A couple of weeks ago Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski partnered with Tide in a social media PSA so teenagers don’t poison themselves for the sake of Snapchat. I may be dating myself while I sit back in my rocking chair and reminisce about the animated PSAs that closed out my beloved She-ra or GI Joe cartoons, which reminded youths “no talking to strangers” and “no playing with fire.” Just look where it got me. I talk to strangers for a living.
Sure, those old animated public service announcements might also have involved not ingesting poison, but then again in those days it was frowned upon to eat things that were under the sink, and the threat of having your mouth washed out with soap was incentive enough to not talk back to your parents or to at least swear outside of earshot.
Let’s be realistic, we’ve come to a point in history where Donald Trump is president and kids are eating soap for fun. If someone had said that 30 years ago it would have been considered a joke.
According to data from the U.S. poison control centers as reported by the WashingtonPost, in 2017 over 10,500 kids under five had access to the pods. Also that year, 220 teenagers ingested detergent, 25% of them intentionally. According to pbs.org, last year at this time call centers had recorded 609 calls that involved the pleasantly scented, gummy, colorful...pods.
When described that way, it almost sounds like a highly toxic fruit snack--like a Gusher that’s capable of burning your digestive tract if ingested.
The Washington Post also reported that since 2012, eight adults with dementia and two young kids died after ingesting the detergent pods, mistaking them for candy.
This raises a bunch of different questions. Why are teenagers willingly ingesting poison? How did Kinder chocolate eggs get banned while Tide pods are still around? Choking hazard aside...
That makes less sense than a Philadelphia Eagles fan caught on camera kneeling before a pile of road apples and taking a bite. Road apples being a flowery phrase describing horse crap, but for the record we’re really glad he didn’t get any on his scarf or zubaz.
Andy Warhol was onto something when he said, “In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” We can’t help but wonder if he would be amused or disappointed if he had found that some of today’s youth are taking a crack at their 15 minutes by choosing to ingest laundry detergent or horse manure on the internet.
Sidenote: Did the Eagles fan at least get a pack of cigarettes or $20 in exchange for his feat? I feel like there’s more to the story. Who bites into a horse turd without a main objective? Is anyone else overthinking this with me? I at least hope he brushed his teeth that night...
Back in the 90s I remember a fair share of stupid dares, streaking, and stupid human tricks. Some circles even hosted backyard wrestling, concussions and all. Thank gawd we didn’t have access to video -- and if we did, it was on VHS. We’re glad there was no internet at that time, or at least limited access to internet, depending on the timeline.
Is a world of social media contributing to our de-evolution? Are the youth eating detergent and feces for attention and dreaming of some level of renown on the world wide web for the sake of acceptance? Do these kids just need a hug? Do I just not get it because I’m getting old?
There’s just so many questions and not enough answers.
March 14th 2019
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