When I was in college I smuggled a fifth of Jack into a Van Halen concert in my underwear. As I approached the security checkpoint I could feel it slipping. All attempts to discretely adjust my cargo were futile. By the time that I reached the front of the line, I was desperately clenching the bottle between my thighs and my flirtatious hip swaying walk had turned into a very slow shuffle. Considering that I was with my college buddies and I already had a good buzz, this shuffle was accompanied by irrepressible giggles from all of us.
Astoundingly, I made it through the security checkpoint even though a laugh bubbled out of me when I realized that the man digging through my purse and glaring at me with suspicion looked a lot like my Catholic grandmother. After I shuffled safely inside, I, along with my buddies who were all smuggling similar loads, transferred our poisons of choice to our purses and we settled in to enjoy the concert while drinking hard liquor and Diet Coke. Well, we enjoyed the first half of the concert anyway. Some of us spent the second half puking in toilets already overflowing with all kinds of nastiness which seemed so unfair at the time considering how hard we had worked at being sneaky.
I remember stumbling out of the bathroom and sliding slowly down the side of the wall in the stadium hallway. The place was packed with teenagers and college kids who had apparently also succeeded in sneaking in their preferred method of inebriation. Paramedics attended to the ones who were passed out and there were plenty. Although I was clearly wasted and unable to make it back to my seat, they ignored me. I was conscious and sitting upright so I was clearly better off than the rest of the poor souls who had not yet learned their limit.
As I watched this video, I couldn't help but think about how much easier it would have been to smuggle in powder vs. liquid to that concert. I would probably have cut the bags and combined the powder into smaller and more pliable containers such as Ziplock sandwich bags. I would have taped them to various parts of my body or perhaps I would have just had exceptionally large breasts for the first part of the concert. I would have purchased water or found a drinking fountain and voila! Drunken mission accomplished while keeping my hip swaying walk firmly engaged.
If I owned Palcohol and I looked at this strictly from an entrepreneurial aspect, I would eventually add straight hard liquor packets to the product line. Surely people will want less sugary versions of drinks while camping, or perhaps they will want to mix their own libations. The company that will be selling Palcohol already has an industrial formulation so it shouldn't be hard to make various straight hard liquor formulations. Once hard liquor packets are offered, the ability to get drunk off of less powder should make it easier to sneak plenty of potential drunkenness into venues.
Bearing all of this in mind, is Palcohol yet another threat to the well being of our youth? Sure. It's easier to smuggle than liquid alcohol, especially when taken out of that bulky pouch, and there will be formulations down the road with higher levels of potency. Still, I can't help but feel that the toothpaste is already out of the tube on this one. Even though it isn't approved for sale yet, it will be eventually. Plus, my friends and I managed to get plenty of booze into that Van Halen concert, powdered or not. Education and awareness are going to be key to dealing with this new product, just as they are with all substances that could potentially be abused.