Drug-testing could be extended to cell-phone addicts | NevadaAppeal.com

Drug-testing could be extended to cell-phone addicts

Barry Smith

While the U.S. Supreme Court weighs the question of drug-testing for high school students in, say, chess club, I have to wonder if there’s not a wider application in society.

Sure, employers drug-test their workers in many businesses — especially the ones requiring some level of dangerous work, like running a nuclear power plant or typing.

Usually it’s the guys and gals at the bottom rungs of the corporate ladder who have to pee in a bottle before they can get a job. If the job description involves pushing a broom, we certainly don’t want anybody high on crack to accidentally point the wrong end at the floor.

I doubt, though, when they were hiring the CEO of Enron anyone made sure he was using only the proper medications. And the folks doing all the paper-shredding at Arthur Andersen might well have been high on something, which my suspicions say was probably white-out.

There’s no required drug-testing for public office, either. Usually we figure candidates for office must have been at least a little drunk when they decided to run.

“Those shtupid Carshon shupervisors,” says someone falling off a stool at the Old Globe. “Any nitwit could do a better job.”

“Well, maybe you’re just the nitwit to do it,” says his drinking buddy. “Let’s go over tomorrow and get your name on the ballot. Better yet, let’s go right now before you sober up.”

“Another round of shooters for everybody!” says the newly nominated candidate.

Chances are, they get elected — because who else volunteers for a job which requires you to be in meetings with bureaucrats every waking hour for four years? Other perks of the job include ticking off half the population of Carson City roughly every other week, so that former friends spit at you when they see you in the grocery store, and being hit on by every charity in a 100-mile radius of City Hall.

So drug-testing for candidates would be a bad idea. But drug-testing voters before they go into the polls might be the way to go.

They used to close down the bars on election day. Obviously, the quality of democracy has risen substantially since that practice was abandoned.

Anyway, I figure if we’re planning to drug-test chess players (For what? Nasal spray?), then let’s also drug-test:

— Cell-phone users.

Personally, I’d rather be sharing the highway with a meth freak than with a cell-phone addicted real-estate agent. I figure the meth freak has both hands on the wheel in a death grip and is focusing on one thing, even if that one thing happens to be his hood ornament.

The cell-phone addict, however, is checking his voice mail and trying to jot down a closing date on the daytimer in his briefcase on the seat next to him while passing a semi-trailer by steering with his knees.

Given the choice of running a red light or hanging up on a client, I think we know which one the cell-phone addict is going to choose.

— Express check-out lane shoppers.

They say marijuana makes you dopey and forgetful. But I’ve never heard anyone say it makes you forget how to count.

Nevertheless, if you head for the check-out lane that says “7 items or fewer,” there probably is somebody ahead of you with, oh, 19 items.

The best part is listening to the excuses they give if the cashier happens to point out they have too many items.

“Well, the 12 cans of cat food only count as one item, right?”

“Yes, I have seven items and my baby in the stroller has seven items, and my husband who is waiting out in the car has seven items.”

“I would have had to wait too long in one of the regular check-out lanes.”

— TV commercial writers.

Apparently, a major issue in society today is the bad breath of our dogs. I know this because I can’t watch television without seeing several commercials telling me how to make sure my dog, Ozzie, has breath that smells as sweet as the flowers in spring.

Frankly, I’ve found the best way to keep your dog from having breath that smells like the rotting carcass of a moose that’s been dead for a month is to persuade your dog not to go around eating the rotting carcasses of moose that have been dead for a month.

I can also tell you another thing. No matter what you put in the front end of your dog, it’s going to stink when it comes out the back end.

— Newspaper columnists.

Sometimes these guys just sit around writing whatever comes into their heads. They should be drug-tested, for sure.

But not right now. I need to grab my cell phone and drive home to brush Ozzie’s teeth.

Barry Smith is managing editor of the Nevada Appeal.