Filling the Potholes In My Soul Most people have become resigned to it by now, but certain friends of mine give me a lot of shit for being a smoker. "Stu! Don't smoke! It's so bad for you!" The cliche right now would be for me to feign surprise that cigarettes are harmful, and all I needed was for someone to let me know that I should quit--that all that's necessary is for the "Smoking will fuck your lungs up, shave your cat, and sleep with your mother," labels on packs to be just a couple font sizes bigger with fancier serifs on it, and it'd finally sink in--as if calling them cancer sticks and coffin nails wasn't enough. But if I were to go into that routine, I might as well follow it up with a riff on airplane food and a "boy, those gays sure know how to dress well" bit, and finish by taking a dump on the graves of Bill Hicks and Lenny Bruce for good measure. That shit's been done to death.
But I digress.
"Quit with the smoking already!" they say. If I've successfully resisted the hideously contrary urge to light up a second cigarette to join the first, or perhaps a third one (one for each nostril, of course) or simply managed not to blow smoke in their faces, they usually soften their paternalism with "we're only doing this because we love you and want you to stay with us awhile longer."
What they don't understand is that I live and thrive off of those professions of love. Barring special circumstances like my birthday or dire events like the gutting of my department, the only time I get expressions of affection is when I'm poisoning myself steadily. I must resort to such verbal Rube Goldberg devices to elicit the love I so desperately crave. If only...if only they'd just stop telling me how much they care about me, I'd quit smoking. I swear! The desire and enjoyment and addiction would vanish in one labored shiver of my lungs, and you'd see a new me, less burdened by excess tar.
Try it and see.
Besides, if you keep harassing me, I'll put my cigarette out...
...in your eye!
We'll see how much love and affection you have then.