If We Are Evolving, We’re a Work in Progress

barry currin, stories of a world gone mad, beaverdamusa.comOh, Charles Darwin, I hate you missed this one.

I don’t see much on the news that surprises me anymore. But today, that changed when I heard about the social media sensation among teenagers called the Tide Pod Challenge.

In case you don’t know, Tide Pods are little pillows of liquid laundry detergent inside a plastic bag. I guess the plastic dissolve in the washing machine; I don’t know.

Apparently, teenagers are videoing themselves eating the pods and posting them, of course, on social media.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 40 exposures to liquid laundry detergent pods by 13- to 19-year-olds were reported during the first 11 days of this month. This is 20 percent of the number of occurrences in all of 2017. 

I’ll do the math for you: last year, 200 teenagers — and future Darwin Award winners — ate laundry detergent.

The poison control folks went on to say that more than half of this year’s incidents were deliberate. Last year, only 25 percent of the baby-powder-scented snacks were scarfed on purpose.

That means last year, of the 200 incidents, 150 were by mistake.

How on earth does someone who is at least in middle school eat a little sack of laundry detergent on purpose, much less by mistake?

I’ve got some bad news, Tommy Teenager. Brittany Bodacious isn’t going to start like-liking you because you Snap-chatted yourself in the laundry room munching on soap.

Whether you believe in evolution or not, you’ve got to hand it to Darwin for his theory of natural selection when viewed through the lens of the Tide Pod Challenge.

I cruised over to Tide’s twitter page, and saw where they tweeted: “What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.”

 Right below that was a re-tweet of someone’s blog titled “Laundry Safety Tips for Teens.”

Isn’t that beautiful.

Laundry safety for teens used to mean Tommy made sure he didn’t leave any contraband in his pockets before mom went through them while filling the washer.

I really didn’t think we needed to tell kids not to eat detergent, but since we do, maybe we should be proactive and put out some similar warnings.

Don’t put fire ants in your ear.

Take the ketchup out of the bottle before eating.

Open the sliding glass door before exiting.

Keep your eyes open while driving.

Use an oven mitt before removing the cast-iron skillet from the oven.

Do not hold the chainsaw by the chain.

Did I miss any?

I didn’t even get to ladders.

Of course, we’ve already got ladders covered. I always wondered who the fool was who led to ladder factories requiring those big yellow “this is not a step” warning stickers on the top. Whoever it was, I’ll bet he had laundry detergent on his breath.

If I had it to do over again, I would go to law school. I don’t believe there will ever be enough attorneys in the world to keep up with the lawsuits that will result from people being able to cash in because they hurt themselves doing painfully stupid things.

On the other hand, maybe this discredits Darwin’s theory of evolution once and for all, because if we’re videoing ourselves eating soap, we haven’t evolved very much.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him: currin01@gmail.com

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