August 16, 2005

No Huffing, Please



I work in a camera store, and we sell lots of canned air, some with this charming “no huffing” symbol on the label. Then the store’s president posts this article, with the directive of carding anyone under 18 years old. The back-to-school rush is under way, and we’re saving junior college Photo 1 students from Dusting themselves to the worst headache they’ll ever experience.

I just came from Home Depot, where the self-checkout terminal asked for my ID because I was buying a can of spray paint. But wait, spray paint is for “huffing,” and I thought “dusting” was the new boogeyman. Confusing, yes, but we should be grateful that a major retail chain polices the newest teenage buzz trends so parents don’t have to.

It’s annoying that they’ve re-branded traditional “huffing” with a name that conveniently provides free advertising to the product it’s named for. Renaming “huffing” as “dusting” is just as absurd as asking for a Whopper at McDonald’s – a product name is sacrosanct (unless it’s Diddy) and we aren't supposed to mix and match monikers willy nilly.

Plus, “dusting” is already taken as a slang drug term. To dust is to smoke (or lace something else with) Angel Dust, a.k.a PCP. If “dusting” is so much more dangerous than last year’s pseudoephedrine rampage, it deserves it’s own slang term.

To save the rest of the children who would never have hit on the idea until it was plastered all over the media, canned air sits behind the counter with Sudafed and pints of Crown Royal. Meanwhile, that guy in Aisle 5 is buying a large quantity of Morning Glory seeds to sell to the 5th graders waiting for their banana peels to dry…

5 comments:

Darren Snow said...

Jeez, next thing you know, the hardware stores will have to keep rope and twine behind the counter, because some stupid bored kid could attempt "erotic asphyxiation" with it. If teenagers really do care that little about their own future--and parents can't influence their own children not to hurt themselves--I can't really get too upset about the herd thinning itself out thusly. Hey, wait--"thinning!" That can be the new dangerous high--snorting paint thinner. You heard it here first, kids! Off to Sherwin-Williams with you, then.

katie said...

Home Depot has the components for all kinds of mischief. Back when my local HD was open 24 hours, I saw three giggly kids buying a giant funnel, a few yards of polyethylene tubing, and a roll of duct tape. Some pledge class needed to build a two-story beer bong in a hurry, I guess.

Joe said...

which supports my theory that no law can ever stop human beings from getting f-cked up in some way

All Access Merchandising said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Darren.. your brain activity leads me to believe you are a product of the dusting community. Fact is dusting is an epidemic. There are a lot of lost kids doing this stuff and dying from it too. Is keeping our keyboards soo important to us? No Huffing Please