Redneck Review

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Where There's Smoke, There's No Hillbilly Mom

I notice that deadpanann and Vavoom have both had posts about
smoking during the past week or so. Or about quitting smoking,
to be exact. This is one problem I don't have.

Have I ever tried smoking? Yes, I admit that I have, due to peer
pressure. Unlike deadpanann, I was not an impressionable 13-
year-old. I was an impressionable 26-year-old. OK, so I was a
late bloomer.

I went to high school so long ago that the school let kids smoke.
They could smoke on the fence, or they could smoke in the student
lounge. Student lounge, you say? Yes. It was a little building out
behind the school, with tables and chairs and soda machines. You
could buy a lunch tray and take it out there if you wanted. And
there was no teacher on duty to supervise it, either. This was so
long ago that it was not uncool to smoke. It wasn't such a rebel
thing to do. This was the last days of the sex, drugs, rock & roll
era. Smoking was a pretty mild vice.

I only had one friend who smoked. I did not exactly run with the
popular crowd, but I was in sports and band with them. I never
went to their parties where they (gasp!) drank, and smoked pot,
and had sex in the dark and when the lights went on some guy
was on his sister. (I think that's an urban legend, and not actually
something unique to my high school.) So I never had any pressure
to smoke during that stage of my life.

I went away to college, and was not around many smokers there,
either. The year I lived in the dorm was the closest. They didn't
care who smoked or didn't. The people I had classes with and
hung around were those in the PE/Health department, so not
much smoking was going on there.

Then I graduated and got a real job or two in teaching, and I met
the real smokers. I do not know much about smoking, but I know
that I had two friends who each bought a carton of cigarettes a
week. I don't even know how many packs are in a carton. I do
know one of them told me he smoked two packs a day.

So I had these smoking friends, "Betty" and "Bob." We hung out
together all the time, because hey, there's nothing to do in Cuba,
Missouri. On Saturday nights, there were teacher parties, but on
Friday nights we were on our own. That meant going to one of
our houses to watch movies or play cards or Scrabble or Upwords.
I could beat them at the word games. Hey, I wasn't miss goody-
goody valedictorian for nothing. But they could beat me at poker.
So one Friday night, they decided that taking all my money wasn't
good enough--that they must also ridicule me.

We sat around Bob's kitchen table at his townhouse. There was
some ridiculous poker game in progress: Indian poker, or liars'
poker, or Dr. Pepper, or one-eyed jacks, or something. I think
they changed the rules every hand. There are probably no such
games as what they were "teaching" me.

Betty had brought some Rold Gold Pretzel Rods, our snack of
choice. She held one like a cigar, chomping on it every now and
then, when she wasn't busy actually smoking, or raking my money
into her pile. And Betty got a bright idea.

"Hey, Hillbilly Mom, what you really need is a cigarette."

"Come on, try one. Let's see what you look like smoking."

Now maybe, just maybe, there was some alcohol involved.
I wanted to go along with them. They were soooo funny. The
three of us had as much fun as is legally possible for three
people to have. Betty gave me a cigarette and lit it, and Bob
tried to show me how to hold it. So I caved to the peer pressure.

"Look at her!" Cackle, cackle.

"I can't believe how she holds it!" Guffaw.

"You look like you've never smoked before!" (Well, duh!)

"You have to inhale it." Takes a long drag to show me.

"Now tap the ashes." Pushes ashtray toward me.

"I'm gonna die laughing. She looks so funny!" Har har har.

"Uh...guys...I'm right here!" Getting annoyed.

Hee hee haw haw. "I can't stand it! Stop! Now! Falls out of
chair laughing at me.

So I tried it. And I don't know what all the fuss is about. Even
if I had looked cool, which it appears that I did not, I don't
know what people get out of it.

Unless it is a good laugh at me trying it.


  • At 12:12 AM, Blogger deadpanann said…

    I guess it's easier to convince yourself it's cool when you're at the age that cool means so much. Just be glad you hated it.

    I'm on day 6 and it's smooth sailing most of the time.

  • At 9:14 AM, Blogger Hillbilly Mom said…

    Congratulations on day 6! Stick with it, girl!


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