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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

Butt Ugly

Sunday, July 23, 2006



(Photo: Liam Gallagher, Oasis)

The cigarette does the smoking - you're just the sucker.
~Author Unknown

Government Warning: Smoking Kills... the latest warning by the Surgeon General. I didn't notice when they decided to change the warning from "Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health" to the more blunt one we have now, they probably thought the first one wasn't potent enough. If I had one peso for every concerned "that can cause cancer" or "you need to quit before it kills you" or every pamphlet showing a lung suffering from emphysema or an old woman with a nasty hole in her throat, well I'd need to carry one of those wood handled velvet bag thingies we see in churches to collect all the change. It's not like smokers don't know these things, it's written on the side of the box for Pete's sake (never did understand this expression. Who the hell is Pete?). It's one of the few honest consumer products. Have you ever seen a beer bottle with "Government Warning: Drinking can Cause Liver Cancer" stamped on the side or a warning like "Eating this can make your kids obese and lazy" on a McDonald's Happy Meal. In the movie Interstate 60, one of the eccentric people the main character met in his eventful journey to deliver a parcel was a middle-aged man obsessed with truth, ready to detonate explosives tied around his waist whenever he met a person not willing to admit he is lying. Gary Cooper (Bob Cody): "I like cigarettes, the packet says they cause cancer and they do. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Boy, if it wasn't for cigarettes I don't know where I'd be today. I used to be in advertising, I got paid for lying. Then one day a little boy died because of one of those lies. Boy, that fried me. So when I got my nicotine death sentence, I decided to make the rest of my time count. Put an end to some of those lies. Now, for the first time in my life, I'm fulfilled, I'm content. Lung cancer, not without its benefits."

Cigarettes aren't given enough credit, it has its advantages too. Smoking is good for your colon. Constipated? Everyone knows it helps you do the # deux. It is a drug, highly addictive, but a drug nonetheless. Smoking is good for your eyes, at least for people who spend 8 hours or so in front of a computer. Smoking breaks can soothe the eyes and help you refocus them. Smoking is also a social activity. I've met a fair share of interesting people whenever I bum a cigarette or a light. The talented Michelle Pfeiffer said: "I used to smoke two packs a day and I just hate being a nonsmoker.... but I will never consider myself a nonsmoker because I always find smokers the most interesting people at the table."

I haven't always been like this, a pulmonary masochist. I was an anti-smoking pseudo-activist during the early years of high school. I don't really remember the exact time I got cig-hooked... It was probably some time during college. It all starts with innocent puffing out of curiosity and the sake of peer agreeability (a.k.a. smoking makes you cool delusion)... slowly evolving into a stick a day plus a couple during a night out (a.k.a. look at me, look at me... I'm smoking)... and later on an another-stick-wouldn't-hurt, I'm-not-hooked, I-can-quit-tomorrow-if-I-want-to phase (a.k.a. gradual addiction with denial). You know you've hit the peak of the addiction curve when you pilfer your Dad's Philip Morris, or when cigarettes are at the top of your grocery list. You know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel when you light a half-smoked cigarette from the waste basket because its night, the damn sari-sari store is closed and you forgot to buy supplies.

I will quit. I will quit... eventually... Maybe... I don't know... Probably when I lose one lung or I'm breathing out of a hole in my throat.


"What a weird thing smoking is and I can't stop it. I feel cozy, have a sense of well-being when I'm smoking, poisoning myself, killing myself slowly. Not so slowly maybe. I have all kinds of pains I don't want to know about and I know that's what they're from. But when I don't smoke I scarcely feel as if I'm living. I don't feel as if I'm living unless I'm killing myself."
~Russell Hoban, Turtle Diary, 1975

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