I once had the honour of having lunch with a Nobel Prize Winner: Frank Wilczek, who won the 2004 Physics prize with two of his colleagues (I knew him through Betsy Devine, whom I knew via blogging). All sorts of topics came up during lunch, from “What book do you think was the most influential, ever?” (I answered Principia Mathematica, to which Frank replied “Now do you mean Newton’s or Whitehead and Russell’s?”) to favourite television shows. Frank and Betsy were big fans of CSI, and they were telling us about the episode with the furries, which they’d just seen.
“And here I thought I’d seen everything!” said Frank, who confessed that he’d never heard of furries before. “I must be getting old.”
I’m getting that same feeling now. While I knew that kids huffed no-stick cooking spray and aerosol furniture polish, I had no idea that they did the same with that compressed-air-in-a-can that you use to blow dust out of computers and circuitry. It makes sense, though: it’s got the propellant to get you high, minus the butter scent that comes with Pam or Pledge’s sickeningly strong lemon smell.
(Another sign I’m getting old: my first reaction to hearing this was “Damn, kids today are morons.”)
Apparently aware of this fact, Memorex — a company that lives in my mind’s “Where are they now?” file — has added some kind of Bitrex-like agent to their compressed air duster products to keep the kids from huffing them. Their press release includes some slang terms for inhaling aerosol vapours for the benefit of parents who want to get hip to their kids’ lingo: “huffing”, “bagging” and “dusting”. I can imagine these terms being read out by my local out-of-touch news anchor, emphasizing the words so that you can almost hear the quotes around them.
While I am glad that it’ll probably save a number of kids’ brain cells, I am concerned that it’s going to make my computer smell like ass. Have any of you gotten a whiff of the new formulation?