An Evening To Remember

(2022-11-13 10:32:04) 下一個


Early October brought a somber evening when parents thronged the school theater

for one hour of panel discussion on substance abuse and especially fentanyl. Mr.

Ed Ternan who lost a college son to an innocent-looking pill drove the message

home: as a parent, you have to be aware. The meeting was well-timed as Bill just

finished reading a book on the history of opium.


Its low cost and dosage have made fentanyl the killer, Mr. Ternan said. Unlike

plant-based opiods which depend on the the lengthy process of cultivation and

distillation of poppies, fentanyl is synthesized in labs from cheap raw materials.

As a result, it has flooded the illegal drug markets. Popular recreational drugs

including heroin, cocaine, and marijuana can be doctored with fentanyl to

increase their appeal to addicts. It is so potent, however, that a tiny extra

amount can lead to overdose and for drug-makers (who don't want to kill their

customers), it is just hard to control product quality. Out of one million pills

mass-produced, a 0.1 percent defect rate could kill 100 people.


Mr. Ternan said little on the source of the lethal agent except that it was

mainly from Mexico with raw materials from China. It sounded ironic that opium

has been banned in the atavistic east Asian state, known for its barbarous

totalitarianism, since 1950s and Bill grew up knowing nothing about

narcotics and meanwhile, the clever free West has kept inventing life-saving

anesthetics along with one crisis after another.


For many reasons people drug themselves. There is a culture here where people

don't seem scared or ashamed of taking a pill or a drink to feel good.

Stories such as happiness and success are flames bright enough to draw aspiring

devotees from all over and make them do whatever. Counter-examples such as

Sebastian Junger refusing depression drugs (because the depression was HIS) are

rare. Bill could not afford to be oblivious and felt good about being informed.

That night, "Do not accept any food or drink, e.g., at a party, if you are not

sure of its source." was the message he brought back to his son.


Under peer pressure, the teenager has already started experiments with energy

drinks such as Gatorade and caffeinated products such as Liquid IV, and G Fuel.

It was only a small relief that the kid was open about it. He wouldn't take

coffee, however, which Bill offered instead. The boy of course wanted to be with

his friends, Bill understood without being told. This was how the new generation

was to separate and trying to control would be futile and make things worse. All

he could do is to keep on good terms with his son, try to set an example, stay

alert, and hope to influence.

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閱讀 ()評論 (6)
7grizzly 回複 悄悄話 回複 '暖冬cool夏' 的評論 :
Thank you again for your compliments, my friend, and even more for your critical
reading. I have lived long enough to realize that mistakes are information. I
appreciate your pointing out the obvious typos and bringing up topics for
discussion, which reminds me that in college, the professors are paid to do
exactly that. I'm lucky to have a friend doing it for me.

I will keep my eyes open for the usage you mentioned.
暖冬cool夏 回複 悄悄話 回複 '7grizzly' 的評論 : It's actually very natural to be followed with "to" as an infinitive, however the exception is made due to the occurrence of the word "do". So strictly "All he can do is keep on good terms..." is considered correct, though it is also likely that as the language evolves, people accept both:)). Keep an eye in your future readings and you will come across the usage. (I remember one time my husband asked me as to why there is no "to" in a similar sentence, as it sounds awkward without it).
I know I sometimes have an itch to point out any tiny typo in your writing, a habit possibly passed along from my career as a teacher:))). Hope you don't mind. In terms of English proficiency and writing in particular, you are way above me. Your writing is so mature and meticulous that one can barely find mistakes. Your English writing itself is even better than the well-known writer Ha Jin's, in every perspective, the structure, word choices, breadth, etc. (I am not comparing the contents though.) This is a fact, not a compliment:))
Happy reading and writing, my friend!
7grizzly 回複 悄悄話 回複 '暖冬cool夏' 的評論 : So far, I've only seen the 'with to' case, e.g., as
explained at https://www.englishgrammar.org/infinitive-clause-subject-object/
where it is called an "infinitive clause as complement."

Thank you for liking the other post. Happy Thanksgiving!
暖冬cool夏 回複 悄悄話 I just googled it. It looks like both could be right, with or without "to". Somehow, I was taught that grammatically if there is the word "do" in the subject, it will be followed without "to". I guess I only know one side of it, or the grammar is too old to observe:))
Your new post is VERY beautifully written!! Happy holidays!
7grizzly 回複 悄悄話 回複 '暖冬cool夏' 的評論 :
Thank you, 暖冬, for reading and your kind words. Yes. Bill is a firm believer in
staying aware of bad things. He idolizes Eeyore.

'to keep ...' leads an infinitive phrase to serve as the object of the sentence.
So I it's all right.
暖冬cool夏 回複 悄悄話 People here, or young ones, are prone to take medications, regardless of necessity. Bill has a keen awareness and is pertinent to some prevalent social issues. It's a good read, as always.
If you don't mind, there is no "to" in the last sentence before "keep".