Life In the Fast Lane
I am sorry to say that Liz in Wonderland just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Alice in Wonderland. Really I am. But since Alice has traded Wonderland for a fabulous all-expenses paid Tahitian getaway this week (or maybe a family vacation to Long Island – I always confuse the two), I will have to do.
Normally I’m blogging over at Mom-101 , waxing on about my horrendous taste in music or the enormoboobs that have taken over my body since spawning a second child a couple months back. But this week I’m honored to step gingerly into Alice’s somewhat intimidating shoes. Especially now that Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School Starring Mo’Nique is over and I’ve actually gotten a chance to peak at the paper for the first time in, well…um, yeah.
Did I mention I just had a kid?
As my readers know, political issues often give me a helping hand up onto a soapbox from which I am reluctant to come down. So I thought at first that I’d avoid (Scooter Libby) that situation (Scooter Libby) by skipping the political arena entirely and tapping the compelling Nicole Richie is pregnant story.
But then I realized that after I knock off the “Wait, she’s got enough body fat to menstruate?” joke, I’m done. I got nothin’. And I’ve got a word count to fill here.
So yesterday, thankfully, Al Gore III came along and got himself arrested. Right in time I might add.
Indeed the story verges on the political since his father is the former Veep and a possible Presidential candidate in ’08 (even though he says he’s totally not running). But I’d argue that it better falls into the category of Following Trainwreck Stories About People We Don’t Know. America’s favorite pastime. After baseball, of course.
See also: Nicole Richie.
Even more than that, however, the Gore arrest lands in the realm of One More Thing For Parents to Freak Out About.
If you’re not up on the details, the 24 year-old son of Vice President Gore (who’s totally not running) was allegedly doing 100 mph in his Prius when Orange County police stopped him. Noticing the car smelled uncannily like the marijuana, the cops searched it, revealing the marijuana along with a nice little stash of prescription drugs. Only without the prescription, Rush Limbaugh-style. Whoops.
The pundits are busy arguing how the arrest impacts Big Al’s chances for election (even though he’s totally not running). Parents are discussing the alarming rise in prescription drug abuse by young people. But I think most people are missing the real story:
A Prius goes 100 miles an hour.
Clearly the big winner here is the environment, as thousands of skeptics take a second look at hybrid electric vehicles.
The bigger winner, however, may be the makers of Vicodin, Aderall, Xanax, and Valium who are getting millions in free publicity. And a semi-celebrity endorsement no less.
The stats are flying across the airwaves: The White House drug policy office claims that prescription drug abuse went up 17% from 2002 to 2005 for young people 18-25. (Which sort of begs the question what exactly the White House drug policy office was doing from 2002 to 2005.) 6.4 million people are considered abusers. More young people are trying prescription drugs than any so-called illegal drug. And 60% of them are scoring the pills from their own medicine cabinets.
In other words, while we’ve been throwing millions of taxpayer dollars at commercials with the message that pot makes you a loser, kids are shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Okay. So I’ll take some of these little white thingies instead.”
Fortunately the White House plans to address this issue – by running some more commercials. So we can certainly rest easy that by the time our toddlers hit high school, the whole problem will be put to bed.
So how about you? Are you worried about prescription drug use? Is this an issue parents could prevent simply by locking up their stashes? Are you tired yet of the 647 billion An Inconvenient Truth for Al Gore references about this story in the news?
Would you rather talk about Nicole?