Penn State Litany Lion Jerry Sandusky’s sexual penchant boys in his charity program has since put Coach Joe Paterno’s assistant behind bars and on a suicide watch.
Whispering Palms principal reportedly viewed child porn on his federally funded laptop, an embarrassment to the well-regarded school.
The numerous reports of female teachers taking advantage of their pubescent wards, religious clerics molesting the faithful, and public leaders acting like residents of the funny farm, led us to re-examine the psychotic typologies that underlie addictions.
My sister in Honolulu usually have on stock, at least, two bottles of Merlot and/or Cabernet Sauvignon, unopened gifts from friends. The household does not normally imbibe the libation. Having learned to appreciate the juice of the vine in our travels, we take to the bottle like the French take to Evian water. I quickly earned the reputation of being an alcoholic.
The charge is not quite inaccurate for there is factual evidence. While in Saskatchewan, we picked up a fifth of the Scot single malt whiskey Glenfiddich each time we crossed the U.S.-Canada border, at the incredible price of $2.95 per green bottle (now $42 at Ada Int’l). We liberally consumed the fluid, and since Seagram was in the neighborhood, developed a taste for seven-seven, as well. China’s pijiu (beer) and Changyu’s wines (hongjiu) are relatively inexpensive compared to what Saipan’s Galleria offers so we are hitting 10 bottles of the 580 ml beer bottles per week at 40 cents each. Cabernet is under $5.
My Brit neighbor downs his wine like mineral water, and across the way is Marushka sans the Babushka who easily quaffs her vodka past me already plastered under the table. My tomodachi down the hall loves his sake, and our Aussie buddy will drink any fluid that quickly evaporates. Our Iranian goes with the Prophet so he does not touch the stuff unless his wife is not around and wants to be naughty.
I am not yet convinced that I am an alcoholic since consumption is hardly a drop in the bucket compared to my neighbors, but the volume of empty beer bottles coming out of my room is a cause for alarm.
We just finished final grades and since my laptop is not compatible with the university system, I double-timed in an office terminal. The glass of vino came in handy at night. Raised a Methodist with a temperance temperament, we shun the stuff. The chalice in the Eucharist is filled to the brim with unfermented juice. Of course, Wesley’s objection was not so much against the gin as the fact that grains were headed for the bottle rather than baked for the hungry and needy! Moralistic Wesleyans missed that one.
It is the cloves on the tobacco, however, that might cut down my years. Cold turkey’d in ’84, I avoid sniffing the nicotine-laden smoke like the plague. However, I snuck out a year ago six packs of Indonesian Sigaret Kretek from the faculty room that I originally intended to trash. I opened a couple of weeks ago. I have been puffing away ever since. One fat unfiltered stick a day was the start; am now into three, and just added another to finish this piece!
Buss. Cough. Buss. Cough. Buss. Cough. Addiction. We all choose our own poison.
I inhaled on two occasions in Jamaica where the cannabis grew naturally with the coffee on the Blue mountain slopes. In the early '80s, my first, the rolled weed came at the opening celebration of a training I was dean-ing, and since I was rested and fresh, the high led us to an experience of incredible lucidity. Four weeks later, tired and short of sleep, a puff of cannabinoids sent us to a nightmare of distrust and confusion.
We picked up malaria around Nigeria’s Lagos lagoon. Our nurse prescribed a ganja puff from the abundant native supply. It sent me climbing the walls, and that was the end of our cannabis venture.
Until two years ago, I never touched any synthetic recreational drug, though LSD was the experiment of choice among radical friends in the university. Then I assisted a convicted "ice" felon try to shake the habit. We are not sure we succeeded. The subject denied the addiction though we clearly noticed a psychological one. It took six months to extricate him from the easy meth supply on Saipan. We did join once in a puff and we now understood why there is much attraction to the consumption and how he could have easily backslid. That accelerated a quick repatriation back to his country of origin. I got a crash course on drug addiction in return.
Why do we turn addicts?
Psychotic typologies identify six types: the paranoid, the obsessive-compulsive, the attention seeker, the depressive, the schizoid, and the narcissistic. I think that we all have tendencies for all six, but when a particular one predominates and overwhelms, we say that the devil takes over, and we are into addiction.
What’s your addiction?
Mine at the moment, other than the current nicotine buss, is our caffeine consumption from tea and coffee. We did notice a considerable portion of our financial resource going to mango, lychee, durian, mangosteen, plum, rambutan, peach, melons, cherries, and beer. That addiction is confirmed and there is no turning back.
We know that human addiction to power, prestige, and possessions pollute the soul. We could write a book on that one, but why bother? It’s in the papers everyday!
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Jaime R. Vergara (email@example.com) previously taught at San Vicente Elementary School on Saipan and is currently a guest lecturer at Shenyang Aerospace University in China.