Street Talk

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The Independent Culture
The fortnightly column that puts words in your mouth. This week:

CANNABIS

So a third of schoolchildren smoke dope, according to the latest survey. One assumes the other two-thirds couldn't remember, which is probably all there is to worry about - the short-term memory problem. After all, a class of kids caned on spliff would be too blissed out to need any other kind of caning, although ganja does make you sort of forgetful, and getting spaced out on sinsemilla doesn't really improve your concentration.

You could hold their attention in woodwork by teaching them how to make joints, and in geography by talking about Red Leb, Acapulco gold and Pakistani black. A cookery class on the wonders of the herb might go down well, but after a few tokes of Aunt Mary, maths would be a bust with kids who think a number is something you roll. And you wouldn't want to teach history to a bunch of junior space cadets so blasted they think yesterday was, like, you know, history.

Forget the milk monitor. Now Charlie, it's your turn to score for 4B and I want you and Sharon to make the connection and get us all some good blow. And don't use that bagman of Ruth's because his gear is no good and no one got off at all last week. Now we don't want another downer like that one, do we? Try that nice candyman who got us all maxed on that Thai charge at last year's sports day. And speaking of candy, you know you get the munchies when you're blitzed, so don't forget the Crunchie bars and Jaffa cakes.

And the sick notes: please excuse Jimmy from gym because he's off his face. Sorry, Lysette can't swim today because she's out of her box. Please allow Maxine to skin up at breaktime as she has her period and it helps her to stay cool. Sorry I'm late, Miss, I burnt my finger on a roach while I was waiting for the man to come across with my skunk.

Should we worry that teenagers are going out to puff on a little Mary Jane in their lunch hour? Of the drugs they could pick, better one that makes them mostly giggle and crave chocolate than something that makes them fighting mad, no? All right, so sometimes when they're smashed they forget things, their names for instance, but worse things could happen. Chill.

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