Thursday, January 29, 2009

Devil Weed

I've been off the weed for almost ten years. My oldest daughter is now eleven, and she was a major factor in my giving them up...or rather, sticking to giving them up... since the last time was my third attempt.

We were looking through some older photos recently and it occurred to me that in almost every photo of me since about 1965...I have a cigarette in my hand...for example, this one taken in my boat just before I met my wife (12-13 years ago?). Take a look...there it is, in my right hand.


Actually, since this photo was taken in my boat, I'm surprised there wasn't a Red Stripe in my left hand...must have been in the drink holder by the wheel.

This was taken in Key Largo, as I recall...lots of Red Stripe nights down there...with these to clean up the next morning...depending who was with one the next morning.

Yes, the smell of the ocean, the mangroves, good seafood...ashtrays. Not to mention bad breath.


At the time of the photo of me above, I had been smoking about 30 years and when I started smoking, it was still consider sophisticated, worldly, adult...macho, hondo, manly. We teens of the day had gaggles of celebs to imitate...you know them...



and the epitome of, "suck on this, it is so daaaaaaaamned delicious." Rick.



And what horny toad, hormonal young guy wouldn't want to
have a fag (that word was reserved for smokes in those days
dudes and dudettes) with this older lady, after...you know.


Smoking had nothing to do with reality...it had to do with how
one perceived oneself...and I perceived myself with Marilyn...
or any willing person of the female persuasion, for that matter.


The reality however, was more along these lines.




In my defense I have to say, there was plenty of reinforcement
in the early days of my addiction.


A tobacco ad in a medical journal. Two DOCTORS sharing a smoke...and a R. J. Reynolds
check?

It never occurred to me that this could be the result of
years of smoking. Who knew (the tobacco companies, I
suspect). Surely, this could never have happened to
Marilyn.



It was somewhat unstated, but a man who didn't
smoke, well, there was something rotten in Denmark
about that...or that other place next door?

...a famous, anal retentive, non-smoker.

As I expanded my horizons and became a world
traveler through the kindness of our government,
I became acquainted with other types of smoking and
mindsets...not that I EVER partook of alternate
pleasures and substances, thus for sooking my western
civilization roots.

This however, could never take the place of my Marlboros, or my horse.


Nor could these...or water buffalo.


Yes, Marlboro...richer, full-flavored and more satisfying, a
red-blooded, American man's cigarette.


I gave them up after the birth of my first daughter...
and after I found out that two of the four Marlboro
men died of lung cancer...in their mid to late forties.

I am a lucky man indeed. There are two reasons my butt (was it intended?) should not be here posting on this stupid ass blog. One of them is cigarettes.

22 comments:

intelliwench said...

Yay for former smokers! I quit 11 years ago, myself. Tobacco company documents (now viewable online) point to all sorts of wrongdoing by the industry (they admit marketing to kids, to increasing the % of nicotine in their products over time to enhance the addictive effect, among other horrors). I can remember our family doctor and my mom smoking in the consultation room during office visits back in the early '60s, too -- pretty unbelieveable today.

Do you still drink Red Stripe, I wonder? :-)

jadedj said...

intell---oh yes, I was in the hospital in 1971 and was smoking right there in my room. No one thought anything about it. The only place one couldn't smoke in a hospital was around oxygen.

Red Stripe. Is there any thing else? Actually, I did a blog on RS over on Journal Space, a year or so ago. I rate it number four behind Mexican, Japanese and Chinese Beer. Phooey on der syrupy Germanic stuff.

CaptainMando said...

I'm so glad you stopped smoking. My dad hid it from us for 12 years.

I've always told any man I dated that I'd drop them faster than their first ash if they every started.

Mary Kitt-Neel said...

My daughter and I are the only two non-smokers in our household. The guys and all their friends smoke. But I trained them to go outside in an attempt to keep the smell out of the drapes and carpets. One of my son's friends, who regularly lights up at his own house, forgot for a second and lit a cigarette in my kitchen, suddenly remembered he wasn't supposed to do that here, and darted out the back door at warp speed. I guess I'm pretty intimidating after all: the wilting glance of a mother can be quite effective.

intelliwench said...

Tell me mon, that you don't count Corona as one of the #1 Mexican contenders. Do you???

jadedj said...

Captain---Good for you...we all ought to have our ashes kicked out for smoking.

Mary Kitt---What I have noticed as a non-smoker is that the smell lingers...even outside. I would have argued about that when I was a smoker, but I was dead wrong. Stand your ground.

intell---BTW, I didn't commend you for quiting in my last comment. Commend.

Corona? We don't need no stinkin' Corona. Anglo swill. A beer the Mexican's don't drink. It's sold mainly to gullible, yuppy, Gringos.

Chimpplanet said...

I'm glad I quit long, long ago.

jadedj said...

Chimp---isn't it interesting...I've never talked to anyone who wasn't glad they quit.

Queen Goob said...

I've only had one so far today. I don't tell myself I'm quitting as that sets me up for failure - I just don't light up like I used to.

(down to four yesterday so I'm trying.....)

jadedj said...

Queen---Congratulations!

I used a similar method when I finally quit. I didn't approach it as quiting. I would get up in the morning, and go as long as I could without one. And then the next one. It took a couple of weeks, but by that time I could go all day without, and here I am ten years later.

Doug said...

I feel like such a failure--I haven't even tried to stop. Someone I like a lot is going to quit this weekend, maybe there's my support group...

jadedj said...

Doug---no, no, you aren't a failure. I tried 3 times and was in my late forties when it finally stuck. I was a dye-in-the-wool smoker. There is no question that nicotine is as addictive as heroin...it's a powerful drug. My method was to not deny myself a smoke, just space them out...will power over short periods of time that got longer. Maybe that would work for you.

intelliwench said...

Thanks for the commend. And I forgot to say that your blog isn't stupid-assed.

jadedj said...

intell---sometimes my blue collar family upbringing slips out, despite my education and many years of suppressing it. Occasionally I find myself using words such as, dumb-ass...hot damn...and my favorite, peckerwood. An example of usage: Hot damn, this here blog ain't really dumb-ass, but we don't want no peckerwoods readin it.

intelliwench said...

I understand completely. I have somehwat the reverse problem since moving to Bubbaville, and let slip the occasional "Y'all." I am also regularly reprimanded by intellikid for saying "good" when I should say "well."

But it's all good and well, y'all.

jadedj said...

intell---that's a deep subject....har har har.

Judy said...

JJ : Key largo is one of the most beautiful places I have visited in the Keys ! I just about moved to Marathon because they had less expensive apartments. This was back in 2002 I think.

Thanks for the pictures to go along with your entry! makes it interesting! :)

I have never smoked anything, except the eggs when I was on the old JS, losing track of time, lol!!

Hope you and your family are having a nice Sunday. :)

jadedj said...

Judy---The keys are me. I miss them a lot. Very nice Sunday, thanks for thinking of us.

Steve said...

I never started smoking, thanks to having a mom that smelled like a dirty ashtray. I did try it once in college. Alcohol may have been involved.

I also credit my health to staying away from North American light lagers that are filled with rice and/or corn. Red Stripe is OK for a nice hot day, but that's about it. I don't consider Corona to be an actual beer.

jadedj said...

Steve---then it's good your mom inadvertently discouraged tobacco usage. Since I quit smoking, I have been taken aback as to how bad nicotine smells. My daughter and I were at a red light last week and we were gagging because we could smell the cigarette of the person in the car next to us. Our windows were up, as were theirs!

Lots of hot days down in South Florida.

Dr Zibbs said...

Look at all of those butts!

I stopped smoking 15 years ago but that's what my ashtrays used to look like.

jadedj said...

Dr Zibbs---oh yes, mine too. Now I don't even have any ashtrays. The pathetic part was, if I ran out and had forgotten to get cigarettes, I would go looking for butts out of which I could still get a couple of drags. Pitiful addict.