Monday, July 21, 2003


A local pizza joint decorates the walls with children's artwork. The selection up there must have resulted from an assignment to create artwork on the theme of "not using drugs and alcohol."

In the picture, a cute kid sits in a chair reading a book. Nearby a bottle of hooch sits discarded in the garbage can. On close inspection, the bottle appears to be full. One might wonder why the kid bought the bottle in the first place, and which crazed store clerk sold it without asking for ID. But the general idea of the piece works pretty well. A lot of times I'd rather read than drink alcohol too, though at times the two can make a relaxing combination.

I find the second drawing much more puzzling. It shows a desert scene, with a hot sun blazing down on a sandy landscape full of cacti. A large hole occupies the foreground, and the top of a shovel (apparently wielded by an unseen worker deep within) can be seen emerging from it. A pile nearby is helpfully labeled "Dirt." The picture's slogan says, "I'd rather dig a hole than drink alcohol."

I'm afraid you've lost me on this one, kiddo. Dig a hole . . . at least 8 feet deep . . . in the desert . . . in the blazing midday sun? This is better than drinking alcohol? Hmm. At the very least, I'd want a nice cold beer after I got done digging the hole. I like the artwork, but the slogan really confuses me. Here are some suggestions for more appealing slogans:

"I'd rather win the lottery than drink alcohol."

"I'd rather discover the secret of immortality than drink alcohol."

Or even: "I'd rather drink something that has the same effects and taste as alcohol but produces no hangover than drink alcohol."

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