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Friday, July 30, 2010

What? You’ve Got the President on Line One? For Me?

The end of another work week, and what have we learned?

Me? I’ve learned that if you continue to fling yourself out of bed when the alarm goes off you’re going to get what you deserve. Eventually, though, you will arrive at Friday, the day where the light at the end of the tunnel is at its brightest.

Another precious weekend has arrived. I wonder what will happen?

Welcome to Fridays, ladies and gentlemen, the day I seek the advice of my iPod, known universally as the Knower of All Things Knowable. Set to “shuffle”, the tunes played on my morning’s commute are, in some way, connected to what we can expect over the weekend.

It’s true!

Let’s listen:

Senor Blues by Taj Mahal
Helter Skelter by The Beatles
Kick Drum Heart by The Avett Brothers *
You Cheated Me by Martha Wainwright
In the Bamboo Grove by The Bamboos
Let’s Dance by David Bowie

Ah! Love, chaos, broken hearts, and sexual ambiguity. Heeeeey! Wait a minute,now! That sounds like last weekend.

Oh, and I’ve something to confess: since last weekend, I’ve been concentrating on forgetting to smoke.

Have you ever seen me quit smoking? I am, as the old joke goes, so good at it that I do it all the time.

I’ve been thinking about this, my lack of commitment in the “I quit” arena and my woeful inability to remember for more than a couple months at a time that I don’t want to smoke any more.

And I think I’ve got it figured out: It’s the lack of fanfare accompanying the decision to quit. It’s too short lived.

I mean, think of it. You might get a word of encouragement from your mother, maybe a coworker notices. But am I alone here in thinking there could be more hoopla?

There’s so little of that: hoopla.

I can hear you shaking your head from here and I know! I know. The health benefits!

In yoga the other day, I held on to an “om” far longer than usual.

I cough less.

I’m quite certain that, going forward, my fingers have markedly less chance of smelling like an ashtray.

I have a couple extra bucks.

These are all good things.

But it’s hard, isn’t it? Those cigarettes were mine, they were my little friends: twenty cool slim white friends. With orange heads. That I lit on fire and pulled through my lungs.

Still. It was at one time possible, particularly if there was a Happy Hour going on, that you and I would have had a conversation wherein I earnestly told you that the best pack of cigarettes to have was one that was three-quarters of a way full: a couple are gone, sure, but now they’re easier to pull out of the pack, and anyway, there’s plenty left. Plenty enough to share.

And now?

Now we’ll never have that conversation. And I am saddened.

All because I have to keep forgetting to smoke.


Irisheyes said...

Keep on forgetting Pearl! I heard one of your white friends with the orange hats say something mean about you behind your back. They were talking to your lungs. I don't think they are your true friends anyway. They are just using you. Remember that!!:)

Fred Miller said...

Don't feel bad. I haven't smoked since '93, but I still love sitting next to a smoker. I rarely get to because, of course, Tessa has the lung capacity of a Coke can (no exaggeration). All I can say to someone trying to quit is this: "Enjoy your life."

Sausage Fingers said...

How about trying chewing tobacco? One time and you are done.
ps. don't swallow it.

Pearl said...

Mary, was it one of those super skinny cigarettes Maryna smokes?! I knew those things were talking about me...

Fred, shallow breathing (with which I have some experience) is frightening and one of the reasons I continue to forget...

Sausage, oh sure now you tell me. Did that back in high school. :-) Nauseating.

Simply Suthern said...

Kudos to you. My son just quit. It is hard. I have never smoked so it is hard for me to understand it's allure but I hear it is strong.

I did chew in high school. I actually invented the little Skoal Bandit packs. I had braces so I used to roll the tobacco in rolling paper to keep it out of the wires. I just forgot to patent it. I also forgot not to swallow one time. Thats all it took. Maybe you should forget not to swallow the next cig you light up.

Good Luck.

Charlotte Ann said...

Oh...I used to reward myself with them. "As soon as I finish this, I'll have a smoke!" and now since I don't get a reward for doing something, I just don't do a thing. I don't smoke so ...well..you get the picture.
When I get that little tickle in my brain for a cig, I compare that little tickle to all the hours that passed without that crave. The little tickle lasts only seconds....and now hours and hours pass before I have a brain tickle.
I used to spend all my time waiting on that next smoke...it was soooooooooooo obsessive for me.
I like being a NON smoker...it's just a little tickle...you can do it!

Bossy Betty said...

Keep on forgetting, sweet Pearl! We want you around for a long time!

Charlotte Ann said...

P.S. You are so right..on the fanfare. First time I quit...fanfare stopped..and I started smoking again.
What I have learned it ...you have to meet NEW people all the time...so you can tell them you stopped smoking and for a brief minute they will tell you how wonderful you are. I now know almost everyone in this city of over 200,000. I may have to move soon.

SeaD said...

Pearl, I have been reading your blog for quite some time, and have thought about commenting a few times, but pretty sure I never have. Until now. First,I send you much HOOPLA! Quitting will become second nature and then you can complain about "those thoughtless smokers messing up your air." Secondly, I commend you on your awesome taste in music. The Avett Brothers? Double hoopla to you, my friend!!

Sweet Cheeks said...

Shouting hippie Hoopla

just for Yoopla

no frowny face Droopla

'cuz smoking sure is Poopla

This is a fine example of why I'm not a poet.
Hang in there Pearly Girly~

Joanna Jenkins said...

Keep forgetting Pearl!!!! We can have weekly "fanfares and woo-hoos" for you if it will help!

Happy weekend, jj

Kal said...

I am trying to give up my little blue canned friends from the Pepsi corporation too and it's not easy. I feel your pain.

Fragrant Liar said...

Where's the fun in giving up your vices? It's like, now you are playing by the rules, when you previously spent so much quality time bucking them -- now, all for naught.

Except that you can breathe easier, taste better, smell fresher, run farther. When I count to three, you will forget everything and wake up feeling relieved. 'kay?

Alice in Wonderland said...

Thanks for leaving me a comment on my blog.
I stopped smoking just over a year ago, but I am now addicted to those "fake cigarettes" with the cartridges thingys in! So, what I'm saving on actually buying cigarettes, I'm spending more on these things! So it's a no win situation. Granted they are better for your health, but I can't say that I feel actually any better!
Oh, for the smell of an ash-tray again!

Tamsin said...

My papa quit after 45 years or so of smoking, and after a couple of months he told me about being disgusted by standing next to a smoker: "I hope I never smelled like that!" Uhm.... yes, Daddy-o, you absolutely did.

But yay for you, Pearly! Yayayayayayayay for not smoking!

Gigi said...

You can do it Pearl! Everytime you "forget" to smoke - listen real hard and you'll hear me cheering for you!

Philip said...

I'm currently having a dry period. No drink for a month so far. I've saved so much money its stupid. Have a look at my blog - something there for you.

a Broad said...

My dad was in his 30's when the doctor told him, after a 3rd bout of bronchitis/pneumonia, that if he did not stop smoking, he would be dead in a year.
He never smoked again.
He chewed gum a lot but that was it.

I had a friend who got sick. .. due to smoking. You never want to be that sick. Remember how good you feel now, when you think you might want a cigarette. Remember how good your mouth tastes and how fresh your breath is .. Remember how your life stretches out ahead of you, healthy and happy.

besos, C

Sam Liu said...

"Ah! Love, chaos, broken hearts, and sexual ambiguity. Heeeeey! Wait a minute,now! That sounds like last weekend."

You are too funny, Pearl! Thank you for making me spurt my coffee all over my desk! :D

And I hope all goes well with quitting smoking *insert health lecture here* :)

Jen said...

That sounds like my last few weekends. My asthmatic lungs appreciate your efforts to make the air more breathable. You can do it!

Kola Kokahalla said...

My boyfriend quit about a year ago after smoking since he was 17. He just decided one day and that was it. I am impressed at his will power. He never lapsed once. He still lusts after them though. I see him secretly pining sometimes after dinner or if we go out for drinks. :) Good luck with your efforts. I'm sure you'll kick its ass bigtime.

Cheeseboy said...

First of all, I LOVE The Avett Brothers.

Secondly, Have you seen the Electric Cig - the water vapor cigarette? They could be just your thing.

Mr. Stupid said...

You should keep forgetting. Convince yourself about all the bad effects it can have. Or better, send them to your worst enemy or an animal at the Zoo. You won't go fetch them in both cases.

Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

My husband quit smoking a few years ago. He was in the Marine Corps, worked full time while going to college full time, and he STILL says that quitting smoking was by far the HARDEST thing he's ever done! Congrats to you for sticking with it!!

Also, I agree, we could ALL use more hoopla!!

CatLadyLarew said...

Happy Hour is definitely the hardest time to forget to smoke. Me, I took a lot of baths when I forgot to smoke because that was the only place I never lit up. Happily, the older we get the more forgetful we get, so it may get easier to forget.