9/14/2006 03:00:00 PM|||Andy|||You know things are serious when your best friend dies. And it's not that my best friend died, I'm just saying that's when you know things are serious. Your good buddy kicks off to see that big busty blonde in the sky and you just look around and say to yourself "It's real. Yes, it's real."
It is going to happen to kids on playgrounds everywhere. The guy they used to pick last in kickball will no longer be around. The person they used to push on the swing will have done their last superman only days earlier. Billy's first school crush won't have her ponytail available for yanking, nor will he be able to sneak a peek at her underwear. And maybe at lunch time no one will be at the "cool table."
A new epidemic has arisen in the United States and while most trundle about their everyday lives blindly to it, I would like to make my large1 reading audience aware of its pandemic overtaking of schoolrooms everywhere. What am I talking about? You ask. Is he just making up stupid crap again? You suppose. I'm afraid it's all too real. "It" is called "Chuffing."
(Here we see an old photo of a middle-aged Chuffer)
Invented by the Dutch in 976 AD as a way to oust witchery from small towns, Chuffing is the act of huffing up chalk dust that has been dispelled by either grinding chalk up in a large complicated mill, or, more currently, banging erasers together. It was thought that chuffing was largely forgotten about once the majority of Dutch Witches had been chased into chasms or consumed by villager-lit forest fires at the ends of complicated traps into which they had been enticed by chuff-dust, but apparently its back.
(Here we see a demonstration of extracting a "Chuffing Cloud" from everyday blackboard erasers)
Parents in rural towns in the Midwest have been affected most so far and their cries of outrage are finally starting to be recognized by local media. They've had to start spanking again and they are NOT happy about it. Says Florence Mills of South Dakota about her son, Teddy:
"My son goes to West Central and yesterday when he came home he had a funny white powder all over his nose. When I asked him what it was he just ran to his room. I went through his bag and found two erasers he had stolen from school and noticed he had written in sharpie on his backpack - 'Don't Sotp Chuffin.'"
More stories are cropping up everyday about kids just like Teddy Mills. The kids get hooked when they're asked to stay after school to bang the erasers out and inevitably end up inhaling vast amounts of chalk dust. Here's what happens.
A child bangs two erasers together to disspell chalk particles into the air. Said child then steps into the cloud and inahles. The bits of chalk enter the nervous system through the lungs and the child is sent into a state of euphoria, not unlike the one achieved by hitting a homer in whiffle ball or calling their "crush" and then hanging up the phone immediately.
(Valerie Little in mid-chuff)
Valerie Little (pictured above) was kind enough to sit down and talk a little about Chuffing. Her story:
"It all started a few months ago. It was my last period of the day and I had just finished up drawing pretty stars on my social studies bookcover that I made myself out of a brown paper bag. Anyway, I was asked to stay behind and help clean out the erasers. This took about 15 minutes and I realized as I was leaving the class room I was high as a kite. I immediately told all my friends 'our days of sniffing glue and getting high off of empty hair-spray cans is over!' I started a local chuff-club and now it's practically all we do."
Sadly the mortality rate of a Chuffer versus that of a normal child is stratospheric. When will it end? Do your part and join your local PTA's efforts to stop Chuffing. I urge you, before its too late.
1Small|||115818519344615909|||Chuffing: An Epidemic