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Movies: Do romantic comedies make you want to puke? Mothers Who Think: The specimen cup runneth over--drug testing Books: Family Phrases

Published June 14, 1999 6:06PM (EDT)

Do romantic comedies make you want to puke?

Movies | Mike Backus - 06:41am Jun 10, 1999 PDT (# 70 of 117)

To me, the two main problems with romantic comedies are they posit a
(basically conservative) world view that everyone (though particularly
women) is desperately looking for love, they fall back on cliche after
cliche (woman more desperate, man hesitant, losers abound) and for me the
biggest problem, they structure such movies like action films with the
climax being the two people finally find love. Now anyone who's lived past
16 knows finding love is one thing but living with it day in and day out is
quite another; in other words, most of these movies end where I think they
should begin.

The specimen cup runneth over--drug testing

Mothers Who Think | Erin McGinty - 08:09pm Jun 6, 1999 PDT (# 25 of 124)

I have administered and witnessed very many urinalyses for drugs. Some of
these were OnTrak tests with cards, reagents, and droppers; most were sent
by courier or mail to a lab. Some comments:

I believe the poster who cited $25 per test for 50% results is incorrect.
At one job, we sent specimens to a local lab for about $13 per test. When a
client protested a positive result vociferously, or if the test was
positive for amphetamines when that was not the drug of choice, we ordered
a gas chromotography. None of those re-tests that I was involved in
revealed a false positive. (Re: amphetamines: depending on the type of test
used, some drugs, most notably antihistamines, decongestants, and ephedra
can throw false positives.)

Drug tests can screen for alcohol. They cannot prove anything illegal
happened. They also have a very small window - you have to have been
drinking the night before, for the most part, to show up positive.

Pre-employment drug tests are primarily going to catch marijuana users.
Cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and methamphetamines leave the system in
about 72 hours. I think the same is true for benzodiazepines (Valium) and
tranquilizers. There is no reliable test that I know of for psychedelics.
(I heard one pitchman say there was - with a four-hour window. This means
if we UA'd the person in the 4 hours after he ingested the drug, it would
show up. I'm thinking, "Thanks, pal, but the HUGELY DILATED PUPILS would
probably tip me off at that point.") THC stays in the urine for 30 days or
more, in the case of a frequent smoker. Thus, the least harmful and most
common illegal drug is the most targeted.

Drug tests are not that difficult to beat. Treatment and criminal justice
professionals typically witness the sample collection (i.e., watch the
testee pee), and even that is not foolproof, especially when getting a
sample from a woman. When the test is not witnessed, any self respecting
addict can find a way to smuggle urine into the collection bathroom (and
even have it at body temperature). This means the ones caught in the web
are the casual users to whom such subterfuge does not occur.

I do not favor pre-employment or school drug testing. IMO, it is a huge
infringement on one's rights with very little potential positive effect.

Family Phrases

Books | Serin McDaniel - 09:09am Jun 9, 1999 PDT (# 113 of 160)

People who lived in my dorm in college used "sell their stock" as a
euphemism for having sex. Seems someone's economics professor had used the
familar slap-the-back-of-one-hand-into-the-palm-of-the-other gesture while
saying the words "sell their stock," so the words took on the gesture's

The spouse and I have a tendency to give things names. So a local
supermarket called Thompson's, which looks like a church from the 1960s, is
"St. Thompson's." The dishes my husband leaves in the sink when he thinks
he's finished washing are "dishtails."

We used to have a black-and-white cat named Alice, so anything with
black-and-white spots is an Alice whatever. ("the Alice dog" is a
neighborhood dog, and the children of that family are "the Alice dog's

Any car that drives by with the bass thumping so loud we can hear it in the
house is "the Crack Man" (like the Ice Cream Man; the full sentence is,
"Mommy! Daddy! It's the Crack Man! Can I have ten thousand dollars?")

Some of our fellow church members are "The Shy Mouse People with their Shy
Mouse Baby"; for some reason we go to a church with lots of tall people,
who are, en masse, "the Tall Greyhound People." (Hey, maybe this is why we
can't remember anybody's name.)

We used to eat a lot at a restaurant called Cheddar's, which tended to go
to far in its recipes. (Cheesecake ... with gingersnap crust ... and
raspberry topping ... and white-chocolate sprinkles ...) So anything that
goes too far is said to have "Cheddar's disease."

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