60 thoughts on “What Passes For Wisdom at the Scalzi Compound

  1. I really struggled with how to react to drug propaganda as a dad. I remember how the hysteria when I was a teen had the opposite affect desired but at the same time I worried about the bad things that could happen even with something as benign as pot. I tried to walk a narrow line and bet I failed miserably but my kids won’t fess up yet.

  2. Frankly:

    I’ve noted to Athena a number of times over the years that her family’s history (on the paternal side at the very least) strongly contraindicates her using any sort of drug recreationally, and she understands that pretty well. Which leaves us free to make jokes and have a light tone about this stuff.

  3. Also Grateful Dead and Phish music, but mentioning those is more of a Scared Straight tactic.

  4. Nachos leads to cheese, cheese leads inevitably to bacon… Cats of the Scalzi compound beware…

  5. egl,

    Nachos lead to cheese

    Cheese leads to sticky fingers

    Sticky fingers lead to messy houses

    Messy houses lead to the Dark Side

    The Dark Side leads to Profit (or prophets or something else sinister).

    Just sayin’. @=)

  6. That made me chuckle. See, I’d give that answer to my son and then I’d hear about it from Tracy later. “Nachos? You said, ‘Nachos’? Greg, you can’t joke around about this stuff. It’s important that he knows not to mess with these drugs.”

    Immediately after that, Tracy would follow up with something like, “Yeah, but it always made me hungry for spaghetti though.”

  7. I’d rather girls smoke pot and start munching (hey, you can stock your house with nutritious snacks!) then smoke cigarettes because they kill your appetite and keep you thin.

  8. To be honest: smoking pot leads to tar (5 times as much), carbon monoxide and free radicals. Worse than cigarettes in carcinogenic and emphysema-causing chemicals.

    But I still think it should be legal (and, no, I don’t smoke).

    Just trying to be realistic.

  9. Could be worse:
    * Smoking dope leads to Firesign Theater (which is not even remotely as funny when you’re straight)
    * Firesign Theater leads to Alice B. Toklas brownies (which give you the munchies, which leads to more brownies, which …)
    * I wish I could warn about the danger of Alice B. Toklas brownies by telling y’all what they lead to, but I forget.

    In fact, there’s a whole lot of the 60s and 70s that I forget, now that the subject comes up.

  10. My kids, through careful observation of certain of their classmates, independently reached the conclusion that Pot Makes You Stupid. I can’t say whether this led them to avoid it entirely, but if they consumed it at all it appears to have been in pretty limited quantities. (I also can’t vouch for the scientific validity of their conclusion, but as anecdata applied to the specific individuals in question, it’s pretty solid.)

  11. I really don’t need any encouragement to crave nachos, quite honestly. The consumption of melted cheese per capita in this household is already sky-high – and let’s not even talk about salsa and hot sauce.

  12. and let’s not even talk about salsa and hot sauce.

    Hey, those are two of my favorite vegetables!

    Seriously — they’re amazingly nutritious. Have a look at the labels. A tablespoon of 505 green chili sauce has more vitamin C than a glass of OJ. Lots more.

    One reason I’m moving to a farming town in New Mexico is that getting 30-pound bags of fresh green chilis direct is going to make a serious reduction in my cost of living.

    Or the red serrano chilis. I smoke them.

  13. It also leads to convenience-store burritos and cheap frozen pizza, both cooked in the microwave. A pretty heinous fate, if you ask me.

  14. We’ve always talked straight up about drugs because a) when Penny and I got together i had already written a book that was kid-accessible in the library and made no bones about my status as a former addict and b) kids know you know about drugs, and they know when you are shining them with after-school special BS (and that last set of phrases betrays my age)
    So it just seemed easier to be out in the open about drugs, the differences in them, and what to do about them in your life.
    “Nachos/Jam bands” would fit right in with my approach. Well done. I also found that pot led to toasted bacon and tomato sandwiches

  15. I am appalled at the mass delusion in this comment thread that the yellow liquid covering nachos is cheese.

    Appalled I say.

  16. @Frankly

    …but at the same time I worried about the bad things that could happen even with something as benign as pot.

    Indeed, such as getting expelled from high school and all the added grief that brings in terms of finishing school, pursuing higher education and climbing the social ladder. As with many things, look to the Eleventh Commandment.

    @Jack Lint

    Also Grateful Dead and Phish music, but mentioning those is more of a Scared Straight tactic.

    Oh, you did not just compare GD to…*sneers*…Phish.

    @Lou Doench

    I’m telling my kids that there is a time and place for everything… and that time and place is college.

    Especially considering how royally eff’d up high school administration has become in this country. A combination of the prison-industrial complex’s shameless leeching off American tax dollars thrown at the unconstitutional paternalistic War on Drugs, and a litigious generation of hysteric parents who were raised in such a sheltered environment that they refuse to face reality for the good of their own children or the realists’ children who are being dragged down with them in a moribund spiral of blind obsequience to authority, have turned high schools into quasi-prisons where serfs, not citizens, are raised to bow before the police state like good little peasants.

    @scorpius

    To be honest: smoking pot leads to tar (5 times as much), carbon monoxide and free radicals. Worse than cigarettes in carcinogenic and emphysema-causing chemicals.

    Yet nicotine cigarettes are far more addictive, so it’s harder for habitual smokers (who tend not to have the greatest willpower to begin with) to smoke less of them.

    But I still think it should be legal (and, no, I don’t smoke).

    All drugs should be legal. Not only is prohibition a violation of civil liberty, it wastes tax dollars, supports a corrupt penal system, makes a mockery of the Fourth Amendment, funds organized crime and props up murderous terroristic regimes. All because social conservatives (Republican and Democrat) categorically refuse to acknowledge the fundamental impossibility of policing victimless crimes when neither dealers nor customers have any incentive to report themselvess.

    I don’t smoke either, save for the occasional social cigar.

    @Lila

    I also can’t vouch for the scientific validity of their conclusion, but as anecdata applied to the specific individuals in question, it’s pretty solid.

    No offense, but this suggests your experience with pot smokers is extremely narrow.

  17. Scorpius:

    To be honest: smoking pot leads to tar (5 times as much), carbon monoxide and free radicals. Worse than cigarettes in carcinogenic and emphysema-causing chemicals.

    Which is why you make brownies instead. Has Alice B. Toklas taught you nothing?

    And how have I only just noticed the irony of Alice B. Toklas’ last name?

  18. I told my 22-yr-old son that I doubt I would ever try pot unless I was undergoing chemo or something like that, _because_ the VERY last thing I need is something that going to give me the munchies!

  19. @V’s Herbie

    You don’t have to make to buy the prepackaged ones, they’re pretty easy to make from scratch.

    You can even buy shredded cheese if you’re too lazy to shred it yourself. (I am. (Besides, one pack of 4 Cheese Mexican Blend is cheaper than buying the four cheeses included in it.))

  20. Ack! Who needs drugs to screw up your brain. 90+ degree temperatures work just as well.

    My first sentence should not have an extraneous “to buy” in it.

  21. @permspen: My first thought too but you had already jumped on the straight line before I saw it. You are a being after my own heart.

  22. I’ve noted to Athena a number of times over the years that her family’s history (on the paternal side at the very least) strongly contraindicates her using any sort of drug recreationally, and she understands that pretty well.

    I have managed to reduce boys in my family to tears, simple by pointing out the genetics of male pattern baldness…

  23. Who needs drugs to screw up your brain. 90+ degree temperatures work just as well.

    That would explain a lot — our nighttime lows are 90+ degrees (I’m assuming Fahrenheit; 90+ Celsius would scramble more than your brain.)

    This is your brain. This is your brain in Phoenix.

  24. My first thought too but you had already jumped on the straight line before I saw it.

    What straight line?

  25. My kids, through careful observation of certain of their classmates, independently reached the conclusion that Pot Makes You Stupid.

    This was the tack I took with my kids, and given the idiots I come across in court on a regular basis (like the guy who got busted because he’d forgotten he had a pound of weed “hidden” in the engine compartment of his car and the guys at Jiffy Lube called the law when he took it in for an oil change), I have plenty of material.

  26. @lumbercartel

    It’s slightly cooler here, but I suspect NJ is far more humid. :P

    Too warm for nachos. :(

  27. The “pot smokers are stupid” thing is incredibly sloppy thinking, especially when it’s based in part on people who get charged with possession because they did something stupid.

    (Let’s set aside for a moment the huge race-and-class biases in the US in law enforcement in general and drug law enforcement in particular.)

    Most regular pot users (a) don’t use it so often and/or so heavily that it has a noticeable effect on their public behavior and (b) are discrete enough procuring and using it that they don’t end up as low-hanging fruit for law enforcement officers.

    This one more example of why anecdotes are not data, and should not be treated as such.

  28. It’s slightly cooler here, but I suspect NJ is far more humid. :P

    Dunno — dew point’s around 60F here.

    Too warm for nachos. :(

    It’s never too warm for nachos. Nice thing about ‘em — the cheese doesn’t need to be heated in the house. Now, too humid? That’s a problem. The cheese is fine melted, but not the chips.

    ObChili: try making nachos with chili con queso — basically salsa and melted cheese(s). Or if you, like me, have a freezer full of roasted Hatch greens, you can chop some up medium-fine and mix in with the cheese(s) and nuke it all up. Not quite the same without the onions, garlic, and herbs but nummy anyway. Since I buy 505 by the quart and keep random jars of El Pinto around I go with the commercial stuff and maybe add a bit of garden oregano to punch it up a bit.

    Of course if you have the chili con queso made up you can skip some of the fried tummy-lard of the chips by just spreading it on warm tortillas. If the nutritionist on duty catches you, some tomatoes and other veggies can be added in a hurry to pretend it’s real food.

  29. “To be honest: smoking pot leads to tar (5 times as much), carbon monoxide and free radicals. Worse than cigarettes in carcinogenic and emphysema-causing chemicals.”

    Why do people pull out this specious argument?
    No one smokes a pack of joints a day. Whereas a pack a day is considered a light smoking habit.

    You data argues that smoking pot is probably 4 times safer that smoking cigs.
    Go ahead and tell us how drugs are bad again?

  30. John – same here but my memories of teenhood make me believe what a parent says and what a teen hears may not be identical. I assume all kids do stuff parents are better off not knowing about and at some level if you raised them well all you can do is hope they don’t do something that gets them killed.

  31. Well, Stan, the truth is marijuana probably isn’t gonna make you kill people, and it most likely isn’t gonna fund terrorism, but, well son, pot makes you feel fine with being bored, and it’s when you’re bored that you should be learning some new skill or discovering some new science or being creative. If you smoke pot you may grow up to find out that you aren’t good at anything.

    – Randy Marsh (the genius of South Park)

  32. It was pretty easy for me. I just pointed out to my kids that since I’d done pretty much anything stupid they could think of when I was younger drug- and drink-wise, I’d be able to spot it in them from a mile off. Amazingly, they believed me, and both grew up quite sensible. It was a remarkably successful technique, to my surprise.

  33. this is actually true. it makes you hungry. i guess that is why its a gateway to cocaine since cocaine makes you forget about eating. This leads to yo-yo dieting.

    if pot is going to be sold for ‘medical’ uses, it should be treated like all other drugs and be required to get FDA approval for specific treatments. This includes double blind studies. Real doctors use science to determine treatments. If marajuana actually is useful then do scientific studies and get FDA approval. All this does is force people who make medical claims to do legitimate and detailed tests and studies to show that this actually works.

  34. That South Park quote is perfect. It’s from the episode with the giant beanbag testicles, right?

  35. I’ve never smoked pot (or nicotine for that matter) in my entire life, but this is the second day in a row I’ve thought about having nachos for lunch, thanks to this tweet. So apparently in my world, Scalzi is the gateway to nachos.

  36. I just tried this line on my own 13-year-old daughter. She gave me what is suspect was probably the same look as Athena gave John.

  37. @mral: no, its the episode with the fake time travel company that provides actors to play the boys from the future that turned to drugs and where Cartman starts a company to punish parents for lying to their children by covering walls with poop.

  38. Even cold fried squash, in a pinch.

    Or just cut up the squash and pour bubbling-hot chili con queso over it. It doesn’t take much to cook after all.

  39. @ Guess:

    Lots of medical researchers would *love* to test marijuana even more than it already has been. Guess what’s stopping them?

  40. Randy Marsh: “If you smoke pot you may grow up to find out that you aren’t good at anything.”

    [Eye roll]. Yeah, just like Carl Sagan, Ross Rebagliati, Morgan Freeman, Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, Bill Gates, …. Clearly they all got just a little too comfortable with being bored.

  41. (like the guy who got busted because he’d forgotten he had a pound of weed “hidden” in the engine compartment of his car and the guys at Jiffy Lube called the law when he took it in for an oil change),

    That creeps me out! I’ve never smoked weed in my life, but I did buy a shitty used car in college. One day the e-brake broke and I brought the to the mechanics, who discovered that, in addition to the e-brake needing to be replaced, there was a small pipe and a bag of weed hidden in the floor of my car. Luckily for me, they just threw the weed away and offered me the pipe back.

    To this day I have been wondering who the hell sells a car with their drugs still in it.

  42. To this day I have been wondering who the hell sells a car with their drugs still in it.

    The police.

  43. I am about a third of the way through “High Price” by Dr. Carl Hart, which is the most amazing book about drugs I have ever read. Dr. Hart is a neuropsychopharmacologist who studies addiction and the affect of drugs in the brain. His research has discredited a lot of the hysterical anti-drug propaganda, though I don’t think he studied nachos.

    He is not “pro-drug” so much as he is pro-science, and he explains the science very well, in a very personal and moving book. It is very hard to put down.

    http://www.highpricethebook.com/

  44. Nachos are always a fine idea, and I have never needed drugs to make me want them.

    @lumbercartel:

    The folks lived in SE New Mexico, and I somehow always managed to visit the month of Hatch chili harvesting. Where even in the middle of the cities, the big chain grocery stores set up smokers outside so that the whole place smells like roasted green chili. Yeah.

    Also, I have never listened to Firesign Theater in an altered state, and now I’m afraid to, since they make me laugh so hard I can’t breathe when completely sober. If they’re even funnier after consuming the mj, I fear my head would explode. And then my red nose and squeaky pickle would be for naught.

  45. Well, Lurkertype, you could take my word for it. There are big parts of (e.g.) Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers that only exist to the fu’d listener.

    Mind, I only dusted off the collection when the kids hit college age. At that point they were starting to get the “you’re too old and wouldn’t understand” attitude, so I handed them a few disks to play on the seven-hour drive back to school the January of their freshman year.

    Amazing the change that made in the way they see me.

Comments are closed.