This is one of those topics on which I harp on from time to time. And by “harp” I pretty much mean the instrument my family members must be playing up in Heaven. Right after they accidentally burned down the family tree with a carelessly discarded lit cigarette.
Apparently I’m the proverbial apple that fell far from the tree. Or, in Taker family terms, I’m a mutant. Ironically, at least in this context, I’m a dying breed. You see, I don’t smoke and I never have.
I grew up in the “typical” American family. Our core family unit consisted of mom, dad, a sister, myself and 2.3 cats. Assuming the smoking rate back then, the math is already amazing. For simplicity’s sake we’ll say the odds of an adult smoking were one-in-three back when I was a youngling. Based on that, the odds of me being the only non-smoker in a family of four was about 1 in 27.
But wait, the fun doesn’t stop there. My sister had some children. 4 out of 4 of them are smokers. I had a son. He’s a smoker. My wife had a son. He’s a smoker. My son just announced his pending nuptials on Facebook. Nearby was a picture of the lucky couple. Both were proudly holding cigarettes.
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Once or twice a year I get up early, haul myself down to the donut shop and get something not good for me. What can I say? We all have our vices, right?
A short time ago I made the trip. Along the way, around 9:15am, I passed a tavern. Out front was a guy leaning against the building not far from the front door. It was a cold, wet, gloomy morning and an arctic 30 degrees (not counting any damn wind chill).
The man was smoking away.
Look on the bright side, I thought. At least I’m not him.
Who says I can’t have positive thoughts? Apparently all of mine come tinged with a wee bit of judgement. Perhaps that’s not ideal but I can live with. It makes the donut that much more delicious. At least I have taste buds.
As you probably know a pharmacy called CVS recently made big news by announcing they were phasing out sales of cigarettes (and other tobacco products) in their stores. Now I don’t know CVS from a hole in the ground. I’ve never been in one. I tend to avoid places like that.
Still, I welcome this bit of news. It feels like a step in the right direction to me. I actually heard something on the news about tobacco companies are hurting due to reduced sales. Is that supposed to be troubling? In the United States sales of cigarettes have reportedly dropped by 31.3 percent from 2003 to 2013.
Some, like me, thinks that’s a pretty good sign.
Then there’s that other group. You know, the people on Twitter who embrace the #boycottcvs hash tag. I guess you could call them the yin to my yang.
Hang on to your hats, space cowboys. It’s time, once again, for the epic battle between good and evil. Anyone know if George Lucas is a smoker?
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Remember learning about history in K-12? I don’t remember much but when it comes to the first Thanksgiving a few images do come to mind. The following paragraph is pieced together relying solely on my recollections.
The Pilgrims and the Native Americans came together for a feast. The Pilgrims wore funny brown hats topped with a column adorned with a belt buckle. There was maize. There was jellied cranberry sauce featuring distinctive rings from an aluminum can. There was even pumpkin pie. There was a horn of plenty that provided a veritable cornucopia of magical fresh fruits and vegetables. And, of course, last but not least, there was turkey aplenty that looked a lot like simple outline drawings of my hand.
Have you ever experienced that moment when you realized history class left a lot of things out? It was decidedly not the place to go if you wanted the big picture. Or an unvarnished viewpoint free of bias that didn’t accentuate a certain narrative. No doubt there were time constraints or contractual obligations?
My exhaustive (you’ll get this pun after the jump) research turned up something else that was given to the Pilgrims. It wasn’t on the dinner table, perhaps, but I’m sure it was still something to be very thankful for.
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