Friday, January 20, 2006

Apparently I am more understanding than a suburban housewife.

So Illinois passed a law requiring that cold remedies containing pseudoephredrine be kept behind a pharmacist’s counter and any purchase of these products must be accompanied by the purchaser showing his or her ID and signing some sort of log to ensure the purchaser doesn’t buy more than 7.5 grams of pseudoephredrine a month. Now I think this law is just absolutely stupid. I think anyone buying enough over-the-counter crap to be able to cook up enough crystal meth for one person would be pretty obvious about the whole endeavor thus making them pretty easy to pick out of a crowd. Here’s how I envision such an exchange:

PHARMACIST: Hm, you must be feeling under the weather.
PHARMACIST: I mean, 84 boxes of cold remedy…
SNEAKY METH CHEF: Um, my sinuses are really bad.
PHARMACIST: Alrighty then! Let me just ring you up.
Yeah, I don’t think so.

However I realize politicians need to do stuff to convince us that they are still necessary so I’ll go along with this silly law. I mean it doesn’t really bother me and this is coming from a guy that used to buy ephedrine by the bottleful (that’d be 100 pills per for those of you keeping track at home) and risk a massive heart attack for the sure thrill of it in college. They stopped selling it like that years ago and I really can’t blame the authorities for that. That shit was dangerous.

Here I could go into a whole thing about crystal meth and how I don’t understand the allure since I think it’s a totally boring, bogus and annoying drug – not that I would know from experience or anything¹ – but I guess a lot of folks don’t share my view and are getting massively fucked in their search for a constant meth high. However that would be veering wildly off course. Let’s leave it at this; I think the law is dumb but then again I think a lot of laws are dumb but it’s not going to hurt me to follow (most of) them so I’m not going to let them get to me.

Apparently a suburban housewife in Lake Forest² does not share this view. I had the great pleasure of waiting behind her in line while this exchange actually took place.

PHARMACIST: Good morning.
MRS INDIGNANT CITIZEN: What does this little tag mean? I need to get this cough syrup here?
PHARMACIST: Yes m’am, I’d be happy to help you. May I see your ID?
MRS I.C.: What?
PHARMACIST: I need to see an I.D. m’am. There’s a new law covering the sale of products that contain pseudoephredrine and we need to see an ID and log your purchase.
MRS I.C.: But I just want some cough syrup.
PHARMACIST: I understand m’am. It’s a new law.
MRS I.C.: Fucking meth fiends, making everyone’s life harder.

(At this point I snap to attention since the pharmacist never mentioned meth or what pseudoephredrine might be used for and I’m wondering how this woman knows unless a) her sorority girl past has made her privy to some of the more unseemly uses for cold remedies or b) she knows very fucking well that there’s a new law and that she needs to show her ID and she is just pulling this shit every time she buys anything with pseudoephredrine.)
All I could do by then was roll my eyes and walk out of the store sans my own cold remedy because I was that afraid that I would slap the shit³ out of the lady if I had to listen to her one second longer.

¹Nudge, nudge, wink, wink and all that. If I had done it, let's just say it would have been only once, I would have been still in college, and the experience would have been so dreadful that I never would have repeated it. No one should be up for over 36 hours, m'kay?
²LF is a particularly wealthy Northern suburb of Chicago. I suspect the exchange I’m about to map out is probably happening in less wealthy suburbs as well.
³Or at least say something really nasty.

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