The last time my sister visited New York, she drank me under the table as usual. While I went home to pass out at 1am, she asked me where she could go to continue on her New York drinking adventure. I told her to go to what I referred to as my “neighborhood bar.” It’s cool, it’s friendly, they know me there.
When she gets back to my apartment, she wakes me up.
“THAT’S your neighborhood bar?”
“Why, you didn’t like it?”
“Well… the bartender asked me to help him with something downstairs. He opened the door and… it was a blow room.”
“He wanted you to give him a blow job?!?!”
“No! BLOW ROOM! Have you seen the movie Blow?”
“The movie about blow jobs? No.”
“Cocaine. People were doing cocaine down there.”
“WHAT?! Wow. Oh my. But… they never invited ME.”
That’s when I no longer called it my neighborhood bar. I’m not cool enough for them, fine. I’ve never tried cocaine, I’ve never wanted to, but at least extend an invite!
Truth is, I’m scared of the stuff. It has nothing to do with the fact that I won the Drug Abuse Resistance Education essay contest in 5th grade (and got a really cool medal!). It has everything to do with On the Edge, the fortieth book in the Sweet Valley High Series.
When I was 9 years old, I read the entire series. The Sweet Valley High books inspired thousands of young girls to develop eating disorders. The only thing it inspired in me is a comical fear of a drug called cocaine.
I haven’t reread the book, so the facts might be wrong, but here is how I remember it:
Bruce Patman is so handsome, but so arrogant. He is rich and is a *total* womanizer. He drives around in his cool car. The license plate reads 1BRUCE1 because he thinks he is definitely #1. But when he meets the quiet, sweet Regina Morrow, he starts to question his perfect life. How could life be perfect if Regina isn’t in it? And so, they fall in love.
Only thing about Regina, well… she’s deaf. So she flies to Switzerland to get a risky surgery to restore her hearing because all she wants to do is hear Bruce say “I love you.”
When she comes back, she finds out he’s cheating on her. She catches Bruce and the other girl together at a party. She is stunned. Some creepy kids from the dark corner slink over and say something like “Regina… you look like you’re feeling down. We can help you feel up. Ha ha ha.” And they offer her coke. Desperate for an escape, she snorts what looks like candy but won’t make her fat. Regina doesn’t know that she has an undiagnosed heart condition. The cocaine upsets her heart condition and she falls to the floor in convulsions, as Bruce rushes over to let her die in his arms.
Or something like that.
So kids, if anyone ever offers you coke, you can say what I’ve said: “Um…. no thanks… I don’t know if I have an undiagnosed heart condition or not… you know. Heh.” By the time you say all that, I guarantee the coke will have disappeared up someone’s nose, and you’re home free.
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