How to Make an Old Fashioned

Author’s note: Sounds a little cliché, but I was literally cleaning out the attic recently and came across this short story I wrote in college. At the time, I was taking a psychopharmacology course and reading a lot of Irvine Welsh and Hunter Thompson, and I guess I had been inspired to write about the youth drug culture of the time (or at least the youth drug culture that I had very peripherally observed during my relatively risk-averse college years). Revisiting it twenty years later, I still found this story a fun read, but I felt compelled to polish it up a bit – particularly the medical details, which I was understandably a bit naïve about back then. It ended up being an interesting exercise – teaming up with my twenty-year-old self to write a few pages about a college kid with too much time on his hands. Makes me want to write a quick 4,000 words and lock it up in a drawer, so that my 60-year-old self will get to do something similar in a couple of decades. The references are a bit dated and some of the humor doesn’t quite land so well in 2023, but I decided to leave that stuff be – out of anthropological interest if anything. That said, I couldn’t help but include some footnotes at the end to provide some context. Hope you enjoy!

The evening started innocently enough, with Lifeline1 walking into my room and interrupting my studies for a blow-off Anthro class I needed for distribution credit.

            “Hey,” he said nonchalantly. “We’re hitting the town.”

            “After I finish this chapter,” I replied.

            “Bullshit. I know you’re taking that class pass/fail.”

            Unable to argue with that, I closed the textbook and got dressed, commenting on how I could use a couple of beers before bed.

            “Uh uh,” Lifeline answered, shaking his head. “No alcohol tonight. It’ll slow us down and we’ve got too much to do.”

            “You’re planning on staying sober?”

            “Who are you talking to?” he asked. “We’re going to take these.”

            He held out his hand, revealing two types of pills.

I should mention at that point that Lifeline was pre-med. Not the way that our roommate Subaru2 was pre-med, meaning that Lifeline didn’t have a pair of cardiothoracic surgeons for parents, and he didn’t spend all his free time volunteering in some Medicaid clinic downtown in a desperate attempt to make up for his sub-par GPA. In fact, Lifeline got better grades than just about anyone I’ve ever known, an achievement he attributed to a strict drug protocol. His study schedule went something like this: starting a week before an exam, steady moderate doses of amphetamine to keep energized and focused. Before bed, a tablet of Librium to take the edge off and guarantee a good night’s sleep. The day before the test, larger doses of of speed to fuel that last all-night review. The post-examination celebration was a weekend binger, consisting of alcohol, Rohypnol, and Big Red Blur – the latter being a hybrid strain some Ag school grad students bred that was rumored to exceed THC levels of 40% – thus ensuring complete memory loss of all the material learned that week and leaving the hippocampus a clean slate, ready to sponge up anything needed to know for the next test.3

You can’t knock it if it works, he’d say in response to Subaru’s assertions that using drugs to study was cheating, an act no less dishonorable than waltzing into the exam with a crib sheet up your sleeve. But Subaru was just jealous and we all knew it. Lifeline was the one who never failed to make Dean’s List while Subaru had to waste his weekends working with mental patients for no pay.4

            Myself, I was never much for extracurricular activities. Corn, barley, rye, and hard water always worked just fine. So, when I stood there staring at the pills resting on Lifeline’s palm, him offering them so nonchalantly that an outside observer might think we were shooting a Nuprin commercial5, I had mixed feelings to say the least.

            “What the hell are those?”

            “The white ones are methylenedioxymethamphetamine,” Lifeline answered.

            “In English?”

            “Ecstasy, bro. MDMA.”

            “Fuck that,” I said promptly. “I’m not putting that shit in my brain.”

            “Relax,” Lifeline soothed. “We’re going to take it with these.”

            He motioned towards the larger blue tablets.

            “And those are?”




            “Since when do they sell Prozac on the street?” I inquired.

            “They don’t. You know Bipolar Dave?”


            “Well,” Lifeline explained. “I got it from him.”

            “Doesn’t Bipolar Dave need his Prozac? You know, to keep him from slitting open his wrists or something?”6

            “Don’t worry. I gave him some Valium in exchange. By the time he wakes up he’ll be due for another script.”

            “I don’t know, man,” I said, pacing nervously. “Subaru told me about this ex-tweeker he met at the free clinic who used to roll all the time. Subaru said the guy is so fried he can’t open a juice box without adult supervision.”

            “Don’t believe everything you hear,” Lifeline said. “I mean, is that guy an idiot because he did too much E or did he do too much E because he’s an idiot? Besides, even if you take into account all that crap about irreversible brain damage, studies have shown that taking a single dose of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor like fluoxetine, marketed here in the States as Prozac, significantly decreases the risk of neurotoxicity.”7

            “You realize that I have no idea what you’re talking about, don’t you?”

            “You don’t have to understand me,” he said, placing the pills into my mouth. “You just have to trust me.”


            The next several hours were spent in an underground club, filling us with a heavy bass beat and glowing neon. I was overwhelmed, like a shy kid on my first day of kindergarten. It wasn’t something I was prepared for.

            I knew exactly when the drugs began to take hold because at that moment I felt precisely like I was in junior high and Deanna Foster had just smiled at me. Only Deanna Foster wasn’t with me that night. Just the pounding bass and a shitload of MDMA.

            “I’ve never felt like this before,” I was sobbing over and over. Huge wet tears streaked down my cheeks. “I’ve never been this much in love.”

            “It’s okay,” Lifeline was saying. He put his arms around me but it didn’t help. It wasn’t him I wanted. Or Deanna Foster for that matter. It was the music. I loved the music and it loved me back and that was just too much to handle.

            I closed my eyes and stretched out my arms out towards the ceiling. The music was inside me. Everyone was inside me. We were all the same twelve-year-old boy with pegged jeans and stars in his eyes. We all occupied the same space, sharing the same electrons that orbited around us all.

            “Jesus,” I hear Lifeline say somewhere in the distance. “Have some gum for Christ’s sake before you check your tongue off.”

            I fell backwards onto the floor, rubbing my body onto the cool surface. Out of nowhere there appeared a body lying on top of me, a petite blonde who couldn’t have been a day over fifteen.8

            “Were you waiting for me?” she asked, her hips gently grinding their way into my mine.

            “No,” I whispered. “I started without you.”


            “You’re starting to come down,” Lifeline declared five hours later. “You need to do this.”

            I pulled my head off of the toilet seat and turned to him. Lifeline had pulled out another dose of E along with a small plastic thing that looked like a clamshell. He twisted off the top part of the clamshell and placed the tab of E inside. He then screwed the top back on and then quickly unscrewed it again. Lifeline then carefully tipped the bottom half over the counter and gently poured out the E, which had been crushed into a fine powder.

            “Where did you get that?” I asked.

            “Walgreens,” he deadpanned as he drew up lines on a pocket mirror with his VISA card. “Here.”

            I shrugged. “It’s everywhere you want to be,”9 I mumbled as I snorted up the Ecstasy through a rolled-up twenty, paying no attention to the burning in my nose and throat. 

            Within seconds I was ready to get back in the ring to take another swing.

            “That’s not going to be enough,” I said. “One more dose and we’re set for the night.”

            I picked myself up and, spying another line already drawn out on the counter, snorted it up posthaste.

            “What are you doing?” Lifeline cried.

            “What are you talking about?” I yelled. “I told you. One more dose of E.”

            “That wasn’t MDMA, dumb ass. You just railed crystal meth.”

            I looked in the mirror. My reflection was that of a cartoon character, ridiculously round pupils against a pristine white background.

            “It’ll be okay,” Lifeline assured. “Just don’t get too excited.”

            I stormed out of the bathroom, my head swimming with possibilities.

            “Where are you going?” I heard Lifeline ask as I bee-lined through the crowd towards the exit, towards the doors that opened up to an outside world no doubt much crueler than the sweaty, tingling raver’s paradise inside.

            I understood his puzzlement in my actions, but I had things to do.

            Just as I neared the door, I turned and saw Lifeline reach for me, but he was cut off by a bleached-out pre-teen whose nipple rings left horse-shoe shaped bulges in her clinging white halter top. She obviously had her own agenda, and as the two of them melted back into the dance floor, I turned, opened the door as wide as I could, and exited without further hesitation.

            Hours later I was still walking up and down the street, trying not to step off the yellow divider. As the headlights whipped past me, I became engorged with an overwhelming sense of purpose. I was completely in tune with the universe on a nuclear level, understanding the forces holding everything in its place. Prepared to lead armies, I yearned to take my newfound enlightenment and spread it across the continent, to scale the highest building and shout so loud that my voice resonated win every eardrum on the planet. I was an over-inflated balloon, full of kinetic energy and ready to burst.

            But the silver Ford Taurus put an end to all that when it kicked my legs up from under me and sent me sprawling across its hood.

            I remember seeing my feet sticking straight out in front of me during the split second I was airborne, thinking to myself “those aren’t supposed to be up here.”

            The Taurus skidded to a stop, and I rolled onto the pavement. It took a few second, but once I realized what had happened, I jumped to my feet and turned around to see the driver’s puzzled face through the cracked windshield.

            “Jesus,” I thought. “He must be pissed.”

            The driver, a middle-aged guy whose brown loafers and oversized square eyeglasses gave him away as faculty member of the science department, darted out of the car and stared at me, seemingly in disbelief at my ambulatory state.

            “Are you…? Are you…?” he kept asking.

            “Yeah,” I replied. “And I’m sorry about your windshield.”

            I was slowly backing away, ready to make a break for it before he got a good look at my face, when I heard a voice shouting at me not to move. I looked around and saw a uniformed police officer rushing over to the scene.

            Oh my God, am I holding? was my immediate reaction. I quickly patted down my jeans pockets and let out a sigh of relief.

            “I just radioed EMS?” the cop informed me. “I saw the whole thing from my squad car. Just stay where you are and don’t move.”

            “He…he just came out of nowhere.” The driver apparently was coming to grips with the situation and felt compelled to cover his ass.

            “No, I didn’t,” I corrected. “You came out of nowhere. I’ve been pacing up and down this street for hours now.”

            “I didn’t see him,” the driver continued. “I…I couldn’t see him until it was too late.”

            “Well, this must be very traumatic for you, then,” I said. I looked at the cop. “Look, I’m fine. He couldn’t have been going more than ten miles per hour when he hit me. Can I just go home now?”

            But I could already hear the approaching sirens, signaling the arrival of the paramedics. My heartbeat quickened as I started to grow nervous at all the attention. The doors of the ambulance opened and two figures emerged, backlit by the halogen beacons. I had to squint to make them out, but I could tell that they were both dressed in navy blue jumpsuits. One of them had broad shoulders and a thick frame, the kind of guy who could carry you like a potato sack down twenty storied if he had to. The other, in stark contrast, was so thin that the jumpsuit hung from him like the skin membrane of a flying squirrel. His right shoulder drooped from the weight of the trauma bag he was carrying. And as he got closer, I was able to make out the familiar goofy smile of someone who had yet again been inadvisably given a job he was wholly unqualified for.

            “Oh Jesus,” I muttered. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

            “Oh hey, man,” Subaru greeted me. “How’s it going?”

            “What the fuck are you doing here?” I whispered, trying to keep the cop from hearing me.

            “Volunteer EMT,” he replied through that shit-eating grin of his. “Looks even better on my CV than working at the free clinic.”

            “You look like a discount male stripper in that outfit,” I told him. “Do you even know what you’re doing?”

            “Oh yeah,” he answered. “I watched the training video and practiced on the Rescuci Annie doll and everything.”

            “Were you able to give her mouth-to-mouth without getting a boner?”

            “Shut up, this is serious,” he replied. “Speaking of, we have to stop goofing around now. If I get in trouble they won’t write me a letter of recommendation.”

            “Never mind that,” I said. “Can you just tell the cop that I’m all right and don’t have to go to the hospital so I can go home.”

            But it was too late. Subaru had shifted into full medical melodrama mode.

            “Baker!” he yelled at the actual paramedic behind him. “We have a nineteen-year-old Caucasian male, status post-collision, man versus Ford Taurus.”

            He started shining a penlight in my eyes.

            “Pupils extremely dilated and poorly reactive.”

            “Get that out of my face,” I growled. “You don’t have to report that part.”

            “Possible signs of concussion. He’ll probably need a CT scan to rule out skull fracture.”

            “I don’t have a concussion,” I snapped. “I didn’t hit my head.”

            “Victim is pale and perspiring profusely,” Subaru continued. “May have injured cervical cord secondary to whiplash injury, resulting in autonomic instability.”

            “Your assessment?” Baker the paramedic asked.

            “Victim requires cervical immobilization with hard collar and spinal board pending clearance with skeletal survey X-ray in the emergency room.”

            “Okay, I don’t need any of that,” I snapped. “You are not going to ruin my night by making me wait in the ER for twelve hours strapped to a plastic goddamn board. And even though I didn’t watch the training video, I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to call me the victim.”

            “You better listen to what they say, kid,” the cop informed me.

            “Yeah,” Baker chimed in. “We need to make sure you don’t have any serious neurological injury. How else would you explain why your eyes are so dilated?”

            “Yeah,” the cop echoed. “Why else would your eyes be so dilated?”

            I looked at the cop and then to Subaru and considered my options.

            “On second thought,” I uttered. “My neck does kind of hurt a little.”

            “Oh no,” the driver mumbled.“

“Let’s do it,” Baker ordered.

            “Yessss!” Subaru exclaimed, pumping a fist in the air. “I’ll get the board.” Before he ran back to the ambulance he quickly turned back to me. “Thanks. This is so awesome. After two more months, I get to learn how to intubate!”


            An hour later I was on a gurney in the emergency room. Between me and the gurney mattress was a hard plastic board the size of a vintage surfboard, which I was strapped onto with thick nylon webbing. A hard plastic collar had been placed around my neck, extending from my shoulders to my chin and triggering memories of the neck ring-wearing tribal women in old issues of National Geographic.10 A piece of surgical tape was stretched across my forehead and wrapped around the head of the board. I couldn’t move any part of my body as much as a millimeter in any direction. And I was still positively soaring on E and meth.

             Because my head was fixed, I could only look straight up at the ceiling, or if I moved my eyes sideways I could see my heart monitor mounted to the wall on my left and a bunch of nozzles and ports built into an otherwise empty wall on my right. I had no idea if anyone was within shouting distance, because every time I shouted for someone to unstrap me exactly nothing happened.

            I watched the heart monitor, for lack of anything else to do other than contemplate intricate ways to murder Subaru while grinding my molars into a fine powder. My beats per minute kept a steady rate just over one hundred. That seemed on the high side to me, which I attributed to the fact that I had more stimulants in my system than the 1986 Mets.11 At one point I really started freaking out—the thought had occurred to me that if they wanted to draw my blood for a drug test, I wouldn’t be able to physically stop them. Was that why they were keeping me strapped to the board? So, I couldn’t escape before the cops showed up? That fun thought experiment shot my heart rate just past one hundred and twenty beats per minute, which triggered the monitor to sound its klaxon. The alarm interrupted my persecutory delusion momentarily, and my heart rate slowed a little and the klaxon stopped. I waited for a doctor, nurse, janitor, whatever, to run in and check on me, but no one appeared. I sighed, deducing that the alarm had not sounded long enough to get anyone’s attention.

            I had been clenching and unclenching my feet inside my sneakers for over an hour at this point and had worn down the pads of my toes. I could feel the skin go raw and a warm wet sensation filling my sock, telling me that I had sanded down past the epidermal layer. I couldn’t tolerate my imprisonment anymore…I tried deep breathing, self-hypnosis, guided meditation…picturing myself on a white sand beach with crystal clear waves lapping up around my ankles. But the speed wouldn’t let me. Every neuron was dialed up to eleven, I was hyperaware of every sensation in my body – the strain on my lower back muscles from lying flat against the goddamn plastic board, the nylon straps cutting into my arms and legs, the plastic core of the neck brace digging into my collarbones. I started screaming for help, but nothing happened.

            I guess that makes sense, I thought. They must be desensitized to the sounds of human suffering. My shouts are probably just blending into the general pool of pleading and wailing from gunshot victims and domestic violence recipients, the incoherent blabbering of un-medicated schizophrenics and DT sufferers. But the heart monitor alarm. It had to be someone’s job to respond to that if it sounded like a real medical emergency was happening.

            A code, as they call it on TV.

            I looked at the monitor. I had managed to get my heart rate up past one hundred and twenty. What would happen if I got it up past one-fifty? Two hundred? Is that possible? What would happen then?

            Fuck it, I thought. Let’s find out.

            Ever since I got tagged by the Ford Taurus I had been doing my best to keep the speed in check, to keep myself from going full tweak-out. But at that moment I decided to let go, to give in to the adrenaline pumping through my circulatory system, to the trailer park rat poison that had flooded my synapses with dopamine.

            What if I never get out of here? I thought, getting warmed up. What if I actually am holding and I just didn’t know it and I get busted for possession? What if I get kicked out of school? What if the judge decides to make an example out of me? What if I get sent upstate? What if I get prison raped? What if I get my front teeth knocked out and get face fucked? What If I get my eyes gouged out and get skull fucked? What if I get cornered by a trio of Aryan Nationalists and all three happen simultaneously? What if I get AIDS in prison? What if I get hep C? What if I get a drug-resistant necrotizing strain of syphilis and my dick rots off? What if I get choked out while getting ass-mouth-and-eye raped and die? What if none of this is actually even happening? What if I’m already dead? What if I’m being ass-mouth-and-eye raped right now and this is just an out of body experience? What if this is all just a syphilis-induced hallucination? What if this is really happening but this isn’t a real hospital? What if this is some government experiment where they kidnap college students that are too high to know better and take them to some underground lab in New Mexico and pump them full of LSD and neurotoxins in an attempt to release hitherto latent telekinetic powers? Is that why I’m strapped to this fucking board? Because they want to see if I can free myself? With my mind? WITH MY MIND? Are they watching me right now on some hidden closed caption TV? Are they sitting around a screen in some control room smoking Pall Malls and drinking bad coffee and waiting to see if I can do it? Can I do it? Can I break these fucking straps? With my fucking mind powers? If I just concentrate hard enough? If I just will myself to? If I want it bad enough? Do I want it? DO I WANT IT?

            “FUCK YES!” I shouted as the heart monitor went fucking ballistic.

            The klaxon went full tilt boogie. The monitor screen went red and started flashing at a rapid pulse. The alarm was blaring in three different sounds simultaneously, making an ear-piercing cacophony.

            That got their fucking attention.

            Not one but three guys in scrubs and white coats burst into the room, followed by three nurses and a couple guys who I couldn’t even tell what they were supposed to be doing. Everyone started screaming complete gibberish all at once.

            “Check his airway!” yelled one.

            “Someone start bagging him!” shouted another.

            “Pulse is thready!”

            “Get him hooked up to the 12-lead and someone get the paddles ready!”

            “Why doesn’t he have access? Get an 18 gauge angiocath, now!”

            I couldn’t make heads or tails of any of it, but I was very excited to finally get some attention. I glanced back at the monitor and saw that my heart rhythm looked different. Before it had been a constant pattern of little bump followed by pointy spike followed by another little bump. But now the pointy spike had been replaced by a big round bump, one after another in rapid succession. From where I was laying it looked like a string of upside down Us… or a row of tombstones.

            Someone ripped open my shirt and started sticking small round foam pieces all over my chest and under my left armpit. Each one had a wire connected to it, with all the wires running out of my field of view.

            “He’s definitely in V tach!” I heard another voice yell.

            “I’ve got the IV going!”

            “Ow!” I yelled as something sharp stuck me in the crease of my elbow.

            “Lidocaine 150 mg now!”

            I felt a warm rush into my arm.

            “Draw up some amio and get the paddles ready!”

            Again with the paddles, I thought. Do they mean the ping pong kind or the S&M kind? I smiled. I was starting to feel less like I was high on meth and more like I was high on something else.

            “I’m losing his pulse!” another voice yelled. I could make out the words, but the voice had an underwater sound, like the way grown-ups talk in Charlie Brown cartoons.

            “Hey guys,” I think I said out loud. “I’m starting to feel….” I meant to say woozy, but the word didn’t come out.

            Now this is an out of body experience, I recall thinking.

            “Forget the amio, we’re going right to defibrillation!”

            “Charged at 200!”

            Suddenly everyone got very quiet. I could tell that something cool was about to happen.

            “Everyone clear!”

            I couldn’t see anymore. Everything had turned black, and as I felt myself sink down into the gurney bed my last thought was: If these really are fake-doctors, then they are playing this thing to the hilt.

            “No, wait!”

            That voice I could hear clearly. Not just because it didn’t have the underwater Charlie Brown-thing going on, but because the monitor had stopped alarming.

            “He cardioverted,” the voice spoke again, calmer this time. “He’s back in sinus rhythm.”

            I heard a collective sigh being exhaled and realized that my vision had returned. I looked up and saw ten eyes peer down into mine as five heads leaned over into my field of view. They stared down at me, each one of them wide-eyed and slack-jawed, for several seconds, seemingly waiting for me to say something. I looked up into their eyes, trying to read from their nervous expressions exactly what they expected to hear come out of my mouth.

            “Can I go home now?” is what I came up with.


            The nurse told me that I was admitted for observation, but after they moved me from the ER to my bed upstairs they only made me stick around for another hour. Just before the sun came up, a middle-aged cardiologist—long white coat over dark blue scrubs, days’ worth of stubble on his face—walked into my room.

            “What year are you?” was the first question he asked.


            “Mid-terms coming up?”

            “I guess,” I answered.

            He nodded. “Been pulling some all-nighters?”

            I wasn’t sure how to answer the question. “Sort of,” I settled on.

            “Your tox screen came back positive for amphetamines.”

            “Yeah, about that….” I began. If someone next to you is hot-railing meth, can you get high from second hand smoke? I wondered. Would he buy that?

            “You college kids and Ritalin, I tell you,” he cut me off. “I get it, it’s a lot of pressure these days.”

            He paused and looked at me. I just looked dumbly at him back.

            “Getting good grades, getting into a good grad school, I get it,” he continued. “Are you pre-med?”

            What was he talking about? I thought. But I decided to run with it. “Sure,” I nodded. “Pre-med.”

            “I thought so,” he replied. “But that’s no excuse. You have to be careful. Pharmacologically speaking, Ritalin is very similar to amphetamine. You take too much, you stay up too late studying, the side effects can be very serious as I think you just figured out.”

            “Yeah,” I replied. “I think I just figured that out.”

            “Maybe you’ll just stick to doing it the old fashioned way from here on out?”

            “Definitely,” I answered. “I’m going to stick to the old fashioned way.”

            “Good,” the cardiologist smiled. “The beauty of being nineteen years old is that your body can bounce back from pretty much anything. Your heart’s in perfect shape and now that your body’s mostly cleared the Ritalin, you can go.”

            “I can go?” I asked, confused. Didn’t I just sort of die, like ten minutes ago?

            “No reason to keep you,” he answered. “Your heart’s going to be just fine.” And then with a wink and a grin: “As long as you cool it with the Ritalin.”

            “Then I my heart is going to be just fine,” I winked back. “Because I am definitely cooling it with the Ritalin.”

            The nurse came in a few minutes later, pulled out my IV, made me sign some forms, and then I got dressed and walked out. As I headed to the elevator, I heard the cardiologist call out to me.

            “Remember,” he said. “Old fashioned. Stick to that way from now on.”

            “Old fashioned,” I nodded as the elevator doors closed. “Definitely.”

            Outside, as I waited for the cab, the sky opened up on me. Standing in the rain, I took stock of my situation. My jaw aches, I can barely keep my eyes open, and if when I get back to the apartment I find Lifeline in bed with Miss Horseshoe Nipple Rings from the club then I’m going to kill them both. These thoughts occupied my head as I looked up the road, soaking wet and waiting for my ride. It was eight o’clock in the morning.

            When I arrived back home, I stripped off my soggy clothes and looked at the clock radio on my nightstand. I had just enough time to shower and get dressed before the bus picked me up on the corner to take me to my ten-thirty class. But then I thought about what the cardiologist said and walked into the kitchen instead. I got out a rocks glass, stirred in sugar, bitters, and water, added some ice, and poured in two ounces of bourbon. I took a seat on the couch and started to drink. 


  1. I named this character after the GI Joe action figure.
  2. This is a reference to the Subaru Legacy. When I was in college, this was a common nickname given to kids whose parents were alumni. Often derogatory as it implied they didn’t get into school on their own merit.
  3. This regimen is of course ridiculous and would actually be quite problematic for a college study seeking academic success. In fact, the post-exam cocktail could potentially be fatal, as combining alcohol with benzodiazepines can cause respiratory depression. I think my 20-year-old self just wanted to show off how many drugs he could rattle off in one paragraph.
  4. I rose an eyebrow when I re-read this sentence, since I spent a summer in college volunteering at a state-funded day-program that helped patients with serious mental illnesses develop skills that helped them live independently. I really enjoyed the experience and it was incredibly educational. I guess the point I was trying to make is that the protagonist is kind of a dick?
  5. You may be too young to remember this. Or this.
  6. I’m still pretty surprised that after the aforementioned volunteer work, my 20-year-old self would still decide it was okay name a side-character “Bipolar Dave.” Not that it’s an excuse, but right around the same time, South Park had introduced Big Gay Al, a move that was applauded at the time for its satirical take on homophobia. So, maybe I had intended to do something similar for mental illness? Also – I feel the need to point out something I learned in med school: while fluoxetine is used to treat bipolar depression, it’s typically done in combination with an antipsychotic or mood stabilizer to prevent manic episodes.
  7. I don’t think this was ever proven clinically, but it was very much theorized by my psychopharmacology professor. And by Irvine Welsh apparently.
  8. I like think I was being hyperbolic here. However, it’s worth pointing out how insanely blasé people were about guys messing around with underage girls until about five minutes ago.
  9. I suppose this would have been a fairly clever reference 20 years ago.
  10. This would be the one.
  11. Allegedly.

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