Now that people are cooking chicken in NyQuil, is it time for Canada to ban TikTok?

Working at the United States Food and Drug Administration must be surreal.

I can only imagine the marching orders inside the regulatory agency this month: cook chicken at NyQuil.

My faith in humanity keeps getting shaken, one deranged TikTok challenge at a time. Do youngsters really need to be warned that sticking corn on the cob on electric drills isn’t a sensible way to eat if they plan on keeping their teeth? Did real life turn into a crossover of “Jackass” and “Idiocracy”?

My parents mostly had to worry about their children getting good grades and not being kidnapped by strangers. They were the bookends. Today, parents must be vigilant on social networks, be on the lookout for clues that their children could participate in the “Skull Breaker Challenge”, “Vampire Fangs Challenge” or “Blackout Challenge”.

The biggest clue? A frenetic trip to the emergency room.

On Thursday, the FDA released “A Recipe for Danger: Social Media Challenges Involving Medicines.” He cited a trend that combines poultry and cold medicine. I pity FDA staff who will be forced to write future warnings such as “Please do not marinate ribs with Liquid Advil” and “Cupcakes should NEVER be glazed with Crest Cinnamon Toothpaste”.

As the FDA noted of the NyQuil Chicken Challenge: “Boiling a drug can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. Even if you don’t eat the chicken, inhaling the fumes of the medicine while cooking could cause high levels of medicine to enter your body.

The FDA also cited a previous TikTok challenge in which young people took “dangerously high” amounts of Benadryl to hallucinate. This resulted in several hospitalizations and, in some cases, death.

In a video I watched on Wednesday, an unseen slacker is frying his chicken breasts in aquamarine NyQuil. He goes into raptures over the dizzying emanations. I’ve been studying WWII and the Greatest Generation for the past few months, and all I thought watching was, “God help us if there’s another world conflict.” We are doomed.”

Tanks will invade our streets and young people will be too busy trying to scale a pyramid of milk crates to see and even like to notice. Hey! Democracy is a participatory sport. True freedom isn’t about how insanely you can swerve your car in the “Cha-Cha Slide Challenge”.

This is the craziest part of these TikTok challenges. They celebrate the lowest common denominator. They revel in recklessness and antisocial behavior. They push young people, who do not yet have a fully formed brain, to abandon any incipient calibration of risk and consequence.

The “Coronavirus Challenge” encouraged random licking of objects in public, including airplane toilet seats. The “Penny Challenge” encouraged TikTokers to slip a coin between a partially plugged-in charger and the outlet. The goal was to create an electric spark.

According to fire department blotters, it tragically worked.

Since I have a strict rule against writing about scatological and bodily effluent, I won’t even take on the “Poop Challenge” or the “Pee Your Pants Challenge”. Both are disgusting. Much like the “Cereal Challenge”, in which a volunteer tilts their head back and opens their mouth, which the challenger then fills with Corn Flakes and milk, before eating from said mouth.

It’s something to put on your CV to impress future employers.

Why are there no positive TikTok challenges? How about a volunteer at a Soup Kitchen Challenge? Or a Get Straight A’s in School challenge? Hell, I’d Be Cool With a Make Your Dad a Martini During a Jays Game Challenge.

True or false, I try to offer a humble opinion in this space which is, in some ways, normative. But I’m the one shrugging my shoulders today. I don’t know how we fix this. If people want to stand on the sidewalk and stare stoically ahead of them, unflinching as someone else throws things from a balcony at their skull, I really don’t know what to say. If young men are inclined to dip their scrotums in soy sauce to see if it triggers a taste sensation on their tongues, man alive, I earnestly pray there’s never another world war.

I just thought of something prescriptive.

Why isn’t TikTok banned in the West? This is where most of these messy challenges come from. TikTok is a Chinese company. We already know of this country’s diabolical attacks in industrial espionage, intellectual property plunder, academic espionage, identity theft, hacking, and influencing public opinion.

What better way to destabilize our democracy than to get our future adults to waste their time stuffing frankfurters in their ears or riding unicycles over scenic waterfalls? Have you read TikTok’s Terms of Service yet? What you accept is borderline Orwellian. I’m surprised they just don’t require your social insurance number and blood type.

Even if the endgame is unclear in 2022, it seems prudent to consider TikTok as a Chinese Trojan horse. It’s one of the most popular apps on the planet and users give up their data voluntarily.

Would you give your nemesis your debit card PIN?

It’s time for Canada to take a tough line on TikTok.

We can’t let our kids season the poutine with Mr. Clean.

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