Yesterday, I was at the Lowe’s in Alachua. At the checkout stand, I was asked if I was over 21 in order to buy spray paint- a testament to the penchant for some youths to exercise less than sound judgment and risk their lives for the momentary high caused by huffing. A “gentleman” behind me lamented that he was also asked this “ridiculous” question and said,“Let them die- I call it cleansing the gene pool.” He expounded further on his opinion and ended with,“Who cares?”

The cashier and I tried to explain the poor decision making skills of young people and how one poor decision shouldn’t cost someone their life. He wasn’t buying it. However, we did establish that: 1. He has no children (“I’m too smart for that”); 2. he does autopsies (in actuality, he works with a pathologist:“I was pre med….”); 3. he recently informed the family of a 13 year old that she had died after the first incident of huffing (“what a waste”- though he didn’t specify if it was a waste of a promising young life or of his time….).

The cashier shared that she had lost her 17 year old nephew to a similar event and that there are no amount of safeguards that are enough to protect our children. Our dissenter was unmoved and unsympathetic. The cashier was visibly shaken.

I confronted our guy in the parking lot and he held fast to his position. When I noted that his opinion was callus and unfeeling, given the reaction of the cashier, he said,“yup- I’m callus and unfeeling and it doesn’t bother me a bit.”

SO, for the man who drives a grey Chevrolet Tahoe with the FL license plate 182HHY, I hope your employer has enough sense to refrain from exposing YOU to any more of the families of the deceased. Your attitude has no place in such emotionally fragile situations. I am also grateful you have no children. Karma will provide you with just remuneration for your callus, outspoken perspectives. In the meantime, blessings to those who have lost their loved ones because a youthful lack of understanding of the risks they undertake.

Kathy Chelini
Nurse Practitioner