Here are three things the media thinks it knows about teenagers: 1), they like to give and receive blowjobs. 2), They like to text people films of themselves giving and receiving blowjobs. And 3), if they think it'll get them fucked up, they will smoke, snort, shoot up, or otherwise ingest literally anything, from toad sweat to the fumes from fermented human waste.
Now, is it true that teenagers will go to great lengths to get high? You bet your ass it is. But when you start claiming that the hot new trend sweeping America's youth is chugging hand sanitizer, you might want to backtrack and make sure that you haven't accidentally licked any toads recently.
For those of you who are not "hip" and "in the know" about teenage drinking habits, the L.A. Times reports that the latest trend to send our youth stumbling into the emergency rooms is drinking liquid hand sanitizer, which is 62 percent ethyl alcohol and apparently makes a 120-proof liquid. In the last few months alone, six teenagers have been admitted to two San Fernando Valley hospitals for imbibing the liquid after using salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer.
Rather than patting these innovators on the head, telling them to channel their energies into more useful pursuits, and letting them learn their lesson by puking their guts out for a few hours, grown-ups are responding to the purported craze by flipping their goddamn wigs. Helen Arbogast, injury prevention coordinator in the trauma program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, even suggests that parents buy the foam version of hand sanitizer instead of liquid, because it's "harder to extract the alcohol and teenagers will be less likely to drink it." She adds:
Parents also shouldn't leave hand sanitizer around the house and should monitor it like any other liquor or medicine. They should also watch for signs of intoxication, she said.
"When young people are actively and purposely ingesting it, that is when it becomes a real concern," she said.
Now, granted, it's probably not good for teenagers to drink hand sanitizer. But you know when it becomes a real concern? When kids pick up their parents' copies of the L.A. Times and read about this awesome new way all the cool kids are getting loaded. How much you want to bet this'll prompt parents to start lobbying drugstores to yank hand sanitizer from their shelves? And then we'll have a lot of germy teens, but at least they'll be sober and Purell-free, so I guess you'll have won the war if not the battle.
What has this world come to since I was a teenager? It's times like these that I start really missing sex bracelets.