Sick-Day Soap Opera Afternoons

In my mind, soap operas are forever linked with a flushed, overheated feeling of low-grade fever, the briny taste of chicken noodle soup, and the peculiar impossibility of ever getting quite comfortable while lying on a living room couch, no matter how many times you’ve arranged and rearranged your pillows and blankets.

When I read today that CBS has cancelled the last of the old Proctor & Gamble soaps, ‘As The World Turns,’ I immediately experienced again that metallic cherry taste of Robitussin cough syrup and that damp, clammy feeling of a water bottle gone cool against your chest. I remembered, too, the magic and wonder conveyed by the first bulky, rotary-dialed cable decoder box ever to sit on top of our family TV. Spiderman cartoons on Philadelphia TV! Home Box Office movies in the middle of the day! Oh, the future had arrived and it was going to be very, very good.
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