Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gentlemen's Agreement

Some local high school athletes died, and the media was all over it. It turned out they'd been taking that new exercise supplement advertised on crappy websites and in local mall ads as the new way to supercharge your workout. Like gun control, everyone had an instant opinion. Try to cheat on your workouts and you get what you deserve. Everybody dies, you're just fear-mongering. Everybody knows simiotine-B caused rapid heartbeat in exercising laboratory animals. Well what about butter and fast food subsidies, huh? Blah blah blah.

The people who broke the initial story were fully aware that the local athletes died after binge drinking, were taking other, older-fashioned growth hormones also, and had been doing extended cardio sessions that week in their hoodies inside a heated gym, trying to cut weight for the tournament, sweating and not drinking water, and maybe there was a little ecstasy at the party, too, and was it true that Jimmy C and Jimmy L got tasered at a club the week before and had been having chest pains on and off anyway? Well yeah, but that doesn't account for Jimmy D.

They knew it was there, those damn reporters, and they didn't report the possible amphetamine side effects, or whether it wasn't the workout drug at all but merely the hard drug, or whether alcohol, duh, had anything to do with it. The next day all of the rest of the news was all over it, interviewing exercise scientists and football coaches and amateur athletes who've taken the stuff for years bro and it just gets you pumped nothing more, like if your boss is giving you shit and your girlfriend is ragging and you just need to clear your head you know get some motivation it isn't that other crazy shit do you think I'm some dumbass bro. They knew all that stuff would come out the next day, and that the church groups screaming for the principal's head due to his refusal to immediately cancel all sporting events until all student athletes could be tested would themselves be embarrassed by later revelations of the drinking party having been held at the home of the pastor's nephew's parents with the parents knowledge and perhaps blessing. They knew from a couple kids they talked to at the school about the taser thing and the cutting weight thing and the drug interaction and yet they did the original story like it was an amazing health expose that the country needed know about right now. Some guys in Minnesota who owned supplement stores sued them but it got nowhere and didn't even make it into the fitness rags.

But if you don't freak out over simiotine-B, the pros or the cons or the mehs, if you don't mention pending death by science and freak out every track team mother whose son sprinkles sugar on his oatmeal sometimes, if you don't spawn that glorious, predictable argument, what else are you going to talk about? Someone has to report the news, damn the torpedoes, or we'll have nothing to do down here, and nobody wants that, do they?

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