Monday, March 9, 2009

710st Post - Don't Smoke

Today at coffee I was struggling with my Tim Hortons cup. It is Roll Up The Rim To Win season as any Canadian knows. I feel unmanly to admit that I cannot actually roll up the rim to lose, let alone win. I claw and bite and tear at the rim, and it won't roll up no way, no how. I have caused irreparable damage to my fingerprints over the years by trying to roll up the friggin' rim. By pushing on the rim and rolling and using my teeth all at the same time, I can, with a great deal of effort, manage to reveal that I have won the chance to play again.

But that's not what I want to write about this evening.

The boys were teasing me over my plight this afternoon, over my inability to roll up the blankety-blank rim. "Just pretend it's a joint, Bev!", one fellow said. "You're talking to the wrong guy!", I replied. Yes, I am the last person in North America never to have tried pot. Not once. Not even once. Nobody has even offered me a joint over the years. I don't think I've even been at a party where joints were smoked. I go to dull parties.

But that's not what I want to write about this evening.

I have never smoked a day in my life. Anything. Well, not quite true. I took one puff off one cigarette when I was 16.

I coughed.

I gagged.

I spewed.

And I swore I would never do that again. Some 30 years later, I have kept that promise.

Jerry Reed was a country and western singer whose heyday was in the 1970's. He is best remembered for the Smokey and the Bandit movies. He was an inveterate smoker. He was so unabashed about his weed addiction that he recorded a hit song about smoking, an ode to tobacco.

Reed died in 2008. Lung cancer.

I think of him and others like him whenever I see someone lighting up. Thank God I never got involved in that stuff.

Here's the tune.

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