@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
The True Gateway Drug
Marijuana often gets a bad wrap as the “gateway” drug. Though, I think the stigma that people who try, or even smoke weed regularly, are going to turn into heroin addicts is pretty much an urban legend that’s fallen by the wayside.
I would say that alcohol is truly the gateway drug. Booze was my first love, and still one of my loves, and truthfully, the most problematic vice for me. But even that, I don’t think was truly the gateway drug.
Sugar is. Sugar is our first addiction. I mean… have you ever given a small child a cookie? Their eyes dilate, you can bribe kids with cookies, and they’ll even act like a crack head if they don’t get them.
Though, I can remember a particular type of sugar that really made me wild. Soda. And not just any soda. A soda greener than the purest marijuana. But there’s nothing pure or natural about it: Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew should truly be illegal. Did you know you can dissolve a mouse (or I guess any living creature) in enough Mountain Dew?
I recall being in middle school and absolutely loving Mountain Dew. I loved the taste of it, but I loved the effects more. It made me hyper as all hell. It was like Adderall mixed with meth, even though Adderall is meth, so bad analogy on my part, but you get it. This continued into high school, when I started struggling with insomnia. I didn’t drink coffee much because my stomach didn’t like coffee (still doesn’t), but for some reason, Mountain Dew didn’t give me diarrhea like coffee, but gave me such a rush. I would literally go from being shy and near falling asleep to fast talking and dancing around. The difference was noticed by friends. They would laugh and mock me when they saw me with a bottle of Mountain Dew, knowing they’d soon get a ‘Ms. Hyde’ version of me that was kind of cracked out.
I was a soda junky for many years. I drank it to excess. Craved it. Loved it. Yearned for it. I stopped drinking soda years ago in my early twenties, pretty much indefinitely. I’m a seltzer drinker now.
What is somewhat confounding and honestly annoying to me, is how many soda commercials there are before a movie. Going to the movie theaters is one of my great pleasures in life. While I do actually enjoy the trailers, I am growing irritated that before the trailers there are numerous regular commercials— specifically soda commercials. There is an average of four different soda commercials before a movie. Four! I have been counting! As a screenwriter (or at least a continued aspiring one), it is crazy to think that you are spilling your guts, time, work and love into a screenplay (that usually takes a year to write) to essentially be a soda commercial. Of course, knowing this doesn’t stop me from pursuing my dream. If I have to add some product placement of characters drinking soda, I will. In fact, someday, I’d like to go a step further, and have a middle school girl, barely 60 pounds, with a crippling Mountain Dew addiction. Where it turns her into a crack head. The gateway drug. Doing the dew.