#50. ’80s anti-drug PSAs: When fried eggs scared the crap out of you

The government needs to seriously go back to adopting aggressive scare tactics to get kids off drugs.

Growing up I was convinced that using drugs would lead to only one of two possible outcomes:

1. You DIE from:

  • Your brain instantly exploding.

the remake:

  • Mistakenly diving off of the high board into an old abandoned swimming pool.


2. You go to JAIL and:

  • Meet your new cellmate, the Tossed Salad Man.

The Real Tossed Salad Man:

  • Get to hold the MTV Scared Straight inmate’s pocket (3:45–excuse his excessive French)

The only way to avoid this fate was to take the long way home and run! Sure it’ll take you an extra 20 minutes to walk home, but at least drug dealers wouldn’t be able to pin you down against your will and inject you with heroin until you were addicted, like you believed they all did (or at least had nightmares about it).

I was almost as certain of these consequences for using drugs as I was sure that every passing stranger was an experienced kidnapper after reading the Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers. It made you think twice when the usually grumpy bank teller suddenly offered to give you candy unprovoked…

The Partnership For A Drug-Free America worked in the ’80s/’90s. But today? They’ve gotten too soft. The commercials are better at making you laugh than actually driving home a message to not use drugs.

If weed actually made you mutate into a flat, boneless, Gumby-like shape, wouldn’t you want to get high all the time? Or at least at strategic moments… maybe after you’re instantly arrested for smoking a J, you could sneak one last puff in before getting thrown in the cell with the Tossed Salad Man, and then escape using your newly mastered Alex Mack body morphing abilities.

The War on Drugs campaign has also been getting weak when it comes to hiring the right people for the job. You would assume that the government would hire someone a bit more dependable than a homeless junkie to distribute drug-free materials to the public. Sadly, this was not the case. While walking through the Haight Ashbury district in SF one morning, I saw one of these junkie delivery guys walk past me holding a giant stack of “I Lost Me to Meth” drink coasters. Clearly it was his job to dish them out to all of the bars in the area, but after checking to see that no one was watching him, he just threw them in the air like Lebron’s chalk toss. Job complete. Yippee!

Let’s get back to doing it right America.


*** BONUS: Other awesome drug PSAs

1.TMNT and pot

The Ninja Turtles saying that smoking weed isn’t cool is simply ironic because if you really think about it, they had to be stoners.

– They always had the munchies… just mention the word pizza and they all got mini turtle wood (but not the same kind as when they fantasized of having a wild inter-species 5-some with celebrity reporter April O’Neil. There was something attractive about how April always wore that yellow reporter’s jumpsuit. Y-e-l-l-o-w…yeah, what’s with the full body yellow thing… Curious George couldn’t seem to keep himself away from climbing onto the Man in the Yellow Hat for longer than 2 pages.)

– They talked like stoners. Phrases include, but not limited to (*Wikipedia*):

  • “bummer”
  • “dude”
  • “bogus”
  • “radical”
  • “far out”
  • “tubuloso”
  • “bodacious”

“I’m not chicken, you’re a turkey… COWABUNGA!”

Awesome line. One day someone will call me chicken when I’m in my 40s (Back to the Future II?). I’ll drop this one line stunner and watch the peer pressure dissipate.

2. Pee Wee and crack

Poor choice. No one can take Pee Wee seriously. He’s just too weird. Even as kids we all knew something was a little off about Pee-Wee even before he got locked up. I used to have a Pee Wee pull-string talking doll.I liked it a lot although it was really creepy when he would sometimes randomly do his signature chuckle three pulls in a row. That and his doll had lipstick and blush on. WEIRD. It was like a talking pedophile bed time buddy. Actually come to think of it, I did spend many nights sleeping with my beloved Pee-Wee doll. Oh my god… OH MY GOD!!!

3. Above the Influence: the boy and the talking dog.

This one was so awesome, Family Guy had to take a crack at it:

PSA Fun Fact: Busta Rhymes borrowed the chorus from this old school PSA for his hit “Dangerous”. Have a look:

“Dangerous”: Classic Busta Rhymes with his trademark style of “let’s run right up to the camera during the entire video with alternating poses and facial contortions.” Brilliant!

No one made videos quite like Bus-A-Bus. What a character. Why don’t artists make awesomely absurd music videos anymore?

What the DILLY YO?!

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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