Friday, November 04, 2005

Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

I rode my bike to the local grocery store when I was 14 to purchase my first pack of cigarettes (Virginia Slims Regular) for 75 cents - (shut up, it was only 1982). My heart pounded at the thought of taking part in this rebellious activity and anticipation grew as I quickly peddled back to my brother’s house. Once I stepped through the door I realized I had no matches. Frantically, I searched but there wasn’t a lighter or a single match to be found.

As if spoken directly to me by the evil, ancient god of tobacco, a brilliant thought suddenly popped into my mind: Use the front burner of the gas stove. A slight click of the knob and whoooosh; I was on my way to Marlboro country!

I raised the setting to high and leaned over the flame to successfully light my first smoke. For a moment, the scent was different from my fathers’ but I figured it was because of differing brands. I took long, dramatic drags as if I were Bette Davis. I made smoke-rings pop from my mouth like a pro -- even attempted the seductive French inhale. How sophisticated and cool was I?!

I watched myself proudly in the mirror as I perfected my new talent. Until a closer look revealed - to my horror - the cigarette wasn’t the only thing lit by the pretty, blue flame: a singed halo crowned my forehead. The ancient god of tobacco dubbed me Queen of the Retards. Gently, I brushed it away with my hand. Pieces of burnt hair fell to the floor like needles from a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. (tink. tink. tink.)

Perhaps the Surgeon General’s warnings should have stated, "may cause bad hair days." If that were so, I can guarantee there would be no women smokers today. Unfortunately I am one, but at least now I have an electric stove.

I’ve come a long way, baby!


Post a Comment

<< Home