Pharmaceutical Companies Slinging Dope

I’m more and more convinced that Big Pharma is in league with the TV networks to ensnare America into its maw.

I was discussing this with my friend, Juan, on Saturday.

Juan and I go way back and we have a lot in common. We’re both vegans and we both hate Ted Kennedy almost as much as we hate George Bush. Juan’s one of those Vatican Two inflexible Catholics and I’m a charismatic since I left the order, but we cope with each other’s differences. We’re business associates, too. Juan does a line in high-grade marijuana, ecstasy, various forms of heroin, and the all of the Oxycontin Rush Limbaugh could ever dream for.

He also taps into what kids are available, and on Saturday he had a batch of young ‘uns who had become available, which is why I went down to see him. Some of the parents simply didn’t want them anymore; some were refinancing their debt and, apparently, one mother wanted a new SUV.

Juan likes to negotiate face to face. I’m not the type to deny a friend the fun of a good old friendly haggle, so I found a substitute for my place in my usual bridge game and went downtown to his place.

Of course, I took the drinks with me. Juan has the most atrocious taste in wine, and no matter how often I castigate him for his insensitive palate, he never learns.

We’d both somehow watched the same lame murder mystery the night before. You know the type where you’re never quite sure whether you’ve seen it before or not?

It had this courtroom scene where the witness is some young guy who saw a murder happen. “Ahah!” cries the defendant’s counsel. “How can we trust your testimony? You have learning disabilities!”

“Yes,” admits the witness, hanging his head in shame, “but it’s okay, ’cause I take meds for them.”

Juan, who has a PhD in Educational Psychology from Yale, got so annoyed discussing this that he was spilling his wine, which is not the way to treat the good stuff I had taken with me.

“About fifty percent of high IQ males have at least some sort of diagnosable learning disability… ” He ranted, “And girls– so the incidence is not so high, but it’s easy enough to find something in the profile. And they medicate as soon as there is any kind of disruption for the teacher.

“The pharmaceutical corporations make profits, and they cut funding in education, and parents are so easily talked into drugging their kids. Where is the slack for me to sell any kind of recreational stuff at all? I mean… when a kid is already getting handfuls of legal drugs each day, where is my leverage? What’s my pitch?”

I rescued the wine bottle before that went on the floor, too.

“You don’t remediate visual sequential memory problems with Ritalin, or eye movement problems with SSRIs. But they call everything ADHD or dyslexia and give them meds. And they reinforce this crappy thinking on every soap opera or mind-numbing bit of bad TV. Much easier than analyzing the problems and repairing them strand by strand, which, FORGIVE ME, is the way to get the kids’ difficulties resolved.”

He brooded. “I s’pose this way, everyone wins except me and the kids. The parents win, because the meds keep kids quiet and out of their hair, but they still think they’re doing something. Teachers win, because dealing with those little bastards all day is no fun at all. The docs and pharma people win … and anyone who questions the status quo gets told to bugger off.”

I dug in my bag for some Valium and, after he calmed down, I got out a deck of cards. You’d think a PhD could count the odds, but Juan sucks at cards. I played him klubberjas for a 10 percent discount on the SUV kid, and I won.



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