The Herd

2 Cuul 4 Schuul

Daniel Follansbehrens, Staff Writer

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Alright boys and girls, it’s time we had a little talk. Now apparently some people feel that a problem has manifested itself in the very walls of Kennebunk High School, and the powers that be(th Carlson) wanted me to write an article to address this pressing issue. Why me, you may ask? Well, obviously my superiors felt I was the best person to reach out to a hurting student body, perhaps because of my natural charm, my innate relatability, possibly even my sharp wit or devilishly good looks. Honestly I’m not sure — like a good little IB student, I’m just doing as I’m told, no need to question it. Whatever the reason, it’s happening, so let me get to the point: Stop with the juuling already.

Honestly, the fact that I even have to talk about this is pretty pathetic. Come on, guys, you’re better than this. There’s just so much wrong with juuling being so popular that it’s considered an actual problem. (Wow, I love how nicotine is more expensive than pot, more addictive than pot, more physically harmful than pot, and less effective than pot! It’s the perfect drug!) When considering the sheer finances of this obnoxious little hobby, I started to realize why our school’s email chains resemble intellectual dumpster fires. Seriously, if you wanted to drop thirty-five dollars on something that makes you look like a complete loser, you could’ve just contributed to Bernie Sanders’ campaign. The mere fact that pods are sold for five bucks each proves that this product was created specifically for freshmen. If you want a nice buzz for five dollars, at least make it worth your while and get yourself some meth. (Now apparently I should note that you shouldn’t buy meth, but if you weren’t aware of that already you may be too far gone.)

At first I thought maybe I just don’t get it. Perhaps in my old age I’ve become overly bitter and cynical of everything. It’s been a decently long time since my self-esteem was low enough to consider doing something as dumb as juuling, so it’s entirely possible that I’ve just forgotten what it feels like. Hoping to get some more perspective, I took to the halls. I managed to find one student who has been known to enjoy a nice juul hit from time to time. He agreed to answer a few questions for me. (Please note that we have changed the student’s name for the sake of privacy.) Here’s how our exchange went:

DAN BEHRENS: So, what exactly makes juuling so appealing?

“DONALD McKEVIN”: Oh man dude it was crazy like on the way over here just now I was going 80 in a 35 and like I hit a cat and my car almost went off the road but like I—

DAN BEHRENS: Sorry, I think you might have misheard me. I asked about juuling?

“DONALD McKEVIN”: No yeah so then I passed a cop and I was freaking out so bad but somehow he didn’t pull me over I got so lucky I was worried I was gonna have to evade them again cuz like last time I had to swerve down a back road and lose them and—

DAN BEHRENS: Okay we’re done here.

I remain confused.

However, as nonsensical as juuling is, it’s not like this is a particularly new phenomenon. In fact, the official psychological term for what we’re seeing is called the “Lil Pump Conundrum.” Specifically, this is when something becomes massively popular, despite everyone knowing that it’s stupid. Most times, these things start off as a dumb meme or a new story, and after society comes to the general consensus that the thing in question is completely idiotic, everyone does it anyways. For years, there’s been certain trends that follow this pattern, each one dying only when the next one took its place. This is why fidget spinners were a thing. It’s why dabbing lasted as long as it did. It even explains the existence of mullets.

Listen, I know you’ve heard plenty of people go on about why you shouldn’t do drugs. At this point half of Bruce’s job is tracking you losers down and giving you lectures about it. But I’m not telling you to think about the risks of health problems, addiction, and all that. I’m just saying go big or go home. In the past month I’ve heard at least five parents and teachers describe juuling/vaping as an “epidemic.” (Now I agree that the word “epidemic” is a fear-mongering load of crap, but that’s not my point.) What I’m trying to say is that the defining concern of Kennebunk High School right now is freaking JUULING. That’s just lame. We might as well just change our mascot to a loaf of white bread, because clearly we have the most basic student populous in the country. Other towns are worried about the number of children getting pregnant, getting involved in gangs, doing drugs that are actually worth some concern, and here we are worried about e-cigs. The Sanford kids are laughing at us, guys!

At the end of the day, I really don’t care what you do with your life. But still, I hope you’ll consider what I’ve told you and make the decision to stop being the reason the school won’t trust us enough to let us into the courtyard next year. I guess what I’m really trying to say is… I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.

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2 Cuul 4 Schuul