Sunday, August 12, 2007

Don't Tell Me That I Have Changed...'Cause Man Of Course I Have

You slam the empty bottle on the coffee table and pick up a tattered lighter to set some weed on fire and you have a flashback. You wonder where this all began. Why are you doing this? Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ is faintly playing in the background, the ‘what the hell am I doing here….I don’t belong here’ lyrics stick out. The flashback and self hatred subside as you exhale and wait for the next episode of the Two Coreys to come on.

You will always remember the first time you chemically altered yourself no matter what substance it was. That first beer you stole from the garage and drank nervously, prompting you to act and or pretend like you were obliterated. The first time you smoked some grass and realized why some many people liked Pink Floyd.

But where did this all begin? When did you decide to cross that moral line?
It was when you looked across the elementary school lunchroom and noticed one of your classmates writhing in pain. He had just ingested something that turned his face into abstract art. Someone dared him to do it. Someone opened their grimy hand to reveal several pieces of a tightly wrapped colorful candy. Your classmate gulps before he says,” All of them?” “All of ‘em!,” says another classmate as other students cover their faces like there is about to be an explosion. The classmate you saw writhing in pain had just placed 5 Warheads into his mouth.

Do you remember Warheads? If not here is some info via the online witch encyclopedia:

Warheads, also known as Mega Warheads, are a brand of sour candy manufactured by Impact Confections. The candy was invented in Taiwan in 1975 and was first imported to the United States by The Foreign Candy Company in 1993. For a while, "hot" versions of the candy were also available but proved to be less popular.
Warheads are marketed to children as an "extreme" candy. The name "Warhead" comes from the notion that the sour taste of the candies is akin to a real warhead going off in one's mouth, and the brand's mascot, Wally Warhead, is depicted as a boy with puckered lips and a small mushroom cloud eminating from the top of his head. A driving force behind the candy's popularity were informal competitions among schoolchildren to determine who could withstand eating the largest number of Warheads at once.

The last paragraph regarding informal competitions sums it all up. Warheads were your first introduction to the world of drugs and alcohol. You didn’t know it at the time, but those informal competitions and dares were your first foray into doing something that could eventually cause pain (hangovers, bug outs, bad reps) and a sense of danger (operating machinery while drunk or high). Those people daring you to place several Warheads are the same people who persuaded you into getting drunk before high school dances. Those people are the same people who told you to smoke grass before that dude came to your high school to talk about the dangers of tobacco. He most likely talked with one of those evil microphones through a hole in his neck.

It’s the same concept. You knew it was bad for you. You knew there could be some consequences, but you took the plunge. It was exciting and scary at the same time, just like that time you drank jungle juice and vomited all over the bar. Just like the time you took mushrooms and realized that your hand was the most complex living organism on earth.

That kid who was able to place about 10 Warheads in his mouth is most likely in an Old Country Buffet bathroom right now doing lines off the sink. It’s a pit stop on his road trip to an Interpol concert in North Jersey. The kid who decided not to place one Warhead in his mouth is working on Capitol Hill and is married with a nice car.

When you ask yourself ‘what the hell am I doing here’, don’t blame yourself. Don’t blame mom and dad. Blame the Warheads.


Jackbrack said...

I am very impressed with the research into the warheads. I used to buy them in an alley behind a RiteAid because my mom found a stash in my whitey tighty drawer. I am at about a 7 warhead a day habbit right now. I'm getting better.

elle_rigby said...

I remember the multiple "first" times I drank beer and got caught. First time is the charm.

Oh, how I've missed you so.

catie said...

Of Montreal title?