You kids aren't old enough to remember this, but there was a time when America's drug problem was so severe that we had a national drug awareness campaign, led by the First Lady herself, to combat the problem. And all the illegal drugs were driven from the streets, and nobody ever got high illegally again, and instead the whole thing got outsourced to Purdue Pharma. But that's another story. OUR story is of exactly HOW these illegal street drugs were stopped in their tracks by a team of teen super heroes, and of course corporate sponsors!
Why, it's everybody's favorite teen heroes the Teen Titans! Wonder Girl! Starfire! Cyborg! Kid Flash! Beast Boy, or "The Changeling" as they're calling him here! Raven! And, uh, that guy in the middle! Teen-teaming up to battle what appear to be heavily armed UPS delivery men in cooperation with the President's Drug Awareness Campaign, which wants you to be somewhat aware of drugs, but not so aware of drugs that you find out the CIA was using profits from cocaine sales to fund Nicaraugan rebels. That's the kind of awareness the President DOESN'T want you to have.
Are these actual drug dealers and not just carnies unloading midway prizes and frozen corn dogs? The Teen Titans - including their new friend "The Protector," who may actually be Robin The Boy Wonder - was Robin forced to change his identity because this drug-awareness comic was bankrolled by one corporate sponsor and Robin's likeness was licensed by a completely different corporate sponsor? Surely these corporations could set aside mere profits to work together to stop the scourge of drug addiction? - Well anyway, "The Protector" and his pals are going to kick ass now and find out who everybody is later!
Not only do these well armed thugs get a righteous super hero beatdown, they ALSO get a lengthy lecture about how drugs are bad and keep you from functioning. Except for Claritin-D. That stuff is ESSENTIAL for functioning, in allergy season at least.
Oh, NOW the Federal Task Force shows up, to make sure all the illegal drugs are properly handled, packaged and distributed. I mean destroyed. Destroyed! Then watch as the Federal Task Force and the Teen Titans make complex and elaborate plans to join forces in a precision joint anti-drug operation, the details of which are "we'll be around if you need us." Look out drug pushers, you don't stand a chance!
Our anti-drug story kicks into gear as we lay the groundwork for the introduction of our audience identification character who will battle the drug addiction first hand. Because we can't have any one of our clean cut teen super people get hooked on smack, right? Except for Speedy, who is Green Arrow's sidekick and who got addicted to heroin in a famous story from the early 1970s that really made everyone ask, "Why is Green Arrow's sidekick named "Speedy?" Wouldn't that be a better name for Kid Flash?"
And in a quiet suburban neighborhood we neet Ted Hart, who looks to be about 35. That's his, uh, problem, I guess. Also just wanna point out that by this time Robin was Jason Todd, which means "The Protector" is clearly Robin trying out a new super identity, one that doesn't involve small green shorts. Can't say I blame him.
Beer, pot, uppers, downers, cocaine, and PCP? That's an awful lot of drugs for a teenager. Good thing you're 35, Ted.
Boy, this is one of those high schools full of adult-looking teens who cannot introduce themselves to each other without interrupting somebody's lecture about how the drugs are changing you, honey, and I don't like it! What I'm trying to say is that this school might not be the best school for a kid trying to get off the beer, pot, uppers, downers, cocaine, and PCP.
The sharp-eyed reader will identify the source of most of Blue Valley's substance abuse issues, Mr. Sunglasses here who's repeating tenth grade for the tenth or eleventh time.
Wait a minute, Ted Hart's drug problem wasn't using beer, pot, uppers, downers, cocaine, and PCP, but merely being *told* everybody else was using beer, pot, uppers, downers, cocaine, and PCP? Now that's what I call peer pressure!
Meanwhile "The Protector" is delivering a hella beatdown AND a hella drug abuse and its effects on the human body lecture! DAMAGE TO THE NASAL PASSAGES, punk! Just like what my fist is doing to your face!
No way turkey! Those drugs are going away to spend a long time... in Cyborg's stash box! And by "a long time" I mean "until next Saturday night, they're going to see Pink Floyd's "The Wall" at the midnight movie and get totally baked!
The Teen Titans are moving down in the world from a "tower" to a "suburban living room." Listen closely and you can hear somebody's mom hollering "quiet down in there you kids!"
Ted's new friend Brian is into snow, speed, dexies, and barbs and now Ted is starting to jones for some of that beer, pot, uppers, downers, cocaine, and/or PCP. Fight it, Ted! You don't want to be a frybrain again, whatever that is!
Just absolutely depressing to see famed 80s rock icon Jem sunk so low. Handing out joints in the schoolyard? PCP-laced joints, at that? Somebody call Hasbro and stage an intervention!
See kids, peer pressure works. You're powerless against it. Sit back and enjoy the ride. We'll see you in rehab.
Messed up hair + rigid, teeth-grinding Jack Nicholson grin = cocaine. The math checks out!
Turns out when you're blitzed on beer, pot, uppers, downers, cocaine, and PCP you can't sit still in geometry class! Why care 'bout that stuff, man?
Ted has been blasting his mind out on drugs for weeks, and just *now* Amy figures out there's a problem? Wake up girlfriend! This boy is bad news!
So super hero Kid Flash's whole reason for being in this stupid dullsville town was to keep an eye on Teddy, and he can't even handle that. Way to super hero there, Wally.
And as Ted and Brian go on a class-ditching drug fueled rampage, Kid Flash strikes at the heart of criminal evil by... attending a local community talk on drugs hosted by off-brand super guy The Protector.
"I've heard drugs like cocaine and amphetamines aren't addictive," said NOBODY EVER. The Protector appreciates the soft-ball question, though, which allows him to begin one more lecture on narcotics like hashish, marijuana, and dilaudid. Was dilaudid what people called "ludes?" No, that was Quaaludes, wasn't it? Why has no one in this comic mentioned Quaaludes? That was the go-to drug reference back in the 80s when we wanted to indicate someone was a total burnout druggie, that he'd be constantly moaning for "ludes." Anyway, "Quaaludes" is just funny to say. Say it a few times. "Quaaludes." "Quaaaaaaaaaaaludes." No, I'm not high. What makes you think so?
The Protector dashes from his anti-drug lecture, visits the Protector Cave for a bit, maybe in the Protectormobile, and then he's back out on the streets saving Brian from getting run over by a truck. And THEN it's time for one more TED talk - to Ted! - about nasal passage damage, loss of appetite, hallucinations, paranoia, convulsions and brain damage, until Brian is saying "Throw me back under that truck, okay?"
Reeling from the one two punch of getting high and then getting The Protector to tell him how bad getting high is, Ted is not ready to hear that Jem here has been totally outrageously stringing him along just to make Adam jealous. Here the role of Adam is played by David "Shark" Fralick, whom you may remember from the legendary Joe Estevez badfilm "Soultaker."
We're finally at the scene where the two drug addicts show us the exact depths of degredation and horror they've sunken to - huffing cocaine off a filthy high school bathroom floor. DISGUSTING!!! And yet, in real life, fifteen minutes later both these guys would be bragging about this to their friends. "Oh, we were messed up!! How messed up were we? We were SNORTING COKE off the BATHROOM FLOOR!! WHOOOO!!"
But with every high there must come a low, and for Teddy his low comes when he's curled up in the fetal position at his neglected girlfriend's house, begging her to make the walls stop melting, they're melting, can't you see they're melting
At that very selfsame moment let's check in with the Blue Valley Local #745 of the United Dockworkers And Cratehandlers Union, busy servicing a never-ending stream of boats unloading pure Bolivian Weasel Powder for the waiting nostrils of America's party people, about to get their butts kicked by a bunch of teenagers in costumes.
You can just insert the "Teen Titans Go" theme song here, I think.
The Protector and Kid Flash THROW DOWN in one of the most EPIC lecture-battles of all time! Who can bore their unwilling audience the most? Whose hectoring gets the most banal? Only one can be the best!
I know Starfire is from another planet and our Earth ways are strange to her, but it's not the boat's fault those bad people made it haul drugs. Maybe that boat could have gone on to deliver candy to orphans or medical supplies to disaster areas. But not now. Now it's littering the once beautiful harbor. Thanks, so-called 'super heroes.'
So Brian and Ted tried to stick up a convenience store and Brian took a bullet from the mad as hell and not gonna take it any more proprietor, while Teddy merely had a total drug-induced flip out. Anyway they're both in the hospital being visited by their parents and the super-heroes, whom they actually haven't met. I guess they're kind of confused.
At least Ted has the comfort of hearing his parents say "We love you. We don't want to see you die." Maybe there's an unspoken "YET" at the end of that sentence, maybe there isn't.
All you need to do to be a hero is to stay drug free. That's it! When you're at that rock concert and the guy in the Ramones shirt offers you a hit off his "doobie", just say NO WAY and shazam, YOU'RE the hero, not that stoner trying to shove drugs down your throat or those junkies on stage lurching through "Personality Crisis" as if it was 1973 all over again. YOU'RE the hero, and that means you can walk away from any situation saying "I think our work is finished here" and you're out the door before anyone can reply "but you didn't do anything," like Sailor Moon does in the meme. Heroes don't care!
And now it's time for the classroom participation segment of our important learning experience, so get those pencils ready!
ANSWER KEY: 1. "Math tests are for losers! I copied the ROM from that Space Invaders motherboard, had fifty circuit boards made at the factory after hours, and now my bootleg arcade machines are making me thousands across the Eastern seaboard!"
2. "Mom, I CAN'T clean up my room because FOOTBALL and also FOOTBALL on top of FOOTBALL is a FOOTBALL thing that FOOTBALL. We didn't build a fifty million dollar high school stadium so we could watch people clean up rooms! Now FOOTBALL!
3. "Jimmy, everybody's tired of that cheap Mexican ditch weed you've been stuck with ever since your connection got busted. You can't guilt me into getting burned buying your awful pot, so cram it, loser." (flips bird, walks off)
4. "Listen, it's the 1980s, we only get football on the TV two or three times a week. Wait until there are 24-hour cable TV sports networks, then you'll REALLY have something to complain about!"
The story in this book showed you how people get hooked on drugs. Well, okay, it showed you a guy who had previously been hooked on drugs and then got hooked again, so we don't exactly know how he got hooked in the first place. Probably abusing cough syrup. Anyway, now you need to clearly write down exactly how you're going to be a hero who's against drugs, and you're going to keep this with you at all times, and you'll show it to the next pusher who tries to get you hooked on junk. And then tell us what happens, because I bet it'll be pretty funny. So remember, take it from DC Comics and the National Soft Drink Association, stay away from drugs! Except for caffeine. That one's OK. Trust us.
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