Drugs Are Really Excellent

On my way to a day's work in San Francisco, an unaccompanied little kid sat in the seat next to me. Maybe 7 or 8 years old, he was all chirpy and chatty and started boring me with talk of the 49ers.

"Why aren't you in school bothering a teacher instead of on BART bothering me?" I almost said, but I always hated school, skipped constantly, so I took mercy on the boy and only said, "I don't like football.

That shut him up, so I turned to look out the window at the plain gray of the tunnel whizzing under the bay.

A minute later, though, the kid started babbling again, this time about a policeman who'd visited his school and made a big impression on him. I mostly ignored him, but then he tapped my shoulder and wanted to show me a DARE pamphlet he'd pulled from his backpack. 

Ah, jeez. DARE is "Drug Abuse Resistance Education," a many-million-dollar boondoggle that sends cops into schools to teach little kids to say no to drugs. Little kids probably should say no to drugs, but I hate cops and propaganda and DARE is both.

The boy was too darn happy, and I don't know what he expected me to do with his DARE brochure. I didn't even glance at it. He said what you'd expect a DARE-brainwashed kid to say, something about the dangers of marijuana, and all I said was, "Don't believe every lie everyone tells you."

Then I looked out the window again, but like I'm a Corleone, every time I wanted out of this conversation, he kept pulling me back in.

"What do you mean?" he asked, all wide-eyed and dopey-looking. 

"What I mean is, everything that cop told your class is a lie, and everything in that pamphlet is moose-poopoo." I was proud of myself for coming up with moose-poopoo, because you shouldn't say bullshit to a little kid.

"The policeman was nice!" he said. 

"I'm sure he was, but he was paid to be there and he was lying to you. Nobody's paying me, so I'll tell you the truth. Pot can be fun. Most people can handle it, like punk rock or math. Or football — say no to football."

By about halfway through my stupid spiel, though, I was talking to an empty seat, after the kid grabbed his backpack and scurried to the other end of the car. Good riddance, brat. Did I ask you to bother me?

That's public education — they tell kids lies about marijuana, lies about liberty and justice for all and all that, but they never mention "Don't talk to strangers" any more?

From Pathetic Life #18
Monday, November 13, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


  1. Back in the '90s, I remember being in a car with friends and us all staring at the DARE bumperstickers and wondering what it stood for. We settled on Drugs Are Ridiculously Excellent. Brilliant minds think alike once again -- Arden

  2. And DARE is still with us, still lying to kids and encouraging them to narc out their parents and older siblings.


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