Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

I'm just trying to develop an online body of work (even if the work is throwaway nonsense) to advance my writing career.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


You know what sucks worse than reading this blog? Standing in line at any filling station or convenience store waiting for the cigarette and lottery addicts to conduct their business. How many times have you heard "I want two dollars in gas, five packs of Marlboro, and six quick picks" when you're waiting at the back of the line to pay for your petroleum and Gatorade? And you cringe with disgust, half-tempted to say something to the person behind or in front of you, except you're reasonably sure each of them is about to trouble the cashier for deathspikes and lotto numbers, too! You're an island, and one consumed in a miasma of smoke at that.

As far as I'm concerned, lottery tickets should be sold in machines only. Merchants make no money off of them, except incidentally, and they hold up the line something dreadful. If state lotteries are as awash in revenue as they imply--if they can make license plates cheaper and help to fund schools--it surely wouldn't break them to purchase more sophisticated machinery in order to curb delays in retail establishments.

The same goes for tobacco. Cigarettes should only be sold in machines and if they're out of your brand, tough turkey! I'm friendly with a good number of smokers and most of them recognize the dangers of their predeliction. I'm not out to get smokers; as often as I'm mildly scornful of their habit, I'm sympathetic, too. My Grandmother essentially smoked herself to death. It was painful to watch and I think it's a pain most people can relate to because who hasn't had a relative with emphysema or COPD?

But there's no reason I should have to wait in line while the clerk finds Brand X--no, not Brand X Soft Pack, Brand X in a box, no, not menthol, no not Brand X Lights, Brand X Light 100s! Why do they make so many different kinds? What's the difference between Lights and Light 100s? And who came up with these "I Smoke and I Vote" bumper stickers? I haven't seen them much lately but about ten years ago, they turned up on primer-colored 1978 Cutlass Supremes everywhere. What were these people trying to say? It isn't like being pro-choice or pro-life because every election features a healthy selection of both pro-choice and pro-life candidates. Where are the pro-smoking candidates? Or at least, where are the ones who are openly pro-smoking? Did they mean they were planning to vote against practically everyone? Or was it a coded message? Could "I Smoke and I Vote" have really meant "I Smoke, So Chances Are You'll Still Be Voting After I'm Dead!" Sheesh, everything has to be politicized, doesn't it? Pretty soon, everyone will be a political faction all his or her own and I'll have to get a bumper sticker that says, "I Write a Blog and Have a Boring Day Job and I Vote... Sometimes."


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