Someone comes up to you on hump day and tells you to observe "Weedless Wednesday"—what do you think they're driving at?
Personally, I'd think to myself: "OK, Mike, this is your guardian angel telling you to stop living your life like it's a Cypress Hill album."
But not in Canada—oh no. Sure, you can run hash bars with a wink-wink from the mounties in Vancouver, but try to smoke a cigarette and you're liable to be frowned upon by not only the cops, but by every vigilant nonsmoking advocate in Canuck County.
You see, "Weedless Wednesday" is Canada's national nonsmoking (cigarettes) day. Personally, if they didn't want to confuse tobacco with cannabis, I'd recommend they switch it to "Smokeless Sunday," but whatever.
Despite the clamp-down efforts of Weedless Wednesdays celebrated nationwide, Canada's teen smoking rates rose steadily throughout the '90s, which recently compelled government officials to propose that all cigarette packs carry "color photographs of diseased hearts and cancerous lungs and lips" (The New York Times, 1/20/00).
While we may think our own stern warning from the Surgeon General to be harsh enough, the Canucks sure as hell don't—and neither does New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. "Our current cigarette warning labels are an international embarrassment," wrote Lautenberg in a statement issued after Canada's announcement.
Let's assume Frank's right and place the following "labels" on the products listed below. That way, we'll be an international leader, not an embarrassment—living up to our self-proclaimed rep as the only true superpower.
Beer: All the government would have to do to dissuade beer drinking would be to slap a postgame color picture of any Seahawks fan with season tickets in the 300 level on cans of Old Milwaukee.
David Crosby's Sperm: Feeling terrible regret over letting the country's most popular celebrity sperm donor produce an actual child via Melissa Etheridge's obscure film director and partner, the government applies this warning to the CSN/Byrds crooner's sperm: "There's no middle ground with this sperm—you're either going to get a guy who smokes crack in a Learjet all the way to rehab or a chap with an incredible voice. Either way, your kid's gonna have one helluva handlebar mustache."
Chee-tos: To deter the consumption of Chee-tos, our bureaucrats could require that all Chee-tos bags bear the message "Not even a thorough scrubbing with an SOS pad will get the orange powdery shit off your hands."
Drakkar Noir: The government requires all bottles of this cologne to bear the warning "Spraying this on your neck is tantamount to painting 'Manhandle Me, I'm Gay' across your forehead."
Alan Keyes & Gary Bauer Wannabes: Furthering their efforts to promote gay rights, the government requires all radical homophobic zealots to wear T-shirts inscribed with the words "Blacks, Jews, and Women Were Once Oppressed But Now Have Equal Rights. And the reason I oppose gay marriage is . . .? Um . . . Gee—I Guess I Really Am a Modern-Day Hitler."
Pepperoni Sticks: In keeping with Madison Avenue's new "sarcasm sells" trend, all pepperoni stick wrappers now invite readers to chow down with the message "If you like sitting on a porcelain throne all night instead of sleeping, then eat me, why dontcha?!"
The New Santana CD: The government slaps Carlos' Billboard chart-topper with a warning reading "Don't ever sell out this blatantly—there's far more dignity in retirement."
Domino's Pizza: The government calls the company's pizza what it is by requiring Domino's delivery drivers to remind hungry but confused customers that "I didn't just give you a box full of cardboard—that's actually pizza."
The Washington State Capitol Building: The state Legislature decides to warn all visitors of its white trash composition by placing an old Black Angus marquee on the tip of the dome.
The City of Bellevue: Happy-go-lucky bachelors beware, as the women of Bellevue vote unanimously to post a warning sign on all singles bars within the city limits bearing the message "Make under $90K? Don't have RealNetworks stock options? Don't drive a Beamer? Don't own a fly pad on Meydenbauer Bay? Then you can fucking forget about it, you sorry-ass loser."
Twenty Dollar Bills: Vices again, this time with a bubble caption coming out of Andrew Jackson's head on the bill bearing the message "Never use me as a cash-in-hand double down on a Reno blackjack table. I was President of the United States, for chrissakes—show a little respect."
Actually, just buy the chips first before doubling down. There's always a way around government regulation.