The above poster just appealed to my slightly off-beat sense of humour for a couple of reasons. The first reason being that I saw it in the one place where people can legally buy and consume excessive quantities of one particular drug in varying formats all day long if they so desire. (The poster is in the pub I live next door to.)
However, the poster also got me thinking about other sorts of “Drugs” and addictive substances.
I read an article by some Brainiac Doctor or other which stated that there is no such thing as “Food Addiction” - we should really call it “Food Addictive Addiction”. This actually makes some strange kind of sense to me – if only because of a kind of connection to an old Heineken Advert. Bear with me - I think I can explain it so you will understand it when I have finished.
The Advert was one where someone asked someone else if they wanted a crisp but offered them a raw potato instead. (I seem to remember the tagline being something like “Its not ready yet” which referred to the amount of time the lager has to mature before it is ready for consumption.) Now – call me crazy but if you hand me a raw potato to eat I will probably give you a list of options on how I would like it to be served. All the options will have one thing in common – they involve the potato being cooked in some way. If you were to slice said potato very thinly, coat it with copious quantities of paprika powder, fry it, let the excess oil drain off, then serve it to me – well, put it this way, you had better make sure you have a large amount of potatoes handy. I love Paprika flavoured crisps – yet I have never been tempted to eat a raw potato.
I get the general idea that in order for something to be classified as a drug it needs to fulfil two objectives. The first one is it needs to improve someone's mood or view on life – and the second one is it needs to be addictive. (Please note – I am leaving Medical drugs out of the equation.)
This made me wonder about something. In order for something to be classified as a drug does it actually need a physical format??? Alcohol, cigarettes, tea, coffee, chocolate, Heroin, Cocaine, sugar, etc, are all recognised as drugs and they have a physical format. What about things like reading, writing, exercising, driving, etc??? They are equally addictive – yet they have no physical format in themselves. In fact, if you think about it logically, that poster was useless anyway because it contradicted itself in three ways. The first was by being in a pub selling alcohol, the second by people having to walk inside a certain part of the pub in order to see it (exercising), and the third actually deciphering what the poster said (reading).
Oh – and anybody who says you cannot be addicted to reading has obviously never attempted to get any sense out of me if they found me in Waterstones (other bookshops are available) especially if I had a book in my hands – or tried to interrupt me when I am reading.
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