Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flintstones Vitamins vs. Robitussin

There are many terms that only college can teach you. 

shwasty: shit-faced + wasted

bumpkin: blowjob + feces

Hmmm. Definitely thought there were more when I wrote that opening line.

REGARDLESS, they're limited as far as when and where you can use them (at a party; parties), but they're harmless. However, there are a few words I have come across that proved to be harmful - and one of these is "robo-trip."

Call me dull, but I don't go to the pharmacy to get my thrills. One, I like my thrills to be cheap, and two,  I have a personality. I'm also clueless when it comes to my generation's definition of a "good time." I prefer playing a good ol' game of toss rather than 2013's popular pastime, "Toss the Gonorrhea." I'd rather do a handstand than a kegstand, and when it comes to promiscuous behavior, I'm more of a Hide and Seek kinda gal, not your modern Show and Touch slutty-two-shoes. While I consider these my good attributes, I can also recognize my bad ones, like the fact that I like to be right.

It was my freshman year of college when I first heard of "robo-tripping." Two of my friends and I had all come down with a horrible sickness (they don't put that regularity in the college brochure), and we were miserable.

"I need medicine..." my friend moaned.

"Me too...I can't handle this...I don't even feel like drinking, it's so bad," my other friend whined.

"I'm going to Walgreens," I decided. "I have to get medicine. Are you guys coming?"

They suddenly got a burst of energy as they sprung to their feet.

"MEDICINE!" we all cheered, piling into my Volvo.

When we got to the pharmacy, I was immediately faced with a dilemma.

"Guys! Do I get DayQuil or NyQuil? I want to be able to sleep, but I want to feel well during the day when I'm in class...where's the one that does both? Why don't they just have a Quil?"

"Screw that!" they said, laughing at me. "We're getting Robitussin!"

Not only had I never heard of robo-tripping, but I had also never heard of Robitussin. I had always preferred Flintstones vitamins when it came to medicinal needs.

"Yeah, dude, this shit will fuck you up!" they told me.

"What? You guys are being retarded. It's medicine. It's not going to 'fuck you up.'"

"Have you ever taken some?"


"Then you don't know."

"I know that medicine is good for you. Drugs are not. Cough syrup is not going to make you feel any different in the head. It's going to clear your nose and your throat."

"Nah man, it makes you trip! You've never heard of robo-tripping?"


"You've never robo-tripped before? Seriously?"

"That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard."

"Fine. Get your dumb DayQuil. We're getting two bottles of Robitussin. We're going to feel a hell of a lot better than you once we drink this."

I was still shaking my head when we arrived back at my dorm. I adored my friends, but after their claim that cherry-flavored syrup made you hallucinate, I couldn't help but think they were fucking idiots.

I took a shot of DayQuil and sat on the couch as they started sipping their Robitussin straight from the bottle.

"What are you doing?!" I asked, alarmed.

"You're supposed to drink a lot of it. That's how it gets you fucked up."

"You guys will have NO medicine for tomorrow. You better not ask me for some of my DayQuil."

They laughed at me. Again.

An hour passed, and my nose was cleared. I felt great - until my friends started talking.

"I feel soooooo fucked up," one said.

"Me too!" the other giggled. And giggled. And giggled.

And giggled. And giggled. And giggled.

And giggled.

"Shit, this is more intense than I remember..." one of them "slurred."

"YOU GUYS," I said, incredibly annoyed. "Stop. It's all in your head. It's the Placebo effect."

"No, Natasha, seriously, you don't even understand."

"I don't understand?" I scoffed.

"No, you've never done it, so you don't know what it's like."

"Yeah," chimed in Tweedle-Dum, "We're like really, really fucked up."

"This is ridiculous," I said, grabbing their Walgreens bag and storming off to my room.

As I sat on my bed, pissed off and uncongested, I looked into the bag. Still one bottle of Robitussin left. One bottle that had not been opened.

Without pausing, I tore off the seal and opened the cap. I'll show them, I thought, I'm going to drink this whole thing and prove to them that they're faking it. I'll feel totally normal and not even tell them I drank any. Then, when they continue to mock me about not knowing what they "feel like," I'll tell them I drank some and didn't feel a thing. That'll put 'em in their places!

So I drank it. And I walked back into the living room. And I sat back on the couch. And an hour passed.

And then I started to feel weird.

"Uh...guys..." I said. "I feel...different..."

"Yeah, you're sick," they said.

"No...I mean...I feel like...I'm looking into a mirror...of myself..."

"Man, you don't know," one of them said, "You'd feel way weirder if you were robo-tripping."

"Guys..." I said, my words seeming to come out...very...slowly..., "I drank some..."

"You...did? How...much?"





"Uhhhhhhhhhhh..." I got up and went to the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror. I looked different, but I didn't know why. I also don't know how long I was standing in there. The next thing I knew, there was a knock on my door. I walked out of the bathroom to answer it, and there stood an old woman and a middle-aged man.

"HI! We're part of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's academic..." - something something something I was zoning out really bad - "...and we're here to give you a short survey on your experience so far as a college freshman here at UTC."

I walked outside. My friends followed. At the time, it seemed perfectly normal to not invite her in or even respond to anything she had said, and instead, walk outside and sit down Indian-style on the concrete of my balcony. My friends remained standing.

At the time, it seemed perfectly normal to be the only one sitting on the ground with four people standing around you.

It also seemed perfectly normal to lean very far to the right and hold that position for the entire conversation.

"How are you liking UTC so far?" the white-haired woman asked us.

At the time, it seemed perfectly normal to answer her by staring intently at a cloud.

"How are you liking the dorm life?"

And yes, it seemed perfectly normal to decide to stand up with everyone else, and then to come to the conclusion that I was not able to stand. At the time, it seemed perfectly logical to decide that I couldn't stand without ever actually trying to move.

"And what are your thoughts on the food court?" she asked.

At the time, it seemed perfectly normal to erupt into a fit of giggles until I could feel my face turning red.

"Ahem..." she continued over my laughter, "And how do you like your classes?"


At the time, it seemed perfectly normal to answer this question with, "Math."

"Math?" she asked.

"Math," I said.

AT THE TIME, it seemed perfectly normal to repeat the same one-syllable word to her and expect her to understand.

"And what about Math?" she persisted.

"I...hate...Math," I said.

"I see," she said, "Well, hopefully you can work that out."

And it seemed perfectly normal that she had chosen that time to leave as I burst into laughter once again.

As soon as they were gone, I turned to my friends.

"WHAT IS GOING ON?!" I asked, confused, bewildered, medicated.

"Dude, we feel fine now. It's already wearing off."


"We told you! You're the one who didn't believe us. Why'd you drink it, anyway?"


"Yeah, you look really fucked up. Your eyes are all hazy."

"WHAT IS GOING ON?!" I asked, monfused, cewildered, bedicated.

I don't remember what happened after that point. All I remember is waking up and thinking:

I'm sticking with Flintstones vitamins from now on.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Troop 69

I was never cut out to be a Girl Scout. I never realized this at the time, of course. During my Troop Days, I believed I exhibited excellent leadership skills and an uncommon capability to digest cookies by the box. I like Thin Mints, I thought, which is why I make a great Girl Scout.

When my parents told me I had to quit, I was enraged.

"Natasha, you're way too old for Girl Scouts."

"I'm ten."


I guess my snake skin pants and scrunchies did seem to scream "mature," but I still wanted to be in a troop. I still wanted to go camping, I still wanted to build fires, and I still wanted to sing songs about some guy named Joe who worked in a button factory and had a large family and pushed the button with his tongue. I wasn't ready to give that up. I liked Joe and I liked his buttons. But, being in elementary school, I had no say in the matter. I was upset for about six days until I realized that I made the worst Girl Scout imaginable for many different reasons. 

Before I continue, I must say that I did have some great experiences and that some of the Troop Moms were wonderful, kind, even hilarious women. But I'm not here to write about those stories or those women. I'm here to write about the bullshit.

Reason #1

My parents received phone calls on multiple occasions from fellow Troop Mothers about my "behavior" toward their daughters. 

"Hi, this is Mrs. Stick-Up-My-Ass, I'm calling about Natasha."


"At our troop meeting today, she told my daughter that if she wanted to be cool, she needed to grow her hair out so she didn't look like a boy."

"Hi, this is Mrs. I've-Let-Myself-Go, I'm calling about Natasha."


"At our troop meeting today, she called my daughter an idiot."

"Hi, this is Mrs. Fupa, I'm calling about Natasha."

"Are you now."

"At our troop meeting today, she gave my daughter an entire speech on what a gay person is and what a lesbian is and then went on to elaborate on the fact that some men like to dress up as women and sing in clubs."

I'm sure there were more, but these are the only ones I can truly remember. Why is it that parents laugh when they discover their child has told some absurd lie, but when a kid is honest, they want to punish them? I remember telling someone's mom that her son said he was must have the window seat in carpool because his parents would not allow him to sit in the middle, and she giggled. But I enlighten my peers on REALITY and DIVERSITY, and my parents get an angry phone call. As if my whole troop would become homosexuals after hearing about what it was.


Reason #2

I hated the green vests. I voted for the sashes, and no one else did, and I told them they had no fashion sense, and you know what they told me?

"You don't have any patches, anyway."

Alright, so this was true. But did they really have to point that out? What assholes.

Besides, all the patches were completely one-sided. "Fire-building" and "cookie sales" and "tubby;" where's the "tardiest" patch or the "most likely to make a girl cry" patch? The whole system was biased. 

Reason #3

One meeting, one of my last, in fact, we had a "growing up" discussion. All of the mothers came as we sat in a circle and talked about period blood, kissing boys, and when we would have to start wearing a bra. I had been wearing a bra since Kindergarten. No, not because I needed one, but because it made me feel older. Plus, my Kindergarten teacher had called my parents about my "flashing problem" and the bra fixed that. It didn't stop the flashing, but it certainly hid the nips. So as we sat around and discussed this, I alerted my fellow scouts.

"I have been wearing a bra for years."

The mothers erupted in laughter.

"You might not ever need one, sweetie! Unlike my daughter, who's gonna need a lot of support if she has her momma's genes!"

They all continued to laugh. Those mother fuckers.

Reason #4

We went camping once and I forgot my water shoes. I had only one pair of shoes at all, which I would need for the remainder of the stay, so as all the girls spent hours playing in the creek and catching tadpoles, I had to sit on the bank with a couple of the moms. That's when I noticed that I wasn't the only girl in my troop on the sidelines.

"Did you forget your water shoes, too?" I asked her.

"No, I have some," she replied, holding them up for me to see.

"You have some?! Then why aren't you in the creek?"

"Because I don't like playing in water."

"Oh, well then can I wear your shoes? I love playing in the creek!"



"No. I want them."

"I'll give them right back when I'm done."

"I don't want to share."

I turned to the moms.

"She won't let me wear her water shoes and she doesn't even want to wear them!"

"Well, Natasha, she doesn't have to share if she doesn't want to."

"But ---"

"You should have remembered yours."

I turned back to the girl and tried a different tactic, since the moms were obviously going to be of no help.

"Give me them."


"Yes. Right now. Give me. The shoes."

"I'm telling!" she screamed as I started toward her. 

Then she told on me. And I was told to leave her alone.

Those douche bags.

Reason #5

I sold cookies. I sold a lot of cookies, in fact. I remember cardboard boxes piled up the walls near the front door of my house, waiting to be delivered.

They waited. And waited. And waited.

I remember one day, my parents finally realized they were there. That may seem absurd to you, but that kind of stuff happened a lot in my house.


"Want me to deliver them now?"

"No. It's much too late. These have been here for months. We might as well just keep them."

I kid you not. Those cookies were never delivered. I realize now that this might be why I was "too old for Girl Scouts" when I was ten. Because it was that year that we kept all of the cookies I had sold. And we ate them. And they were delicious.

I like Thin Mints, I thought, which is why I make a terrible Girl Scout.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blackout and The Three Bears

"So were those girls being catty toward you?" my friend asked me last night. I paused, already knowing that this conversation would include multiple exclamations of the words "oh" and "yeah."

"...what girls?"

"The girls who came over here last night."


"The two girls that none of us knew."

Told you.

"Were they being rude to you?"

"Uh...I don't really remember them doing much of anything..."

"Well apparently they left because they were mad at you."

"Mad at me? They didn't even know me! That's dumb."

"Yeah that one girl got upset when you were rubbing her head."

"When I was --- wait, what?"

"You were rubbing that one girl's head."


"Hell, I don't know! That shit was funny, though!"


"Yeah they kept getting pissed cause you were messing with them. You were pulling on their ponytails and stuff."


"Yeah, so they left."

"Wait, no, I was pulling on that one girl's hair at the show we went to, not the girls who were here at the house."

"Man, I don't remember. I blacked out."

"Yeah, I woke up in the morning on one person's bed, and then saw my shoes near someone else's bed, and then that person said I fell asleep in their bed, woke up in the middle of the night, went to the other person's bed, and fell asleep there."

"Wait, how many beds?"

"I don't even know. I'm probably not making any sense right now."

It hit me that Goldilocks must have been fucking wasted when she bed-jumped at The Three Bear's house. That's something only drunk people do.

"Nah, you're fine, dude. All of us blacked out."

"Yeah, but that's what makes me nervous! I do fucking weird shit when I black out! That's why I rarely drink liquor!"

"Wait, like what kinda stuff?"

"The last time I blacked out, I suddenly came to. And I was naked. Trying to crawl inside of my refrigerator, thinking it was the bathroom."

"What the fuck!"

"Yeah! I don't know why my clothes were off or if any of my seven roommates, which I had at the time, saw me make my way to the fridge. I just regained consciousness and I was in the fridge without any clothes on."


"Yeah, that's why I don't drink LIQUOR. But I did last night. And I was bedroom-roaming, obviously. Your poor roommates, trying to go to bed and finding some drunk girl on their mattress."

"It's better than in the fridge."

"Very. Very. True."