My 14-year-old niece was ill the other day and both her parents had "big days" at work they couldn't miss. So my "best uncle" status got upgraded to "lifesaver" and I took the day off to chaperon my niece while she rested and took her medication.
About mid morning, I heard a pronounced yawn and my young pajama-wearing relative exited her bedroom and came out into the kitchen of her parent's house where I was working on my laptop. She grumbled something sleepily and I asked her if any of her friends had called her ... her school is notoriously lax on cell phone use. She looked at me in that way only a teenager can and said, "no, but some 420 smokin' bitch texted and wanted to know how I was doing."
My fingers stopped typing and my mouth dropped open a little. As my niece retrieved all the ingredients for a bowl of cereal, I went ahead and stuck in my nose further and asked her about this "420" thing. She then launched into a whole list of things her classmates were into, including beer and hard liquor, marijuana, "spice" (a legal incense, sometimes called K2 containing the psychoactive chemical HU-210), Four Loco energy drinks that have high amounts (11 percent) of alcohol and taurine (a sulfonic acid that inhibits certain neurotransmitters and is believed to create an anxious, euphoric state in some individuals), and even crystal meth.
I was on the brink of asking her about her immediate circle of acquaintances when she swiveled on her kitchen stool and gave me a mischievous look. "What kind of things did you do when YOU were a teenager," she said, her eyes burrowing into my head.
Now typically, I abhor hypocrisy ... but this was my niece! What could I do? I'll tell you what I could do ... just what I did. I lied through my damn teeth. As I regaled the bored and ailing youngster with stories of student council projects and class officer duties and club after club after club, I was secretly remembering the weed and worse that I had smoked, ingested, drank, and snorted. And I also just kept talking because I didn't want to give my inquisitive niece the opportunity to ask more probing questions like "was it fun to get wasted?" or "what was it like to be high?"
So with a somewhat troubled conscience, I give you David ... an innocent youth who learned the ins and outs of tripping at an early age from a visit to the dentist. Enjoy!!
POINT OF RANT: I'm so glad I'm not a parent!