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
  1164 Hits



Daily Haiku


Cats oft’ void their guts.

They cough out fur balls. They puke.  

We tread carefully.  


College Tuition

We dig ourselves a deep hole

Need a second job.


Now that I’m sixty

People think I’m a wise man

Probably, I’m not


I’m in my Fifties

But tomorrow I’m Sixty

Will need a sports car


My PCP Says

“Keep doin’ what yer doin’”

Prob’ly I should not


It’s St. Patrick’s Day

We eat beef that has been corned

Whatever that means


Robots and A.I.

I will make use of these soon

To do my taxes


Strange Oscar night end

Pacino failed to mention

Best pic nominees


Who’s this Katie Britt?

Scary. Wierd. We could have used

A Trigger Warning


Subscribe To The Blog

Produce This Audio Play!

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

Tag Cloud

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