Thursday, February 10, 2011
Rant #442: Smoke Rings
Reports are that our President has finally given up smoking.
The President's wife, Michelle, made the announcement the other day. She basically said that due to pressure from their children, he finally gave it up.
No patches or pills for him. He just gave it up.
Good for him, and for his family.
Smoking is a completely disgusting habit. I don't understand what the allure is of smoking a rolled up paper with minced up leaves in it is, but millions enjoy this pleasure.
And in our society, they have a right to enjoy this pleasure.
But they also have a right to stop smoking, stop polluting the air, and stop infecting their family with second-hand smoke.
Let's face it, in today's politically correct age, it looked ridiculous for the President to smoke, and then, on the other hand, have his wife touting healthy activities as much as she does.
Looking back, I can't remember a single President who didn't smoke, at least a cigar if not a cigarette. Maybe President Carter might have been the only one, but I honestly don't remember.
And President Clinton had his own use for cigars which I won't get into here.
In my own family, my father smoked until my mother was pregnant with me. The story goes that the doctor told him that with a new arrival soon to come to the house, he should stop smoking.
And he did. Cold turkey, too.
My grandfather is another story. My mom's dad smoked like a chimney. He smoked cigarettes, pipes and cigars in one fell swoop. I don't remember ever seeing him without some tobacco product in his mouth.
And he got sick, real sick. That is when he stopped, but it was too late.
He was just 74.
With all the allergies I have--and with all I saw with my grandfather--I vowed early on in my life that I would never smoke, and I have lived up to that vow. I have never smoked anything.
So when I heard the President's wife say that her husband had stopped this idiotic habit, I was pretty happy.
But he should take a page from my father's book.
My father is a New York City cab driver, has been for nearly 50 years after many years as a butcher.
My dad has told me that even after more than 50 years since his last cigarette, he still gets the urge to smoke.
In the old days, when smoking was permitted in cabs, he used to get that second-hand smoke aroma and the urge would kick in. Even now, with smoke-free cabs, he still gets the urge now and again.
But he swears that he has never succumbed to that urge, and I believe him.
So the President isn't smoking right now, but the urge will always be there.
The trick is to be strong enough to resist the urge.
Let's hope that for the sake of his family and the President himself, he can be strong enough to resist that urge.
It is hard to do, but my father has proven time and time again that it can be done.
Posted by Larry at 4:17 AM