Everyone needs a ‘sober sitter’

By Mike Potts

Comedian Wendi Fox re-hashed her negative experiences with binge drinking and motivated Rider students to make smart alcohol-related decisions.

The Sweigart Auditorium was packed to near capacity Wednesday night for Comedian and inspirational speaker Wendi Fox’s thought provoking performance, “Get Trashed: A True Story.”

The event, which was sponsored by RISE and the Substance Abuse Prevention Office, was a refreshing detour from the lecture performances that have become synonymous with other speakers.

It focused not on reprimanding college drinking, but instead on Fox’s status as “a good example of a bad example.” As a former high-risk drinker, Fox had her share of stories for the audience, and kept the crowd laughing even as her advice began sinking in.

Fox acknowledges college drinking as a definite, saying “we’re adults, we’re going to drink,” but urges students to have celebration practices. She stressed the utilization of a “Sober Sitter,” who is “CIA, FBI and babysitter all at the same time.”

She described three drunken girls in a car as “little drunk puppies in a box;” whenever one gets in, the other two fall out. Men are no better, she claims, telling male students to “be the first at a party to fall asleep, see what happens.”

Fox’s lifestyle changed after one icy night of drunk driving landed her in the middle of a field.

“Ever seen Dukes of Hazard?” she said, describing the distance her car flew.

After the accident, she thought, “Is this a respectable exit?” Later in life, Fox quit drinking entirely, but had trouble finding a role model to inspire her.
“I thought everyone that didn’t drink was boring,” she said.

She soon found that mentor in the actions of small children, who Fox calls “little drunk people, only not.” She argued that every stupid thing she had ever done was in an attempt to look cool, and that children, especially under the age of six, had no comprehension of this.

Later, Fox brought out a pair of beer goggles and asked for volunteers. The student was asked to walk in a straight line, high five and other simple tasks, which accidently became a hilarious and uncomfortable assortment of physical comedy.

Sophomore Steve Brown, who was wearing the goggles, enjoyed the adventure to which Fox challenged him.

“The experience was funny, interesting and overall, an inspiring presentation.” His opinion seemed to hold true with most of the audience.

“It was very entertaining and informing,” said sophomore, Marlaine Schneider, as she left the auditorium.

Fox closed the night by holding up a poster of a little girl, asking the audience if they would “put this little girl in the back seat of a car with a drunk driver.”
After a negative response, she explained the significance of the photo.

“I would, I almost killed this girl,” she said. “This little girl is me. Why do people respect the six year-old more than the twenty year-old?”

She left the audience with an interesting thought to ponder, hoping that her message will reach the people who hear it, and encourage them to be safe.
“You have to find the buzz without the booze,” she said.

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