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03/18/2007 Archived Entry: "A business opportunity in Ancapistan: Maids on Speed"
WE ARE SUPPOSED TO REGARD AMPHETAMINES now as the Ultimate Evil Drug. Crack cocaine is right up there. But crack is so last week. And when I was growing up heroin was The Great Satan. But when I was growing up is now the stuff of legend and nostalgia. It's meth, momentarily, that will drag your daughters down into the depths of Debauchery and Depravity.
And of course, there's truth in that. You wouldn't invite a meth-head into your luxury home on the golf course in hopes of making friends with him. You wouldn't hire him to do your business accounting. You'd watch your back because people on meth are par-o-NOID and sometimes not as reluctant as they should be to bash your head in. Your daughter on meth, with her teeth snaggling from her gums and her bones poking up under her skin, isn't a pretty sight -- not to mention her boyfriend, Mr. Noid with the prison tattoos.
But a conversation with friends got me thinking about the Meth Monster in a different light. Every drug has its drawbacks (although with cannabis you sort of have to work to consider a craving for cupcakes to be a drawback exactly). But every drug also has its strengths. Cannabis is very creative, very amusing, very appetite enhancing. Cannabis could be good for comedians and songwriters -- as long as they didn't forget where they were in the middle. It's marvelous medicine when nothing else will help. LSD showed phenomenal promise in treating addictions before the drug warriors, in their infinite wisdom, put the kibosh on the research. All the psychedelics can be an aid to spiritual practice. Writers have long thrived on booze. Oh, on many chemicals, sometimes. But bourbon or some other such ghastly thing is the boon companion to a writer, helping him get through everything from interviews to "I'm no good" jitters. Yeah, it pickles the liver. But until it does ...
So anyway, these friends and I got to talking about meth and how it was one of the few drugs that just didn't have anything going for it. Then one of the friends said something like, "Yeah, but people on speed can really get a lot of work done."
And we went on to discuss people we knew and their habits. And her observation is so true. I know an old meth-head -- hasn't touched the stuff in years -- that can still work like a robot with its batteries overcharged. (The stuff re-wires your brain, when you do enough of it.) And somebody who's actually on speed right now ... well, they're capable of feats of obsession and endurance that are awesome.
Meth ... no. That drug -- produced by the drug war and getting stronger and stronger every year as manufacturers outwit sanctions against it -- you would not want around you. But what if speed were still that relatively innocuous pill dieting women used to get from their physicians in the 1950s? Then people could just pop a tab or a capsule -- and get busy for a work shift or so.
So ... my idea for a freemarket business in Ancapistan or Libertopia: Maids on Speed. The agency that'll get your housecleaning done fastest and with the greatest attention to detail. Your counters and windows will gleam in no time flat. Our work is better and faster, and because it's faster, our rates are lower than any of the competition.
Well, okay, I might have my tongue just slightly in cheek here. But really, some enterprising person could do that. Maybe she'd include (she because most maid services are female-run) rehab as a job benefit. Who knows? Without the drug war, we could make all kinds of interesting discoveries.
And get into all kinds of troubles. Naturally. That's part of it. But that is what growth to actual adulthood, not just physical maturity, is about. That is self-responsibility.
Posted by Claire @ 04:14 PM CST