Saturday, December 8, 2007

Drug Decision

(long and linky. Suitable lunchtime reading)

#4 in an occasional series of repressed 70's memories that turn out to be true.

I. What I remembered clearly before proving this memory

II. What I had forgotten, or never noticed

III. What I had not known at all, and if I had remembered... I would have thought was in error

I. What I remembered clearly
In 5th and 6th grade -- fall 74 - spring 76 -- the curriculum included Drug Decision, designed to reduce drugs to the rote boredom of botany and american history. At the time I thought this must have been to take the glamour and mystery out of it. Once you have to do an oral project on barbituates and their effects, you don't much want to take any. In my 20s I wondered if it really was meant to be a public school exercise in freewill. Drug DECISION, after all. Here you are, here are drugs. Grow a pair.

This was 10 years before "your brain on drugs," which was the most awesome PSA campaign since lead paint (which I will blog on someday when I can finally prove that the lead paint PSA song I know is real) and unmatched in shock and awe until Yul Brynner spoke from beyond the grave.

Drug Decision was mostly workbook based, contained a lot of scout-style projects for us to do, and was accompanied by audio visual aids.

The 2nd most frequently requested classroom film, as voted by the student body, was known informally as "the hot dog movie." I could not then, nor before this post, have told you what its true title was.

[2nd most popular because nothing could unseat Johnny Tremain. It was longer, for one thing, a FAR superior film, and Johnny was just plain dreamy]

(pretty boys were my drug very young)

Anyway, in the "hot dog movie," a girl drops acid and hallucinates that her hot dog comes to life and talks to her. In the production values of this masterpiece, it is depicted as a troll doll with long red hair who appeals, "I have a wife and 7 kids." Totally freaked, man, she stomps the troll to bits under her chunk-ass heels.

That picture above tells you, readership, that you are damn skippy I found that film on the web.

Before you load it, I'll warn you it is the longest 5 minutes of your life -- which is probably why I remembered it as taking up an entire Health class. bringing us to

II. What I had forgotten, or never noticed

It was called, “Case Study LSD.” More evidence for my first theory that they were trying to BORE us straight.

It was copyrighted 1969, and the trippy teenage girl is much more dated than I remembered. A little more “Eddie’s Father” than “Brady Bunch.”

She is actually wearing Keds, and not chunky shoes. But then, I had remembered her in a Marsha Brady outfit, not a Serena the Groovy Cousin outfit.

That techno-porn music. What in the bloody heck?

The narration. Believe me: we BEGGED for this movie. Were we ironic? Or just a bunch of 11 year-olds from central Virginia?

III. What I had not known at all
If you can’t read the tiny print on the title slide, it says “Lockheed Martin Aircraft Corporation.” And I had to know a lot more about that.

In quests like this, I have learned, always start with eBay, because there I found

Book #305422; Title: Drug Decision: Program Summary: Drug Abuse Education Program, Grades 7 Through 9; Publisher: Lockheed Missiles & Space Company; Book Condition: Good +; Jacket Condition: No Jacket; Binding: Soft Cover; Place Published: Sunnyvale, California; Description: Interior is clean and tight. Soft cover has only light signs of wear. Nice overall condition. Lockheed Education Systems.

“soft cover has only light signs of wear.” Tissue end papers missing.

Now I got somethin’ googable. And all the time in the world.
What I could never pin down was why Lockheed invested in this program, which frankly sounds court-ordered to me (cf. Philip Morris). But I did find reference to a game they marketed called “Drug Attack” imagine it. I must have it.
And the teacher’s manual.

But I’ll say this. I knew the street slang for every drug, its physiological effect on the body, how to draw them on posterboard, how to separate physical from psychological dependence, and in 7th grade we would learn the differrences between felonies and misdemeanors. Far out.

But as a Virginian, all I really wanted to do was smoke. Missing from the curriculum.


  1. first time i've ever thought just say no was probably progressive as hell. :) what an amazing film. what up with all the stupid "cells through a microscope" shots?

  2. Holy crap, that's awesome. It's supposed to be funny, right? Right?


Comments Build Community! We thank you for yours. Spam comments are not welcome and will not be posted.