Mercury, heated

If you’re a clever psychiatrist, you might like to explain this fragment of a dream.
I’m at a barbecue in the late afternoon on a steep, uneven hillside. A man says to me “He became very sick, inhaling the fumes from heated mercury.”
“Jesus,” I said. “Mercury’s poisonous, especially heated. That stuff can kill you.”
reindeer-nature-newsAnother man intervenes. “Exactly. That’s how they killed all the reindeers in Lapland. Mercury fumes.”
I suspect it has some connection with the vaudeville routine that lies behind Hitchcock’s famous “MacGuffin”, but I’m not sure how, exactly.

Thirty-five today. Again.

Photo courtesy BBC “Nature News” with thanks.