The best part about modern media is how utterly removed from its intended purpose it seems to be. The news is supposed to tell you about interesting and important events that are happening near you and around the world. But with numerous 24 hour news networks, sometimes we run out of news and instead have to hear about what might best be described as the turds of reality. Things that sort of could happen but are completely irrelevant. The media likes to share these stories with you, sometimes to scare you, sometimes to distract you, and they’re based on little more than rumor, half thoughts and the grunting rants of a drunken editor.
The latest fear-mongering story being shared with parents comes from Boston – if you have kids or plan to have kids or are short enough to be mistaken for a kid, you better sit down. Kids are snorting Smarties. You know those rolls of little candies you get on Halloween? Yeah, those. And it gets worse. Portsmouth Middle School needs you to know that all this Smarties snorting may lead to nasal maggots. Maggots all up in your nose. Parting.Planning. Maybe voting independent.
Is anyone for real doing this? Yes, it’s a widespread phenomenon. The school said so. They cite videos on Youtube as evidence and God knows if it happens on Youtube, it’s evidence of a widespread phenomenon, Youtube being our culture’s repository of good sense and solemn, holy rituals and not a douche-saturated parade of idiocy and self-inflicted head wounds at the mecy of literally every insane person with a camera phone and a 28.8 dial up connection.. I wrote this entire article on Smarties. I was doing lines off my dog, nasal maggots be damned.
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Back in November, Time called it an epidemic. Because one student was caught doing it and said he learned it from another student. And it’s not a joke, because inhaling any foreign substance could lead to more than just nasal maggots – you could get severe infections, breathing difficulties, it could even cause death, just ask doctors at the local hospital where none of that has ever happened.
As near as I can tell, no one has ever gone to hospital as a result of snorting Smarties. It may have happened, maybe your Googling powers are better than mine, but I can’t find it. So it could cause all these health concerns, just like skateboarding could lead to broken bones, or pizza pockets could lead to scalded genitals, but whatever. That’s not to say kids aren’t snorting them, but maybe it’s less a news story and more a case where you should call the kid a dingus and tell him he’s banned from candy for a week for being stupid with it.
Smarties, of course, are not the first terrifying epidemic to take hold of the world’s youth. You may recall the trend of butt chugging and/or the use of vodka tampons from not too long ago, which the media assures us is real and, even after Snopes disproved vodka tampons, some media sources got quotes from medical professionals and law enforcement assuring us they were real, despite how it’s literally impossible to get drunk from using tampons soaked in vodka unless you somehow avoid the terrible burn and stuff yourself with maybe 4 dozen of them.
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Fact is, tampons absorb liquid, they don’t dispense it, so filling one with vodka means nothing. You’d have to squeeze it out inside of you, vaginally or anally, which would burn terribly, and also not be absorbed any faster than it would be absorbed via drinking. On top of that, a tampon can’t even hold an entire shot, plus inserting it already soaked means you’re squeezing out half of the liquid inside of it just to fit it in anyway –remember, they’re meant to be inserted dry and with an applicator. And even if you do get it inside, you’d need to squeeze the alcohol out of it into you, which means you need to be on your head or else the booze will just run out of you. It’s so obvious this was never a real trend . But hey, the media said it was true, and they wouldn’t lie. Or poorly research a story.
A few years ago, police in San Luis Obispo contacted the media to warn parents about Pedobear and how he’s associated with pedophiles and how you need to stay away from him and his lecherous ways. They did this in all seriousness.
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Just this summer, CBS warned us of the dangerous Japanese trend of eyeball licking and how it’s lead to an outbreak of pink eye. There were numerous clips of it on Youtube proving it was a dangerous trend, of course. Look for any stories about kids seeing doctors for serious eye-licking issues and you’ll find as many stories as you’ll find about nasal maggots.
What else has Youtube forced our kids to do? In 2010 it was sack tapping, the terrible trend of kids slapping or punching each other in the nuts. Because kids are that dumb. There was also the scourge of The Choking Game. Look it up and you’ll see stories in Salon and other magazines about real deaths caused by this menace. Of course, the CDC says there were 82 deaths related to this particular epidemic from 1995 to 2007, and a survery of 5400 kids indicated only 6% had ever tried, menaing 94% had not, but all it takes is one story for hte media to make it a terrible trend, then share it with others.
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Next week you may hear that kids are whistling up each other’s asses. Or maybe gerbilling will make a comeback, depends on how slow the news is that day. Just remember, when you’re watching CNN, or FOX or CBS local, take it all with a grain of salt and see if the story follows to a real conclusion or just presents some BS.