By Tom ĎLumpyí
March, 1, 2002
Itís cheaper to buy a garbage
bag full of Ecstasy than a carton of cigarettes these days. Of all the
insidious vices in the world, we smokers catch the most flak and get
pestered the most often. After coping with the gradual prohibition of
smoking in restaurants, the country is pulling the same shenanigans
with bars. Weíve been bullied into secrecy and peer pressured into quitting.
Donít we have any rights left?
Once the ads were banned
from television, non-smokers replaced the commercials with anti-smoking
propaganda paid for by the tobacco companies who got their money from
whom? Smokers. Itís bad enough to be chastised and preached to by holistic
crusaders constantly, but why should I have to contribute to media campaigns
aimed at rubbing my nose in it? Everytime I see one of those commercials
I might as well kick myself in the ass, because thatís how I feel.
A few years ago, I was taking
a smoke break outside of a store in the dead of winter with a co-worker
when an old bag walked towards us and waved her hands in our faces without
saying anything. God forbid that the smell got into her clothes and
took the flea and tick collar stench out of the perfume she rolled in.
It wasnít enough that we were freezing our asses off outside so that
she could shop in a death-free atmosphere. In her mind we werenít even
allowed to suck a cancer stick out in the open.
To make matters worse, some
of our allies have gone into hiding. An Underground Railroad for smoking,
if you will. One of my friends has been married for at least four years
and heís hidden his half a pack habit daily from his wife since they
started dating! Are you that ashamed of your addiction sir, or are you
afraid sheíll throw your stash away where your genitals went so many
moons ago? Another butt brother (in retrospect, I should have worded
that differently) who works for a family business claimed that he quit,
so now he suffers through hours of labor before he can enjoy that smooth
nicotine rush again. Smoke proudly! The world shouldnít operate like
a fifth grade boyís room!
And every week, like a traveling
fiend caravan we drive out to the Indian reservation in order to buy
top names for less than seventy five dollars a pack. Regrettably, there
are those who either donít have the time to cross five state lines or
theyíre too poor to pave their lung cavities in style who settle for
budget brands. Companies like Fredís Fabulous Fags, Presidentís Choice
Ultra, and Reconstituted Ashtray Menthols have skyrocketing stock thanks
to regular price increases. I refuse to stoop to those levels.
Itís a filthy habit, right?
Well itís not the only one! What about people who chew their nails while
theyíre talking to you? I love seeing someone gnaw half their forefinger
off and eat it compulsively in the middle of an anecdote. Or people
who drink so many cups of coffee that their breath smells like theyíve
been chewing turds all morning? Plenty of coffee drinkers get colon
cancer. Go pick on them for a decade or so. Iíve got room for one more......tanning
addicts. Thatís another proven form of cancer to boot. Run some self-righteous
ads against that repetitive, harmful activity. ‚ÄúIf you march into
the UV booths, you might as well be marching into a gas chamber!‚ÄĚ
Now thatís a ridiculous, filthy habit. Sitting buck naked in a pool
of community sweat until you look like Castroís illegitimate grand kid.
Itíll kill you. What wonít?
As if every other form of death is quick and pain free. As if non-smokers
just ascend into the heavens on a chariot of their own bullshit. Dying
is painful. If itís not a grape-sized lump in my breast at fifty something
else would come along. Smoking, on the other hand, isnít painful. Itís
euphoric, enjoyable, and it gives me time to collect my thoughts. Iíll
quit when I get around to it, not a moment sooner. Iím tired of arguing
the issue with the unconverted. Besides, IĎm long overdue for a smoke
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