Swallowing It. 

Lining up for drugs.
Dear Justine.

The Virgo in you wouldn’t like the distance required – one hour over a dusty, windy road – to get fresh supplies; I know how you are about expiry dates. Fortunately, the Gemini in me likes to dabble in the-day-after-the-deadline to get my kicks. Plus I know if I get sick there will be a pill to fix me. The drugs in America are awesome. Remember?

There are ads on television for things I never previously viewed as illnesses, like one that says, ‘Do you find it hard to wake up in the morning? Well, you might be suffering from Chronic Tired Syndrome. Just take one Berracowakazide a day and mornings will no longer be an issue.’ Never mind going to bed earlier, how tedious. There’s no stodgy old cup of soup to solve three-thirty-itis, just pop a (legal) five-hour energy pill. Handy.

The side effects are equally awesome. One capsule promises larger lung capacity and has bonus benefits including constipation and hair loss. I could trek in the Himalayas, get a tan on top and wouldn’t need to lug around any loo paper. Faboosh.

Probably my favourite drug is Ritalin. It was popular with bodybuilders in the 70s and has really helped tame all the unmanageable, troublesome kids with ADHD this last decade, as nobody actually has time to properly love and parent children. About 30% of the camp kids line up twice a day to get Ritalin, or other uppers in the morning and downers so they can sleep at night (the caring parents send the drugs and threaten to sue if not administered). The counselors say it’s a good thing; it helps the children manage their crap lives at home – recently a fourteen year old boy was whisked to hospital because a bullet lodged in his groin moved during a soccer game – so life can really be stink. If there’s not enough love then dope ‘em up so they don’t feel the pain. Bonus side effects of Ritalin include: stunted growth, anxiety, dizziness, hallucinations, mood swings, skin rashes, headaches and weight loss, not to mention life addiction – perfect for growing brains. Some schools have up to 40% of children on it.

If Einstein had been born in 2000 he would have been put on Ritalin as he didn’t speak until seven and his teachers said he had concentration problems. Imagine that? His drug-addled mind would never have come close to e=mc2 and we wouldn’t have TV, cell phones, iPods, computers, laser beams; you wouldn’t be able to respond to my emails on your iPhone. Thank goodness he was around in the depression instead. We really have shifted to the land of plenty. I’m on the look out for a drug that can teach my daughter to talk, my son to listen and grow an arm in my back so I won’t be able to smell the expired milk.

Love Angela

PS When can I buy Every Bastard Says No in the US? My brother and mum have just finished and were blown away – by you! ‘Very gutsy book’ my brother said. I filched your term Chew Like Fuck and changed it to Grow Like Fuck, in a rant to Shaun. Hope you don’t mind.


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