In the 1980's, maybe 87 or 88, there was an emergency recall kind of thing. i dont know if it was all over the US or just here in Masachusetts, but the news and all the schools had warned childen not to open any packages coming from an unknown sender, filled with lickable stamps. On the news, which we were told at school to watch, showed an example of what the envelope looked like and said Don't Open This! If You See This, Give It To Your Parents To Throw Away. We were told that these stamps were laced with LSD, aka Acid, the drug from the 60's that inspired bands like The Beatles and The Grateful Dead. But the effects could drive you mad in the end!
Oh, it was so exciting. every day at school, i would just wait for the day to end so i could rush home and try to get the mail before my mother got it. I would pray that the mailman would be late everyday and i could sneak it to my room while she was making dinner.
I can picture it well, the anticipation for this forbidden thing, in the days of the JUST SAY NO era, when i came from a family that just said yes.
But it was the end of the Reagan era. AIDS was spreading all over the place, becoming an epidemic while the government did everything they could to keep AIDS a secret, because 'who cares if gay people die?'
Practically every celebrety who urged us to "Just Say No" did so high, and we got to read about it in the paper and see it on the news.
We were only a couple years prior to the Gulf War/Desert Storm. Every rich and famous person was on drugs, mostly coke. Coke was glamorized. It was part of the real PARTY world. Then some people started freebasing, turning their coke into it's purest form and smoking it. It was very expensive and very addictive. Then, crack was introduced to the ghettos, housing projects, inner city areas. Crack was the cheap way to get a similar high to a freebase, but instead of being pure coke, it was coke cooked with baking soda.
Crack and coke addiction lead to a lot of dealers getting really rich, then they wanted to claim their territories so no one else would be making money off their turfs. They had plenty of money to buy weapons, and the crack epidemic became insane.
Anyway, drugs were everywhere and it was all we ever heard about, while at the same time we kept being told to just say no- just say no.
Yet here we were, being sent free drugs in the mail. On stamps!!! Stamps are cool! I still love stamps. Who doesnt? It was such a target, using the familiar face of Disney's most famouse character.
I think i did find the stamps before my mother and i sneaked them to my room and hid them in my desk or something. I don't remember if she found them or if i was so filled with guilt that i told on myself and just gave them to her, but i dont think i ever got to try them.
Still, that was such a memorable moment in the early years of my drug fascination.
I always thought i was the only fucked up kid, who despite what the anti drug ad's said actually DID want to be a junky when i grew up.
The acid on lickable Mickey Mouse stamps incedent was 20 years ago, when our politics were similar to now and our 8 years of a god aweful president were just about to end. The fight to the top was intense. Who ran aginst Bush the 1st? Was it Dan Quale? I forget, but Bush won, mostly cuz Quale couldn't spell. I remember so many people wouldnt vote for him cuz he couldn't spell potatos or tomatoes or something. i dont even know if i spelled them wrong, but the media made him out to be "stupid" and it let Bush 1 in the door of the Whitehouse.
I'm rambling though, let me cut to the point... In these 20 years that have passed, i've learned that i was far from alone in my behavior with the LSD stamps. I've talked with at least 50 people who have admitted doing the same thing. Even the amazing author Michelle Tea
http://languageisavirus.com/michelle-tea/ mentions the stamps and acting similarly in her book "The Chelsea Whistle"
The stamps, the anticipation, the constant reminder to "Just Say No" had a major influence on my generation, and not necessarly a great one. My generation has more violent, addicted, mentally ill, poor, HIV infected people than we do "normal, healthy, successful" ones.
Maybe lickable Mickey Mouse stamps and these Aguadots/ Bindeez have nothing to do with eachother or politics, but if your kids are like 8 or older, double check to make sure they didnt try to keep some. Yeah, 8 seems young, but it is actually a common age for kids to begin using drugs like inhalents or stuff from their medicine cabinet, trying parent's cigaretts, etc. So be on the lookout. I would be willing to bet money that more people will be injured by these beads now that everyone knows they are "drugs" than were injured while they were assumed to be safe.
Anyway... ooh baby its a wild world, it's hard to get by just upon a smile...