Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 4:11 pm | Fair 76º


She Said, Z Said: Just Say No

Does the anti-drug movement teach kids perspective, or is it just all based on fear?

Z: That was a mistake.

She: Making toast in the bathtub again?

Z: I never should have told Koss about the hookah.

She: Why not? The hookah was fun. Ten of us at a Middle Eastern restaurant, one hookah with strawberry-flavored tobacco. It was even neurotically sanitary, what with all of us having our own little plastic tips. What was the problem?

Z: “Smoking? You smoked, Dad? Are you trying to kill yourself? Don’t die, Daddy, don’t die!” Sob. Sob.

She: Oh, that. They just finished a unit on smoking. Apparently it sunk in.

Z: I get that it’s valuable to teach kids about the importance of health, but I think Koss might be taking it to a bit of an extreme.

She: What clued you in to that? The Lung Association red ribbons he keeps hanging around the house?

Z: I thought he was just early for Christmas.

She: Or was it when he told us, “If you smoke a single cigarette you’re basically just committing suicide?” Or was it when he said that, “Drinking a beer is opening a gateway to heroin?”

Z: He may be taking this whole D.A.R.E. programming a bit too far.

She: I don’t understand how our child is such a Boy Scout.

Z: It’s bewildering, I’ll admit.

She: We let him watch TV, he reads the newspaper, we even expose him to teenagers whenever possible.

Z: You would think some of those corrupting influences would have sunk in.

She: It’s very disturbing.

Z: Given our own twisted sensibilities, I would have thought some of that would have stuck with the boy.

She: He’s very straight and narrow.

Z: I’m thinking if we were commies, he’d turn us in to the local authorities, try to get us black listed.

She: Now I know how Alex P. Keaton’s mom felt. Next thing we know he’s going to vote Republican.

Z: Nah, politics is the one area I’m pretty sure I’ve indoctrinated him sufficiently. It’s school that’s indoctrinating him about everything else.

She: Not that we want him to do drugs or drink or be rebellious in any way that might actually be harmful.

Z: No, but a little perspective would be nice.

She: I’ve smoked a few cigarettes in my life, and I’m still breathing.

Z: Seriously? You did? I don’t think I knew this about you. That’s pretty bad.

She: I wasn’t trying to commit suicide, just trying to be cool in junior high.

Z: I never did that. I was a good boy.

She: I’ve even said some swear words in front of my parents.

Z: I never did that either. Not one. I loved my parents.

She: We all survived.

Z: You’re really not a very good person.

She: Gee, I wonder how the boy ended up so judgmental?

Z: It’s a mystery.

She: I do wonder how the whole anti-drug teaching plays out for kids.

Z: I remember the frying egg they used to show us.

She: Yes, this is your brain on drugs.

Z: That sizzling egg always gave me the munchies.

She: It always made me laugh.

Z: Not that we want him to do drugs or drink or be rebellious in any way that might actually be harmful.

She: No, of course not. But we don’t want to be so easily brainwashed either.

Z: Or so harshly judgmental.

She: I just don’t understand where he gets that.

Z: I know. Neither do I.

She: Yes, dear.

— When She and Z aren’t daring to raise their son with some perspective, they can be reached at [email protected].

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