My mother smoked, my father smoked and my grandmother, who lived with us in her final years, smoked one cigarette right after another.
Growing up I used to hate riding in the car with them because it smelled really bad. I have to admit that I actually tried it once, because of peer pressure, but the warm smoke tasted like a mouth full of crap to me. That was the first and last time a cigarette ever touched my lips.
Cigarette smoke really stinks and is bad for you. I have found that for some reason if you are not a smoker, the smoke trail from somebody nearby will always blow in your direction. It must be a cruel law of nature or something.
At least now you can enjoy eating out and not having a smoker sitting right next to you, or anywhere in the restaurant. Now the ones that just have to light-up stand near the door so their smoke can drift into the restaurant when somebody comes or goes. Consequently, we never sit near the door.
I know it is not good to generalize, but for the most part smokers tend to be rude. This is not to say they are really bad people, it is just that they are addicted to nicotine and really need a drag on their cancer sticks, so that takes precedence.
Years ago we used to live about a twenty-minute drive from Disneyland. It was interesting to watch people who had just been on the “It’s A Small World” ride as they exited over the bridge. As smokers walked over the bridge they were frantic to get a cigarette into their lips and quickly lit so they could take a drag. Pathetic! I think the song below portrays the situation pretty well.
At one company I worked at while moving up the ladder, I became close friends with a guy name Walter. He was a hard worker and fun to be around, but he had cigarette addiction really bad. I tried to get him to stop, but he just couldn’t do it. We lost contact for several years, going our separate ways, and finally reconnected about ten years later. One of the first things out of Walter’s mouth was, “Gary, you aren’t going to believe this, but I finally quite smoking about six months ago.” He went on to say how he was getting in shape with daily exercise and really enjoying life. I had a consulting company at the time and we started talking about working together again.
A few weeks passed and Walter started complaining about having a sore throat that just wouldn’t go away. He finally went to the doctor and was told he had cancer of the larynx. They told him they would try to remove just one vocal cord and should be able to teach him how to talk again. To make a long story short, they had to take his whole voice box.
Walter and I were having lunch one day after his recuperation and I said, “Hey Walter, when you were at the class learning how to use your Electronic Larynx, about how many of the people in the class were smokers?” Walter quickly put the device to his throat and answered, “ I’d say approximately 100 percent.”
Things seemed to be going well for Walter again, but he could no longer do what he did best, selling. You see, Walter was one of the best salesmen I have ever known. He lived very well and drove the finest cars on the road. He ate at the finest restaurants. He had the finest clothes and lived in a great house. But now, things definitely were changing in his life. With his daughter just starting college and his son soon to follow, Walter was concerned about their future.
I won’t drag this on much more, but just say that three months later, Walter was dead. He soon learned the cancer was in his lungs too and nothing could be done. I saw him for the last time about a week before he died. It was about an hour drive to his house and I wondered what I would say to him and his wife. He didn’t want me to come because of the way he looked. I was startled to see his face and neck, which were bloated from the medications he was taking. He literally looked like Javva The Hutt in Star Wars. I talked, he wrote notes, we hugged and we cried.
I think of Walter often and am really choked-up as I write this. You see, he died when he was only forty-nine years old.
I’ve told Walter’s story to many smokers over the years, hoping it would make them think about how smoking can change their life for the worst. As we all know, it is not just the smoker who pays the ultimate penalty, but their family too.
I hope you get the point here. Smoking is bad and will kill you.