Cupp: Tide pod insanity -- it's better that we know

I was recently fumbling around on the internet, as we all do to pass the 20-minute train ride or the three-minute wai...

Posted: Jan 19, 2018 11:46 AM
Updated: Jan 19, 2018 11:46 AM

I was recently fumbling around on the internet, as we all do to pass the 20-minute train ride or the three-minute wait for dry cleaning, and found myself engrossed in TED talks by teenagers.

You know TED talks -- those brainy but often pretentious lectures given by thought leaders in technology, entertainment and design. Well, a handful of super-impressive teenagers have done some truly incredible things -- things like built a nuclear fusion reactor (don't worry, it's benevolent), or developed a test for pancreatic cancer, or combated child marriage.

If these kids are our future leaders, we're in good hands. On the other hand, in a Venn diagram of teenagers, I'm betting there's little to no overlap between these world-changing go-getters and the simple-minded dolts who are behind the so-called "Tide pod challenge," a moronic attention-getting stunt where teens record themselves putting laundry pods in their mouths -- incidentally, the last place you'd want to put one. Or at least, one of the last -- but let's not give them any dumb(er) ideas.

A spokesperson for the American Association of Poison Control Centers says that in the first 11 days of 2018, there had been 40 reported exposures to liquid laundry detergent pods by 13- to 19-year-olds, a group otherwise known as "should know better." More than half of those have been deliberate.

In case you didn't know that putting toxic chemicals in your mouth was unwise, here's a doctor to spell it out. "They can cause burns in the mouth," says Dr. Rais Vohra, a medical toxicologist at UCSF Fresno. "If the liquid bursts open and goes in the back of the throat, they could cause burns in the back of the throat which would necessitate an ER visit or even ICU admission."

Duh. But try dishing out this cold, hard "science" to a generation that has also embarked on other such pioneering and noble journeys to answer important questions like: What happens when I snort a condom? And: How much powdered cinnamon can I ingest before needing to call poison control?

Poor Tide, which unwittingly finds itself at the lose-lose end of a terrible public relations nightmare, in which it must defend its product against the primal idiocy of suburban teenage ennui, at a time when laundry pods may be plentiful but good sense isn't.

As adults, the easy response to this is to roll our eyes, shake our fists and yell "get off my lawn!" to those dumb kids.

But actually, there's good news in all of this inanity.

As lamentable as social media can be for giving every would-be teenage idiot a platform to showcase their harebrained gags, it also gives the rest of us a way to instantly see and judge them.

Before YouTube and Snapchat and Instagram, we had little idea what dumb fads, subversive trends and dangerous pranks were sweeping the basements, mall food courts and parking lots across the country. When and if they ever surfaced, it was often too late for many caught up in the underground waves of peer pressure.

But thanks to this generation's unique and timely obsession with DIY stardom and over-sharing, we know immediately, in real-time.

Look at the lightning-fast reaction to YouTube celebrity Logan Paul. On December 31, 2017, he posted a grotesque video of himself fooling around in front of a dead body in Japan's "suicide forest." Following immediate public outrage, on January 1, 2018 he took the video down and issued his first of several apologies.

By January 10, YouTube had removed Paul's channels from its ad program, placed his YouTube film on hold, and cut him from the fourth season of his YouTube series "Foursome." Justice in the age of oversharing is swift.

That's good news for concerned parents, so long as they take the time to scour the nets for these latest fads and keep a watchful eye on their kids' social media pages.

It's also good news for the rest of us who are saddened by the perversion of our favorite laundry pod brand. Tide has unleashed none other than teenage kids' favorite big kid, Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, to tell them, in language they can understand, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36680

Reported Deaths: 1250
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds299254
DeSoto195920
Madison148439
Jones122449
Harrison117716
Rankin112619
Neshoba104677
Forrest103843
Lauderdale96681
Scott82415
Jackson79819
Washington73713
Copiah67016
Leake63420
Lee62822
Oktibbeha61928
Grenada6049
Warren60021
Holmes59541
Lamar5837
Wayne56519
Yazoo5607
Lowndes54817
Leflore53456
Lincoln53335
Lafayette5064
Pike50520
Sunflower5048
Monroe46135
Panola4546
Covington4465
Simpson4433
Bolivar41218
Tate39213
Attala38624
Newton37610
Adams35820
Pontotoc3556
Marion34512
Claiborne30811
Pearl River30332
Winston30111
Chickasaw30019
Marshall2923
Jasper2816
Noxubee2799
Walthall2708
Clay26111
Union25412
Smith25212
Coahoma2306
Clarke22325
Lawrence2132
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18211
Montgomery1793
Calhoun1705
Humphreys16910
Hancock14813
Itawamba1478
Tippah14611
Webster13411
Jefferson1283
Prentiss1274
Jefferson Davis1254
Tunica1253
George1233
Greene11610
Amite1123
Alcorn1072
Tishomingo1061
Quitman1011
Wilkinson989
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 54768

Reported Deaths: 1096
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
Lawrence1360
Crenshaw1323
Cherokee1247
Geneva980
Lamar891
Clay852
Fayette851
Coosa661
Cleburne451
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 80°
Columbus
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 74°
Oxford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather