08 January 2011

Kickin' the Sticks (Guest Post)

Guest post of the day is by Bryan, the ever so clever author of both nuclearheadache and The Encyclopedia of Counted Sheep.

These days, when you tell someone that you're going to quit smoking, it's kind of like telling them that you're finally getting around to seeing Pulp Fiction.  They're happy for you and enthusiastic, but somewhere in the back of their mind they're probably thinking, "Well, it's about time."  Over the years, smoking has turned from something that made you look cool to something just slightly less offensive than spitting on a baby.  During my career as a smoker, I've gone from sitting comfortably in someone's living room and having a cigarette to being banished to a cold, dark corner of their garage to getting dirty looks after I come in from standing out in the rain and having a couple of puffs.     

I quit for about two months a couple of years ago.  I wanted a flat screen TV, and I figured that the only way I'd get it was to put the $5 a day I spent on cigarettes aside for this lofty goal.  It gave me something to shoot for.  Well, then I got laid off from my job, and there I was with all this time on my hands and no flat-screen TV to watch in sight.  The money I'd saved up had to be used for boring stuff like groceries.  So my plan fell apart, and I was dying for just one little cigarette.  Well, you know how that goes.  A month later I was right back to my usual half-a-pack a day.  I know, you could point out the flaw in my logic and the fact that I was spending the money on cigarettes that I could no longer afford to set aside, but hey...shut up.  

So here I am, at it again.  As I'm writing this, I've got three cigarettes left in my last pack.  As you're reading this, hopefully I've been three days without taking a drag, that is if I haven't held up the local convenient store by then and cleaned them out of their entire supply of Marlborough Special Blends.  Keep a lookout for any bewildered cashiers on the news.

Strangely enough, Writing was one of the hardest parts about quitting last time.  I couldn't hardly even think about it without wanting a cigarette.  I'm not sure why.  This writing is certainly a fairly neurotic activity, and the ashtray here at my desk fills up far more than it should.  You find yourself stuck on a sentence and you puff your way right through the block.  An effective technique, but it's not the best thing for your heart, lungs, stomach, or teeth.  I'm just going to have to start gnawing on a pencil or rubbing my face on the cat or something.

The other hard part was that nagging thought of never having a cigarette again.  I could get through the hours, and even the days without one, but the idea of never again....it was like watching your childhood friend move away, leaving a trail of smoke and ashes behind them.  Well, okay, it wasn't really like that.  I just wanted you to picture a giant cigarette waving to you from the back window of a car.  So anyway, I'm only making a deal with myself to quit for one month this time.  If I can make it a month, I'll try to see if I can make it another month and so on.  Maybe I can trick my brain a little.  I'm not making any promises to myself or anyone else.  I'm just going to see how it goes.

Aaaaand...now, I'm down to two.


  1. Whoa my father smokes a lot too. I don't really know how to make him stop. This was a nice post. Really love it!

  2. I hope that you find the strength to quit! I was/am a nail biter, yes I am and quit. Sadly, I'm once again a nailbiter. not the same thing but indeed a very tough habit to kick.


  3. I may BECOME a nail biter as the result of this. In fact, I may become a FINGER biter because of this. Oh, the bitter irony. My writing will drive me to eat my fingers, and then I won't have fingers to type with.

  4. you can do it!! My mother passed away from lung cancer at 55 yrs old. I never picked up a cig after that day, did it cold turkey and i've been smoke free since feb 17th 2008! :)

  5. Quiting is hard. I'll be thinking about you while lighting up. Ok, maybe that was a low blow. But really, it just means I'm jealous that you're gonna make the attempt, while I only talk about it. Now, I'm off to spit on babies.


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