Monday, August 6, 2012

The Smoking Blog

My nephew has suggested to me that I tell it like it is, that I be blunt, that I be Dutch. So here goes, even though he won’t like what I have to say. Sometimes the truth is just that, the truth. Sometimes it’s ugly, but no uglier than the subject of my blog.

Smoking is a dirty, filthy, disgusting, smelly, ugly habit.

I know, Roy: tell us how you really feel.

I know that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to humankind. Centuries of culture have embedded the idea of smoking being cool into our brains. Once upon a time smoking was even considered healthy. But now we know it’s not. Smoking is slow suicide.

In fact, I can think of only two industries in the world that actively and knowingly produce weapons of mass destruction: armaments and tobacco.

Plus, smokers seem to think the entire world is their ashtray. As part time janitor at a convenience store slash casino, I spend twenty to thirty minutes every shift, picking up discarded cigarette butts all over the grounds, often right next to ashtrays and ash cans. Even worse, I find them near the gas pumps all the time. I guess I shouldn’t complain. After all, that gives me some job security. I should thank the smokers for the $4 a shift I earn cleaning up after them.

Four bucks. Won’t even buy a pack.

Yeah, this is how I really feel. And I say it boldly knowing that some of my closest friends still smoke, including my own children, who think their four year old is unaware of their habit; that self same be-bold nephew; and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful women I have ever known.

Remember, Madam, Nephew, dear son and daughter-in-law, that I love you. I just need you to know how I feel. It won’t stop you, it won’t change things, it won’t make black lungs pink, it won’t clean up the beaches and the parking lots. But maybe your stopping now will keep at least one young person from giving in to the temptation to start.

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