By Larry Plesent
I dreamed I was the last of my generation. Old beyond years, I sunned myself on a bench and watched the children play.
“Great grandpa! Great grandpa! Tell us about the old days. What took out all the people?”
“Well, children. Many people back then were concerned about the radiation. We made electricity from radioactive elements back then. Sometimes it would leak out and poison huge swaths of the planet. But that is not what did it.
“Then there were all the chemicals in the food supply such as herbicides, insecticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial fertilizers… You are lucky that we stopped doing that before you were born. A lot of people worried about them, but that is not what killed us off.”
“What was it? What was it then?”
“We started messing around with genetic modification. We created life forms without ecological controls. But that is not what did it.
“We also had a lot of trouble with metals. Metals are found in nature, but rarely in pure form. We used electricity to purify the metals. Then they leached into the food and water (through pipes) and affected people’s brains.”
“Is that what did it?”
“That was bad but metals didn’t do it.”
“You have to remember that we made plastics from petroleum back then. The plastic got into everything — the food, the water, the ocean… It made a lot of people sick.”
“So it was the plastics that did it?”
“Not really. We also burned coal and oil for energy. And we rubbed petroleum jelly onto our skin. Nasty stuff! But it wasn’t the petrochemicals that killed off all the people.”
“What was it? What was it?”
“It was the adhesives. Took years to figure it out. But in the end, it was the glues and adhesives that took us out. I was allergic to most of those things and avoided them. Now I am the last of my times. That is my blessing and my curse. It was the damn adhesives that did it.”
And then I awoke … and put the duct tape in the garage.
This is the Soapman wishing you a happy summer and a better, more natural tomorrow for us all.