I generally avoid discussing politics and hot topics like I avoid my own children when they’re hopped up on Ring Pops and Sprite. Which is quite often actually. (Note to self: Maybe buy broccoli this week instead of Ring Pops?)
But y’all, we gotta talk about this. You know what I mean… Tide pods. Specifically, idiot teenagers eating them.
Now I will be the first to admit that we were not exactly rocket scientists in my teen years. We drag raced on the old Army Air Base in the middle of the night. We drank horrible brown liquids ambiguously named “malt liquor” which had been purchased by shady adults we bribed outside of the drive thru beer store. We let our moms give us home perms while smoking Virginia Slims Menthols.
Clearly we were not great decision makers or exceptionally intelligent human beings. But at least we did not eat laundry detergent.
I am aware that no teenagers who are considering eating a Tide pod to gain Internet fame are reading this column. Even if they were, I don’t think logic and reason would sway their decision to act like total imbeciles. I’m actually writing to my peers, the parents who are raising the next generation of idiot teenagers.
Guys, I don’t know whether we should shackle them to our bodies on their 12th birthdays and supervise every decision they ever make, or just abandon ship now — head to the Caribbean and leave our children to battle it out, “Lord of the Flies” style.
Do y’all remember that parenting technique where they would force you to smoke unfiltered Luckys until you threw up if they ever caught you smoking? Or they’d make you push mow the entire six acre lawn in the dead heat of summer if you came home hungover?
What is the modern-day equivalent? If one of your Facebook friends shares a video and you discover it is your own idiot teenager eating Tide, what do you do? You can’t make him eat a whole box of Tide OR make him pressure wash the driveway as soon as he is discharged from the ER.
Every day since I became a mom, I’ve said something that I never thought I would need to say. (Don’t lick the dog. Get your face off of the floor. Quit touching butts in the grocery store. Nobody wants to see an atomic wedgie demonstration.) But even my tiny children have never thought to eat toxic substances.
For all of you responsible parents who try really hard to get ahead of these issues, how could you even anticipate this trend? Sure, you talk to your kids about bullying, drinking, smoking and sex. You told them why they shouldn’t, and what was at stake if they did. You kept an open line of communication so that they could ask questions and feel comfortable talking to you about anything.
It never crossed your mind to talk about eating laundry detergent. How would that even work?
“Son, sit down. There’s something serious you and I need to talk about. It’s a silent killer and I want you to be on the lookout for it … It’s laundry detergent. Don’t be fooled by that innocent-looking box that has been in our home your whole life, son. Tide is a devious temptress, buddy, and anyone can fall victim to her charms. If anyone ever offers you laundry detergent, or tries to pressure you, just know that you can call me anytime, no questions asked. Even if you’re at a laundromat and everyone else is doing it, call me. I’ll be there.”
Maybe after you have the conversation, you can offer them a healthy alternative, like learning to do home perms.
Overheard at the Salon: I wish my wife looked at me the way she looks at Instant Pot recipes.