Dear Counts of Cessation,
When I was a young boy growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I would sit at home waiting for my dad to come home from a long day at work (he was an exterminator’s assistant). As soon as he got home, he would crack open a fifth of Jim Beam and light up a cigarette. Sure, he had a violent temper and a habit of wrecking his cars a lot, but when it came to being a good father, he was second to none (except for maybe those TV sitcom fathers, like Bill Cosby).
Although he would beat me and my siblings (Jed, Jeb, Clem, Sally, Mary, Betsy, Ezekiel, and Quan Pham-Duc) senseless when he was on one of his drinking marathons (and there were a LOT of them, believe me, my friends), we knew that he loved us unconditionally. In fact, the only thing he loved more than us were his cigarettes.
When I saw him sit down in front of our Panasonic TV and light up a Camel, I couldn’t believe the look of tranquility that came over him. When that first breath of smoke hit his lungs and sent the nicotine surging through his blood, he looked like the happiest man alive.
Now, five years after his untimely death (he was killed in a freak car washing accident), I have been thinking about my father’s love for cigarettes. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes as I type this. I actually (for the first time in my life) went out and bought a pack of cigarettes (Camel–Dad’s brand).
I pulled the first cigarette out of the pack, gently inserted it between my lips, and, shivering in anticipation, applied the flame to the tip of the cigarette. “SWEET JESUS!!!” I bellowed, “This is the worst thing I have ever tasted!” I can’t understand how dad could be relaxed by smoking that….filth (for lack of a better word). But, as his oldest son, I am willing to try.
This is where you come in, my friends: I would like to know if you have any tips to help me “kick start” the habit, so to speak. What about your nicotine gum? Would it be easier to start smoking if I were already addicted to nicotine? Please let me know if this is a feasible way to start smoking, as I don’t want to spend all that money and still hate cigarettes.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking. “This guy is a few packs short of a carton,” but let me assure you that I am sincere in my desire to live up to my father’s expectations. Please let me know how you can help.
Thanks in advance,
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