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August 1978

Free Beer Tomorrow

Arch Surg. 1978;113(8):918-919. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370200012002

Many years ago, I saw a sign in a restaurant that read, "Free Beer Tomorrow." I never forgot that sign. The meaning was far greater than the possibility of a drink on the house. According to Webster's Dictionary, tomorrow is the day after today and, as such, never comes. In addition to the denotative meaning, the word "tomorrow" connotes a hopeful and pleasant feeling to many people. Somehow, tomorrow things will be better. My ship will come in. Today's impossible problems will be solvable. Thus, even though the promise of free beer was clearly stated, the customers knew that the free beer would never be forthcoming, but, nevertheless, they enjoyed the pleasant, hopeful prospects for tomorrow, because they wanted to.

By this time, the reader will wonder how free beer relates to surgery? The answer is simple. The same wishful reasoning is used in the care of patients. A common

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