Friday, July 28, 2006

Smoker Sellout!

I started smoking cigarettes in 1991 when I was 18 years old. I had a girlfriend at the time who was a smoker and when we went out for coffee she offered me the odd cigarette (it would have been rude, not to mention potentially uncool, to refuse). Up until this point I would never have guessed that I would become a smoker but once I'd put a few away I jumped in with both feet.

In no time I was a full on smoker. I started off with DuMauriers but mostly jumped around from brand to brand, collecting the packages. Eventually I settled in to Players Filter. In the beginning I used to smoke the strongest cigarettes I could find and I was known to buy filterless ones every now and then just to keep people from bumming them off me.

I liked smoking. I loved it! I used to encourage others to do it (C'mon! You want to be cool like me don't ya?) and personally enlisted a few people into the black lung society. I used to rant about how I was never going to quit because smoking was awesome. Sometimes we'd have smoking races to see who could finish off 5 cigs the fastest or sometimes I'd just light up two at once and smoke them side-by-side. I was even known to smoke while brushing my teeth. MMmmmm! Now that's sweet. One time I used chewing tobacco, snuff and smoked cigarettes simultaneaously. I was that big of a fan!

I used to use smoking to guage time. One smoke = Seven minutes. 15 minute coffee break = Two smokes. Road Trips were calculated in cigarettes. I'd have to watch the odometer to keep myself from chain smoking for an entire trip so I would only allow myself one cigarette every 50km.

If I had to choose between food and smokes I picked smokes everytime.

Then in 1999 I quit.

I was going to be a cool ex-smoker though. Not one of those nazi-ex-smokers who get all preachy and complain about how horrible it smells or how irritating the smoke is or how bad it is for you. I wasn't going to complain when someone else wanted to smoke around me, by all means go right ahead. Smoke in my house? Of course! We're all cool here.

It's seven years later and I can't stand the smell and I find cigarette smoke incredibly irritating. I have to admit for someone who was such a fan of smoking I'm a total sellout today.

But you know what? I never preach or bitch about someone elses smoking (except for Jules), so although I'm a sellout I'm still a cool ex-smoker.

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