark in a mild sleeper hold, allowing him to drift into an even deeper and more rewarding sleep, while our specialist wipes every surface for prints.

Those are some of our methods, but how do we increase efficiency? With the optimum deployment of manpower. Some other inception firms will tell you that, in order to pull off an effective job, you need an Extractor, a Point Man, an Architect, a Forger, and a Chemist—maybe even a Tourist! What is this, a dream, or a job fair? (That's a rhetorical question. It's a dream.)  Who needs all of those people rattling around inside one another's heads? With Budget Inception, you get the right specialist paired with the right job.

Say you want to embed the idea, "This foyer would look better with a few skylights." Then, and only then, will we deploy our Architect to leave strategic blueprints on or around the Mark's pillow. We also have a top Chemist on staff, with access to potent drugs, but we'll only enlist him if the thought you wish to implant is, "What if our universe is, like, a speck of dust on the fingernail of a giant?" or perhaps, "Have you ever looked at your hands? No, really looked at your hands?" (Chemist availability currently limited to California residents.) We promise to never bill you for personnel you don't need.

We even have specialists on staff that the big firms don't—like "The Plumber" (who leaves subliminal messages on squares of toilet paper, for those late-night bathroom breaks), or "The Fireman" (who sets fires, then whispers ideas into the Mark's ear while they're passed out from smoke inhalation), "The Yeller" (who performs basically the same function as the Break-and-Enterer, but from the street outside), and "The Glazier" (very skilled at replacing glass).

We'll level with you. Is there a certain glamour to actually entering dreams—those phantasmagoric mental projections, painstakingly designed with glossy surfaces, James Bond intrigue, and sleek fitted vests? Of course there is. But why buy a brand-new iPhone when you can make do with a couple of cans and a piece of string? Our success rates speak for themselves.

Look. We're not going to give you the hard sell. We know you're interested, but our feelings won't be hurt if you need to think it over. We have your contact info—phone, address, schedule of your neighbor's comings and goings.

Why don't you sleep on it?

Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 29 2014 10:00 PM “Everything Must Change in Italy” An interview with Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 29 2014 1:52 PM Do Not Fear California’s New Affirmative Consent Law
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 29 2014 12:01 PM This Is Your MOM’s Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.