Modern Maladies Affecting Our Population

The good old days before  Consumerula inflata  manifested. Circa 2013.

The good old days before Consumerula inflata manifested. Circa 2013.

As of this rotation around the sun, my kid has been partially infected by the most deadly and widespread malady of the twentieth and twenty-first century — Consumerula inflata. It is commonly known as The Gimmes.

I believe the first symptoms of the disease were noticeable several years ago. We observed that he could recognize the Lego logo before having learned how to read.

We acknowledged it’s onset. We did not treat it aggressively. Instead, I thought that by avoiding television and videos, we had adequately limited confounding co-factors like advertisements. For years, we had safe passage through the toy section of Target. This made me cavalier.

Unsolicited circulars and catalogs were once entertainment. My son clipped them and saved images of cute squirrels, Elmo, and flowers. Periodically, I thinned his collection, burning them in the woodstove while he slept. [Guiltiensis motherii, but more on that shortly.]

This year, my son’s formerly latent Consumerula inflata manifested subacutely. My son approached me with a neatly clipped section of a holiday circular from a local department store. “Momma, I want this,” he told me as he showed me picture of a nearly 1,000 piece Lego set.

On Christmas morning he got that 1,000 piece Lego set. Dutifully, I had found it on sale on Amazon. I stalled on buying it because my son and I had an argument, and I was not feeling particularly generous. By the time I got over it, Amazon was sold out. A local box store had it online for the sale price but for full price at the store. They price matched at check out. D/mn it, I was infected by Guiltiensis motherii.

And today, he approached Jared, his father, with two neatly clipped photographs of Lego sets and said, “Papa, I want these.” Jared murmured something kind, changed the subject, and tucked the clippings behind his laptop.


I woke up on Christmas day thinking of Quickbooks and getting my laptop keyboard fixed.

WTF. I’d rather have a temporary and holiday-onset inflammation related to Consumerula inflata than the stinking Worryola nervosa. These companion diseases of the modern age. Mercy!

Calgon, or an organic equivalent consumer product, take me away.