Meth Doesn’t Scare Me, I Guess

October 26, 2015

Posted By: Shaunescy

The cops busted a meth lab two blocks from my house.  I could legitimately add some qualifiers about how small the labs were, how minimal the operation seems to have been at its current point, how few folks were directly involved (based on how small the number of arrests actually was).  But no qualifier changes the basic fact that the cops busted a meth lab two blocks from my house.

And I’m just not unduly alarmed about the situation.  Dillon feels no less safe to me.

For one thing, it’s not the first time this has happened to us.  When we lived in Nevada, a meth house a couple blocks away from us suffered a massive fire, including an explosion that blew a piece of the roof off.  We were on vacation at the time and only got to see the burned-out wreck that the owner spent the next two years renovating, once the police and chemistry techs declared the place fit for human habitation.  The house looked great when he was done rebuilding, and I’m sure the new owners are very happy living in their pretty little former-rental on the edge of the park.  Almost directly kitty corner to the police station and directly across the street from the courthouse.  They probably got a great deal, given the legal disclosures that had to be made.

For another thing, I’ve been in the now-busted-no-longer-habitable Dillon meth lab multiple times, not as a cook or customer but as a parent.

My kids are friends with the young girl who lived there.  They have been for years.  They still are.

When the bust made the front page of the local paper, John and Samantha and I had a long talk, mostly not about drugs.  We’ve talked about drugs.  They know about drugs.  Primarily, we talked about responsibility.

We talked about the fact that in America, the last thing that should ever matter is what your family has done.  That’s not how it works.  So we agreed that not only would it be wrong to talk to their friend about what happened—unless she brought it up—but that it would be wrong to tolerate anyone else giving her a bad time about the situation, either.

It confuses me that the neighborhood meth bust doesn’t worry me more, though.  It seems like it should.

But I’m worried about the kids who play football in the street, sometimes chasing a wild ball out into the intersection with no thought to traffic.  My daughter plays football.

I’m worried about the fools—only a few of them teenagers—who blithely ignore the flashing lights on the school bus as they blow by an entire group of elementary students crossing to the daycare.

I’m worried about the people who confuse an alley with a dirt road, careless of the number of children who ride their bikes down this shortcut, including the neighbor who only took her training wheels off last week.

The meth lab just pales by comparison.

Shane Borrowman  is a native of Anaconda, father of twins, and professor of English at The University of Montana Western.  He has published on a wide range of topics, including the development of boxing in Renaissance England, medieval Arabic philosophy, and American zombie films.  He is editor or co-editor of four writing textbooks and six collections of original scholarship.  Visit , home of Shane's blog, Kairotic Palaver

More from Montana Parent

Thank You to Our Sponsors