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Life In the Fast Lane

By Isabel Kallman

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.
Who knew?
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?

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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  • Lady M

    July 6, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Ha, the 100 mph was the first thing that caught my eye too. I thought – hey, maybe my husband will be willing to look at that car now.

  • Hally

    July 6, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Actually… I have a whole different take on this story. Remember, Albert Gore III has grown up with his Dad pretty much otherwise occupied by the environment and other endeavors. He didn’t even have the time to join his son in CA to bail him out since he is off promoting Live Earth, etc.
    I always remember the story about how Albert Gore III nearly died in the parking lot of Camden Yards and how that moment of nearly losing his son catylized Al (the Dad) Gore’s desire to live life to its fullest and raise his political profile (run for President, etc.). As a result, his son lost the active involvement of one of his parents.
    Now I don’t believe that absent parent instantly equals a Vicodin addiction… but there is something there, surely… Rather than laugh at the Prius, or fret over prescription drugs and our youth, I just felt sort of sad for the kid who seems to be acting out to get his parents’ attention.
    My two cents.

  • Tamara

    July 6, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    I think prescription drug abuse is an interesting comment on how, legal or illegal, people will use drugs. Which always brings me back to wondering why so many people believe that making drugs legal will somehow turn our country into a nation of zombie heroin addicts.
    Also, 100 miles per hour? In Orange County? Is like 75 in the rest of the country. People down there drive like maniacs.

  • Girl con Queso

    July 6, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    I’m still jazzed about the 100 mph thing. From the first minute I heard the story, that was my takeaway gem. I’m totally going hybrid. Just think how fast that thing can go if the driver’s not on downers.

  • Girl con Queso

    July 6, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    I’m still jazzed about the 100 mph thing. From the first minute I heard the story, that was my takeaway gem. I’m totally going hybrid. Just think how fast that thing can go if the driver’s not on downers.

  • Kristen

    July 6, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Yes. But did he grow the pot himself under energy saving lightbulbs and store it in special reusable bags?
    Isn’t there an exemption for that?

  • catching it all

    July 7, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    “Would you rather talk about Nicole?” – not a chance, Liz!! Let’s stay focused on the 100 mph! Wonder what the 0-60 time frame is for a Prius? How long did it take him to *get* to 100mph? where was he driving that he could maintain that speed? Dish, girl!! 😉

  • My Minivan Is Faster Than Yours

    July 8, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Maybe I should change my URL to “Your Prius Is Faster Than My Minivan!”

  • Slim

    July 9, 2007 at 10:16 am

    OK, if we want to see drug abuse as a moral failing, then maybe we want to blame Al for not being involved enough. On the other hand, if we think there’s a biological element to addiction, we might want to remember that there’s a family history of mental illness on Tipper’s side, and his drug use could be a twisted form of self-medication. Not that he’s trying to treat depression, but that his synapses fire in a way that makes drugs more appealing to him than they are to his high-achieving sisters, who were raised by the same parents.
    Also, what’s the milage like at 100 mph? Wouldn’t the car have to switch over to gasoline power to go that fast?

  • Her Bad Mother

    July 10, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Personally, I think that Liz in Wonderland sounds sweet, and just a little dirty.

  • Glennia

    July 11, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Wow! I missed this news while on vacation in Greenland last week. The only news in Greenland was a Danish baby princess being christened. Not a peep about Al Gore’s pot-smoking, vico-popping, Prius-speeding offspring. Hmm. I guess the rest of the world doesn’t know what is important!

  • Beth B.

    July 13, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Hey, If Al Gore III got a ticket, at least it was in a Prius and NOT A HUMMER. That would of been great news – Al Gore Global Warming guy’s son drives a hummer. The whole drug issue is scary, but what’s really scary is kids using household supplies (like that spray cleaner used for computers) as drugs. Yuckkkkk. What happened to the time where they just ate some non-toxic glue??