Dream of: 05 August 1997 "Toxic Shock Syndrome"

I was sitting at a small round table (many other people were seated at similar tables all around me) in a dinner theater where a play was in progress. An actor was sitting at a large brown desk right in front of me, giving a long soliloquy. I was leaning across my table toward him, closer to him than anyone else in the room. I was quite engaged. I had never been to a dinner theater before and I found the whole event rather interesting. At the moment my attention was snagged by the cigar which the actor was smoking. I would watch him take a deep hit and blow the smoke back out. The smoking seemed part of his act. But it seemed odd to me to be seeing someone smoking a cigar in a restaurant something I rarely saw anymore with so many new restrictions against smoking in public. I wondered if some people in the restaurant might be offended. As for me, the smoke didn't bother me and I even liked the smell of it. The smoke was so thick and I was so close, that I began to notice that sometimes when I would breathe out, smoke would even come out of my mouth from what I had inhaled. I found the sensation of the smoke rather enjoyable, and I fell into an extended reverie concerning cigars.

I wondered what it would be like if I were to start smoking cigars. I imagined the pale wooden boxes filled with high quality cigars. I might have the cigars at my Summerdale Drive House; if I had a guest over for dinner, we could light up a cigar afterwards. I could convert the back bedroom into a sitting room where we could retire to smoke our cigars. I seemed to recall a similar room in Wheat's house where we had gone after I had once had dinner with him; but I didn't recall whether we had smoked any cigars. However I knew cigars were much more in vogue than they used to be, and it seemed something I should give some thought. Of course I would have to learn more about how to smoke a cigar, as I had had little experience with the things. I might also need one of the little devices made for cigars to clip off the ends before lighting up (I didn't know what they were called). However in the meantime I might just bite off the ends, or simply use a knife. The only drawback was the health aspect. I thought smoking cigars every day wouldn't be healthy. Even once a week would add up to 52 cigars a year, which also sounded like a lot. Probably the most I would want to smoke would be once a month. That would still probably not be good for my health, but I thought at that rate the damage would be negligible.

Finally snapping out of my reverie, I looked around the room and was surprised to see that everyone had left except for one rather elderly man sitting at an empty table. He was wearing blue bib overalls and looked like a farmer. I now realized the restaurant was actually in someone's house, just a large room which had been converted into a restaurant. I then noticed a woman in the room. She was obviously the lady of the house and the person in charge of the restaurant. I heard a baby cry in the background and she scurried out of the room to attend to it. I thought it must be terribly distracting to have to run a restaurant and take care of a family at the same time.

The man at the table seemed to be waiting for a meal, and he appeared to have been sitting there for a rather long time. Finally a waiter (about 30 years old) walked up carrying a tray of food and began placing the food in front of the gentlemen. The food consisted of one large plate overflowing with fruit and a fluffy piece of bread. The man at the table looked pleased and the waiter began talking of the care to which he had gone to pick out the food. The waiter mentioned that the fruit and the bread had come from two different stores and had been carefully selected. I was now beginning to see why the man had waited and why this restaurant was apparently so successful. The waiter went on describing the care to which he had gone to prepare the food. The water mentioned that he never used "aerosol starch." I knew immediately what he was talking about. I had seen and used myself the aerosol cans of cooking oil to grease pans for cooking. I had never heard it referred to as "aerosol starch," but it seemed to me that it was an appropriate description. I wondered if I also should stop using it.

I also wondered what other items around the house shouldn't be used. Normally I didn't give this kind of thing much thought. I wasn't much concerned with the safety of products, and intended to ignore warnings about such things. Like "toxic shock syndrome" for example. I had no need to know about that. I knew "toxic shock syndrome" had something to do with tampons. But that was a woman's product and so it didn't concern me. So it was with most household products.

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