Saturday, 16 June 2007

The Autobiography Of A Non-Smoker Who Kind Of Smoked . . . Part Three

Cigars Are For The Bigger Boys

Where am I now?

Hmmm . . . yup, we’re still in early 2003 (I was eighteen years old). Not only was I getting free cigs from my mates, I also got hooked up with two cigars. They were individually wrapped up; never came in packets like cigarettes.

I took both of the cigars with me for a night out with my co-workers. The plan was to get drunk as usual, but this time I was going to pull out a chunky cigar and pose like I was the top dog. It would have worked a treat if I wasn’t dating one of my co-workers at the time. She never smoked, so anytime I went out with her and started drinking I wasn’t allowed to grab cigs and light them up. She’d get on my case about it and always threatened to dump me if she caught me smoking . . . in fact she threatened to dump me over a lot of things.

A whole bunch of colleagues went to a bar and I got a little bit drunk. My girl (not the same girl from the part two) was around somewhere, doing something which didn’t concern me. I wasn’t exactly protective of her. I found a sweet spot, chilled on a stool and got a cig from a girl who had a crush on me at the time. She had never seen me smoke before, so when she gave me the cigarette she wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it.

I wasn’t a smoker remember.

Her eyes lit up when I put the cig between my lips, sparked the lighter and inhaled. She turned to one of her friends and yelled “He’s smoking!” They made an unnecessary scene out of it; I had to keep my cool whilst keeping an eye out for my girl.

I drank some more and chilled with the girls for a little bit while flirting, a few more people joined us and I took on the role of the funny guy . . . I was now ready to pull out the cigar.

. . . Then just as I did my girl tapped me on the shoulder and gave me a stern look . . . ‘I heard you were smoking. If you smoke that nasty cigar then I’m going to break up with you.’ She looked serious when she said it. However, I was fed up with her continuous threats . . . I knew I could have had my cake and ate it . . . but I decided to put the cigar back in my pocket. Just to keep the peace of course . . . I wasn’t scared of her!

So later that night I was walking home alone. The sky was dark but clear, and the fresh night air was helping me to sober up. It was time to puff a fat cigar. I reached into my inside pocket and felt the cold chill of disappoint run through my face. My hands were rubbing tobacco . . . there was only one cigar in my pocket and it had split in half.

The pace of my walking slowed down as I focused on a shattered dream (overly dramatic I know, but I was genuinely disappointed). I had hid this cigar in my room for about month and now it was split in two. I shrugged it off, threw the useless half across the street and lit up the good half with the butt on it.

Another worthless smoking experience, the cigar lasted quite a few puffs but I had no audience. What was the point?

Now that smoking is on the verge being banned from public places I felt like I had to write this memorial. Smoking never gripped me; that was never my intention. I’m glad that I flirted with the idea and absconded my curiosities at a ‘mature’ age . . . not liking cigarettes also kept me in check.

All you’ve read is pretty much all I smoked; minus the odd cigarette here and there. They are a group of isolated incidents which I’m in no rush to repeat or forget so I writ them down as a reminder to myself . . .

July 1st 2007 - UK Public Smoking Ban

A to the . . .


Doug said...

Hey ak-man,
Where did you get that photo of my late Uncle?


Xymyl said...

I have two non-smoking episodes I would like to share. First, many years ago I was a houseman at the Mpls/St. Paul Hilton in Minnesota U.S.A. That’s just a setup, clean up, errand boy. I was the only person on the entire banquet staff that didn’t smoke. One night there was a hypnotist that was “curing” a few hundred people of their smoking habit. I couldn’t believe that many people would show up. I was even more shocked to see the piles of abandoned cigarettes after the brainwashing.

If you know you are going to be hypnotized to stop smoking, why buy more cigarettes? Anyway, there were piles of these things everywhere. Hundreds of dollars worth.

I was on a very tight budget and couldn’t stand to waste anything. Many of these were full packs, never even opened. I thought through my options: smoke them? no. Give them to my smoking workmates? no. Sell them to my smoking workmates? no. Throw them away? no. Build tiny log cabins out of them? Yes, after I was done with my work that evening I stayed a few extra hours, in fact I stayed the whole night, building tiny cigarette log cabins. Everyone was impressed with my work. Well, that and visibly irritated.

I had found a way to not be wasteful, yet render all of the cigarettes unsmokable.

The second experience is the time I was fired for not smoking. I got a job as Network Administrator for an up and coming Internet company. On my first day of work, the two main features of the day were 1) when I was handed my official company golf balls, and 2) when I was shown to the company humidor. I was told, “...and here is the humidor, you can keep all of your cigars here.” The humidor was opened and further information was given.

Well, one day the president of the company had us all over to watch arena football (American, of course), as I walked in I noticed that he was standing in front of a gigantic humidor, handing out cigars and explaining how rare and expensive they were. Absolutely everybody was trying to get me to take one and light up. I thought it would be simple enough to say, “I don’t smoke”. Nope, that excuse wouldn’t fly. The ladies in the office pulled their tobacco tubes out of their mouths just long enough to say, “well, we don’t smoke either but come on!” Back to the business of puffing, they just looked at me like I was a total wimp. Eventually I got everybody to calm down. I grabbed a beer and went to find the shrimp bowl.

Later that evening we were all together, one big (happy?) corporate family. The game was Arizona vs. Iowa. I knew that they were all from Iowa, but I was assuming that since we all lived in Arizona we were rooting for AZ. Well, the Rattlers (AZ) won and I stood up and said, “YES!” in a very loud voice. Angry stares. That’s it. The next week I was fired. I was told that I did a great job though, and was given a great severance package.

Ak-Man said...

Doug - Google image search is the future

xymyl - Cor Blimey, you really know how to take over a post! LOL

Xymyl said...


Ak-Man said...

No problem . . . it was a good read, few scetchy parts in your stories though.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Think you made a wise choice when you split from that girl of yours!

Xymyl said...

Oh, I just noticed your note. Sorry about the sketchiness. I used wax to stick the cigarettes together. I hope everything is clear now.