Odie Insults My Intelligence

Once upon a time, an anti-drug crusader named Jim Davis decided to write a comic strip to warn children about the dangers of addictions.

Yes, I mean Garfield.

However, Mr. Davis missed the boat.  He depicted a feline lasagna addict who couldn’t resist anything edible; Davis could have easily added an illegal dependency to the character and still had him be believable.  Problem is, Garfield displays intelligence and humor and everything else you don’t want people associating with dangerous behaviors.

And then there’s Odie.

Look at those unnaturally wide eyes.  (Photo credit: Marty--McFly)

Look at those unnaturally wide eyes. (Photo credit: Marty–McFly)

“Odie” is an extended spelling of O.D., which in turn is short for overdose.  Odie was supposed to foreshadow the dangers of addiction: mental incapacity, constant drooling, hyperactivity, and the unending potential for someone to cry out O.D. if he does something really bad.  Instead, Davis characterized Odie as friendly, innocent, and often more likable than any other character in the comic strip.

That’s not how you talk people out of using drugs.

Newfound Medications Insult My Intelligence

Once upon a time I was suffering from dry skin.

I couldn't find a dry skin picture that wouldn't make you vomit.  Therefore, I chose this turkey with equally crispy skin.

I couldn’t find a dry skin picture that wouldn’t make you vomit. Therefore, I chose this turkey with equally crispy skin.  (Photo credit: Leslie Johnston)

So I went to the pharmacy and was greeted with this:

The pharmacy also provides easy access to nutritional essentials.

The pharmacy provides easy access to nutritional essentials.  (Photo credit: Susan)

Farther inside the pharmacy, I saw lots of nifty pills.

You could probably hide an Everlasting Gobstopper in there.

Who says bright colors are only for children?  (Photo credit: ParentingPatch)

And then I discovered what I had intended to find.

It was perfect.

When I left home, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be so lucky.  Who would have guessed?

I found moisturizer in a container that had been newly redesigned:

It's takes an aesthetically superior bottle to tackle aesthetically inferior skin.

It takes an aesthetically superior bottle to tackle aesthetically inferior skin.

Junior High Insulted My Intelligence

I remember when the official letter from my school arrived.  I was an 8th grader at a Catholic school and they had never sent anything like that.  When my mother saw the envelope, she imagined the worst.

Or so she thought.

As it turned out, the principal was informing us of an information session.  Some of my classmates had been carving pentagrams into their wrists and drawing pentagrams on school property with white-out.  In response, the school administration had invited a visiting priest to present his expert understanding of Satanism and its manifestations.

Inverted Pentagram

The Satanic inverted pentagram.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I suspect my razor-wielding classmates already knew everything he taught… but then again one idiot thought this was a pentagram:

Starofdavid

The Star of David.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And this brilliant student volunteered to draw the example on the chalkboard at the group session.  So as you can see, I did not attend Catholic school with the most Catholic (or intelligent) of classmates.

But I’m not here to talk about Satanism.  I’m here to talk about drugs.  Later that year, the school decided to sponsor some drug education activities.  Because our class had already proven its moral turpitude, the idea was reasonable enough.  You can’t underestimate how early some kids start with these bad habits.

And so the school’s guidance counselor led all of us to the parking lot and she started singing.  (Of course, we were expected to join in.)  Here’s the song:

If you’re drug-free and you know it clap your hands
If you’re drug-free and you know it clap your hands
If you’re drug-free and you know it, and you really want to show it
If you’re drug-free and you know it clap your hands

She may have also conveyed some real information because I vaguely remember holding a paper of some sort.  Nevertheless, the performance served as the main event.

This leads me to a useful rule of thumb:

If students are already dabbling in Satanism, children’s songs probably won’t keep them from drugs.  If anything, the musical ringleader will lose any credibility she may have had with the students.  Even with the clean and unmutilated ones like me.

I hope her exercise doesn’t reflect the techniques one learns while pursuing a degree in education, psychology, or counseling.