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March 26, 2012

Retro Bill

Nothing strikes more fear in the cocktail-loving mommy’s heart than the D.A.R.E program at school. If you aren’t familiar with this program, it teaches school age children the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. And it’s taught by the local sheriff.  Being raised by my staunchly Catholic Grandma, I’m askeered of the police more than anything else.  I don’t even have to be breaking any law, but if I see a cop I’ll stop dead in my tracks, which probably makes me look more guilty than I actually am.

My D.A.R.E. fears are not unfounded either. When my oldest was in elementary school, some dude named Retro Bill came to school to spread the D.A.R.E message. Later that evening he was at the Wal-marts signing autographs and Jr. #1 wanted to go. The line was ridiculously long and Jr. #2 stated he was tired of waiting and why did Jr. #1 want Retro Bill’s autograph because we didn’t know any one who used drugs anyway. That’s when Jr. #1 says very loudly, “Yes, we do! Our mother is a drug addict!” That was the only time it’s ever been quiet enough to hear a lude drop in the Wal-marts. I had to shop at K-Mart for months after that. By the way, I’m not a drug addict, no thanks to my four kids. And after that encounter I had to explain how not all drugs are bad and some people need them for high blood pressure which I undoubtedly now had thanks to that whole encounter. And what kind of anti-drug program hires a spokesman who looks like a cross between Elvis and Pee Wee Herman — on crack?

So, when the twins announced they had to write papers for their upcoming D.A.R.E. graduation I became a little nervous. I could just see my darling babies standing in front of their classes and the grumpy sheriff announcing how their mommy is a drug addict because she likes to have the (occasional — yes occasional, don’t you judge me!) cocktail. I was pretty relieved after reading Jr. #3’s report to find no mention of me. But I forgot to read Mini-Me’s report. So there I was on a Tuesday morning after the bus left, fretting about what her report said. I almost had to put some Bailey’s in my coffee to quell the anxiety because I don’t have a prescription for any anti-anxiety drugs.

I’m happy to report that neither of the twins ratted me out. They stuck with the guidelines in their D.A.R.E booklets and I was safe from the scrutiny of 100 fifth graders, their teacher, and the sheriff. They did so well, that both of them were voted best in their class and were chosen to read their speeches in front of the whole fifth grade at the D.A.R.E graduation.

Later that night, I caught one of the twins sniffing the ink on the freshly pressed D.A.R.E T-shirt.  I don’t know whether the genius who ordered the T-shirts ever gave this a thought or if they’re just too busy busting out all of us drinking parents to cover sniffing ink. Either way, I dare those idiots to ever say anything to me about my occasional cocktails…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    March 26, 2012 2:03 pm

    Hahahaha, I love it! Reminds me of the mandatory parenting classes I had to endure because of my 15-year-old’s tardiness. They focused on drinking (not tardiness) and the boy corrected the sherriff’s assumption on what one drink of bourbon compared to a wine cooler really was (based on his knowledge of ABV). Then turned to me and said, “right dad?!”

  2. March 28, 2012 2:48 pm

    I am a retired HS teacher and in our elementary system D.A.R.E. was very active over the years. I don’t know it they still are but I always questioned the effectiveness of that program. My son “graduated” from it, as did most of his friends, and it didn’t keep them away from the evils of weed. If it is a successful program it makes me wonder why we have the alarming drug problems we have in today’s society. Matter of fact, I’ve read more than one report that D.A.R.E. never was effective in stopping kids from experimenting with drugs. I’d guess a more effective activity would be to get their parents from messing with them and providing the example.

    • March 29, 2012 7:32 am

      I’m not up on the stats regarding the effectiveness of D.A.R.E. but I guess it could be one of those things that might not necessarily help all kids, but probably doesn’t hurt either. Just considering the school district my kids are in, it may be the only time some kids ever get that information. I guess I said all of that to say I’m not against D.A.R.E. — I’m just a guilt-ridden recovering Catholic. Haha!! Thanks for reading and commenting, Larry.

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