My Musings

This text is currently hidden by a css change. Alow's me to go directly to the category description because it is editable in the front end,

Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

Recent reports indicate that in some states, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, smokers are getting prioritized for the COVID vaccine, right up there with transplant recipients, heart patients, people with diabetes, and your grandma.

Photo of a cigarette smoker with a black eyeThis seems like a good time to reveal a little-known fact about me, which no doubt will cause a stir and will be trending tomorrow on the internet: it turns out that I formerly smoked cigarettes. And I don’t mean one or two after dinner: I was a pack a day smoker, lighting up Marlboro Reds, Marlboro Lights, Kools, Newports, Parliaments, and every now and again an American Spirit. I doubt I ever smoked a Lucky Strike, but given that I bummed cigarettes from other smokers, it’s possible that I smoked Luckies, Pall Malls, and maybe even a Tareyton once or twice, whose devotees would “rather fight than switch.”

I don’t know who would have cared enough about another person’s cigarette of choice to demand that they part with their Tareytons in favor of some other brand, but from the billboards and magazine ads, those Taryton smokers were suffering lots of faux back eyes.

Another odd fact: Bishop Grimes High School in East Syracuse, New York, where I received advanced training in the smacking of heads on the gridiron, had annual fundraisers for the school that were called “smokers.” When I was a kid, I stupidly assumed that it was because everyone smoked while losing at blackjack and poker. I checked with my sisters on this one (so it must be true), and their answer was yes, that’s exactly why it was called a smoker. (To be completely transparent, my sisters aren’t really sure.)

You non-smokers may find it hard to believe that cigarettes in a newly-opened pack are “fresher” than those a few days old, just like Cheerios out of a new box are fresher. How can that possibly be, given that cigarettes are the antithesis of “fresh"? Still, if someone held a gun to my head and demanded that I smoke a cigarette right now, I’d request a fresh one.

Whenever we bought a new packet of cancer sticks, we’d smack the packs against our palms for a couple of minutes before removing the plastic wrapper so that the tobacco would get densely packed into the tube of cigarette paper and would leave a millimeter or two of empty space at the end. Then we’d light up and suck the toxic fumes deep into the inner recesses of our pulmonary systems, like it was the only thing that could get us through the next 10 minutes of our lives, wrecking our lungs and annoying the hell out of everyone around us.

Comedian Steve Martin in the 1970s with several bent cigarettes in his mouthI'm telling you this because while I’m no longer a smoker I have lots of smoke in my history, and maybe even more badly damaged lungs than many of the 20-year olds who are currently inhaling lung snacks and appear poised to jump ahead of me in line.

On the other hand, I feel like I have at least a small argument to put me up there with smokers, given that several times a year I smoke a big pile of ribs for the family. Maybe that’s not exactly what is meant by “smoking,” but ask any public health expert and they’ll tell you that smoking anything is a danger to your health. 

Continue reading
  1083 Hits



J'Biden Era Haikuage


People's Arms. That's right!

200 million shots

In 100 days


We are good people

But we still have far to go

Repair. Restore. Heal.


There's nothing new here

The Affordable Care Act

We're restoring it 


America's Day

Democracy is fragile

The world is watching 


Strategy is based

On Science, not politics

Truth, not denial



Subscribe To The Blog

Produce This Audio Play!

Ever wanted to produce a radio play?  Think you have the mettle?  Read on!

Tag Cloud

Drumming Cars curling shoes Bodysurfing Brain Surgery Halloween NFL Mass General Hospital Butterfingers Mike Doughty Bicycles War and Peace Peacekeeping People I know TV Bikes Vaccines Liz Phair The Future weather Emergencies Football Soul Coughing Imaginings Quebect Big Shoes Existential Crisis Reese's Peanut Butter Cups nukes Coyotes 1980s town square Soup Higher Education Spoon the band Reveillon Sugarbush Cats Me seasons Grass Skiing Weather Stories I should write coronavirus soapbox rantings BB King Wind Food the future Skating Zoom The Old Days Ticketmaster Golf Barber Shops Royal Stuff afterlife acerbic high school principal Accounting Advertising Knots Canada Hache Verde Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde Music COVID-19 When I die The future Audubon Bar Bands I've Seen Bands I've seen plan mid-winter vacations Email Climate Change Soviet Union Bands I haven't seen Politics As Usual My grandparents vacation tambourrine gathering throngs Scotch and Sirloin Folk Music First World Problems Plastic Spice Girls Ice Dancing Dad advice Roommates I've Had Work Joan Jett Candy Boston Mom and Dad Trump Elvis Presley Masks Sports the sea Them Kids Hot Air Balloon Mustard Hand Planes China Brewing Short Fiction punk music Godfather Guns and Ammo Fiction Eclipse NPR Car Dealerships Stairs Syracuse Audio Martinis My sisters Tom Waits Putin Rabbit Hole Good Reads My Estate technology Hawaii Head injuries cornhole Canadiana Marketing Gimmicks Motorists Europe The Past Chowder Vaughn baseball Allergies Christmas Texting Belgian Ales Rock Bands Snow Guns Communication Channels Earth Bob Dylan Ukraine College My Parents Soccer Diseases Yeast Religion New England high winds Teeth Real Estate Eating and Drinking winter midwinter vacations Things I've done Cornhole star Ketchup Hurricanes Biden Beer Theater Red Sox US Senate Art Skiing Bill Monroe COVID Bunker Pats