Up in smoke

September 23, 2006 at 2:55 am (Uncategorized)

smokers.jpgSo, I’m pretty much one of those stubborn, grizzled smokers. You’ll find me out there with the other black lungers in driving rain, sleet, hurricane, bitter cold, locusts, etc. I will crawl across a mold-carpeted basement floor and climb through a nest of spiders and broken glass if it means getting a smoke where otherwise I’m denied.

Sick, all of it. Sick and deadly and expensive. And yet it’s never the warnings of premature death that get me. The Surgeon General can shake his death rattle all he wants. I’ll blow smoke rings around him and laugh. For me, it’s the maiming concept that makes me question the habit.

You know the commercials I’m talking about. A wrinkled guy sits in a wheel chair with an oxygen tank as close as his elbow. He holds a metallic object up to his throat and speaks through it in a voice that sounds like a special effect from a bad movie.

“I used to smoke two packs a day. Now I’m confined to this chair and my voice box is made by IBM. Chicks don’t dig me no more and I find it easier to just piss my pants rather than wheeze all the way over to the bathroom.”

Or they parade out some dude who had half his face removed because of cancer that grew around his best inhaling muscles. Nasty, man. That’s a lot to give up for a product that taste pretty much like used kitty litter.

Then there’s the convenience factor. Slipping out at 4 in the morning to drive in pouring rain to a convenience store that will charge you five bucks for something you really need but which tastes like ass once you light up. Searching for a ghetto six blocks from a hospital because smoking anywhere near the building will get you beaten. Or worse, sneered at by pink-lunged health nuts with no vices whatsoever.

Sooner or later, there will be a spot designated in each city and town where smokers must go to light up. It will be in the middle of a swamp and you non-smokers will wander by in hover craft just to mock us and we will try to hit you with frogs.

But anyway, I don’t defend the habit and in fact I hate the tobacco companies a little bit. I’ll probably try to quit soon and you’ll read about me shooting heroin directly into my eyeballs and weeping in gutters. Mostly, I just wanted to post the cool photo of the gravesite sent to me by Brenda. Subtle, woman. Very subtle.


  1. Mainetarr said,

    Wow, spiffy new Lost Sole. Looks nice in here. I got this picture in the e-mail, too, pretty funny since I am not a smoker. Yeah yeah, I am one of those pink lunged asshats. I watched both of my parents die from smoking-lung cancer for Dad and COPD for mom. Not a fun way to go. Someone should have filmed those two butt puffers final years, that would have deterred a lot of people from smoking. What a horrible way to go! I hope you quit soon, Mark, as a matter of fact, Dr. Q has been giving me crap about not bugging you to quit. I told him you will when you’re ready.

  2. Bobbie said,

    Interesting look this morning, especially when you’re half asleep. I received the same e-mail as well. Yes, my husband and I both smoke. My MIL smokes as well. She’s on 3 litres of oxygen an hour, has emphysema and COPD. Even with the oxygen, she can’t walk very far without stopping to catch her breath most days. I will agree that it’s a nasty habit and know that I should quit, but until that day, there isn’t a lot that anyone can tell me that will change my mind right now.

    Now to the flip side of this discussion. There are plenty of people out there who have never smoked a day in their lives that end up with lung cancer, emphysema and COPD. There are also people out there who have smoked unfiltered Camels and Pall Malls all their lives and never developed lung cancer at all and have died of old age. It’s your genetic make up that determines whether you get something or not and some people are more into tempting fate than other people are.

  3. LaFlamme said,

    Ah, I dunno. Seems kinda bright and chirpy. Doesn’t really reflect the more dyspeptic mood around here.

  4. AO said,

    Makes me think of Ireland for some reason. ūüôā

  5. LaFlamme said,

    Really? That would explain all the drinkin in here.

  6. AO said,

    It’s eerie in here today.

  7. Bobbie said,

    It’s just that everyone else is out doing something instead of hanging out in here today.

  8. AO said,

    They must all be out “drinkin”. Could also have something to do with the little butterfly at the bottem of this screen. It might have scared everyone off.

  9. Linda said,

    Where is everyone? I just got home. Between the flash new page and only 8 comments, I can only think that I’m in the wrong place.

  10. AO said,

    Ha. It’s the butterfly that’s throwing you off, Linda.

  11. Mandy, the obit writer said,

    I know its a bit off topic, but the new blog look is quite interesting.

  12. Linda said,

    AO! Mandy! so I AM in the right place, thank goodness.

    Yeah the look is interesting. I like it, but it’s not what I’d expect Mark to choose. Anyone else think it looks sort of — I don’t know — Thai, maybe? Not that theres anything wrong with that.

  13. jarheaddoc said,

    Mark Laflamme is growing breasts

  14. Mandy, the obit writer said,

    I was a bit puzzled by the floral motif at the top of the page. It was an element I wouldn’t ordinarily expect from Mark. I like the green background; its quite soothing.

  15. Linda said,

    So we are agreed — the new Lost Sole is exotic, girly and soothing.

  16. Linda said,

    This is a LOT off topics but — does anyone here know anything much about bats? I was driving east on Rte 2 through Mercer tonight, and I hit a foggy patch. A bird or a bat hit my windshield — I am pretty sure it was a bat, the wings really looked articulated. It hit right in front of me, and hung there for a few seconds looking like one of those Halloween bat silhouettes, then slid up the windshield and over the top of the car. Very strange.

  17. AO said,

    LaFlamme with breasts. Thanks JD, that’s an image I’ll be holding on to (no pun intended) for the next several days!

    Bats! Eww…hate the varmits. I’ve had several in my house over the years. The last only a month ago. Had to catch it in a paper bag and set it free so, it could come and invade my house once again.

  18. LaFlamme said,

    If I had breasts, I’d never leave the house. Goes without saying.

  19. LaFlamme said,

    Does anyone know about bats! Linda, Linda. I love bats. I want to be one when I grow up. But that doesn’t sound like what you hit out there today. Have you ever read King’s “The Mist?”

  20. Linda said,

    Well I thought you might be the one to ask. Never read it — if not a bat, what? Just a bird? am I doing “The Beast Reloaded” in thinking it didn’t seem to be a bird?

    Never read “The Mist”. But it was creepy on Rte 2, all the way from Newport to Wilton: fog, then clear, then fog, with no obvious explanation for where the fog was & wasn’t.

    Hell, you probably know all about fog too, Mark.

  21. Linda said,

    WTF? are you messing with my head? where are we now? was the whole greeny exotic thing just a hallucination?

  22. LaFlamme said,

    Huh? Green exotic thing? How long were you driving in that fog, anyway? *cue Twilight Zone music*

  23. Bobbie said,

    Green? I thought it was a crappy brown color this morning when I looked.

    Gotta go and let the dogs in before they decide to make their own fun tonight. I found out the weirdest thing about Ed, the new dog, tonight. It seems that whenever I leave, he sits by the door, whines and then either licks the doorknob or is trying to open it with his mouth to go with me. I know, strange pet for a strange household.

  24. Linda said,

    You know the Larsen cartoon: dogs in a lab deconstructing doorknobs — text something like “If we can just master the doorknob principle, the world will belong to us”

    Well the blog is pea-green on my sweet little new computer. Until I post a comment, then it’s blue and black. Some Pavlovian thing?

    I made my record time from East Millinocket to Wilton. We saw about 6 cars for the first 50 miles, until we got to Orono. And my husband was sleeping so I could drive as fast as I like with no commentary.

  25. jarheaddoc said,

    A man will always choose to look asleep in order to avoid any interaction regarding how a woman drives, Linda. It’s deeply personal, but mostly a matter of self-preservation.

  26. brenda said,

    I’m glad you liked the picture, I didn’t send it to make a statement about smoking, I just thought Mark would like the picture, you know.

  27. Tiger said,

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  28. http://goanalyze.info/todayonline.com said,

    OMG!!!!You never told me you were Martha Stewart!!! =)The jam looks so lovely in the mason jars. Almost too lovely to eat.I’m thinking you should bring some into work, lure people like a crack dealer then start selling the stuff. Hee hee hee hee. I bet the jam is wonderful on pancakes.

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