Commonwealth Journal

Columns

January 19, 2012

Recreation needs drugs?

— One of the favorite politically correct phrases of today is “recreational drugs.” That really gets my dandruff up even through the Brylcreem.

When we hear the word recreational, we normally associate it with things such as sports and leisurely activities like camping, fishing, volleyball, baseball, football and basketball. Alcohol is considered a recreational drug. I have a great idea to make collegiate sports games much more entertaining since recreational drug manufacturers are great monetary supporters of those games; instead of having Gator Aid on the side lines, let’s have Bud Lite! What are they thinking? Gator Aid isn’t a “recreational” drug!

Many advocate that responsible “recreational” drug use is socially acceptable but that “users should not take drugs at the same time as activities such as driving, swimming, operating machinery, or other activities that are unsafe without a sober state.” (Wikipedia)

What could some of those other activities be:

• walking (into walls),

• running (into trees),

• sitting (falling off the bar stool),

• fishing (falling out of the boat),

• dancing (making a fool of yourself).

Exactly what activity is safe in other than a sober state?

Of course the title “recreational drug” is the only thing that’s new; it puts a more socially acceptable spin to the topic. Mind altering substances have been around since recorded history began. Even the biblical character Lot got drunk and had sex with his daughters, I guess because none of the young guys got out of Sodom and Gomorrah alive. Recreational drugs relieve stress, lowers inhibitions, a temporary escape from reality, makes people grow a few more inches, puts people in jails and prisons, and requires the tax payers to pay for a few more cops to patrol the halls of our schools.  

 I understand our neighboring city London will soon be voting on whether or not to allow package sales of recreational drugs – “to include, but not limited to, liquor, beer and wine.” I think it’s the “but not limited to” part the citizens should be concerned about.

Yeah, here we go again. As a youth I don’t recall needing any kind of mind altering substance to have a good time. Poor as it was, we were high on life. Sunday afternoon was usually barnyard basketball using a barrel hope nailed to the barn, then chase the cows out of the farm pond for a refreshing dip. Didn’t matter that the cows urinated in it; helped kill the germs, and better than chlorine anytime. Didn’t want to get the water in your mouth though, it left grit on your teeth.

My “play hooky from school buddy” Roy R. could make an awesome hot rod with a Prince Albert can and a pair of tin snips. A couple pieces of lumber and a set of axels and wheels from a Red Ryder wagon made great mud track racers. (That’s where dirt racing began) Major pile-ups at the bottom of a log, steep muddy hill were things memories were made of. Mixed with recreational drugs we would probably have killed ourselves.

A memorable experience was a swimming trip to Buck Creek where there were grape vines to swing out over the creek and drop. But you didn’t waste a trip (gas was expensive at 19 cents a gallon) so we drove the truck in the creek to wash it because back then the road still went through the creek and a Car Wash meant doing it by hand.

A highlight of the week was flirting with the girls at church on Sunday, back when boys chased girls and not the other way around like it is today. We may have had some naughty thoughts (both boys and girls) but we were at church, not cruising for recreational drugs.

As long as society keeps watering down detrimental behavior with politically correct terminology, the youth of America will become more desensitized to the dangers they will encounter in life as a result of mind-altering substances. Parents need to be parents, not leave it up to the government and the public school system.

•••

You can contact Cline Calhoun at

ccalhoun1@windstream.net

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