I live in a state where marijuana is legal. I live in a town where there are more pot shops than liquor stores. Walk anywhere and before long you inhale and know someone is nearby "kush"ioning the daily stress of life. I always smile. Not because I get some second hand high from walking through their funk, but because I know there is inherently less danger near me.
I am serious. I will take a high person over an inebriated one any day.
Walking the streets of my small Colorado town, I have had all manner of unwanted interactions with those whose courage has been fueled by the other great recreational concoction - alcohol. Talky, gropey, handsy, aggressive, threatening - I have been on the receiving end of them all - from the intrusive to the frightening
My husband has hundreds of employees - he will tell you that legal marijuana is not the problem, is not what he worries about. Alcohol is. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and lets loose a plethora of bad behaviors.
Which brings me to today's object lesson in the potential horrors released by alcohol...
Come with me to Conroe, Texas. (Oh, come on, you knew this was going to take us to either the Lonestar state or Floriduh) And let me introduce you to this gem of a human being, Jessica Collins.
Last Wednesday evening, she, her host (she was staying with a friend), and a neighbor of her host - a woman named Tatiana - went out drinking in the Houston area. Not exactly history making - friends go out all the time.
Upon returning from their adventures, they found themselves at Tatiana's residence. Jessica, however, was not ready for the festivities to end, and according to Tatiana, demanded more alcohol and cigarettes.
Denied her requests, things escalated quickly, and Tatiana asked her to leave her property.
But Tatiana was outnumbered. It was her up against Jessica and Jim Beam. Now, while Jessica is a slight woman, Jim is a burly mothereffer and pulls no punches. He does pull hair though and with his help, Jessica rassled Tatiana to the ground.
What happened next would make Hannibal Lector reach for the Chianti, and even Mike Tyson say, "Dayum, gurl."
Jessica bit off a huge piece of Tatiana's nose.
AND SWALLOWED IT.
I know, I know what you're thinking. But Linda, don't people usually bite their own noses off to spite their faces? Yes, yes, they do, gentle reader.
But I am snot making this up.
"I didn't have time to react, to push her away," said Tatiana. "I think I was trying to fight back, but I couldn't. All I could remember was the taste of blood in my mouth."
Now, you may be trying hard to keep this off your mind's mental loop, and good for you, you are a decent person:
Sadly, the truth is Tatiana would take an "Oh, my nose!" football to the face any day of the week over Jess and Jim's attack. It is horrid, it is heinous, it makes me so angry my nostrils actually flare.
OK, ok the puns are bad. Here's the truth - it does make me angry. I simply cannot get in the head of someone who, alcohol or not, would throw down like this. On what planet do you settle a grievance by grabbing someone's face and biting off their nose? Yes, I understand that drinking lets a lot of demons out - but those demons are not created by the alcohol, they are given freer reign. So what kind of person is this Jessica when she is sober?
Tatiana passed out several times in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. And what she shrieked when she called her husband is heartbreaking - "I don't have a nose. I'm 28 years old and I don't have a nose anymore."
Think about that. Look in the mirror and really think about that. Your nose may not perfect, you may hate the bump in the middle or think your nostrils are too big, but it's there. Proudly in the middle of your face, balancing out your features, holding up your sunglasses.
Tatiana has been advised she needs immediate plastic surgery for any type of success. The longer the wait, the less chance of a good result. Unfortunately, she has no insurance. While her friends have started a GoFundMe, (the estimated cost is $12,000) my hope is that some decent hearted plastic surgeon in the Houston area will see that the answer is as plain as the nose on his/her face and step up to help her, gratis.
But back to my original observation about alcohol vs pot. In the pot scenario, it would have probably gone something like this:
Jessica: Hey, pass the bong over here again.
Tatiana: Sorry, girl, all out.
Jessica: Fuuuuuuuuuck. Got anything to eat?
Instead of the Jim Beam version which played out thusly:
Jessica: Hey, gimme some more cigarettes and where do you hide the whiskey?
Tatiana: Bitch, get out of my kitchen and my house.
Jessica: CRUNCH. <gulp>
This is why while I do not smoke pot (yes, I have, but actually prefer edibles), it is no skin off my nose if someone does. Mellow, friendly, and genial. And when they get hungry? They don't eat my face, they just follow their own noses to the nearest pizza place.
Stop laughing. It's snot funny.
On a serious note - what happened is truly awful, and the GoFundMe is within $2000 of its goal. While I thumb my nose at a lot of what people try to crowd fund for - I have seen the picture of what happened to her and donated. If you can spare a dollar or two, this is one time I encourage you to stick your nose in someone else's business.