The subject of indoctrination came up in my recent Captain Planet post and we started making a list of things that kids are indoctrinated about: the environment, drugs, and smoking.
One of the things I remember quite clearly is drinking and driving. Or rather, a bunch of kids being brought into an auditorium and being shown some grisly pictures of drinking/driving ads. They told us about how terrible it was to drink and drive.
What they were apparently less clear about was that “drinking” was specifically a reference to alcohol. I mean, I’m sure they mentioned alcohol, but they weren’t as clear as they needed to be that it was only alcohol that was a bad idea. A lot of kids went home and freaked out when their parents were drinking a soft drink or coffee in the car.
A few days later, the principal clarified over the intercom that it was okay if our parents drank coffee or soft drinks while driving, and that it’s only a problem if it’s alcohol.
What’s kind of funny about all of this is that I wouldn’t be surprised if years from now, drinking a soft drink on the road will be fully incorporated into the War on Distracted Driving.