When I was about to enter the perils of teenagehood, my grandmother insisted I read a book called “Go Ask Alice”.
She pestered me until I read it; and when I did I was alternately fascinated and freaked out.
First I was freaked out about leaving my drink unattended, just in case someone would slip me some LSD and drive me insane– paranoia that led to years of watching bartenders and patrons at bars like a hawk. To hear the book describe it, LSD was creepy and freaky and DANGEROUS. (Years later, hanging around a couple of very deeply fried friends while watching them giggle and point stupidly at a building, I realized that this, too, was bullshit, but I digress).
I was fascinated by this girl, Alice, though. I just loved that no matter how messed up, broke, dirty, strung out or just generally trampled over by her filthy vice she still managed to write with poise and find inspiration in the little things. And, of course, manage to call every single gross boy who crossed her a “son of a bitch.” (her favorite expression)
It would be wrong to say that I longed to be like her– blame it on my naïveté, but I did buy the spiel about drugs being THAT awful and about her suicide. But oh man… her literary penchant! She was like the Anne Frank of the war on drugs. That chick could write the longest and most thought-provoking entries on a rest-stop napkin, while ants were crawling out of her face.
Of course, Alice was not real–she was created by some lady who makes a living writing cautionary tales. The biggest irony for me is that I was looking through Snopes.com for some inspiration and some information to write about on here. I got this email from this one chick who, even though we haven’t talked in years, still sends me the same kind of chain letters that were feeling tired back in 1999. I don’t have the heart to send a nasty email back because every once in a while she sends a good joke, but for the main part she just gives my delete button a reason for living.
So as I was confirming that the little boy in Texas was not really killed by an overdose of heroin after getting stabbed by a discarded hypodermic needle at a McDonald’s playground –truly cheerful stuff– I went poking around some more and found out that dear Alice from my teen nightmares didn’t exist.
It kinda makes me a little sad, in a grotesque way, that this girl didn’t exist. Mostly, it just goes to confirm that there is not a mortal alive who is as prolific and productive a writer.
But in the same area of Snopes, I found out that Dr. Seuss wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” on a dare: he was supposed to use no more than 50 words in his book.
Which is proof that not only do you learn something new every day, but that some people are just too many kinds of awesome. Including those awesome people at snopes.com.
Too friggin’ tired. G’night.