By Ezekiel Buchheit
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 2, 1997

Losing Scholarly Determination


Arizona Daily Wildcat

Ezekiel Buchheit

Look at the dragon! Awww, he's a happy dragon. Happy happy dragon. I wanna go pet the dragon. Can I go pet him?"

It was about this point in time that I was sure my friend was a little screwed up. I was pretty confident that he didn't know any dragons personally, or at least he had never previously mentioned him to me.

"Yeah, you can pet the dragon. But I'm not going to, OK? He looks kind of mean. I don't think he likes me very much."

If you haven't already guessed, probably because you're stoned, today's subject is drugs, and drug addiction. Well, what is a drug? I'm sure many of you can already name various drugs, and in some cases rattle off the name brands, or even identify different kinds of bud by scent. What I mean is, what is the definition that classifies a substance as a drug? If we open the Oxford English dictionary, turn to page 22143, left side, column 2, paragraph 5, article XIV, lines 13-46, we see that the Oxford English dictionary is written with an itty bitty font that I'm not about to see without a microscope. So I'll just make up a definition. Drug: any substance that causes you to crave more.

So we can see that under this definition, a woman could not be classified as a drug because I'm getting awfully sick of dealing with them. But a twinkie, for instance, could.

Now that we are at college, with no parents around, nobody to watch and take care of us, most of us are making some of the greatest mistakes of our lives. Yeah, drugs. They're great, but they cost so much that it's just a mistake to start up with them. I live in a dorm, but I won't mention which one - my residence assistant is a crazed Navy SEAL guy and I'm rather attached to my limbs - and here it is the sixth week of school, and already my wing is on probation. And not just because I crawled from the second story to the basement just to tell the hall director that I was fucked up, giggle and puke. No, it was mainly because the hall director is exceptionally perceptive and deduced that since there was puke in the bathroom every Friday and Saturday, and only on Friday and Saturday, and the fact that everyone is drunk, that there was probably alcohol going around. So he put us on probation.

And the people there (and on campus in general) don't care. Drugs are their life. Or at least part of it. Ask any of them what college is about, they respond that it's drugs, sex, booze and some weak fools will insert "academic pursuits" in there, but then we all giggle and puke. These people's lives are structured around their next high.

"Let's see ... If I get my homework done, finish up with my classes today, throw in about an hour for studying, that gives me two days to be high. But if I skip classes all together, I mean heck, he'll give another midterm sometime, that gives me - let's see - Three months! All right!"

I'm serious. I know one kid who has whittled his mind down to about two active brain cells, the one that contains his phone number, and the one that packs a bowl. We all sit around him outside at a table, smoking our cigarettes, and listen to him repeat: "Bowl is good. Bowl is friend. Bowl is only one who understands." But we understand as well, because all of us are high too, and it's great, much better than being sober. John's got his head on the table, Ralph's drooling, and the rest of us are just having the greatest times of our lives, giggling and puking. Good "clean" fun.

But the illegal variety aren't the only drugs there are to get addicted to. Our worldly God gave us plenty of outstanding choices. Or, and I've heard this quote somewhere else, "There are 3,000 ways to die. Pick one." So the argument here is, we're all going to die someday, might as well have some fun.

Want to know how I'm going to go? Well, I'll tell you anyway. I want to be giving a speech in front of every jerk I've ever met. And I want to be upclose, surrounded by these people. I want to have my water bottle with me, and at least three pints of coke in me to keep me up. Then I want - at the most crucial point in the speech, when I have all these people standing on their toes, leaning in to here what's going to come next - I want my bladder to violently erupt, exploding over the whole crowd. Sounds somehow poetic to me.

Anyway, I've run out of space but I hope through my sarcasm that I have made my point. Drugs aren't nearly as fun as the come off to be. They're probably more fun vicariously, such as making the boy tripping "run through the forest." And we should all "just say no." OK, I've got to go now, my coffee's ready, and I have got to have a cigarette.

Ezekiel Buchheit is a freshman majoring in English


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