JOE WEBB AND CO. – THE WRITTEN WORLD

LESSON #39: COCAINE = NOT THE BEST IDEA

Posted in Lessons by The Books Production Team on November 24, 2008

LESSON #39: COCAINE = NOT THE BEST IDEA

typewriter          Occasionally, I’ll find myself in a conversation with one of the more conservative, senior members of our department, and that professor will say something like this: “I just don’t understand why these kids today keep getting messed up with drugs.  It’s all so pointless.”  Well, this is kind of a silly question, and, while I don’t respond this way, in my head, I think about the truth.  The reason that people do drugs are that drugs are fun as shit.  The problem, however, with drugs, is that they are also addictive, and depending upon what type of drugs you are addicted to, they can pretty much derail your life.  So, today, in the interest of showing why dabbling in hard-core drug usage may not be the best choice for Johnny Undergraduate and Suzie Front-Row, let’s explore these two scenarios.

          Cocaine: Imagine that, like Dr. Faustus, you one day awaken to find Mephistopheles just kicking it in your dorm room, ready to offer you the following temptation: If you so agree, The Devil will arrange things such that you are able to have sex with Angelina Jolie as often as you’d like – but there’s a catch.  Every time you engage in conjugal relations with the world’s sexiest woman, Mephistopheles gets to remove one of your appendages.  So, the first time you have sex with Lara Croft: Tomb-Raider, you lose a pinky.  The second time, you lose a ring finger, and so on.  Eventually, once all of your fingers and toes have been removed, the Devil hires Lorraine Bobbitt to slice off that other thing on your body that looks (for some men) like a finger or a toe.  And there’s more…

          Certain people in the world have the ability to enjoy this act once, and then to move on with their lives.  They find that they are capable of dabbling in Miss Jolie for one isolated incident, and then are completely able to live normal, healthy lives with only nine fingers.  Other people have been hardwired differently.  Once they get a taste of the bliss that is Angelina’s bedroom, they are unable to keep from returning, and it becomes something that they need in order to function. The interaction of intercourse will become the one meaningful event in their lives, and they are willing to sacrifice everything else in their world for the return of that rush – including, because now all they have are a set of nubs for hands, typing their terms papers by holding a straw in their mouths and punching the keys on the computer one at a time.  Lastly, for a select group of individuals, say one in a thousand (like Len Bias), sex with Angelina Jolie mixes with their natural body chemistry in such an earth-shatteringly intense way that it stops their heart on the spot, killing them instantly.  The greatest catch is that you don’t know what type of body chemistry you have until you try the game for the first time.

          So, do you choose to accept this offer?  Many people, in fact, do choose to play this game.  Like Rick James says – “Cocaine is a Helluva Drug.”  The question is, at the end of the day, which joke will get to be yours.  Will it be A) “What did the five fingers say to the face?” “SLAP!”, or B) “What did the five fingers say to the face?” “I remember when I wasn’t a set five bloody removed appendages sitting in the Devil’s trashcan.”

          Marijuana: Smoking weed, on the other hand, is sort of like getting to hang out with Ellen DeGeneres.  She has a way of making everything funnier, even the little things in life, and she’s less dangerous in that it is basically impossible to cheat on your girlfriend with a 50-year-old lesbian (unless you happen to be a lesbian yourself). You come home at the end of the day, turn on the television, and something about Ellen makes you think it would be nice to have some cookies.  Still, even though Ellen is less intoxicating than Angelina Jolie, there is a certain amount of risk.  Some people, after hanging out with Ellen at the end of the day, start to enjoy themselves so much that they choose to order the Oxygen network from their local cable or satellite provider, and decide to spend all day every day sitting on the couch – because hanging out with Ellen’s just more fun than going to class.  Also, your parents might tell you that hanging out with Ellen is a gateway to having sex with Lara Croft: Tomb-Raider.

          Now, the great thing about life is that each of us gets to make our own decisions when offered these scenarios by Mephistopheles.  You can choose Option A; you can choose Option B; or like Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions, you can choose “none of the above.”  Personally, when I was in your position, I decided that Cocaine probably wasn’t the best idea.  I’d seen too many of my friends do things like jump through a plate glass window, bong a fifth of Jack Daniels and pass out in a phone booth, or wake up on a bus in Clarksville, Tennessee.  I have friends, in fact, who are still in and out of rehab (and other friends, who like Amy Winehouse, just refuse to acknowledge that they need to go).  So I decided that drugs were probably a lot like produce – the organic ones were safer.  But I won’t tell you what you should decide – I just want to lay out the options in a way that’s a little more realistic and relevant than advice delivered by Nancy Reagan.

          NOTE #1: Evidently, in real life – not the metaphorical world I have constructed for the purposes of this post – having sex with Angelina Jolie carries with it other consequences.  Just ask Brad Pitt.  Every time Achilles has sex with Lara Croft, she either spawns or adopts another child.  Somebody’s gotta get him some help, or at least a few more nannies.

          NOTE #2: Dr. Wizard’s Advice will be taking a short break for the Thanksgiving Holidays, and will not update on Wednesday or Friday.  So, if you’re new to the site, now’s the perfect opportunity to catch up – and to tell all your friends about The Wiz while you’re home over break.  (And, by The Wiz, I don’t mean the Wizard of Oz adaptation starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, although that’s good too.)

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17 Responses

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  1. Greece Lightning said, on November 24, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Oh wow – I had forgotten all about that Jack Daniels fiasco. Jimmy Butthole = Example A why drugs are a bad idea.

    And the song “Come on Eileen” has never been the same since that crazy plate-glass window incident in the alumni room.

  2. The Uncle Jesse Fan Club said, on November 24, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Today’s Lesson is Brought to You by Guest Instructor Tony Montana…The University of Miami’s Honorable Rick James Professor of Power and Powder.

  3. Barry H said, on November 24, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Didn’t Richard Pryor play The Wiz in the movie The Wiz? It’s an awfully small world after all.

    And I think you should include the following link on the “Press for the Wiz” section:

    http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/reviews/The-Wiz

    “…an acid trip of bad dancing, garish sets, and a Joel Schumacher-scripted mess…”

  4. J. Harris, Ph. D. said, on November 24, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Am I the only one who finds this advice slightly irresponsible?

  5. MS said, on November 25, 2008 at 3:47 am

    J. Harris:
    re: the last line of the post – “I won’t tell you what you should decide – I just want to lay out the options in a way that’s a little more realistic and relevant than advice delivered by Nancy Reagan.”

  6. UVA Mike said, on November 25, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Every time you leave a comment J. Harris I wonder why you even bother to read this blog, and yet you keep sticking around. There’s nothing irresponsible about this. Oh, “drugs are fun” – read the rest of the F-ing post before you go commenting dipshit.

  7. UVA Mike said, on November 25, 2008 at 4:27 am

    And on a brighter note, smoking weed is totally like hanging out with Ellen – awesome, and wholesome.

  8. Pasquo said, on November 25, 2008 at 4:48 am

    Cocaine = Not the Best Idea? The 1986 Mets do not concur.

  9. Meghan Jansen said, on November 25, 2008 at 5:04 am

    I’ve spent the last five minutes scrolling back and forth between the picture of Chapelle and the picture of Ellen, and I have come to conclude that there’s a very weird symmetry going on. I highly recommend that you try it.

    Also, I clicked on the digg button and it didn’t do anything. Is this normal?

  10. Green Wave Fever said, on November 25, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    It’s funny, I remember that Officer Claxton gave us this exact same advice during 6th grade D.A.R.E., which is weird, because Angelina Jolie wasn’t even a star yet…

  11. Karen said, on November 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    UVA Mike to J. Harris = BUUUURRRRRN!!!

  12. Ghost of Robert McNamara said, on November 25, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    The Bay of Pigs Invasion = Not the Best Idea

  13. Pasquo said, on November 25, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    isn’t Robert McNamara still alive? Bill Buckner letting that ground ball go through his legs in 1986 = Not the Best Idea. Just ask Bill Simmons.

  14. Robert the Terrible said, on November 26, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    hey Joe, It’s your Cousin, interesting site you have going here. your analogies have been very insightful 🙂

    keep it coming!

  15. jeskabe said, on December 1, 2008 at 5:32 am

    Dear Dr. Wizard.

    I. love. your blog. It’s refreshing and humorous. So thus I spend my Sunday, past 12AM reading all of your posts. Although not all of them apply to me as I am more conservative than other college students (aka, I’m not much of a partier nor do I drink or abuse substances and would rather read a book than do something crazy fun unless it’s with the closest of friends…but I digress).

    But I have to say, I wish more professors were like you. I’m a current Tufts University undergrad in my 4th and final year. And out of all of the professors whom I found myself relating to and wanting to know more and talk to has been my English professor, Joe Hurka, (perhaps you might know him) and my extremely charismatic organic chemistry professor, Marc d’Alarcao, who sadly moved to now teach at San Jose State University because of his wife’s new job around that area.

    I wish more professors were like Prof. d’Alarcao, Hurka, and yourself. A honorary mention goes to one of my math professors whose name is Joseph McGrath I believe. Although I didn’t show up to his calculus class, he sent me an e-mail to come see him because he thought I had dropped out. He wanted to know me better as a student and I felt touched that he cared.

    Now I’m not “hating on” other professors. But I feel a professor, besides teaching and doing other professor-ly stuff, should want to get to know students, and not just the brilliant of the bunch. Perhaps all of them do and prefer wanting to know someone else than me (as I can be a bit shy and naive sometimes), but I just wish there were more people like you! To talk about school, and life, and just LEARN from. Because out of all of my four years of college (or well almost four), what I’ve learned most is that you learn from other people more than what you learn in your classes (okay maybe not always but the social learning reverberates with me the most at least).

    Since my mom has cocooned me in her warm blanket of “overprotectiveness,” I have not really had the opportunity to learn from other people before college–before being on my own. But..okay well I kind of forgot what I was going to talk about but I think I made my point somewhere here. Verbosity. A thing that I need to correct. Anyhoo, I love your blog and it is fantastic. I love your witty humor and the fact that many college students can relate really well with you. What universities need are more professors like you. Or perhaps am I being a bit too narrow-minded and preferring one type of professor over others, being hypocritical as I claim that professors shouldn’t focus on a select few students and want to get to know all of them? *Sigh* Guilty I am. Hypocrite I stay.

    On another note. I find it kind of disgusting that people would send out e-mails such as “please give me an A, I need a 3.8 GPA to get into so and so school.” No offense, but these people come off as more as “boot-lickers” than the honest-to-good hard workers. If I were on a medical school admissions committee I know for sure I wouldn’t admit that student. Why don’t they just work hard for it? Or at least ask advice on how to do better?

  16. i know joe webb said, on December 12, 2008 at 2:25 am

    wow, joe. i’m really glad i read this. i guess my initial reaction to the quality of your character was correct. now all others may tell me how i am wrong because they are right.

  17. drwizard said, on December 12, 2008 at 4:10 am

    I’m not certain I understand what that means.


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