Happy Smokeout


On this 32nd anniversary of the Great American Smokeout, I decided to weigh the pros and cons of smoking. I tried my first cigarette (of the clove variety) at the age of 15. Pearl Jam was playing on my stereo.

The pros of smoking are plentiful: look like James Dean, realistically reenact Mad Men episodes, meet interesting people outside of bars and restaurants, and elicit the Mack Truck Feeling. But there are cons. Waking up wondering how a squirrel pooped in your mouth, not being able to rid your fingers of that heinous smell (even after 45 scrubs), shivering outside of bars and restaurant in sub-zero temperatures, and succumbing to mooching because there’s no way in hell you’ll pay $10 for a pack. Oh, and dying.

Cigarettes and me ended our on-again/off-again affair two years ago. I decided to train for a half marathon and knew that if 13.1 miles were going to pass under my feet, the ciggies had to go. I also knew that I someday wanted to have my own 15-year-old, who someday would be propped next to a buddy’s bed listening to Stone Temple Pilots (or the equivalent) debating whether Sammy’s cousin really dates that guy whose sister knows the dude who makes fake ID’s in his uncle’s basement. And I’ll have to deal with that.