Monday, March 4, 2013
Those Smarties are as addictive as cocaine!
Seriously. Check this out: Kids are actually snorting Fun Dip, or crushing up Smarties into a fine powder-like substance and snorting it like Tony Montana. Don't believe me? Check out the latest news making the rounds.
The newest fad, latest craze? Pushing the limits of what kids will do for a good time?
Let's hop in the way-back machine and go back in time. To 1987 we go, to an English classroom at St. Paul Johnson High School, a room helmed by Kay Arndt, whom history would show was a fine teacher and even better leader (she became principal of that school.) But on this day, Ms. Arndt had called in sick. So we had a sub. (Cue the soundtrack from the movie "Jaws") Oh, the things we used to do to subs ... we should burn in hell, but I digress.
I don't remember his name. All I remember is he was the sub we all wanted to get because he was pretty clueless, and when he didn't know what to do he'd kill time by telling us about the commercials he'd appeared in. One day he even brought in a videotape filled with his demo reel, a collection of TV ads for local stores, local products -- really low-budget stuff. He was a likeable enough guy, I suppose.
So me and my buddy Brian Schowalter were deep into a career of mediocrity and underachievement by this point. And when Mr. ... Um ... Mr. ... I guess I'll just call him Mr. Jones -- when Mr. Jones arrived in our room that day, we decided it was an OK day to continue our regular course of being complete and total idiots.
We'd already been experimenting with snuff -- a form of tobacco that you inhaled. But as we didn't have any snuff on us at the time we decided to have a little fun with the stuff we did have on us: SMARTIES.
Unfurling several rolls of those delicious candies, we pulled out all the white ones and began crushing them up the shafts of our pencils. Eventually we had a little pile of white powder on our desks that looked remarkably similar to cocaine.
Being the rocket scientists we were, we took out our driver's licences and started dividing the powder up and putting it in nice lines. And of course, what snort session would be complete without rolling up a dollar bill to facilitate optimum snortage.
Because we were complete F-ups, we waited until Mr. Jones walked by to start in.
Full disclosure, Brian and I were well known among the administration for our constantly paired high-jinks. We never got into any big time stuff -- never got anyone pregnant, never really experimented with drugs that much, never carried a knife or gun, didn't get into fights, hadn't been caught committing felony acts. But we were always together, always late to class, usually coming up with some crazy story about why we were never doing what we were supposed to be doing. We'd spent our share of time in detention. Actually, detention was where we both tried snuff for the first time.
Anyway, when Mr. Jones walked by and saw our heads down and snorting something. And when he saw the lines of white powder on our desks, and the white powder on our noses ... well, he freaked. He put both hands on my desk, his jaw dropped. He decided this had to be dealt with by a higher power. So he scooped up a little bit of the white powder with the fingernail of his right pinky -- seriously -- and marched out of the room looking like Nellie Olesen from "Little House on the Prairie."
The class erupted. And Brian and I just smiled. We knew that he was either going to embarrass himself when he got to the principal's office, or try snorting it himself (you know, actors) on the way there. Either way, we'd really done nothing wrong except maybe violated a "no candy" rule, the penalty for which was no where near what he thought we were in for.
He returned about 15 minutes later. And he said NOTHING to us. He didn't even look at us. Didn't even acknowledge what had happened. We'd won. It was quite a victory.
So when I saw that article making the rounds about kids snorting Smarties and Fun Dip, my mind drifted back to one of the best days of my high school career. I know it's different. I know teachers and parents are concerned about excessive use and damage to nasal passages and everything else.
But part of me wonders whether these kids know exactly what they're doing, pulling one over on the adults, making them freak out over nothing.
Wouldn't be the first time.