September 4, 2008 in City

Logic of lower drinking age makes room spin

By The Spokesman-Review
 

So it seems none of our own collegiate leaders has the courage to join the national movement of college administrators and “Girls Gone Wild” producers who’d like to lower the drinking age.

Well, I’m not surprised.

I also had a bad reaction when I first heard that 100 presidents from some of the nation’s most prestigious campuses suggested adopting age-lowering laws as a way to help solve the underage drinking problem.

The Absinthe Initiative, I believe they’re calling it.

Anyway, after downing six or seven Jell-O shots I thought about it some more. Slowly, it began to dawn on me just how brilliant these big thinkers from Duke and Dartmouth, etc., really are.

Do the math.

If you lower the drinking age there won’t be an underage drinking problem.

Too bad we here in Spokane aren’t as visionary as those Ivy League eggheads. With a lower drinking age we could have avoided that whole nasty business that occurred at Holmberg Park last month.

Remember?

The park’s swimming pool closed two weeks early after sheriff’s deputies busted some of the teen lifeguards for hosting a pool house beer bash.

Parks officials had no choice. It was too late in the summer to try to find non-drinking lifeguards.

If only we had dropped the drinking age to, say, 15. Hoisting a few brews in the ol’ pool house would have been as legal as happy hour at a Ramada Inn lounge.

As a result: The kiddies wouldn’t have lost any splash time. The cops would have been saved from a butt-load of paperwork. Parents would have been spared a great deal of yelling and grounding.

We enablers call this a win-win-win.

From a college perspective it makes sense to reduce the imbibing age. That’s because for many students, college is more about drinking than thinking.

How much is alcohol a part of the college culture?

•Lindsay Lohan is the most popular fake ID name.

•Many students wind up in AA before they ever get a B.A.

•Cirrhosis is now offered as a major.

Lowering the drinking age would let college students legally exercise their right to spend the night with their fingers wrapped in a death grip around the toilet rim.*

(*Also known as “driving the porcelain bus.”)

I haven’t forgotten my own college daze.

I wasn’t perfect. But contrary to what many of you readers may suspect, young Doug didn’t indulge in ’shrooms, acid, PCP, pot, peyote or glue.

Nor was I part of the underage drinking scene.

I found other ways to reduce the stress of school: exploding sodium bombs in the dorm lavatory; hiding alarm clocks in the rooms of my dorm neighbors and setting them to go off at all random hours of the night; accidentally shooting a friend with a tear gas pen …

On my 21st birthday a buddy took me to a strip joint to celebrate my passage into legal adulthood.

What fun! I sat there downing whiskey sours and watching this incredibly limber exotic dancer do the most amazing things with glow-in-the-dark tassels.

I swear this should be an Olympic event. Anyway, at one point she had those babies going so fast I thought she was going to take off and fly around the room.

Not all higher education takes place in the classroom, I guess.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.com.


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