Doing battle with daily dragons

Friday, December 09, 2005

Hangovers for Dummies

I decided something last night that I shall not be talked out of by anyone for any reason. Luckily, the only person who I would be likely to listen to agrees with me, so I can stand tall in my righteous decision making. My aforementioned decision is:

MY FUTURE CHILDREN, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, WILL EVER REACH THE AGE OF 18 WHILE LIVING ON BRITISH SOIL.

This is not to say that I’m about to pull a Medea. I’m not talking about deleting my kids or anything, but they will, before reaching the age of “adulthood” be removed from the UK. My sole basis for this decision (which I would set it stone had I the skill with a hammer and chisel) is attending a 6th form Christmas Ball yesterday evening as a guest of The Mis-spelled Band.

Although The Rock Star has tried many times to explain the British educational system to me, I have to admit that I am still a little clueless when it comes to the 6th form. From what I understand, it consists of 16-18 year olds who are most likely there in preparation for A-levels which you need to get into university. Regardless of its purpose, the fact still remains that it is populated with people that have the collective common sense of mentally deficient protozoa. I can make no claims of having been much different except to say that things were different in my day and we never would have dreamed of pulling some of the stunts these little maggots dream up. Kids these days, eh?

What I observed yesterday evening: Parents happily dropping their children off at the Ball, saying “Have a good time” and so on with the absolute certainty that their offspring was going to come home and spend the night with their head in the toilet because their 18 year old friend bought them upwards of 7 blue alcoholic beverages otherwise known as “booze 4 kidz!”

It took less than 20 minutes into the event (a good 30 minutes before The Misspelled Band began playing) for the entire crowd to be completely legless. By the end of the evening, there were girls passed out in the toilet and guys losing their guts in empty trashcans. The same parents who happily dropped them off returned to pour them into their cars with looks of weary resignation.

I was not the only one to be aghast left open-mouthed by this display of sobriety impaired youth. The Rock Star remembers his own teenage years as being fairly beer fuelled, “but,” he says, “It wasn’t like this. I get the impression that these kids do this all the time. We spent a lot more time going bowling and hanging out at McDonalds blowing straw wrappers at eachother.”

Extreme public drunkenness (to the point of stumbling around and vomiting) is something that I find barely tolerable in a crowd of adults. But in a crowd of children, it bordered on criminal. I’m not trying to preach against the evils of substance abuse; I would be a fiercesome hypocrite. Not only that, but adults have a perfect right to make whatever kind of hash of their brains and circulatory systems that they choose. BUT...it seems to me that there’s a prevalent attitude that says this kind of behaviour in very young people (i.e. binge drinking) is okay. Perhaps apathy on the part of parents to control what they see as anti-social behaviour due to the fact that “they’ll just do it anyway”? A lack of pride in anything other than reputation for hedonism? A distinct lack of anything else to do?

Can I say that I never touched a drop until my 21st birthday? Of course not. But US laws make it an awful lot harder for underage drinkers to get a hold of alcohol. But it doesn’t stop there; there are literally thousands of things other than drinking that teens are actively encouraged to do that cultivate pride and positive relationships. These sorts of incentives seem to be non-existant in the UK.

At any rate, though they’ll probably think themselves hard done by and curse The Rock Star and me (with words they undoubtedly have heard from us) we’ll be shipping them stateside before they get it into their heads that destroying their livers before they're old enough to rent a car is just fine and dandy.

Especially with things that are blue.