Who remembers that pithy little ad campaign of the 1980’s and early 90’s that smugly thought a directive like “Just Say No” would in fact deter kids from trying drugs? It’s probably not a big ol’ surprise that an established link to decreased drug use was never proven, and that slogan faded away after the Reagan administration left Washington DC, leaving behind a few shoulder pads and a small trail of jelly beans.
By the time my generation became parents, nobody I knew was resorting to dumbass slogans, but instead we were using evidence-based science to try to discourage/terrify our kids from using drugs. They had after all, grown up with the wackadoodle Ms. Frizzle, who drove that Magic School Bus right down some kid’s esophagus to show them intestines and stomach acid and all kinds of cool shit. (Actually, I don’t think she drove them all the way down into fecal matter, but you know what I mean.)
There were the Meth Mouth posters, complete with nasty, decaying teeth. We discussed nasal flesh being eaten away by cocaine, and the risks of heroin OD after ONLY ONE DAMN USE! Basically, we tried to scare the Kidz Bop out of them with statistics, which somehow felt much more effective and sciency than watching an egg sizzle in a hot cast-iron skillet.
And this strategery actually worked for a great number of them. Their generation did less drugs than the asshats of mine did.
But I’ve since come to a whole new realization. (Yeah, of course I don’t want any kids becoming crackheads, or killing themselves or anyone else while high, blah, blah, blah… those things would totally blow.)
Here’s the current sitch, all you beautiful, young peeps with your shiny neurons and brightly colored dendrites.
Preserve. Your. Brain. Cells.
You’re gonna want to utilize every fucking last one of them in the not so distant future. Because here’s what’s comin’ in hot before you know it.
Someday you’ll be asked to fill out an annoyingly long-ass family medical history form while sitting in a sterile waiting room with a table full of raggedy magazines from pre-Kim and Kanye. And you’ll be all, “Oh shit, was it Aunt Karen who had breast cancer, or was that thyroid cancer?” And then 30 seconds later you’ll be all, “Oh shit, am I allergic to penicillin? Or is it sulfa? And what year did I have my tonsils removed?” And you won’t be able to text anyone because you forgot to charge your crap phone.
And then you will find yourself pulling out your driver’s license for the irritable TSA agent at airport security only to discover that said license is 30 minutes north of you in a tote bag on the floor of your hallway, and after four minutes of frantically disrobing until you are close to showing the naughty bits in public, an armed security guard will escort your shameful ass back out of security.
And then one night you’ll be at a lovely, little neighborhood gathering, chatting with a lovely couple who live down the street. And another neighbor will walk up to you to say hello, and you’ll turn to introduce this neighbor to that couple and you’ll be all, “Oh shit, I’ve forgotten her blasted name.” And you’ll smile like an arse and pretend that you’re being summoned from across the room as you quickly dart away with your California Red Blend, promising you’ll be right back…
And then you will spend 20 actual minutes searching through the depths of Netflix hell for that fantastic documentary your sister told you about last week, but you’ve forgotten the fucking title, so you just give up and watch another re-run of Sex and the City that you’ve seen 8 times.
And then you’ll be in the grocery store, bitching that you’ve left your list at home, but knowing it only had three items on it, yet you can only remember that one of those items was something orange, and the super irksome teenager in the produce aisle sorting bananas will hear you groan and say, “Shit, was it carrots or sweet potatoes?”
And that is when it will truly dawn on you that you killed way too many brain cells when you were young and stupid, so that now you are (beyond) middle-aged, and so much stupider. Of course you are.
Well, no shit!