Life Before Plague

Structured settlement


When I was a kid I had my tonsils removed. It was a pretty awful experience because surgery in the 70s was less refined, so the first few days of recovery were miserable. Plus, the hospital folks lied to me about getting to eat as much ice cream as I wanted after the operation. It wasn’t ice cream at all! It was banana-flavored popsicles, and they only had a few.

But the worst thing about the experience was the long recovery at home, because the television commercials taunted me with delicious pizzas and burgers and steaks that I was weeks away from being able to eat.

That’s kind of what it’s been like for the past few days with all these wonderful old commercials depicting Life Before Plague; images of a fallen world where zany things happened to entire families at restaurants filled with singing animals.

Friends gathered for backyard cookouts to discuss how their feet hurt and how gassy they felt after eating cheese. Grandparents spoiled their grandchildren while their parents ran away on fabulously romantic cruises. Absolute strangers sang in crowded elevators and busses about their structured settlements.

Boys and girls met and fell in love at parties and had first kisses under firework-filled Fourth of July skies.


People sat in crowded traffic, surrounded by people they didn’t know and didn’t like, wishing they could have the roads all to themselves. You just don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

Until then, we have to be patient.

If you get to feeling really anxious try using the trick I employed as a kid: fantasize about doing all your most “normal” things. We’ll get back to those fireworks, eventually. Meanwhile, fantasize about getting a hug from me.

Don’t make this weird.

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