Dad insists he’s going to quit smoking. Dad’s 72 years old. He’s been smoking since he was born. From four packs of cigarettes to zilch? He and my mom used to have cigarettes shipped to their house by the Indians who didn’t tax them. Now, even their price is too high.
“You gotta be kiddin’ me! You crazy or sumptin’? Nine dolliz’ a pack?” my father welps over the phone to his little stogy dealer. “It’s like a goddam car payment, yanno? Ah fuggedaboudit’!”
With my father’s promise of quitting and my anticipation of walking into their house without having an asthma attack, my mother is still hunching under the microwave, leaning on top of the stove smoking the last of her cigarettes, as the clogged vents from bacon grease are sucking up whatever smoke it can. I smelled the smoke as soon as I walked in. My asthma started kicking up and I didn’t have my inhaler or anything to help me.
“Oh you can’t possibly smell this. It’s going up into the vents, Deb. It’s the pollen that's bothering you. You want a Benadryl?”
I love my mom. She’s just clueless. Just by her saying that, I let out this huge wheezy laugh and told her it was ok, I was just going outside to get some air. But the coughs sounded more like a mule in heat, so I had to leave before dinner was served. I felt bad, but had to go before I went into a full fledge attack.
My mom comes outside and comes out with, “We’re getting pipes.”
“Yeah, we’re going to smoke tobacco out of pipes now.”
“Isn’t it still tobacco?”
I told her, “The hell with it - buy pot, it’s cheaper and at least it’ll give you a high and relieve all of your pain.” She looked over at my father for approval. They can kill two birds with one stone by smoking pot, quitting cigarettes, and not buying all of those jugs of Carlo Rossi.
Thank me later.