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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Everybody must get stoned

I remember when my friends started getting suspicious. Mrs. Otis turned down a lot of New Year's Eve drinks back at the beginning of 2004. The smart ones in the crowd realized the old lady was likely cooking up some sort of bun. When the word finally got out that Mrs. Otis was, in fact, bun-cooking, the temperance had become an obsession. My wife, formerly a drinker of the first order, shunned the drink like a nun shuns John Holmes. She avoided vanilla extract and mouthwash. Fortunately, I was around to make sure we ran through the alcohol reserves at a pace that kept up the government funding.

My point is, from conception to this very day, L'il O hasn't even had a taste of alcohol. Nor has he pulled any bong hits. And no, he hasn't been chasing the dragon with a teenage-looking Luke Perry.

While I hesitate to hop right back on the my-kid-as-a-picture-of-humankind trip, my last post got me to thinking. While his most recent activity was learned from watching his now semi-temperant mother, his continued practice makes me wonder if humans don't have some inborn desire to get stoned.

It began when my wife would spin the kid around in circles, getting them both dizzy as hell, and turning the kid generally loopy. It would be one thing if the kid fell down, forgot about it, and moved on to union busting on the plastic man picket line. Instead, the kid (just 18 months old, keep in mind) now loves to get...well, spinny stoned. Circle, circle, circle, "Weeeeeee!", fall to the ground laughing.

Now, my kid is no different than most kids. I've yet to meet a kid who doesn't enjoy the spinning and falling. And that got me thinking about the physical endorphins that must be released by such activity. I think it's gotta be damned close to a big hit of nitrous.

I've traveled in a lot of different circles in my 32 years. I know tee-totalers, drinkers, recreational drug users, and people who don't really qualify for any of the categories. There has been many a study done about the physical processes that are involved in drug and alcohol addiction. I think people would do themselves well to look at the Spinning Kid Syndrome.

In short, there is seemingly no real-world need for feeling loopy. Sex feels good because humans need to procreate. Eating feels good because we need to stay alive. You know, et cetera. Getting fucked up seems to serve no real purpose, and yet there seems to be some inborn desire, once introduced to it, to continue it. Of course, I know many people who don't enjoy the loss of mental and physical control that goes along with being fucked up. However, I know a lot more who...well, DO enjoy it.

I'd continue, but I've decided that I'm spending too much time indoors and using my kid as an uncontrolled study in humankind. I need to get back in thick of things for a while. Perspective makes hermits like me a little less crazy.

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