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Anyone who has had a spinal fusion/laminactomy  will know whereof I speak. It has been exactly ninety days since my surgery. I had an office visit today. The X-rays were taken. The surgeon came in the room and together we looked at them.  What we were looking at was whether the titanium screws that hold the fused vertebra in place were holding as the bone grafts continue to grow. They are! As a result, my turtle shell brace, called because it looks like a rig the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would wear, has been put back in the Torturer’s Closet. Now I have a soft brace, which is a smaller, manageable brace, that fits at about the waist. Black, stretchy, with velcro.

I celebrated my liberation by going to McDonald’s and ordering a Big Mac. One practically needs to take out a mortgage to buy one of these now. Sadly, the pickles, special sauce, lettuce, cheese and two all beef patties (so they claim) just doesn’t taste the same as they used to. Kinda dry. Oh well. Most people experience this disillusionment at age 25. I’m 40 years late. The coffee is good though, as well as some of the meal size salads.

I remember a place before McDonald’s came to town, called The Beacon. It had the same stuff hamburgers, fries, shakes that McDonald’s would be selling. Daddy would take us there after Church on Sunday, so Mom didn’t have to cook. We would sit in Daddy’s 1953 Nash Ambassador Super and eat. My parents didn’t complain about the food then; cheap food was a dream come true for them and we children didn’t know any better.  We liked the experience, because as a prize for buying the swill, they gave away little plastic airplanes in primary colors. With the exception of the toy B-36, the planes were jets, Korean War era  jets, the F-80, the F-94, and the legendary F-86.

We accumulated scads of these things.  They were not to the scale of the green plastic army men we had, but we didn’t care. The army men were not to the same scale as the Tonka  Green “Six-by”Army Truck we had either.  Again, we didn’t care. The idea was to have fun. Are children allowed to have fun anymore?