Move Over, Millennials—Here Comes the Condom-Snorting Generation?
Although condom-snorting really happened, it almost exclusively occurred in 2013. Unscrupulous posters altered the YouTube video dates to appear current. Check out Snopes.com’s research.
So…snorting condoms and recording the results is a real thing.
To date myself, I originally wrote videotaping the result at first, then realized videotaping is as dead as the typewriter. Deader, in fact.Does that make me feel old? Not really. I work a full-time job, write for this website and have two toddlers at home: I’m far too tired to feel anything but tired, like most parents. Consequently, after watching a teenager snorting a condom up his nose, then sputter, cough and heave until it plops from his mouth, all I’m thinking is Man, I hope that kid’s okay. That’s a good way to get a hell of a sinus infection.
People—you, me, and the billions that have walked this Earth before us—have always been stupid. We do stupid things. Now, thanks to technology, we can record and distribute our stupidity to millions through the Internet. Our fancy gadgets have evolved faster than human nature, which hasn’t changed in millennia, if at all.
My research doesn’t go back this far, but I am sure if you could step back 50,000 years, a Neanderthal named Grog stared at his friend Mot across a crackling fire, pointed at the flames and grunted, “Dare you stick tongue there. I carve picture.” *Amateur anthropologists may point out that Neanderthals are generally considered a separate hominid species, so wouldn’t have possessed human nature. My reply: Sigh.
I did some research into the dangerous fads and trends of the last fifty or so decades, and the results demonstrate that the headline-grabbing Tide Pod or Cinnamon Challenges prove nothing more than humans have been excellent stewards to that most plentiful of human assets: mind-boggling stupidity.
I hear flagpole sitter, I think of the tune from the late 90s tune, which still rocks. Anyone else? In the 1920s, flagpole sitting emerged as a popular fad. Practitioners would sit on a flagpole for hours and sometimes days. A man from Iowa set the world record of 51 days and 20 hours in 1929, and my imagination wonders exactly how would he have gone bathroom with any degree of dignity. This record was shattered after the fad had passed, most notably by a man needing a better hobby, who sat on a flagpole for over 439 days in 1984.
Phone Booth Stuffing
So, in the 1950s, you’d get your friends together, find the nearest phone booth (Goodfellas…) and shove them all inside. Whoever fits the most people inside it wins. Not sporting the complexity of chess, but something to do, albeit dangerous. In 1959, South African students set the world record by shoving 25 people into a single phone booth. Good job…?
Not really dangerous, but a magnet for a lawsuit or felony conviction. In the dark days before feminism, when everything was made of American steel, college man-boys would flex their vitality by invading women’s dormitories and sororities, riffling through their clothing and tossing bras, panties, and lingerie out the windows and drag it home like a freshly-killed deer. For so many reasons, I cringe at this, chiefly because many Americans consider this era the Good Ol’ Days.
Simple trend: run around naked. Funny in some ways, exhibitionist in others and a borderline felony in all, streaking was very popular in the 70s. From time to time, you’ll still hear of people running naked onto sports fields to the cheers of the crowd. It’s one of our country’s longest-running fads.
I always think of actor David Niven’s quip after a streaker invaded the 1974 Academy Awards: “…Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?” David Niven equals the man.
I saved this for last because it was and is the most dangerous fad I found. And people still do it! In the 1980s, the car surfing trend of hopping on a vehicle’s roof and riding it like a surfboard through the streets became popular enough to feature it in the iconic film Teen Wolf.
I remember watching that scene as a child and thinking Micheal J. Fox was the coolest dude ever: car-surfing as a werewolf while time traveling in his souped-up DeLorean (I was young and confused). But dozens of people have been killed in real-life car surfing. In fact, from 1990-2008, at least 58 people have died car surfing.
The Take Away? People are People.
Before I shake my head and wonder how kids today could be so dumb that they’d chomp on packets of laundry detergent or swallow heaping spoonfuls of cinnamon, I remember some of the ridiculously stupid things I did as a kid and still do today. I won’t list them in fear of family members reading this. Or even my kids. They shall believe their father was born wise until I can’t fool them anymore.
The only difference between the emerging YouTube generation, my generation and even my grandparents’ generation is the means of videotaping our stupidity. Nothing else has changed.