Rollin' With The Tide

Three times a week,  I enter my college classrooms and look around at young, really really young, shining faces. These kids are smart. They have read the classics. The know about past participles. They can diagram sentences in seconds while I'm still looking for the "action words." They smell nice—like oranges, like youth. I look at them,  envious of the time they still have, their whole lives ahead of them and think, "Okay which of you idiots are eating Tide pods?"

And why? Apparently it is some kind of challenge, and I hate challenges. I turned off my computer and didn't leave my house for a week during the whole ice bucket challenge, petrified someone would tag me and I would have to dump a bucket of water on my head and video it. Do I need all 52 of my Facebook friends knowing I look like a wet ferret without my root lifter? Isn't life hard enough?

Obviously this ridiculous new challenge led me to do some deep contemplation. I have never eaten a Tide pod, but I started thinking about weird things I have eaten. It took me an entire lecture on alliteration but when class was over, I had a pretty good list. Here it is:

Weird Things I Have Eaten:

1.   Dried Elmer's glue from fingers
2.   Coffee grounds off someone's plate that I mistook for chocolate crispies from Carvel cake
3.   An elk burger at the 2002 Kentucky State Fair which I am still burping from
4.   A Volcano Roll in a Miami strip plaza that should have been called the Colon Blow
5.   Chewed an Advil I mistook for orange M and M found on floor
6.   Something at a temple dinner called kishka. I thought it was a roll of stuffing but it was actually beef intestines in a tube. Good with gravy though.
7.   Stuffed cabbage from a take-out Chinese restaurant. Haunts me to this day.
8.   Fennel. It's not weird...I just hate it.
9.   Avocado.  See fennel.
10. Fat Free Half and Half. Someone's idea of a cruel joke.

As  I said, I have never eaten a Tide pod and I can't figure out why the kids are doing it. Is it the new cleanse? I know it can really clean out the stomach according to all the Emergency Room reports. Are we not doing lemon water with cayenne pepper anymore? I mean, I think it is a good thing to clean out your system, empty out all the old food fragments and start clean and  fresh but there are certainly much more safe and better tasting ways of doing it. One time in a New England seafood restaurant I had a bowl of creamy clam chowder, followed by a blue cheese wedge salad and a bowl of cheesy shrimp alfredo. That did the trick. For days.

Sure, my generation did some weird things, including inhaling the heady smell of ink when teachers passed out mimeographed papers hot off the printing press or whatever they used back then. We ate Zots, a candy that exploded with some kind of toxic acid when you bit into it.

Is anyone besides me worried about all the orange dye we ingested with our pitchers full of Tang?

 Wasn't it my generation who started the rumor if you emptied out a Contac cold capsule and ate all the red pieces you could get high? And then did it and pretended we were?

I guess all generations have their things. There will always be challenges to face, no matter where you are in life. One day you're emptying out Contacs the next day your trying to find a Spanx camisole that doesn't role up and settle under your boobs when you're out to dinner. Talk about a challenge. Tide pods? Stupid, dangerous, but a challenge? ain't seen nothing yet.


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