Magic Addict Versus Meth Mouth

 

It’s Funny Until Someone Gets Meth Mouth

Over the weekend, The New York Times identified an additional problem with being a Crystal Methamphetamine addict. Sure, there’s the dangerous equipment needed to make the drug — a high percentage of the Meth labs explode due to the unstable mixture of chemicals.

And then there’s the complete lack of desire to sleep, eat, groom, or focus on any thing or any subject for more than fifteen seconds. And who could forget the need to steal from loved ones, strangers, strange loved ones, or find other non-edifying methods of picking up a quick $50.00?

Well, The Paper of Record reported Crystal-Meth addicts also fail to brush their teeth (much less floss) on a regular basis. They rarely see their dentist; and when they do eat, they consume junk food. This pattern of anti-hygiene combines with the caustic over-heated smoke addicts need to inhale for their fix to turn their teeth black, kill their gums, and coat their mouth with gross stuff. Meth Mouth is the term scientists and sociologists use to describe the syndrome.

We are guessing Meth Mouth is not pretty. We also note David Copperfield made a point of saying in his most recent Branson News-Leader article that he will brush his teeth in the two hours between the times his plane lands in the Ozarks and he takes the stage at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater. He may wish to be “very urban” but not “Meth Mouthian Urban.”

Anyway, in keeping with the Times, The Noblesville (IN) Daily Times profiles Ryan Demler’s life in magic as a joyful addiction. Like many addictions, it took away from his studies (he left Ball State’s Architecture program because he was missing too many classes when performing), got him involved with similar addicts, kept him from working in a “real job,” and is apparently likely to be inherited by his progeny. Significantly, the paper does not suggest he has anything approaching Meth Mouth.

Mr. Demler began his addiction the same way most of us began. He was introduced to the powerful drug by a family member or friend. Perhaps it was the trust of the relationship or the apparently innocent dosage — he described it as a “small magic kit” — but he was hooked.

He experienced the Beginner’s Buzz — that cheap, fast high so easily obtained by the young and innocent. Read his words and feel his pain, “I’d do these little, easy, stupid tricks that would fool all these adults,” he said. “I just thought it was hilarious.”

Sure, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt or forgets to floss.

He moved from casual user to a pro in four years. Now, he’s hooked and hooked hard. He’s found folks to enable his passion, his addiction. “Now at the age of 22, the Noblesville resident performs at Michelangelo?s restaurant during its Wednesday ‘kids eat free’ night, along with other restaurants and venues around Central…

 

It’s Funny Until Someone Gets Meth Mouth

Over the weekend, The New York Times identified an additional problem with being a Crystal Methamphetamine addict. Sure, there’s the dangerous equipment needed to make the drug — a high percentage of the Meth labs explode due to the unstable mixture of chemicals.

And then there’s the complete lack of desire to sleep, eat, groom, or focus on any thing or any subject for more than fifteen seconds. And who could forget the need to steal from loved ones, strangers, strange loved ones, or find other non-edifying methods of picking up a quick $50.00?

Well, The Paper of Record reported Crystal-Meth addicts also fail to brush their teeth (much less floss) on a regular basis. They rarely see their dentist; and when they do eat, they consume junk food. This pattern of anti-hygiene combines with the caustic over-heated smoke addicts need to inhale for their fix to turn their teeth black, kill their gums, and coat their mouth with gross stuff. Meth Mouth is the term scientists and sociologists use to describe the syndrome.

We are guessing Meth Mouth is not pretty. We also note David Copperfield made a point of saying in his most recent Branson News-Leader article that he will brush his teeth in the two hours between the times his plane lands in the Ozarks and he takes the stage at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater. He may wish to be “very urban” but not “Meth Mouthian Urban.”

Anyway, in keeping with the Times, The Noblesville (IN) Daily Times profiles Ryan Demler’s life in magic as a joyful addiction. Like many addictions, it took away from his studies (he left Ball State’s Architecture program because he was missing too many classes when performing), got him involved with similar addicts, kept him from working in a “real job,” and is apparently likely to be inherited by his progeny. Significantly, the paper does not suggest he has anything approaching Meth Mouth.

Mr. Demler began his addiction the same way most of us began. He was introduced to the powerful drug by a family member or friend. Perhaps it was the trust of the relationship or the apparently innocent dosage — he described it as a “small magic kit” — but he was hooked.

He experienced the Beginner’s Buzz — that cheap, fast high so easily obtained by the young and innocent. Read his words and feel his pain, “I’d do these little, easy, stupid tricks that would fool all these adults,” he said. “I just thought it was hilarious.”

Sure, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt or forgets to floss.

He moved from casual user to a pro in four years. Now, he’s hooked and hooked hard. He’s found folks to enable his passion, his addiction. “Now at the age of 22, the Noblesville resident performs at Michelangelo?s restaurant during its Wednesday ‘kids eat free’ night, along with other restaurants and venues around Central Indiana.”

Ironic, yes? “Kids Eat Free” but what they dine on is the same addictive eye-candy responsible for his own stumbling sprint towards junkie status.

His teachers and principal noted his change, his new lifestyle. In fact, when Mr. Demler received his high school diploma, the principal said, “Now, don’t make this disappear.”

The true junkies among us know the kind of pressure this type of statement creates.

“Why, no! Oh, of course not. I would never think of making it ‘disappear.’ Heh, heh. No, I wasn’t just now thinking about a torn and restored version of the diploma, or using a change bag to show I graduated with honors.”

The sweat forms on our upper lip even as we write this dialogue. We’ve all been there.

“Got to keep straight. Must not let on. Don’t think about magic all the time, no. No, no, not all the time. Why would you say that to me Mr. Principal Man? Did I look like that’s what I was thinking? Cuz, I wasn’t.”

One of the signs of addiction is the junkie’s inability to see it as anything more than a hobby, a lifestyle. Consider the Freudian reality revealed by these apparently innocent words:

“I have the best job in the world,” Mr. Demler said. “When I go to work, I never say, ‘I’m going to work,’ because it isn’t. It’s like three hours of play time for me.”

Play time, indeed. Play time in on the rust-covered monkey bars on the lava-coated playground of Hell!

There’s no tough love available for Mr. Demler. The paper reports “Michelangelo?s general manager Alex Cunion said it’s beneficial for the restaurant, too. “We have a lot of calls asking if the magician will be in the restaurant on certain nights, and we’ve progressively gotten busier,” Mr. Cunion said. “We’ve kind of been helping each other out.”

We don’t know of a single record producer who ever complained about Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin’s addictions as long as they were kicking out top hits. Those suits in the big Hollywood studios were, like Michelangelo?s, “helping each other out.”

Some will or have said an addiction to magic is not as bad as a similar physical need for heroin or Crystal-Meth. We see it as no different. Same slippery slope, different skateboard. The paper doesn’t tell the whole story, the story we all know.

Going to a magic convention? Have you already planned how to hide the money you’re going to take, the credit card bills you’ll receive, and the tricks you will bring back but never use? Have any friends? We mean real friends. Not just people who hang around you to sell you something, or learn a sleight. We mean normal people, who are willing to take a card, mark a coin, think of a number, or reach in your pockets.

(The last example deals with the Cards to Pocket and nothing unsavory. Magicians don’t think that way. They see beautiful men or women as great audience volunteers. A Date to them is the one day out of the month they have a paying gig. Engagement means two paying gigs at the same place within the same year. Love is just a four-letter word that can be spelled from one end of a line of six cards to find a prediction. Commitment is the willingness to learn back palming with your non-dominant hand. And Stability is something sought in a Floating Table or Zombie Gimmick.)

Mr. Demler’s son is a mere ten months but already he is being nursed on Magician’s Milk. “There’s this trick where you hold a coin in the palm of your hand so it looks like it’s disappeared, and I had my son try it once and I swear he did it. I was like, ‘That’s my boy.'”

A lifetime of trying to perfect the Perfect Pass and viewing every piece of office equipment as a potential prop versus Meth Mouth. It’s a non-choice, people! Wake-up!

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