It began as a typical enough Tuesday night. I had been up 38 straight hours studying for the day’s exams and was enjoying a soothing World Series baseball game made even better than usual by the lack of sleep, which was causing me to hallucinate that the Red Sox and Giants were battling it out for the championship. “Go Nomah!” I screamed intermittently at the TV as I nursed a bottle of Jim Beam.
Just then, an advertisement came on the telly that prompted a derisive snort from me. You know the one, it traces the path of a marijuana joint a girl buys to ultra-vague evil ends. It is the direct cousin of the Super Bowl commercial that told us that recreational drugs equal support of terrorism, pure and simple. I shook my head.
“I got your anti-drug right here,” I said emphatically, making an obscene gesture. I looked at my friends for a courtesy laugh. The only other person in the room was Ice Cube, who chose to remain silent. I stumbled to the kitchen to retrieve a waffle that smelled as if it had been burned.
When I returned to the living room, a man in a gray flannel suit with a buzz cut was standing in front of the TV.
“Uh, you’re blocking the Red Sox game,” I said. He stepped to his right and extended his hand to shake mine, but my attention was already back on Fox (the next episode of “Boston Public” looks explosive).
“My name is Mathias Schleifer,” he said in a robotic tone. “The U.S. government sent me here to change your mind about our anti-drug commercials. I tell you, the war on drugs is going swimmingly.”
“Can the government afford to send people around to convince citizens of the validity of its programs?” I asked.
“Ben,” he said, “I don’t think you realize the far-reaching impact your column has on the world. For instance, the only reason we’re thinking about going to war with Iraq is that you wrote in a column last year that Saddam Hussein, and I quote, ‘acts like a meanie.'”
I was shocked. “Well, I don’t think you’re going to convince me on the anti-drug front,” I said. “These commercials are worse than ‘The Mind of the Married Man.'”
“I’m going to show you a little slideshow, Ben,” Schleifer said (luckily, my house comes equipped with a projector in every room). The first picture was of an Arab man holding a machine gun.
“This is an Arab man holding a machine gun,” Schleifer said. The second picture was a bag of marijuana.
“This is a bag of marijuana,” he said. The third picture showed a massive fireball.
“This is a massive fireball,” Schleifer said. “Well, that’s the slideshow. Do you see the connection between the three elements now? Is my work done here?”
“You see, my dear Mathias,” I said, “This is the problem. The government is being vague to the point where these commercials are just propaganda. They’re trying to guilt America into not doing drugs by playing off people’s biggest fears, and the chances of it working are about the same as the Red Sox not winning the World Series.”
There was a pause.
“In other words, the Red Sox are going to win the World Series and people are going to keep doing drugs. Besides, why not just make marijuana legal? It should have happened a long time ago, and it would eliminate links to unpleasant dealers.”
“Mr. Hart, you have a solid point concerning drugs, and I’m thinking of changing my line of work because of it. No wonder your column is so influential. However, I must tell you that the Red Sox aren’t even playing in the World Series,” Schleifer said. At that, I ordered him out of my house. I turned to my remaining companion.
“Well, Ice Cube, that was a strange turn of events. In fact, a strange day in general. But since I didn’t have to use my AK, I guess it was a good day.”
Ice Cube chose to remain silent.
-The writer, a junior majoring in history, is a Hatchet humor columnist.